MPH Update 1

Week 1 of classes is under wraps and I’m in the middle of week 2. To be honest, I am pretty overwhelmed at the moment. I’m taking 11 credits, a full load in graduate school, and the workload is fairly intense. This semester I’m taking:

Applied Behavior Change Theory

Epidemiology for Public Health

Public Health Foundations

Physical Activities and Public Health

These are all required core classes and so are not necessarily the classes I’m most excited about. However, I know they’ll help me get to where I want to be and some of the material is really interesting. There are several projects this semester that require me to make connections with local public health organizations and gain experience volunteering and researching, which should be very beneficial in the future.


I’ve always had a hard time in new situations and this time is no different. It’s a difficult schedule to adjust to and I’m surrounded by new people, all of whom seem infinitely smarter than I am.

I don’t know how much I’ll continue blogging. This past week I’ve spent hours reading and rereading textbooks and articles, on top of nannying,  Jazzercise (teaching and putting together sets), and making sure that time with Ryan is a priority. It’s been a little crazy and stressful.

This may seem like a lot of complaining and it is; I just want to write down exactly what’s going through my head. Like I’ve said before, this blog is primarily a place for me to journal and hopefully at the end of the semester, I’ll be able to look back at this post and be proud of how far I’ve come.

Weekly Workout Recap 8/22-8/28

Well I made it through the first week of school. Even though it was busy and overwhelming, I still managed to stay on track with my workouts.

Monday 8/22-Jazzercise

I think I’ll share this set later because it is such a tough one!

Tuesday 8/23-Group Power

A full day on campus meant an early alarm to get my workout in first thing in the morning. Luckily Group Power is one of my favorite classes and I’m excited to attend it more regularly. My chest and triceps were so sore the next day!

Wednesday 8/24-Jazzercise

I taught another touch Jazzercise class in the morning. I thought about going to yoga in the evening but I was wiped.

Thursday 8/25-Rest

I’m planning to go to Group Power on Thursdays as well but I figured I should ease into things this first week.

Friday 8/26-Jazzercise

I went to another instructor’s class so I could just relax, not think, and still get a great workout.

Saturday 8/27-Jazzercise & Strength45

Surprisingly I had a huge class with great energy on Saturday. It was exactly what I needed after the past week. My Strength45 set was okay but not as difficult as I would have liked.

Sunday 8/28-Rest

I took Bailey for a longish walk to clear my mind and prepare for the upcoming week. Bailey and Benji actually got quite a few walks last week because it’s one of my favorite ways to relax after a long day.

I’m pretty proud of myself for getting my workouts in while starting a new busy schedule.

Weekly Workout Recap 8/15-8/21

Today’s the big day-I start grad school! I feel like a little kid the way I’ve hyped up this first day of school but it’s a big change! I’ll check in at the end of the week and let you know how it goes. Back to the point of this post…

Monday 8/15-Jazzercise

I taught my set from last week one more time and it was still a kicker!


Because I had orientation the next day and had to sub out my class, I decided to take a class on Tuesday night. It was a good way to calm my nerves and still get a workout in. It’s nice sometimes to just take class and not have to think.

Also, Yoga for When You Feel Insecure because I needed a confidence boost.




Saturday-Jazzercise & Strength45

This set was so hard! I added a new heavy routine (Hurricane, if you’re a Jazzerciser) and thought it wouldn’t be a very intense heavy; I based my other routines off that fact. Turns out I was wrong and it’s a pumper, so my entire set ended up being pretty intense. Then my Strength45 class left me shaking during the last routines; that’s how you know you fatigued those muscles.

Sunday-3 mile run/walk with Bailey

Bailey and I ran some, walked some, and took lots of sniff breaks. We ended up covering 3 miles and it was the perfect way to start the day. Sadly my leg is still bothering me, so it looks like there won’t be a half marathon anytime soon.

I took a lot of rest days this week that were really just me being lazy. My excuse is that it’s the last week before school and probably my last chance for the next two years to be lazy. I have a feeling my workouts are going to be my sanity savers.

Thoughts on Starting Grad School

Two days ago I had orientation for grad school and on Monday I am officially a full time student again.

To be honest, I am beyond nervous about starting school and everything that goes along with it. Taking on a ton of student loan debt is TERRIFYING (I assume I’m not the only one who feels this way but no one else ever seems to talks about it). Not having much of an income for two years is also hard for me to accept.

At orientation, the faculty talked repeatedly about getting involved, making connections, and networking. I know how important it is to get experience while in school to improve your chances of getting a job after graduation. If you know me, I know I like to do everything but I’m trying really hard not to overload my schedule before school even starts. Between classes, commuting, Jazzercise, and nannying, it’s unlikely I’ll have time this semester to volunteer or be involved in anything. I’m trying to reassure myself that it’s okay to take the first semester to get my feet under me and I don’t have to start doing everything all at once.

One of the things that scares me the most is that I’ll finish my MPH and not be able to find a job, similar to what happened when I finished my bachelor’s degree. I graduated with honors but found there were no jobs to be had with my degree. Ryan and I are sacrificing a lot for me to go back to school and I’m so scared it will be for nothing.

I know I’m being dramatic but since I only have three readers, this is more of a journal for me and it’s therapeutic to write down everything I have going on in my head. Luckily I have a great support system and any/all pressure is coming from me and me alone. When I shared my worries with Ryan last night, he reassured me that everything will be fine and he’s already proud of me just for going back to school (I like that hubby of mine!).

So with some trepidation and a lot of faith, here goes my graduate school journey. In two short years, I will be Kaci D, MPH!

Weekly Workout Recap 8/8-8/14

This week sadly still wasn’t a great week for workouts. My leg is feeling better but I still struggled with a cold and other random issues.

Monday 8/8-Jazzercise

Tuesday 8/9-Rest

Wednesday 8/10-Jazzercise

I felt awful during this class! I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish; that’s the first time I’ve ever felt that way when teaching. I drank coffee right before class, which I think caused my heart rate to get too high too fast and then I couldn’t recover. Lesson learned.

Thursday 8/11-2 mile run & yoga video

First I did this Beat the Heat yoga video from Bad Yogi. I forgot that yoga doesn’t feel very good when you’re congested. Then I went for a run. This was bad idea #2-I barely made it two miles and then spent the rest of the night on the couch.

Friday 8/12-2 yoga videos & walk with the dogs

I woke up feeling better but decided to be smart and focus on recovery. I did two low key yoga videos, Yoga for When You Don’t Feel like Doing Yoga and Yoga for Feet and Ankles, and took Bailey for a walk. By the way, are you using Walk for a Dog to earn money for your local animal shelter? I’ve noticed there’s been way more active walkers since PokemonGo came out!

Saturday 8/13-Jazzercise & Strength45

I was so excited to teach this Strength45 class because I thought the set was going to be awesome. And it was! I loved this set-it hit legs, core, multiple upper torso muscles (triceps, chest, shoulders), and ended with a great stretch. I love those workouts that you leave you with that satisfied hurts-so-good feeling.

Sunday 8/14-1.3 mile run

This was a massive FAIL. It was supposed to be a 4 mile run but my stomach had other ideas. Ugh! It was a good wake-up call though; I have to take better care of my body if I expect it to do hard workouts. I eat fairly healthy most the time but my diet (just my eating habits, I’m not on a “diet”) falls apart on the weekend. Fast food and ice cream the nights before a run? Not a good idea. If I want to run a half marathon (which I might be thinking about) I have to be smarter about how I fuel my body.

So all in all, not a great week. Here’s to hoping that next week leads to better health, better decisions, and better workouts!


New Future Plans

Starting next week, I am back to being a full-time student. It’s both exciting and terrifying, to say the least. Fortunately, I have a great support system and I’m looking forward to studying a subject I’m deeply interested in and passionate about.

For those who don’t know, I’ll be attending Colorado School of Public Health. At the end of the two year program, I will receive my MPH with a concentration in Physical Activity and Healthy Lifestyles.

I feel as though I should explain because even though I’m leaving the name of this blog as Kaci K. RD2Be, the program I am doing will not meet the requirements to become a registered dietitian. If you’re curious, I explained here the steps necessary to becoming a registered dietitian. So why am I (1) doing a program that doesn’t allow me to become a RD and (2) then why am I not changing the blog name if I’m not going to be a RD?

Honestly, I debated a lot between the MPH and MS dietetics programs. Ultimately I decided to pursue my MPH for a few reasons. One is that it allows me to take nutrition classes, along with classes on physical activity and health promotion planning. This excites me because I’ll be able to focus on the bigger picture of public health and work with both nutrition and exercise. Secondly the timing of this program is much more convenient because I am able to start right away without having to complete prerequisite classes. Finally, to be perfectly honest, the idea of not getting into a coordinated program or internship for dietetics absolutely terrified me; I couldn’t deal with the idea of doing all that work for nothing.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m settling for the MPH program because that is not the case at all. It just worked out better for me at this time in my life and again I’m very excited for what I’ll be studying.

So why am I not changing the name of the blog? Simple: I still want to be a RD. After I graduate with my MPH, I’m hoping I’ll be able to get a job in the public health field. While I’m working (this may be far in the future), I’d like to complete the dietetic coursework, most likely one course at a time. I’m not interested in pursuing another degree but I’d like to complete the required courses and then apply for an internship; I’m hoping that the experience I will gain working with my MPH will make me competitive. Then I will have my MPH and RD credentials and finally be able to open my own private practice, my ultimate dream goal.

It may happen or it may not. I might find a career I absolutely love and no longer want to be a RD. My goals might change and that’s okay but this is what I’m aiming for now.

Life Lately

I thought it would be good to give you guys a little update on my life. Because despite what it seems, my life isn’t entirely Jazzercise and running.

  1. On July 23, the world’s cutest baby was born. My brother and sister-in-law welcomed baby Wyatt into the world. Even though he was born early, he’s home now and both mom and baby are doing well. I can’t wait to meet him next month!
  2. On July 28, I turned 25! I am now officially mid-to-late twenties rather than early twenties. I’m pretty sure I’m definitely considered an adult now but I still don’t feel like it.
  3. While Wyatt was being born, my mom and I were at a Fall Out Boy concert. They were awesome! Although we were a little distracted since my sister-in-law was in labor. As much as I enjoyed the concert, I realized that I enjoy activities like running or hiking more than just sitting at a concert.
  4. My mom did her first triathlon last weekend. I’m so proud of her!
  5. I thought I had more to share but I guess I don’t. Maybe my life really is just Jazzercise and running. Oh well, I had to share about my nephew!

And the prize for the shortest blog post ever goes to…

Weekly Workout Recap 8/1-8/7

Alternate post title: Injury and Illness Make a Very Frustrated Runner

Okay, so I’m not really injured or sick. But I can still feel a niggle in my leg (is a niggle a word? It seems appropriate so I’m going to go with it) and I’ve woken up the past few days with a sore throat. I’ve learned from past experience that it’s better to be safe than sorry and rest to prevent something worse than spend weeks trying to recover.

Monday 8/1-Jazzercise

There’s been a lot of changes at our center and our entire schedule was reworked. I’m teaching mornings now instead of afternoons, so I had a whole new group. I was actually nervous! It went really well though and I think they enjoyed my class, even though there were a lot of groans.

Tuesday 8/2-Rest

Wednesday 8/3-Jazzercise

I think I pinpointed a new routine that aggravates my leg; it’s unfortunate because I really like the song.


Friday-1.25 mile run/walk with Bailey

I let Bailey set the pace to start and we were flying for the first half mile! Lucky for me she burned out after that and we did a run/walk for the rest.

Saturday-Jazzercise & Strength45

I knew I need to change my set, especially since I suspected it was causing my leg problems, but I had the worst time putting a new set together. To be honest, I’m not really feeling this DVD’s cardio routines. However, the new strength routines are awesome! I put together a so-so cardio set but killed my strength portion with new routines!


I’m just hoping I feel better this week and can get some more runs in.


Dog Days 5k

All Out’s Dog Days race has been on my race “to-do” list for a couple of years now. It supports Colorado Canine Rescue, an organization that rescues dogs from shelters and places them with fosters until they are adopted. I’ve had different commitments the past few years that kept me from running, so I was really excited to do it this year. Even better was that I got a discount code from All Out’s instagram and only paid $20 for the race!

The race started at 7:50 but considering our weather has been in the high 90’s this week, I knew it was going to be a hot one. Packet pickup was quick and easy; my mom and I had plenty of time to return to our car and use the porta-potty (#youknowyou’rearunner).


The race started exactly on time and we were off! Because of the heat and an extra Jazzercise class this week (I subbed a class last minute on what was supposed to be my rest day), I knew it wasn’t going to be a PR race. Instead, I set a goal of beating my time from last time on the course (this race series uses the same course for its December race) or at the very least, a sub-30.

I can’t tell you much about the race itself. The course was on a paved, fairly flat trail and I ran at a comfortably uncomfortable pace, if that makes sense. I set my Garmin to buzz with my half mile splits but otherwise didn’t look at my watch. At about mile two, I really began to notice how hot it was and knew it was going to be a tough one to finish.


I stayed with it and finished in 27:58, a full minute faster than my time on the same course in December. To my great surprise, I finished 4th out of 23 in my age division! This race series gives out plaques to age group winners, so I definitely want to race one again soon and try to place in the top three.


The best part of the finish line were the towels soaked in ice water! Once you crossed the finish line, you received a medal and a cold towel. It felt amazing! Once my mom crossed the finish line, we took advantage of all the food-breakfast burritos, chocolate milk, fudge pops, bagels, and pizza.


Yep, we had ourselves a little feast. Then of course, we had to visit the dogs there for adoption. I absolutely fell in love with one that reminded me of Bailey and so badly wanted to take her home!

This was a great race and one I would definitely do again next year. All Out Events puts on some really great races and I’m looking forward to doing more of them; it’s the little things (like icy cold towels at the finish) that sets them apart.


Weekly Workout Recap 7/25-7/31

Hey friends! I’m playing a little bit of catch up but I’m giving myself credit for still being in the right week. I’ve been struggling with what I think is the beginning of shin splints so my workouts last week and this week aren’t very exciting. I’ve been teaching my Jazzercise classes and that’s about it.

Monday 7/25-Jazzercise

Tuesday 7/26-Run/Walk

I did an easy run/walk with a friend. My leg was bothering me and she wasn’t feeling 100% so we took it nice and easy with a 1 mile run and 1 mile walk.

Wednesday 7/27-Jazzercise

Thursday 7/28 (my bday!)-Rest

Friday 7/29-Jazzercise

Saturday 7/30-PT in the Park

I did about half this workout and demoed/observed the other half.

Sunday 7/31-Jazzercise Elite Training

I’ll do a post on elite training soon(ish) but it was definitely a workout.

So that’s it. Like I said, it hasn’t been very exciting and I really want to go for a good run. But I know in the long run it will be off and it’s much smarter to rest my leg before it gets worse.