I'm in a Research Study!

The reason that this blog is coming to you a little later than usual is because this morning I traveled to Kannapolis, NC to do the initial blood work for a study that I'm going to be participating in. This is through my undergraduate college, Appalachian State in Boone, NC. They have always had a great research program, and I have always tried to participate when I can. I'm in an ongoing genome study from YEARS ago and it's pretty cool. 

This one is a coffee and cycling study. They are trying to prove that the chlorogenic acids in coffee enhance endurance performance. There are a lot of inclusion and exclusion factors, but I had to be someone that is in good cycling shape (thanks ironman), will drink coffee (I had no idea I had to do it black because creamer interferes with the absorption of chlorogenic acids-TEARS FOR PUMPKIN SPICE UH!), and that I could go into their office 4-5 times for lab work and cycling on a trainer while they record data on me. 

The coffee is prepared with a Turkish prep where we have to weigh out the coffee grounds and measure the amount of water so that we are getting the exact same amount of caffeine and coffee each day. I'm going to Chicago for the marathon and I'm a little concerned about taking this whole set up because I wasn't planning on checking a bag (honestly this is a huge concern so I'm going to see if I can come up with something haha). I am supposed to drink this every day until October 12 when I will go in for a 50K ride on the bike trainer. They hook  me up while I'm riding to test my heart rate. After I finish this, I have a two week wash out, and they give me new coffee. I drink this coffee for another 2 weeks, then come in and do another 50K ride on the trainer. That's the end of the study, and I would really love to make it to the end, but they also said you have to drink this coffee black. I haven't had it yet, but I genuinely am the biggest diva on liquids. I really don't mean to be silly but if it's disgusting, I won't be able to do it. HAAA ! Tanner quite literally just told me to "Man Up" and I don't back down easily from a challenge! LOL! 

Today, I went to have the intro lab work done, and they assessed my VO2max as well as getting my information in a bodpod. I have to agree to maintain my same level of fitness and body weight during the extend of the study which isn't something that really changes much for me other than after the ironman when I'm going to be in the Dominican Republic sitting on my butt. HA!!! They gave me my VO2max at 49 which is pretty good. I felt it was a very short test, and I didn't push to my max, so honestly I think it's higher, but they told me to stop. haha! It's cool to see though that I'm in the best shape of my life through data! :) #Shocker #Not #ThanksIronman 

It should be super interesting to see how this all pans out, and I'll be curious to see what they find on this study! :) I love being a lab rat! Have you guys ever done a study? If so, what were they testing? 

 

 

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The Mind of A Dreamer

In the past month, I've kind of just been thinking about myself and who I am, and what I want to become of my life. I wanted to share with you some encouraging thoughts today about how much of a dreamer I am, and how I have realized that through all of those dreams, I have to also have focus within those dreams to have them come to fruition because I really like for my dreams to happen and not just stay in my head. 

I'm a super passionate person. I don't even talk about it much out loud, but this blog allows me to express that. I think everyone who comes to this blog will find that out quickly. I want the absolute best for everyone, and that they reach for the stars in everything that they do, and I feel that so deep down. When I have someone close to me that is not dreaming or is letting something happen to them because they won't take necessary steps to get to the endpoints, I want to shake them in love. It like gets me worked up inside like COME ON!!! YOU'RE RIGHT THERE! YOU CAN DO THIS!! 

Have I mentioned I'm glad I cut my hair? Yuck. haha!!!

Have I mentioned I'm glad I cut my hair? Yuck. haha!!!

Maybe that's why I became a coach so that I could be a cheerleader for others for their dreams. I love to encourage others. It gives me so much joy to see others swell with pride for what they can do and then go out and do it. Dreams coming to fruition takes so much planning, so much effort, and so much time. There are small dreams of course, but I feel as if dreams are called dreams for a reason, and we think of them as these insurmountable tasks that we can only keep in our heads. 

I know what others are thinking. Girl, can you not just relax in life and not go after your dreams? Well no, I feel sometimes as if I quite literally can't. I'm just not wired that way. I had a client describe it perfectly this week when on a run, someone asked her if she wasn't exhausted from having to always conquer something and she could never just "be". She explained to me that she felt just "being" was not living, and that is what LIFE is all about. YES. Nailed it right on the head. 

I love to follow LoveTaza's blog, and one of the most FAQ on her site is "Is life really that fun?" and her answer is that Yes, yes it is. None of us have perfect lives but finding happiness in every day is so important. 

Why do we allow ourselves to become so complacent? Why is there this societal norm that you continue this forward motion until you get to real working life then you settle down and just come home after work each day, watch some TV, and that's about it. I know I'm stretching the truth of what most people do as there is so much that we all do, but I think it's called "settling down" for a reason. 

I have also realized that this is sometimes just me and my personality. I exhaust my brother. He DOES NOT flourish in going after dreams. He quite simply does not care about all that. He doesn't want to travel, ever (literally has said he will never get on a plane again). He doesn't want to live near people. He has acres of land in a town outside of mine called Waco and he likes to sit in his chair and drink beer and watch the Panthers game. HA! We are very VERY different, so if you are like him, then maybe read my next blog! ;) 

I know what you're thinking too. Well, she has no kids, and I have responsibilities, and I don't have money and I don't have choices out of my current situation. I want to travel but I can't because I can't even afford it. I want to go after my dreams but I can't...I can't...I can't. 

Yes, you CAN! I feel as if I need a foam finger right now. 

I promise you that if I didn't have money to do something then I would sell everything to make it happen if it meant enough to me. I would sell my iphone for a flip phone. I would sell my house to downsize. I would sell my car for a cheaper one to have no payment. I would start couponing. Recently, we have realized that we have tons of stuff around the house that we don't actually need, so we made stacks of Goodwill, yard sale (this Saturday) and selling online. Since the start of last week, we have made $500. We don't even buy that nice of stuff, but we ALL have stuff that we can sell and that's one way to make a dream happen because a lot of times it does take money. 

The other thing holding many back is the responsibilities they hold. I know that there are certain situations where you are busy around the clock and nothing that you are doing is negotiable and you can't trim the edges of what you are committed to, but many times we commit to things that maybe the next season we could step down from that would allow us to go after a dream that we have had for a long time. (Did I mention dreams take patience and time?) 

You don't have to be PTO president, and manager of the soccer team. You don't have to agree to organize VBS at church and craft your son's costume for Halloween. You really just don't have to do all that. If you are in college, your dream might be what you are currently pursuing, and it really is okay to tell people you can't come to things because you need to focus. 

Fear. That's the only thing that holds us back from going after that thing that we have always wanted to do. We are scared to take the leap. We are scared that if we jump out of the plane then the parachute will not engage and then we will fall to our death flat on our faces, but the truth is you will NEVER feel that parachute for sure if you never jump. You HAVE to jump. Do you think I wasn't scared to quit the world of pharmacy and start this? Uhhh.... 

Do you think that I wasn't scared to death to move to New York City after pharmacy school instead of moving to the safe box that was home? I was scared when I went to Belize for a month long mission trip. I was scared when I ran my first marathon. I was scared when I was at the start line of my first half ironman, and I'll be scared in a month at my full ironman. Dreams cause fear because they are a big deal, but with focus and determination and the resolve to never give up, you WILL get to the other side. 

I have a list of dreams. I have a dreamer book. I didn't intend for it to become a dreamer book, but it just did. One of the things in the dreamer book from 3 years ago is all the things that I was going to start in my fitness business. Some other things in that book are owning teacup yorkies, graduating pharmacy school, getting married in the church I grew up in, moving to somewhere cool, and running a marathon.

These all happened. I'm NOT saying I have it all figured out. 

I'm just saying that there is NO reason that you should just sit on your dreams and not work towards them. Write out your dreams, write out the steps that it will take to get you there, write out what you are going to do RIGHT NOW to help you achieve this goal. 

I have quite a few up my sleeve right now that I'm going to keep tucked until it's more appropriate to share, but ironman is definitely not the only thing on my dream radar right now. haha! What else is new right? ;)

Maybe the actionable steps that you have to take right now don't even involve your dream at all, but rather involve getting yourself out of the messiness that life creates sometimes. Maybe right now the forward motion towards your dream of moving to Los Angeles is that you first have to finish college in South Dakota, so your dream is the furthest thing from your mind. It's STILL forward motion, so don't ever forget that. Be present in your current moments knowing that you are working towards that bigger goal. Allow yourself to seek new opportunities that will open new doors. 

LOOK FOR WAYS TO GET TO YOUR DREAM. 

I've become very adamant about this in my life and my marriage, so a few months ago I asked Tanner what his 5,10,20 year plan was in pharmacy? He was like ... 'Hm, I don't even know.' WELL BOI, YOU BETTER GET TO THINKING. haha! It's not that you always need to have a plan, but I think that unless you exercise creative thinking to dream of what could be, then you will become complacent and never keep that forward motion. So, I've been so proud of him. It has rejuvenated a new spirit in him for oncology (he's the clinical coordinator pharmacist for the outpatient chemo center here). He is going to get board certified in oncology next year, and started studying a month ago after we had these conversations. Becoming board certified is a HUGE deal, but because he didn't allow himself to just idly sit, he will have so many opportunities afforded to him by becoming more specialized. This is going to take time. This is going to take ENERGY and the resolve to never give up when he's 28 and just doesn't want to study, but the end is worth it. It's ALWAYS worth it. 

So, sisters (and the minimal brothers that read my blog hehe), I encourage you to seriously go after your dreams today no matter what they may be. I encourage you to create a dreamer book and start working towards the smallest of things that you can do RIGHT now TODAY that helps you to get there. 

Wanna know what has helped me with getting back to my dreamer mindset? GETTING ORGANIZED!! I'll update you guys soon on how that's going for those that read that blog that I'm linking up HERE!

Happy Random Tuesday of Dreams!!! 

 

 

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Peak Week Training, Biking + Weekend

I can't believe last week is behind me...thank you Lord. haha! 

The weirdest part about all of it... I was never sore?? I'm so confused, and maybe I just honestly have trained that well, but I was almost annoyed because I worked so hard and wanted to like feel the burn that gave me that deep hunger. HAHA!! Is that weird? It's like when I used to play soccer, and every now and then I'd get hit right in the face with a ball. I like WANTED my entire face to bruise so that I could have war wounds and people would be like "omg what happened?" and I'd be like "ya know, I'm just so tough and all" hahaha!! Of course that never happens though! ;) 

Either way, it makes me feel super confident going into the ironman that things are going well! Honestly, I was STRUGGLING to want to do it, but like I always tell myself, I knew I had to just put one foot in front of the other and just get started and then I'd be okay. There were SO many times on my 20 mile run, 4200 yard swim, and 100 mile cycle that I said "its fine, I can just not go this far and I'll still make it on race day" but I knew that this weekend was crucial and that I had to just stick it out. I'm glad I did the 20 miles first because it gave me confidence like "okay that huge workout is done." But I have a confession to make that I think you all know already but I'm just gonna be forward about it... 

I've officially decided biking is not for me. HA! I'll OBVIOUSLY be biking hard core for the next 4 weeks, but I have tried and tried and tried, and now I'm actually pretty good at it and I still just don't like it. I want to like it. I want to love it. I have days where I fall in love as the wind is going through my face down a hill, and then I start the climb on the other side and I'm like "yea no." hahaha! I think I want to make this point...

Sometimes, in our lives, we have dreams that once we get knee deep in them, we think "Wow, this really isn't something that I love." I have struggled with that so much because I've felt like I've "failed" as an endurance athlete or triathlete, but the truth is that we all have different passions and strengths and that's what makes the world go round and THAT'S OKAY. Y'all know how I feel about running. We share a deep love, but I've found myself so tired from biking that I can't even enjoy running. I find the long runs I have to go so much slower than normal to be able to make it through without having to stop and walk (2 weeks ago I had to walk on an 18 miler and I was like 'AH HECK NO!').

The other point is: I believe in 100% commitment that once you are IN, you are IN. You give your all and a year ago I decided that this was something that I wanted to do which is why all along this journey when I've fallen on the bike, hated the bike, etc etc, I have KEPT pedaling because I just refuse. I'm not trying to act like I'm superwoman or something, but just that I never want to look back and say "What if I had tried harder? Maybe I would have fallen in love with the bike." NOWWWWW, I can say that I did it. I gave it everything that I had, and it wasn't as much my thing. 

Here's the last thing: I am doing some LONGGGG biking. Who does like riding 100 miles? Probably not many people. I could do a half ironman tomorrow no problem, and the bike would feel easy and a year ago it felt as awful as awful can be. It's all perspective, and I can't expect to go from hardly knowing how to switch gears to riding 100 miles comfortably. It takes time and I get that, so I encourage you that if you are someone that doesn't like to run, STICK IT OUT. Give it time and see if you could fall in love. You might, and you might not. And if you get to the end of your journey and think "I still don't like this!" then that's okay too but at least you gave it your all. 

This weekend, my mother in law came to visit. I told Tanner that I was so sorry but that I really couldn't hang out because I had to train so much and this was my peak weekend. I honestly get upset when training interferes with spending time with the ones I love, but I digress. haha! Either way, she came and they hung out most of the time until Saturday evening and we went to dinner in town. I seriously forgot she was coming (peak week brain-hahahaha-I kinda say that picking on bodybuilding competitors hehe), and so I didn't have any food in the house and my house was not clean. SCORE for me, right? haha! We took her to the Mcdonalds drive-through on Sunday morning for breakfast because we are classy like that.

Tanner's from Bristol TN if anyone is from around that area! :) 

Tanner's from Bristol TN if anyone is from around that area! :) 

We went to church on Sunday, and I'm so blessed by such a beautiful community of believers at my church. Seriously, they are amazing and the entire church is volunteer based but yet we have such amazing speakers and worship. It's cool to see the Lord work through that. (And yes you heard that right-we have no established pastor, no positions, we don't pass the offering around and our church is modeled after the early church where people just basically gather almost like a spiffed up bible study and we believe that as a team we can all contribute and make it all work. It's very special.)

I'm loving this jumper from Ann Taylor that a friend actually gave me!! :) YAY!I also am SO glad I cut my hair. It makes training so much easier. I know that seems dumb to say but I truly mean that. It was about to drive me nuts.

I'm loving this jumper from Ann Taylor that a friend actually gave me!! :) YAY!I also am SO glad I cut my hair. It makes training so much easier. I know that seems dumb to say but I truly mean that. It was about to drive me nuts.

Wrapping up this super scattered blog about my weekend, I just want to say PUMPKIN SPICE. In my coffee. Right now. And I'm pretty much pumped about it. I think I'll have 47 cups today. 

HOPE YALL HAD AN AWESOME WEEKEND! 

He hates me but HOW CUTE IS THIS PUMPKIN? I MEAN COME ON!!! He was frozen like a statue like "get this off of me now!" HAHA!

He hates me but HOW CUTE IS THIS PUMPKIN? I MEAN COME ON!!! He was frozen like a statue like "get this off of me now!" HAHA!

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How to Create Your Running Program

So, I know that we can always find a running program online, but what about when you want to make one for yourself that matches your schedule and your desires. How do you do that? There are a few things to take into consideration, and how to go about that so I thought I'd share. 

1. WHAT DISTANCE RACE ARE YOU GOING TO DO? 

Obviously, this is going to be the first thing that you have to decide. Do you want to do a 5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon? 

2. HOW FAR AWAY IS THE RACE? 

Do you have enough time to prepare? If you are brand new at this, then you want to give yourself (depending on the distance) at least 12 weeks to prepare. If it's a marathon and you are coming from nothing then more like 16-20 weeks to make sure you have time to get some base miles in. 

3. LOOK AT YOUR SCHEDULE

 I mentioned some of these points in another blog that I did (Marathons on Minimal Mileage) but you first have to look at the lifestyle that you live and your schedule. The most common one that I find to be difficult is if you are a nurse. There was a topic on the Women for Tri group tonight about how women train that are nurses with 12 hour shifts, and the most resounding answer is that they do more on their days off. If you work 3-12 hour shifts, then it really is easily doable to run 4X per week and be just fine whatever race you want to do. 

4. HOW COMPETITIVE? 

Do you want to win this 5K or do you just want to complete this half marathon? It all depends when you are making your schedule, and this will determine if you want to add more days in as well. Typically, you want to run at least 5 days per week (3-4 is fine, and 6 is great) but I think 5 is a great number. Seven days per week is too much! You NEED a rest day. There are many that count their individual runs as "sessions" and some of them may have 12 sessions per week meaning that they double up on some days, however they would still take a rest day. Some prefer a cross training day in the pool or yoga, but this is not 100% necessary and more about preference. 

5. FORMULATING THE PLAN 

I could go into a lot of runner vocab and science in this section, but I'm going to assume for now that everyone knows the words and not going to keep very deep into the "why" of things. First, you want to make sure that you've built some sort of base before you start adding in tempo or interval runs. You don't want to get hurt, and it doesn't benefit you much more. The guidelines recommend 500 miles, but as I've said, that's unrealistic, so it's better to just shoot for a few weeks where you are just running miles on your feet on the days that you want to run.  without any certain plan. 

You want to count back the weeks from your race, and the first thing that I do is plan the peak and the taper. For me personally in marathon training, I want to do my last 18 miler at two weeks out, then I do 9 miles the following week and then the marathon. That kind of taper doesn't work for many, so you have to decide if you want a short or long taper (I linked up a blog I wrote on tapering so it can maybe help with deciding what's right for you). Many do a three week taper, but I've found I get sluggish. 

I always put my long runs in first, and recommend that. You can go from the date that you are at looking at a full calendar and when your race is and plan out all of your long runs. The next thing that I like to do is to take the current mileage that I'm at that day, and then each week that I'm dialing up mileage, I want to increase by 10%. That's my rule of thumb, but if you are already running fairly high mileage, I personally am not someone that wants to run more than 50-60 miles in one week, so I'm not going to go above that, but for some they will. Even with going higher than that, you want to still do 10% per week increases.

((I didn't note that I would put out a calendar that has just the months and is going to be your training calendar. Many use Training Peaks, but I just use a good ole fashioned written one.)

After you get your weekly mileage set is typically when I start planning the interval and tempo days. You typically just want to have one of each, and then easy runs in between with your long run on the weekend. This mileage will slowly build as the weeks progress. Does the mileage matter that much exactly how you dial it up? No. But, if you are training for a marathon then you may start with 5 mile speed work and move up to 8 miles. You never want to do a tempo that's 10 miles long. That's just too far, as in you don't want to do 12 miles (1 mile warm up 10 mile at tempo 1 mile cool down), but maybe you could do 8 miles tempo to cap (1 mile WU 6 miles at tempo 1 mile CD).

When you get done with dialing up your interval and tempo runs (I don't actually PLAN those runs at that time but just put in "tempo/interval"), I add in the easy miles to make up the established 10% increase each week. For example, if I need to hit 38 miles that week, my long run is 14 miles with 6 miles of speed, 8 mile tempo then that leaves 10 miles for the week. I'll break that up into two days (and it varies). Sometimes I'll do 6 & 4. Some weeks 5 & 5, but just making sure to get in the mileage at easy paces. 

After I get done planning out all of the mileage, then I go back and plan out the actual workouts for the actual week that I'm on. You can plan out every workout at that time, but I like to save the individual workouts for the week that I'm currently doing so that I can make sure that it's appropriate for me for whatever life throws at me that week, and how well I'm doing with training. I might want to really push myself on pace that I wouldn't do just by sitting down with that program. 

I did this exact same thing for my ironman. I honestly didn't even look at many programs, but just knew that I wanted to have the same general structure each week and dial up my weekends! :) There is no right way to do training, but there are reasons to do certain things, and skeletons that you should follow that will get you to the race day the best that you can! 

Last, but not least, we always want to keep that life balance, and remember that missing one run or even a couple of runs here and there is NOT going to affect you in the long run (haha see what I did there). You want your plan to be realistic for you. If you can only run 4 days per week, then that's okay...stick with that. If you can run 6 days though and want to do a training cycle where you are getting a lot better, then that's great as well. 

I hope this helps to show how I design my scheduling. I'm almost full on run coaching right now, but if you have a race you want to prepare for and don't want to do this for yourself, then I'd love to help you with that. 

RUN COACHING

 

 

 

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When Your Mind Can't Shut Off

I've never had instances where I can't sleep and I'm just up thinking until the past 6 months probably. I think it's because this is probably the least "crazy" my life has ever been. I really scaled back from a lot of responsibilities to be able to focus on just ironman for this season, which has been great and honestly I might keep up this lack of extra stuff once it's over. However, it normally makes me CRASH at night and now I have a little extra pent up energy. 

I went tonight to see To Joey, With Love. I'm not sure if you are familiar but this blog will be worth reading even if you aren't, I promise. It's only because of Vlogging & blogging that I believe this is one of the most special documentaries that has ever been made.

Joey and Rory Feek rose to country music fame, and decided to take a year off to have a baby. He said that something told him to start filming their lives (and started a blog) because they would have a good story to tell. And they did. When the baby was born, she had Downs syndrome, and she was literally the cutest baby EVER. Also, when she was born, the check up appointment helped to find cervical cancer on her mom (Joey). The documentary takes you through the next two years of her life, fighting cancer until she dies in March of this year. You definitely want to take some tissues. I was like trying to hold back the ugly, making noises, cry. 

I can't help but think that it could happen to all of us. And yes, live life to the fullest never felt more real during that documentary but for some reason, this film SPOKE to me. It legit felt life changing (until of course the newness wears off and I get back to being selfish. LOL! Don't you wish newness wouldn't fade?) 

He was Vlogging every day but it wasn't your typical Vlog that you see where the girls are able to be a personality figure that they want you to believe that they are. He filmed so much of their lives that you knew that none of their personalities were fake. They were the most gentle, most humble, most God loving people that I've ever witnessed, and through it all, all they could do was fix their eyes on Jesus plan. When they ask for prayers in the end, they said that they wanted people to pray for a miracle but accept God's plan in this. Rory now is raising their little girl with Down's Syndrome by himself. He's still looking to Jesus for the bigger picture, but yet his faith NEVER EVER wavered.

How quick are we to say that things aren't fair in life? How quick are we to wonder why certain things happen to us and not others and how we can change our situations? How quick are we to never take time off (like they did for that year) and just truly be one with our friends, family and place that we live. We MUST be on the go constantly. We MUST always be stressed. Stress is almost a badge of honor. Busyness means productivity right?

This movie didn't teach me to rest, but it just taught me that every day DOES matter. I don't mean YOLO-let's do all the fun things, but sometimes to even let down that wall. It's in the way that we talk to people. It's in the way that we treat people, and love people. It's leaving a mark on someone after just one conversation that the world is DEEPLY saddened by your loss never filling that hole the way that it is with Joey. She was a beautiful woman inside and out...truly. I've never seen anything like it. The amount of faith this couple had touched me so deeply, and with it being late at night, I just can't get it off my mind. The amount of love that they had for one another...well....it just makes me cry and have chills even thinking about how Rory (the husband) is a real man in a real town now raising a daughter on his own. 

I got a comment last week on my instagram that was mean, but also I really do try to objectively take what the feelings and how something might look and take what I can from that. They said that everything that I do is focused on my own goals and how selfish I am basically. I really do try to keep balance, but as yall know, ironman is HARD HARD HARD to have balance. I'm excited after the ironman for my goals to be about how well I can love people to the fullest not about my individual goals. That's the goal in and of itself. Loving and giving and just being with people and having deep connections. (Yes I know not to take comments to heart, but I truly could see how I'm perceived as that way and never want that).

Life, love, and faith is such a beautiful thing. Being simple is such a beautiful thing. I'm inspired. I'm inspired to start Vlogging my life because of the beautiful things that he will be able to have in footage now to remember her and their lives together. I'm inspired to really focus on my faith, and the people in my life. I hope you are, and if you haven't seen the movie, you absolutely should. 

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Genuinely Overcoming Food/Workout Guilt + Body Acceptance

So I know that this is one of those topics that is very individual, but I wanted to share with you what helped me through all the things that we all go through. For me, there are a lot of things that go into this and one of those was just that I had to grow up. My journey started at the wee age of 17 and I just didn't know anything about life, and now that I'm 10 years wiser (hehe), I'm able to really work through things in my brain that I couldn't reason well with before just simply because of maturity. 

My heart breaks for those that are in their 40-50s and still struggling with this so I hope that this is helpful! 

The first thing that I want to say is that it's okay to have goals. I think the trend in fitness is to hate fitness. It's quite comical actually. Everyone is all like DO NOTHING. NO CARDIO. ACCEPT YOUR BODY. I EAT JUNK. BE STRONG NOT SKINNY (when most of the time they are skinny and ripped but whatever, I digress lol). I mean, let's be real, I was one of those, until I legit had a friend one time tell me that she saw a post I made with an ab shot that she felt was this weird message because I was all like "LOVE YOURSELF" but hey look I have a six pack. It just doesn't mix. But the other side of that is that I'm not allowed to be empowering because I'm actually fit. Does that make sense? Like it's only inspiring if someone is overweight and loves their body? I sound like I'm being arrogant, but I'm genuinely just saying that it's hard as a fit girl because I never want to make someone feel anxious about their body by showing mine but I also want to show that it's possible to not starve yourself/be miserable and still have results. I like having a blog for this reason. I don't have a tiny instagram caption that doesn't convey my full thoughts. haha! 

So, if you have goals that you want to reach with your body then I think progress pictures can be better than the scale sometimes because you are able to see change. Howeverrrrr, if you are someone that is nit picky about your body and feel a lack of body acceptance and guilt towards food, then I think that you should NEVER take body progress pictures. I get women every single day that email me with pictures of their body pointing to specific areas, and it honestly just breaks my heart. They see things that I don't see. They see things that NO ONE else sees, but they see it and they want it GONE. They are desperate and I guarantee you that these spots on their body that society has told them aren't perfect and need to be fixed-NO ONE ELSE NOTICES. 

So the first thing that you have to do is recognize that no one cares about your weight/body but you. Literally no one. You could gain 50lbs, and who would care? No one. The best part about society is that they might would wonder what was going on but if you went out to eat with them and told them that you were going to eat a salad to try to reach your goals, they would be like "OH GIRL YOU DON'T NEED TO LOSE A POUND!!!" 

People are weird. 

The second thing that I tell everyone to do that has some of these issues is the same for food or workout guilt as well as body acceptance and that is to go to the root of the anxiety that it's causing you. 

If you eat this certain thing, what would be the end result? What is it about that that makes you fearful? 

If you miss this workout, what is your fear that will happen? Do you think that you won't make it to your race day? Do you feel like you won't progress with building muscle? 

If you aren't happy with the little things that you see on your body, what would fixing them accomplish? Would that make you happier forreal or would you find the next thing? Why the focus on those parts? Does that make or break who you are as a person? 

I think that when I type them out, it's like "Katie, duh!" We all know the answers to your little silly psych questions, but when you GENUINELY sit down and think about worst case scenarios for yourself, then it helps. For example, if we go back to my seasons of doubt post, I got to thinking later on with this method. 

What if all of this was to just disappear tomorrow? What would happen? 

Oh yea, I'd have a loving husband, a great family, awesome friends, I'm in great shape physically and emotionally, and I have a God that knows EXACTLY what I need in every season. 

IT'S IMPORTANT TO SEE THIS IN BOLD. YOU WILL STILL BE THE SAME PERSON! YOU WILL STILL BE LOVED AND ACCOMPLISHED AND ALL OF THOSE WONDERFUL THINGS. 

The lack of anx on a particular issue actually allows you to flourish in it more. That's the whole thing about it. The less you worry, the easier it becomes. It's so crazy. 

Food should never cause guilt, but yet it does every single time that someone overeats. You HAVE TO CALM YOUR THOUGHTS DANG IT! If you are stressing out that you overate that night, think back to all of the times that you have overate in the past. What has happened in those times? Have you stayed the way that you felt in those moments? No. You have probably gotten right back into the swing of things the next day and been fine. The body is a beautiful thing that only has transient feelings in that area. This also allows you to calm your mind and not do the thing that so many do.. "Well now I've screwed this up so I'm going to just eat everything in sight because who cares?" 

Yes, I caught you. It's so common. Lol. 

No.No.No. Do NOT let your mind go there. Just really try to relax your thoughts!

I've got two more points to make. 

Find something that you love to do in fitness. There is a sport for EVERYONE. If you find something that you love to do then it's SO much easier than "Uh, I have to go to the gym today!" but rather "I have an adult indoor soccer game tonight. I can't wait!" It makes working out so much easier when you find that. It's so hard to find for some people, but search around. Tennis, soccer, running, biking, crossfit, olympic lifting-the list goes on and on! 

Lastly, write it all out. I'm a huge fan of getting things out on paper to be able to process them. It really helps. Write out your plans, your goals, and your deepest thoughts. It's allows you to brain dump, and if they haven't done research already, I would think there is something to this. It allows you to get it out of the space between your ears and onto paper where you can say "Wait, you know what? That really ISN'T that big of a deal!" and then you are able to move forward. 

I know it's not easy as it took me about 5 years to get over it but as I move further and further away from that time in my life and just continue to love my sport and love eating well and not over doing it with undereating, overeating, always having aesthetic goals-it feels AWESOME!! I want that for everyone and I want to bottle it up and give it away. 

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5 weeks out Training + Weekend in Pictures

Can you believe that this weekend will be 4 weeks out? Last week, I think I literally fell off of a cliff on proper training. I legit was just like "Na, I'm over it right now" and didn't complete workouts. HAHA! Oh well, I'll make it through on race day. HOWEVER, this week is a key week and my peak week and I think I needed that break so that I could go into this week strong. I took lots of pictures, ate lots of food, and rested more than usual. It was great! 

Let's start with training! I keep the structure the same as always if you've been following along, but this weekend is going to be a doozy. 

  • Monday- 8 miles + 25 mile cycle
  • Tuesday- 2500m swim + 6 mile run 
  • Wednesday- 2 hour trainer + 8 mile run
  • Thursday- Lift + Run 5 miles 
  • Friday-Run 20 miles + 4200 yard swim 
  • Saturday-100 mile bike + 6 mile run 

I'm not going to even lie, Saturday looks laughable. Like, am I really about to do this on a random Saturday? I feel like I'm that student in class that is like "Maybe if I study just a little bit, I could still pull out a B- on this." Like, surely I don't HAVE to do that much and could still finish this thing right? hahaha! But really, I need to focus because my key weeks are the ones that I make sure to hit. We are so close. Don't lose it now, Katie. WOOOO!!! I'm waking up at 5am tomorrow morning to get in my run before work so that I can spend most of the day working then ride tomorrow night. I have my week organized and my house clean and everything in order to have a great successful solid peak week. LETS.DO.THIS.

Moving on into my fun weekend! :) I made sure that I brought my DSLR every place I went because I wanted to get good pictures of everything. Tanner actually has fun taking pictures of me so that's a win win!

My mom and I met up after my workout on Saturday for a girls lunch and then just walking around uptown and hanging out. It was really great to catch up. With my grandmother being so sick, and then her passing away, this time together had literally been non existent. 

I went back home and cleaned house, did some work, and got ready for a night out in Charlotte for one of my best friend's bachelorette nights!! We went to her sisters salon that was so cute and pinterest-y, so we had drinks and then headed out to Fahrenheit for dinner which is a rooftop restaurant in Charlotte. Can we all just admit how amazing rooftops are? I'm obsessed. Alot of the girls were girls that I cheered with at Gardner-Webb so it was really great to get to hug them and catch up with them and where they are now. Everyone has done such amazing things!

I didn't get home until 2am. SHEW! This party animal was exhausted (I'm joking. We all know I don't party LOL). It was so much fun though! I slept until I woke up and then had a relaxing Sunday with Tanner. Right before sunset, at the golden hour, I was like "I'm gonna dress up!! Let's go take pictures at the winery!!" I just honestly think it's so fun. It's like literally across the street from my neighborhood so we hopped over there, and had fun. 

So excited for how these turned out!! LOVE LOVE! Funny part was that most of them, you could see straight through the skirt. I needed a slip. How hilarious right!!! HAHAAA! Tanner was like "I can literally see your underwear." WHOOPS!!!!

Happy Monday Yall!

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Financial Health & Organization

I've been thinking this week how there really are so many things that go into health and one of those things is finances. My mom told me that when you get married, money is something that you fight about often if you aren't careful and on the same page, so you need to be on the same page. Luckily for Tanner and I, we are on the same page. I truly try to exemplify Christ in the way that we handle finances as well, and I just wanted to share what we do and how we balance because I feel like we have a good system. Disclaimer Note: People handle money SO differently which is why couples find it hard to agree. We do NOT think that we are better because of this, but this is what works for us personally as a family, and has helped us to really be able to downsize debt. We also just got out of school a few years ago, so I'm sure this will change through the years.

Combine and conquer

First, if you didn't catch in one of my other blogs, we do combine our money. We believed when we got married that what is mine is yours and what's yours is mine. I had saved ALOT of money before we even met, but that instantly became Tanner's. Tanner was working when we first got married while I was still in school so I felt that only fair anyway as he was carrying us through. Our money is both of ours. We are two people, but one family.

"For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."-Ephesians 5:31

I believe that with combining money, it is a very biblical way of showing this to one another. I believe that it creates trust that I trust you with my money and you trust me with yours. We believe that in doing this, it's also a statement of "I'm not planning on ever going anywhere" and sets that standard right from the beginning. 

I also said in one of this week's blogs that we have a $50 curtesy call limit of "Yo, I want this. Do you mind?" and we honestly are so close that Tanner texted me to let me know he was buying $30 shoes yesterday at Payless. HA! 

ORGANIZATION OF MONEY

We know how much money comes out of our checks each month default, and we have those written out vs what we make. I don't use an app, but just write it out on a google sheet for myself, and that works best for me. I know that there are some GREAT apps out there (Mint is a good one), but honestly I need more of this for me to actually spend money on ONE thing that isn't related to bills because I tend to get really caught up in getting my student loans paid off that I get consumed by it. 

Some stuff I was comfortable sharing because it's typical, then others I was like...yea no. HAHA!

Some stuff I was comfortable sharing because it's typical, then others I was like...yea no. HAHA!

Okay, so it's not just that I have this tidy app that shows me what I'm going to do with money, but just that I genuinely follow through. That 10% is not much as you can imagine. It's really not, but I want my student loans gone. I know that some people don't mind forking it out for the rest of their lives, but I simply refuse so every dollar that I make that I can put on them, the better. I also know that you want to be able to do nice things with the hard earned money that you get, but I'm just dead set on getting those gone then I'll relax a little. haha! 

LOAN FORGIVENESS

Tanner had the same amount as me coming out, but he is doing something called PSLF (public service loan forgiveness). If you are in college, you should look into it. If you work for a non profit (which he works clinical pharmacy so hospitals are typically non profit as are public schools) then after 10 years, all of his are forgiven. He pays a monthly amount that is income based so each year he has to send in information so they re calculate the amount. The first year out of school, he was in residency making 1/3 of what he does now, so therefore the payment was 1/3 less especially with me in school. From a long term wealth perspective, that's SO nice that 12 of his payments were at such a low price. For the ten years, he has to do 120 total payments in a non profit full time setting. 

LONG TERM WEALTH MINDSET

We think of things as "long term wealth" and I don't say that like we are about to be millionaires...heck to the no. However, I do say that in a way that every day DOES matter, and small decisions do matter. We have learned along the way the flaws in this ESPECIALLY in a Christian manner. We CANNOT be stingy or greedy. It's NOT about us. AT ALL. Our money is not our own. To us, it is the Lord's money but we want to be good stewards of that as well. 

When I went to buy my car, of course they try to convince you to spend money on all of these other things, but that really aren't useful for you. The guy kept trying to tell us that this extended warranty was "only $12 extra per month" and that's so little for what you get, but I kept looking at the numbers and I was like "BUT NO, IT'S $4000 more!" We think in the long term, and not "well it's only X amount this month." 

PAY DEBT WITH HIGHEST INTEREST OFF FIRST

When we went to buy our house, we could have put a down payment down, but when you look at the interest of the loan on the house which is around 4% and then the interest on my student loans (7%), it's crazy to put money in one place when you could be using that money to pay off a higher interest debt. I don't like being in debt period, and America makes us think it's okay and I guess it's normal, but my goal is to one day not be that way, but I know that it's a process and takes time. We know that investing is great, but again, you have to look at the return. The average return on investments might be 4-10% but what if it's 4% and my loans are sitting at 7%. We have to get rid of that debt first basically is what I'm trying to say. 

DON'T BE AFRAID TO THRIFT SHOP

Tanner needed new dress clothes for work as he was tired of wearing scrubs. He could have gone to Charlotte to the nice stores like most do. But my outpatient cancer pharmacist husband goes up in Goodwill and spends an entire hour searching and finds 3 brand new pairs of pants, and 4 brand new shirts from name brand places. Yes, he probably hit it big this week and he might not always have luck like that at Goodwill, but I was just so impressed by that. I basically buy everything from Marshals or TJ Maxx, and I live in workout clothes (which I'm changing as of next week-side note that I'm feeling VERY inspired to start getting my workouts done and then getting ready instead of staying in those clothes). Maybe it sounds cheap to some, but I honestly just don't think about spending and if I'm at a store, I would rather pick up something that I could surprise a friend with to tell them I was thinking of them. Again, this works for us and is VERY different than most and we understand that but luckily it helps.

DONT SPEND IN AREAS YOU DON'T NEED TO. PICK YOURS AND TRY TO BE FRUGAL IN OTHERS. 

We like to travel, so that's where our "extras" come from typically, and of course that's different for each person and you have to decide what you personally enjoy and not feel bad about spending money in that area. We know that experiences and travel are our thing, but that XYZ are not, so we don't spend in that area. Do y'all ever think the "well you spend $5 on a starbucks every day so you can buy our product" line is old? Like do people ACTUALLY spend $5 on starbucks every day? I sure don't know any. ha! We also ALWAYS eat at home. Always. {Unless of course meeting up with friends/family}

We were both raised in a way that whether you have money or not, you don't spend money in areas that you don't have to. Why would you? I don't know, but people do all the time. People pay for names and brands when no one even knows the difference. If quality is different then well, of course, but I'm talking SAME exact things. If we aren't going to use things anymore, then we sell them on Craigslist. We don't hold onto things that we don't want or need, and part of that is my fear of clutter (that's a joke but really), but it helps to always be transitioning in and out with things that we use and things that we don't. If I haven't used it in 1.5 years, then it has to go. (Example: Tanner got me luggage for my birthday so old was immediately out next day! haha).

I will say I believe in having nice quality things. I believe in having like ONE thing that is super quality and treating it REALLY well, and then if I want more of that particular item then I'll buy a knockoff. For example, I have ONE lululemon top. It brings me joy and I take really good care of it. I have ONE Michael Kohrs purse that I bought four years ago with our leftover Belk wedding money, and I still use it. If I decided to get a new purse, I'd probably try to sell this one. I have very few pairs of shoes (maybe 10) but they are all nice and I have like one pair for specific type situations and I'm good with that. 

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY 

I saw a deal for Chase bank users that if you transition X amount of savings into an account with them, they give you $275. Well, that was a hassle, but I did because who doesn't want $275!! I had to leave it with them for at least a year. SURE! WHY NOT?! 

Ebates/Cash Back Credit Cards : There are TONS AND TONS of programs out there that you can get cash back on things. Typically, credit card companies will offer the first year free and so we just cancel after that first year. You get 1-5% cash back and we would just put EVERY expense on the card getting that money in a check each month just for doing nothing. 

Coupons-It doesn't matter to us that we don't "have to" use them. We believe this stuff makes a difference. I'm not going to go out of my way because there's only so much time in the day but if I see a coupon, I'm going to use it. 

RE EVALUATE FRIVOLOUS SPENDING

Convenient Store Stops-Maybe this isn't a habit that anyone else had to break but all it did was take me looking at my bank account to see that I was spending up to $200/month at a DANG CONVENIENT STORE ON DIET SODA AND SNACKS to stop that mess!!!! How ridiculous right?! I think it's important to re-evaluate things on at least an every other month type basis and say "Okay where am I spending that is just silly to spend in these areas?" 

I'm sure you guys have way more tips on how you save money and pay off debt, so I'd love to hear yours in the comments! :) 

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Marathons on Minimal Mileage

The truth is: Anyone can do a marathon. I remember reading a post by my friend Kenzie back before I even did a marathon and she said this paragraph that has stuck with me. 

If you can do a 5K, you can do a 10K. If you can do a 10K, you can do a half. If you can do a half, then you can do a full. If you can do a full, then you can do a 100 miler. So, if you can do a 5K, you can do a 100 miler. 

Wow. Such truth, but not really I know. There is a limit for most people. 

I want to say that I could do a 100 miler, and I might one day but ironman has me thinking that maybe the 50K distance is as far as I'll go and the marathon is my specialty distance, but we shall see where life takes us. Either way, let's get to the point. What is the minimal amount that you can do to get to a marathon?

Can you train just 4 days per week? Just 3? I remember Tanner telling me years ago that he wanted to do a marathon only training 3 days per week and I was annoyed. Like, why even do it then bro? LOL! But then, my first and second marathons I did on 3 days per week mostly and definitely no more than 4. I know this is rare, and it's not ideal. Yes, on the day of the race you are going to feel much better if you don't do that. I totally bonked on my first marathon because I was dumb in a lot of areas, but either way, I finished. 

That's the first question that you have to ask yourself... Are you just wanting to finish? Well, then, you could probably do it next week. You could walk, run, shuffle and make it to the end. But I don't think that's really what anyone wants. The girl that I ran with at the end of my first marathon said that she had only trained up to 13 miles because she was in med school. Ashley Horner is not a runner at all, and ran 280 miles across the eastern US in 7 days (~40-50 miles/day) and she made it. ITS.100%.MENTAL! So, that's the first leap you have to get over is thinking that you "can't do it" because you definitely can. 

Then, what are your goals? Are you wanting to PR? Are you wanting to qualify for Boston which requires shaving a lot of time off? Are you wanting to just do your best but not focus on time? Either way, that requires some extra thought. Next, what is your lifestyle like? Do you have kids? Do you only have a certain amount of days that you can run? How can you make that work best? Are you a nurse and have to work 12 hour shifts leaving some days impossible? These are all VITAL and why many times, as usual, cookie cutter plans do not work for everyone, and that's okay. That doesn't mean you can't run a marathon. 

Physiologically, you can run a marathon proficiently at a cap of 18 miles for the long run, and even some methods stop at 16 miles. One major thing in that determining factor is how fast that you run. If your 20 miler is going to take you over 2.5 hours, then you don't need to run that far before your marathon because the benefit doesn't outweigh the risk. You are breaking down your body too much at that point, and risking injury too close to the race. 

When I ran my first marathon, I didn't follow a plan. I looked at some, but decided I just wanted to do a 6 miler, 8 miler, and a long run. I didn't do any workouts (speed work, tempos, etc) and I just ran and lifted. I loved the journey but that's definitely not for everyone, and probably sounds very silly to some. I just wanted to finish but keep my life normal. I've slowly added more and more as you've noticed. However, you aren't doing your best with just that amount. 

We all have a set VO2max and we can't increase that, but we can work towards it. Running more builds mitochondrial density (essentially building endurance) and makes it easier to do these distances. But are you okay with just suffering the day of? I was at that time. That's also probably why I took 12 minutes off from my first to third marathon because I trained more appropriately.

If you've never run distance before, you need to start with just getting a base. The recommendation is 500 miles under your belt before adding in any tempo or interval work, but obviously that's unrealistic, but you do want to spend a few months building because if not, you risk injury. Tempo runs should be the next inclusion and then interval, speed workouts. My point is that if you are just running your first marathon with minimal distances each week, it might behoove you to just keep the runs as natural, conversation pace runs and not worry about tempo and interval workouts but you can expect that in your other marathons, if you continue forward, you will likely shave a lot off of your time.

So, to wrap is up, I thought I'd recap the questions to ask yourself when deciding if low mileage is okay for you going into your marathon. 

  • Are you okay with just finishing? 
  • What are your goals? 
  • Do you want to PR? Boston qualify? 
  • What are your life responsibilities? 
  • What is your job? 
  • Is this your first marathon?

I hope this helps to show you also, that you CAN do this and that's what I hope to show everyone with my personal journey as well. You have to find joy in your journey which might look entirely different than someone else's. I know my ironman training is NOTHING like most, but it works for me! :) 

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How My Run Coaching Works

So, as I mentioned in one of my other blogs, I am starting run coaching officially! YAY! Hip hip horraay! 

Some of the girls that I've known for a while were willing for me to coach them before I got the certification. Just for clarification, this is allowed and is not illegal. The RRCA coaching certification essentially just gives you more tools in your belt. There's nothing wrong with doing it without, but just that I want people to be able to trust that I have done the education! :) 

Here is what they have to say from the time that we have been working together!

There's different levels and options and I wanted to explain each of them: 

1. A pre set 5K/10K/half marathon/full marathon training program 

If you are 16 weeks out from a race or 12 weeks or whatever the length of time may be and want to get prepared for the race and get a certain time and you don't want to have week to week or day to day communication with me, then I can just write up a program for you. It will include all specific times directly customized for you all the way to the race day. It will include all variations of workouts of course as well. 

2. Customized day to day run coaching 

This is what all of the girls above have chosen to do. This is customized to your work schedule, your travel, sicknesses, injuries and based on the times that you want to achieve. I will customize each day and give you a workout for that. I have attached an image of what that will look like: 

You'll see the small yellow arrows in the corners which allows you to click on that day and see the workout for that! 

You reply with notes from that workout of how it went and I'll make adjustments to the next weeks workout and reply back with feedback. 

You'll see the strength training included on this one as that is an option. There are options within that option though (I know this is so annoying but I promise it's for you guys to get EXACTLY the level that you want). If you want strength training from me, then it will be a workout uploaded in just like above. I also have a personal trainer who works with me, and you can sign up with her and we collaborate on your program. This is ALOTTTTT more focused on the strength components. Taylor is without a doubt worth every penny so it just depends on what your specific goals are. Mine will be hybrid training more focused on your running. Taylor's programming is attached below, and her website is taylorcartee.com. She does individual personal training unrelated to running as well if running is not your gig! ;) CLICK HERE

Last but not least, if you want nutrition in that. I do nutrition coaching and of course will give you guidelines on nutrition when you are doing run coaching because that is definitely a huge part of everything, but it won't be the same if you wanted to do the nutrition coaching with that. If you do them both together, there is 10% discount for the combo. I have also attached a screenshot of what my nutrition coaching looks like as well. I give weekly feedback on adjustments to make and we discuss the struggles and joys that you had along with any questions as I'm hopeful that you'll learn a lot during our time together.

I am adding all of this to my website currently, but as of right now, just email me: katiesfitscript@gmail.com as I do have some openings currently because of unfortunate events that came up with some clients. If you have a race in mind in the future that you'd like to get on the list for me to coach you at that time, then I can do that as well. 

I'm excited to coach you guys! 

Last but not least, there is a sale on Bluehost for the next 48 hours. This is SUCH a great time to jump on board because it's like not just cheap but like CHEAPCHEAP at $2.95/month. If you aren't familiar with Bluehost, it's a platform used to start your own blog, and I've written some on this topic, so I'm just going to link that up HERE.

NUTRITION COACHING

NUTRITION RESOURCES

HOW TO BECOME A RUN COACH

 

 

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Things We Do to Keep Our Marriage Healthy

I believe health is many things including relationships. I also find it's very hard to find health is other areas of our lives if our closest relationships aren't at peace. I want to start with the disclaimer that I know that we have "only" been together for 5.5 years, and we most certainly are very lucky because there are MANY MANY situations where people wish that things were different and just some simple steps are not going to fix the deep wounds after decades of hurt. But, from my young, 4 year old marriage, I'd love to share how we fall in love more and more every year. 

1. We keep Christ at our center with each other as our first priority.

I remember when I got married, my best friend Brandy said "Let's go to Boston on spring break" and I was like YESS! So we booked the flight and I told Tanner after. He was so kind about it but he was just basically like, "You didn't think twice of me. You knew I had to work and you didn't even care that I couldn't go."

I was so convicted because it was so true. I hadn't given him a second thought. Ooops. I love my friends dearly. I love my family so very much, but my husband comes first to me. We genuinely desire a true Christ like marriage. I also feel that this sounds so .... just ... cliche Christianese talk. But we discuss it frequently, and how can we make this something that actually happens and not just something that is a nice catch phrase.

2. We found common ground and became best friends.

The reason that I said "we found" and we "became" is because I would actually say this was not the case when we got married. I didn't work out at all, and he lifted weights pretty seriously but we never talked about health and fitness. We connected because we had similar backgrounds and upbringings, similar religion, political views, and we just clicked very quickly on many topics however we didn't really share any hobbies. This has evolved over the years. 

While I know that a big one of ours is fitness, that's not the only one. We are dreamers. We are travelers. We are bucket listers. We love to make lists of places that we will go. We commonly say "Okay if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?" or "If you could do anything right now, what would you do job wise?" and then we try to make action plans towards those things. We love to dream, but we love to actually see some of those dreams come to fruition. It gives us such passion and zeal in life together. We get jacked up...together. It's fun. 

3. We listen to one another. 

I hate when he chews loud. He hates when I lose my keys. We created systems to prevent the moments of tension. I eat many times per day, and so a lot of times I just leave my plate, fork, spoon just out and dirty. The other day he said "This really actually bothers me a lot." (He is a clean guy) and I was like "Wow. I'm so sorry. I've been doing that forever." But guess what? I'm not going to do it again. It's small stuff like that that's not worth arguing over. I know you can't help if your spouse won't do the same but maybe if you start doing the things that they tell you they don't like, then they might feel more love towards you in that and start doing the things that bother you. 

4. We seek counsel from healthy Christian marriages and we ACTUALLY listen to what they have to say. 

If I see someone doing the marriage thing right, you better believe I'm going to ask them like that moment what makes them the way that they are. If I see an older couple holding hands, I ask how they have stayed so in love. If I see children that are just so mature at a young age, I ask how they feel they raised them differently. Many times I get answers that I don't want to hear to be honest, and think "Man, I need to change some things" and sometimes those things don't change and I have to revisit them, but I try. And he tries. I'm very lucky that I have a man that tries as well. 

5. We waited/are waiting to have children. 

For us personally, this was actually a big deal. When we met, we were in pharmacy school and I'm a huge focuser in things like that. I don't make adequate time for relationships. From there, we went into residency. From there, we moved to NYC and he worked evening shift and I worked day shift. We are just coming into a season of normalcy and we want to really enjoy one another during this time. We didn't "date" long and got engaged quick and we don't regret that at all, but are kinda sad we missed out on some dating phases of the relationship and so we want to take this super slow and date each other now! :) 

6. We don't nag and we aren't needy

AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. Seriously. I really do think I might be more nagging if I had the energy but ironman + small business owner + everything else = who cares if he did this one thing? I'd rather just move on. 

He used to try to talk things out with me but he knows better now. I'm just like "if we could just wait 10 minutes, I'll probably forget this even existed" and that's basically how we handle things. 

7. We make sex a priority.

Sorry, mom. Women, I know this is tough. It really is at times, and I totally get it. BELIEVE ME. But I love my husband and I know that it's a huge thing for them. It's also huge that we not just say "Uh yea sure whatever" but that we are excited. It is a huge part of how they are made, and I firmly believe that sometimes it's just not always about me and if I'm feeling it. 

8. We desire a loving, compassionate marriage. 

We are probably too anxious about how "bad" we do at this. We are very over analytical on our marriage with our desires to make it better, so maybe that's not good either but we are constantly talking about what we can do to make it better. We talk about how to break down the walls of getting too busy to even just hold hands or go to dinner together. We just make small efforts...small tiny daily efforts.

9. We talk through conflicting issues when we aren't in conflict and we don't talk about each other to anyone else. 

Remember how I said I just like to walk away in conflict? Yea, usually that's what we do. But sometimes, Tanner will later say "I feel as if this is maybe an issue I don't want to become an elephant in the room so now that things are calm, let's talk this out" so then we do. We have a no yelling policy. I needed a policy for myself. Tanner has probably never yelled in his life except maybe during a max deadlift or something. haha! 

We also have really found a common ground that we agree on for bigger issues. I know we don't have children yet so I can't speak for that. Finances for example, we put our money together and we have a $50 limit where we at least call and say "Hey do you mind if I get this?" We also had conversations before about how we wanted to handle money to make sure that we were on the same page. The same goes for other topics as well. 

10. We are each other's biggest fan and cheer each other on. 

He will be at every event that I do with bells on. He gets off work and changes his schedules to be there for me (except when he was like in residency and didn't have a choice). He is a pharmacist that works in an outpatient chemotherapy clinic and he is wanting to get board certified in oncology so that he can be better at his job. This requires a lot of studying at nights now, but I'm so proud that I'm like "Let me make you coffee and bring you dinner!!" We just always say that we are a team and that if one of us is doing something then we are in it together. 

 

 

 

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Life, Training, Goals, and Friends!

Ever get something off your chest and think "OH MY GOSH I FEEL SO GOOD NOW!!" 

Shewww, that's how I feel. Thank you for all of the emails and comments. Every single one I read in full and it meant so much! Also, shoutout to my mom who was about to like come over and bring me chocolate and flowers or something. LOL!!! Who else loves mommas? I mean really..they are just the best! I had been holding out on her so now I know I can't do that either or she might whoop me! ;) 

Last week was actually really great for training, and I got in some solid miles going into 6 weeks out. It was one of two of my highest weeks of mileage, and I actually took a second rest day today because I was still feeling soreness. That might not be what most would do but whatever, I'm not one to care about taking a non scheduled rest days. There are some workouts that are crucial and some that are not. Haha! 

So, let's talk about last week! My totals were: 50 miles running, 140 miles biking, 6000m swim

I keep the same structure every single week but with the weekends going back and forth in intensity and dialing up in mileage. I've changed one weekly mid week run from 6 miles to 8 miles but otherwise the structure is: 

Monday-8 miles speed (speed work is kind of a joke right now-my body is just too tired) + 90 min interval cycles

**Obviously I didn't do this today so I'll probably run/bike/swim all tomorrow. 

Tuesday-Swim intervals (2500m) + Run 6 miles 

Wednesday-Run 8 miles (this was 6 a few weeks back) + 120min steady cycle 

Thursday-easy 6 mile run + Lifting (if I feel like it-lifting has literally been non existent HA-I got gains to make post ironman FO SHO)

Friday- Long Run + 3000-3500m swim 

My long runs, I've just been dialing up slowly trying to cap out at a 20 miler right before the taper. I only like to have a 2 week taper and that's just preference. I get lethargic if I do 3 weeks. I typically dial up 3 weeks then dial back then go up again in this type format: 

12, 14, 16--> 14, 16, 18 --> 16,18,20 

That's just an example but kind of the format that I follow. If I feel tired after a weekend at 18 miles, then I might do 12 miles that following weekend and then 20 the next. I'm very unstructured with training sometimes. I just do what feels right. I call it intuitive training. I know I know...it's ridiculous but it works for me. 

Saturday- Long Bike + Shorter Run (2-6 miles) 

The long bikes I'm alternating between super long and then kinda long. This is how I dialed up over the past few weeks.

50, 65, 50, 75, 30 (I wasn't feeling it lol), 85 (last week), 50 (this week), 100 (shoot me now lol), 50, 70, 50 (that's the last few weeks plan going into it!)

September 24th is my big day that I'm going to try to basically do the entire ironman across the course of two days. I'll do 20 miles + 3800m on Friday followed by 100 miles solo + 6 miles off the bike and then I'll have a regular week and then go into the taper. 

I'm using the method of don't think-just do. I kept over analyzing this weekend and it wasn't necessary. It never is. It always works out and is FINE. I just put in the time and I just keep running or keep pedaling and then I finish eventually. 

NOW MOVING ON TO LIFE AND FRIENDS!! :) It was Jackson's 2nd birthday party this past weekend (that's my precious sweet nephew if you are new here). He was so cute. His little mind is growing every week and I love him so much. He calls me "Tay tay" (I was going to Kay Kay) and then "Nanner" is Tanner. Every time he says Nanner, he laughs after it. I basically melt into a puddle. 

Also, can we talk about how sweet Uncle Nanner is? The dogs sleep with us, and he's so just naturally nurturing (I know that's weird to use but it's true) that he has a little tiny bowl set out by the sink that he fills up with water and he brings it over to the dogs just in case they want one last sip. HA!!! I pick on him all the time, but each night they know dads coming over with some night time water. He's going to make the best dad (Yes, I'm having the fever! ;) haha-and because I tell everything we plan on traveling a lot in the next year and starting next June after we take a 5 year anniversary trip to Ireland/Scotland as I've been asked like 500 times).

He likes cows so his entire party and outfit was moo cows. When I put on his outfit, he pointed to his pants and said MOOO and then he poked me in the eye and said "TAY TAY EYES" lol!! 

He likes cows so his entire party and outfit was moo cows. When I put on his outfit, he pointed to his pants and said MOOO and then he poked me in the eye and said "TAY TAY EYES" lol!! 

So Jackson turned two, but I turned 27! My brother turned 29 and my grandmother turned 89! Our birthdays are the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th! This is the grandmother that is still with us! :) Tanner knew I needed new luggage and he got me something that I'd NEVER in a blue million years buy myself which is nice North Face luggage. It's always weird when you're married. Like, it's both of our money and I wouldn't ever want to spend but you allow it when it's your birthday! LOL!!! I linked it up for you guys and I didn't really like doing that because then I saw the price and can't believe the husband. HAHA!

When he asked what I wanted to do, I told him apple picking. He was like "really?" and I was like...REALLLLLY. So basically, I look like I'm in the garden of eden and I'm Eve and so basically I caused the fall of humanity. We went to the orchard and I told Tanner one of my main goals was to just have fun with photography while we were there. I absolutely love playing around and getting fun images.

In all of my DRAMAAA, he told me that he wanted us to really fix up some things in the house because he knows I loved that. We added pillows and trinkets to the mudroom upper shelves, I styled all 3 of our bookshelves, we changed the entire set up of our bedroom, we moved around furniture in our house, and we deep cleaned everything. We have a white couch with slip covers (that I LOVELOVE) but it has to be cleaned every once in a while. 

I also got the final touches on my run coaching certification. I finished the testing a few weeks back, and did really well so I was very pleased. It's funny how well you can do on something when you love it so much. I had to also get my CPR certification renewal, so I went to Charlotte last week and did the day of fun CPR/First Aid course. Ha! Did I go to a McDonalds breakfast, and a Target visit after? #DUH.

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The 15th anniversary was 9-11 this week. It always hits me differently after living literally right across the street (I'm talking I could throw a baseball to Ground Zero). Being there just makes you realize how very real it is. 

We even talked about moving back if the stars were to align. Who knows? LOL! All of that to say, I miss my friends more than anything, and so we texted and two of them are actually going to come out to San Fransisco while I'm out there running the North Face 50K race!!! And yes, that's how good of friends we had there! The kind of friends that we text and say "Hey! Let's plan a trip!" and then it ACTUALLY happens! It's the same ones I went to Nashville with.

Needless to say, it's been a fun packed last week and I'm one blessed gal! My goals moving forward this week are just to focus on the workouts ahead of me, and to enjoy life! That's all I got for this week! This weekend is one of my best friends bachelorette weekends in Charlotte, and I can't wait to celebrate her and hang out with some college girlfriends! I thought in college I'd have this whole life thing figured out when I got out. What happened to that? ;) ;) 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seasons of Doubt

I've wrote this blog and deleted what I said to articulate it better more times than I ever have on a blog post. For some reason or another, this is a hard one for me to post. I have, for whatever reason, become more afraid to say this out loud. I think if I'm honest with myself, it's because in all other blog posts, it's things that I've overcome or things that aren't staring me directly in the face. I can say "Hey look! You can overcome as well!" 

I watched a documentary called American Blogger, and if you haven't watched it, I'm going to link it up so that you can. One quote by one of the bloggers says "If we can't share our experiences and heart breaks, then really, what's the point in experiencing them." That sounds trite but deep down, human connection is so ingrained in us. We want someone to understand. So here goes: 

I have a lot of anxiety in seasons. 

And this might not be a triumph blog. I hope you'll still love me after what I'm about to share (which in and of itself is the very root of the anxiety- love and connection from others). I'm a success driven perfectionist that doesn't pay enough attention to detail that in turn causes a lot more anxiety because it's not the way I want it. If it's not the way that I want it, I convince myself that I just need to work hard and do more. If it's not the way that I want it, and people don't respond well, it feels very personal. Like...deep to my core personal. 

Ten years ago (wow hard to believe it's been that long), it manifested in an eating disorder/self image issues. I felt a little anxious about the way I looked so I did something about it. Y'all know me well enough to know I'll work super hard for anything, and that's what I did....a little too hard on accident. I've shared my story enough times for y'all to know that I've navigated my way through those anxieties. 

While in school, my anxieties manifested in the grades of course like any normal college/graduate/doctorate student. I was a little more neurotic than your typical college student but whatever. 

I came out of college and got "social media famous" to a degree. O la la. So enticing right? ;) It was and I was riding the high. LIFE WAS JUST WHERE I WANTED IT...FINALLY. I had arrived at the promise land. I was living in New York City. YES.ALLTHEYES.

Then, all of a sudden, another season hits out of left field. Comparison filled days start to plague me. Instagram becomes so competitive that it's no longer about sharing your life. It's about sharing your PERFECT photo that is perfectly curated to fit the theme of your perfect page. Your page is your art project and I'm about as creative as a frog I feel like. I'm more analytical. I can't draw. I don't do art.

Day after day after day convincing myself that no one cares but me and I know that's not the truth. But day after day merely opening the app started to give me anxiety. My picture isn't being liked. Every.single.time that I post I get tons of defollows. Please don't take this as complaining, and hear me out for the entire blog. They defollow and I think "Yep I was a runner when you followed...STILL A RUNNER. Uh!" 

Voices in my head: Katie, they do not matter. They are strangers on the internet. Your worth is in CHRIST. Your validity is not defined by defollows or likes. Your worth is so much MORE. The best girls are the ones that you have been able to connect with, coach and the rest can go. 

Devil on my shoulder: But, look at HER page. They like her. She's better at photography. Her times are faster. Her body is better and she shows it off more. Should I do that again? You have 66.4K and less likes than people with 20K. What is wrong with you? All the girls you used to be in line with are now huge youtube stars, moving to Los Angeles, and being the next big thing and you can't even hardly put one youtube together. You also were at 67.2K, but people literally see your face and can't stand it on their newsfeed so 800 people have defollowed for whatever reason. I'm writing this on Sunday and just for example, I posted the picture from the NYC half this morning and lost 79 followers. But you better not show that emotion. People want the last season, Katie. The happiest Katie on the planet, Katie. Don't lose her. Hold tight to her.

I know numbers shouldn't matter. BELIEVE ME. But, it comes with the territory and then no one is able to talk about it without seeming like a crazy lunatic narcissist.

Tanner: Maybe your heart bleeds too much, Katie. Maybe you aren't made for this. 

And sometimes I wonder if he's right. 

But then I renew my stamina and tell myself: JUST BE MORE. JUST DO MORE. JUST WORK HARDER. 

That's what it's all about right...just work harder, Katie. You can do this. You LOVED this with all of your heart. You.Love.This. Stop with your drama feelings.

Okay, loving it again. 

"But wait, now I can't spend time with my husband because I'm so busy. I haven't made us dinner in 3 weeks. Ah! Okay, I'll stop working and do that tonight. I've neglected all of my friends, but how do I do that and the ironman and work harder on this blog?" 

Oh look, an article of the top 100 running bloggers..... aw it has all of my favorite girls!!! 

Oh look another article of the best running and fitness bloggers .... and another ... and another .... Katie, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. You don't need your name on a list. This is so silly.

Oh look, a Runner's World Cover Search Contest! They do top 100 for the semi-finalist, and I'm top 10-15 in votes!! YAY! .... Results are in!! .... Wait, I didn't make it? Let me look again. Maybe I missed my name. I was top 15 in votes? Oh. No. I really just didn't make it. 

Katie, seriously? You have had SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES. SHUT YOUR MOUTH RIGHT NOW.

Please don't mistake these emotions as jealousy and that I'm not happy for all of my friends that get these things. I cannot tell you how genuinely happy it makes me when my friends get gigs. There is SO MUCH ROOM in this world for ALL of us. I truly believe that. 

But, anxiety kicks in and tells me it's a personal thing. It tells me that it's as if I'm walking through a department store in my newest, most favorite new outfit and there is a crowd of people. If they like me, they can come talk to me, but no one does. I walk all the way through the store, and not one person sees me. I had convinced myself that everyone didn't like me and that I'm totally just not relevant anymore.  #CRAZYBRIDGE #ISTEPPEDRIGHTOFF

Another form of anxiety kicks in where I beat myself up even more for feeling like a narcissist. I have been convicted OVER AND OVER again. The biggest issue became when it started to manifest in real life. I feel as if I can't text friends (not about this but about anything) because I'm "just a bother" and "they are busy and don't have time to talk to me." I have even had moments where I'm a big crowd of people (which I love) and I would get really anxious and feeling like I needed to get away asking Tanner if we could leave that place immediately. I stopped hosting get togethers at my house thinking no one really wanted to come, and feel distant from friendships. I have lost clients, and said things I wouldn't normally say online angering people and making people reach out, defriend me, and won't speak to me. I know you can't please everyone, but the hurt I feel from this is deep. I'm not blaming this on social media and I really don't want to sound like the sky is falling. I just know that my anxiety is real, and mine unfortunately manifests in the way that I make people feel or the way people feel about me. I'm a feel-sy person. We know this. ;)

I have quite literally felt like a 5 year old, so the only person that I have told is my husband and my best friend in Shelby, Rachel, to the extent that I have felt for 6 solid months. I have said the words, "I feel so stupid. Where is my happiness? I feel so dramatic" so much that my husband says I'm not allowed to say any of those sentences anymore. ha. I felt so alone that I even googled "social media pressure" as I felt so silly . I came across so many bloggers talking about this same thing and I instantly felt relief. I'm not crazy. How nice. ;) 

Last weekend, I kinda had a meltdown.

"I'm terrible at this now. I'm not relevant anymore. I cannot be all the things and all the people that I need to be and do this. I am not being a good wife to Tanner or a good friend or a good daughter or a good athlete. Guilt. Pressure. Guilt. Pressure. Anxiety." 

Enough was enough, and with a tear stained face, Tanner couldn't agree more. He just wants my happiness so badly. After this going on for about 6 months now, did I need to step away? I mean let's be real, I have a job offer from a consultant pharmacy offering me a full time position. They wanted me so bad on staff that they agreed to let me work one day per week. I am SO lucky and have the best opportunity if I want that. Should I just go full time as a pharmacist and let this season go? Would that even make me happier?

I spent a lot of time in prayer this week...alot. 

Lord, where do YOU want me? What is YOUR will for my life and not my own made up decisions?

Just be still. 

BUT I NEED ANSWERS LIKE YESTERDAY, LORD. 

Well, I want you where you are. It's not time to walk away. It's time for you to change your attitude. It's time for you to smile again and know that you are so deeply cherished by me, and that's enough.

While, I'm not someone that has ever been one to really "hear" the Lord as I find that hard, the answer to me was and is very clear. It's not time to leave all of this. What I have to leave behind is all of this 13 year old emotion. I need to become the mature, hard working 27 year old that I am. I have always sought after the joy and worth from the Lord and my cup was overflowing for such a long season. It felt as if my cup had run dry. The Lord said NOPE. IT NEVER RUNS DRY. 

I LOVE to create blogs. I LOVE LOVE LOVE putting them together and posting images after the hard work comes together. I LOVE sharing my journey. I love working with clients and seeing their change both mentally and physically. I love coaching girls to running PR's. I love connecting with other runners, and getting amazing opportunities with amazing companies. I love collaborating with friends, and making fun recipes or showing lifestyle posts like decor and fashion. I actually really love posting on my lifestyle instagram @_katieamelia and making my focus not on fitness for once and showing another side of me. I love coming up with new ideas and forcing a creative space in my mind. That's what I want to show, and what I have been showing for so long.

I have to do my job well and with integrity. I have to put together well thought out blog posts because I want to be a good steward of the opportunities that I've had placed in front of me with 85,000 people reading them on a monthly basis. I have to NOT take it personally when someone decides I'm not their cup of tea. This is not a popularity contest. This is NOT high school, and I refuse to live it that way any longer. I want to create great images because I have found a love in photography not for the pressure of making the perfect instagram. I want to continue learning to make myself a better coach for that ONE client that I might already have. I love to share my LIFE and not just my fitness. I don't know why but it gives me joy, so I need to not be fearful to share ME and not just running/fitness related topics. 

I know that for those that may have been new to my blog/instagram in the past 6 months, you haven't even gotten a full picture of who I am. I even say that to my friend Rachel. I feel as if during our time being close as friends, I haven't even been myself. I've tried like REALLY hard to hide it though and not in efforts to be fake, but really just to get over it. 

I have went back and forth and back and forth about whether to even post this. I know that some readers will roll their eyes that this is SUCH a millennial first world problem to have, and I would agree, but that doesn't make it any less real to me. I'm also not saying that I have it all figured out, but I feel so much clarity moving forward. 

I also want to say that I TRULY DO NOT WANT this to be a fishing for compliments type post. Please. I know that so many of you support me, and have for years, and I have been very successful and I don't belittle ANY of that. I don't want to look ungrateful for what I do have. That's my biggest fear, and I'm so thankful for every opportunity, every company that has believed in me...everything...so thankful. I just had to get back to me. 

I know who I am and who's I am, and I hope that through the muddiness, y'all will know that my heart for all of you is huge and I appreciate SO much all of the love you always show me through all of my seasons. I'm also really sorry... I'm sorry this is even a thing. I'm sorry I haven't been myself. 

 

 

 

 

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Your Health is More Than the Macros You Eat

I think there has been a big trend towards this lately, but I wanted to share some thoughts. Macro counting became the big hit thing to do for a long time, and it still is. It's the number 1 way that people are able to really change their lives and get fit and not be miserable with it. But somehow we have convinced ourselves that eating processed junk food is good for us as long as we are losing weight. We watch big fitness stars promote this kind of behavior while I have to wonder internally what's going on with their long term health. 

The reason that health is so confusing is because people just have such wide spread opinions of what they believe they should and shouldn't do. Many MANY people associate weight loss and being tiny with health when in reality so many of the leanest people that you are see are not actually healthy. I think we kinda know this but we don't believe it. I have written an article about this but that everyone has a choice on the decisions that they make on what's healthy for them personally. This can look really different across the board, and that's okay. You have to decide what's best for you and I totally get that. But everything that we do in health does come back to science in some way and if you look at the data, we are doing things that are super damaging to our bodies all in the name of health. #WHAT?! It's so odd. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to put food labels on things. I hate good and bad foods and the feelings that we associate with this, but we associate good and bad not based on our health but based on our bodies and the same that they take. We form every decision about our health on our bodies, and we say that we don't but we do. If you are eating 2000 calories and you want to lose weight, you cut calories. You might not be able to get progress so you keep cutting and cutting. Let's say that you end up having to cut down to 1000 calories, your hormones are all out of whack, you lose your period, and you FINALLY lose weight. You lose 10 pounds and everyone is like "Wow!!! You look AMAZING!" and you feel great hearing it. You eat all sugar free products, meat and vegetables (no fruit because you're afraid of the "sugar"), you drink tons of diet soda and coffee to keep you full, and you don't have a period. YOU ARE NOT HEALTHY! #FORTHELOVE 

Where did we get things so backwards that we didn't focus on true health and instead focused on obsession over body image? I have to wonder if this will genuinely ever change. However, there is the opposite of all of this. On the other extreme, you have girls that reverse diet and are eating 4000 calories per day. There are some that need that much food, but the truth is that the data shows that for long term health, you don't want your calories that high. In order to eat that many carbs, you are going to have to eat an inordinate amount of sugar, and that's not good. But if you can have oreos/froyo and french fries all in the same day because #reversediet #metabolism #fitness then it's okay for your health? I just can't think that this is true. I've said this before and I'll say it again but I have to wonder about the long term effects of such reverse diets and the effect on the pancreas. Will it not eventually burn out and then we will see fit people that are lean developing Type 2 diabetes? There is research to show that the adipose tissue (fat) is not the reason for diabetes, but it's strictly the food. You can totally have a skinny person that is eating horrible and they are not healthy but because they are skinny, society deems them healthy.

HASHTAG NO CARDIO! That's another popular one as well as being proud of yourself for not going to the gym for a month. That's great if you were really obsessed with the gym and had an unhealthy balance and relating it all back to your body image. I totally get that, however cardio is good for your heart. Lifting weights is good for your muscle development to keep you strong into later years. Butttttt, if the fit chicks tell us that we can lose weight while not working out and eating oreos within our macros then why not right? #HEALTHY It's OKAY to work hard. It's OKAY to not be complacent and do cardio and all of those things!! I'm convinced that the newest trend in fitness is to hate all things fitness but then bragging that they are still skinny. WAHHHH! DRIVES ME NUTS!! 

I've heard girls over and over again tell me that they stopped eating healthy foods because they were so obsessed with fitting all these foods into their macros. I was definitely one of these at first, and I still can be at times. It's challenging for me to eat healthy when I know that I can eat unhealthy foods within certain calories and remain the same weight. But if we TRULY want to love health and fitness, then we truly care about our long term health. 

Sometimes the girls I work with will say "but I'm only losing 1-2lbs per week and I'd like to go faster!!" Yes, that would be nice, but let's be here not to be obsessive about our bodies but to be TRULY interested in bettering our long term health. Let's keep our metabolism strong and go slow. Let's keep our fruits and veggies high and our processed junk low. Let's keep mentally balanced by not restricting those things and knowing that it's PERFECTLY fine to have them, but just in moderation. I PROMISE I'm not being a food snob. Believe me, I can eat Wendys, Bojangles, Chickfila, Taco Bell and Cook out with the best of them. I'm a fast food junkie, but let's join together to do this thing the right way (as I put ice cream back in the fridge - not even kidding - how embarrassing LOL) 

I think people are tired of hearing about macros, but I've realized in mainstream life, people really don't know about them. When I go to do teaching, I always ask at the beginning who knows what macros are and if they had heard of it and no one raises their hands...like ever. It's crazy to me, but I think that we are of the technology and information age. We are able to learn a lot all the time, and that's wonderful but if you don't know, here is my resource library to get started. 

 

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What's Your Legacy?

I know this video is 8 minutes long, so I won't keep you long on the blog! :) 

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Training Update (and during hard times)

Hey yall! 

I was going to do a post on my grandmother today. I honestly felt weird blogging period without mentioning her but I didn't want to just not blog this week, so today I thought I'd share my training as I know I haven't updated you in a few weeks of the exacts. 

As I keep sharing, this is the first time in my life that I feel like I'm actually going into a race semi prepared. I know that I train hard, but even during my best marathon training, I still felt like I wasn't able to really train like I wanted to because of obligations or because of small injury so I feel great especially being 7.5 weeks out, however I want to keep this momentum going. On Saturday, I had my latest long bike which is the farthest that I've ever been (80 miles) and I'm not going to lie and say that it was easy. It was very tough mentally and physically to be on the same bike for 5 hours in the heat. However, I was SO SO proud of myself for finishing that strong and knowing that I could do it. 

I had done 16 miles the day before, so my legs were toast on Saturday night, and they actually started itching really bad, which I googled of course. Apparently this is the capillaries expanding after extreme amounts of exercise, and some people break out in hives. HA!! Lord Jesus, what am I doing to myself? ;) I will go ahead and let this off my chest. I have gotten SO SO MANY comments about how "crazy" I am or how ridiculous or "Why in the world would you bike 80 miles?" UH. It's frustrating because this journey is SO hard and for people to act like you're just doing this for leisure or like exercise obsession? Like NO. I really do believe that I'm a one and done ironman girl, so this will be the ONLY time in my life that I do this. I'm giving it my all, and training appropriately. An ironman calls for training of this caliber. I'm not just doing this for kicks and giggles. Okay, shew, I feel better! ;) 

(Note for those that might not know: An ironman is 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking, 26.2 mile run at the end for a total of 140.6 miles)

My training last week was 45 miles running, 140 miles biking, 5000m swimming 

I keep my swimming pretty consistent, and I honestly have kept all workouts during the week pretty consistent too so that I know what I'm doing each day. I do a 2000m swim on Tuesdays that's more speed and interval focused, and then I do a 3000m swim after my long run on Fridays. I do both of my long days on Fridays and Saturdays just because that's what works for me personally, but there are many that do Saturday/Sunday and break Monday. 

My training for this week is as follows: 

Monday-45 minute bike ride (it was supposed to be more but life happened and yolo and all that stuff) 

Tuesday- 8 mile run + 2000m interval swim 

Wednesday- 2 hour bike + 6 mile tempo 

Thursday - 8 miles EZ + Lift 

Friday-18 miles + 3000m swim (after funeral)

Saturday-60 miles + 5 miles (60 miles on the bike sounds so gloriously easy-what is wrong with me HA) 

Sunday-REST 

I also wanted to touch on working out while sad. Obviously, there is no denying that my family is very sad this week. We are smiling and laughing through the tears, but the tears are there. I feel when I'm alone is when I process the most, and so that is typically when I'm working out. I'm also not someone that loves to work off those emotions. I'd rather just sit on my couch with a bag of Doritos and watch Grey's Anatomy, but that's just me. ha! Yesterday, you can see I gave into that, and I gave myself grace in that. Like honestly, who cares if you miss one workout when someone important to you passes? You realize the importance of some things over others and I was with my family and the babies were dancing on the front porch and I was about to leave and run home then thought "No! I want to stay here with them!" and so I did. I have to FORCE myself into the motion and then I can get myself going. It's not easy this week for me...at all...even as much as I love to train. That's just the real candid truth! I know I'll get my mojo back, but for now I'm going to allow myself grace. 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Round Up

It's been a while since I've done this but the further that I space it out, the better things that I find to share with you so I have some really great ones to share today. 

1. CRANE & LION (instagram: @craneandlion)

I'm not just saying this, but these clothes are QUALITY. If you are looking for really nice (in my opinion better than Lulu-sorry did I speak those words), then this is your company! Absolutely love my active traveling wrap. 

Excuse the background-I was washing the sheets (that's embarrassing LOL) 

Excuse the background-I was washing the sheets (that's embarrassing LOL) 

2. FINIS Swim Equipment

So I have SERIOUSLY been searching for a swim cap that could fit my long thick hair into it and not be super tight and uncomfortable. This was FINALLY the one! #THANKYOUJESUS It's the silicone one, and only $7.99 so how nice!! 

One other thing that I love is that they have an affordable under the water ipod. If you are anything like me, the water can get really boring and try as I might to sing "just keep swimming" with Nemo, there's a point where I'm over it. HAHA! They aren't nearly as expensive as the Apple one (just sayin ;))

Lastly, they have training equipment for adults. I know as a kid on swim team, you get all the cool things but as adults, you only can have access if your pool has these things. 

3. G2G BARS

If you've tried them then you get it. If you haven't, then I'm so serious that you should. They are packed with calories which is exactly what I need right now during training. They don't have the yucky taste of normal protein bars because they don't have any artificial sweeteners or fake coverings over the bar like some do. They are about 300 calories each (14g F 25g C 18g P) and I've had one every single day since I got these! My favorite flavor is the peanut butter chocolate chip. Kenzie told me about them in Utah and I'm so glad she had some for me to try. They gave me a discount code for you guys to get 20% off with the code "Katies" and yes that's with the "s" at the end. 

4. THIS BED FRAME

Someone posted it to the Trail and Ultra running group that he had made it!! How freakin sweet right?! Someone want to make this for me? LOL! 

5. My Watch Face with Garmin 

If you haven't downloaded it yet, here's the link!!! It's been downloaded 181 times which honestly is crazier than I ever could have imagined! It makes me smile so big! Thank you! 

https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/1eb0d740-21e1-420f-8d2b-6847b7def28f

6. Elliptical for cross training while injured 

I did a post this week about what to do when you have a small something and don't think that you should run during the week. Well, ellipticals are my top choice and I typically do the elliptical for whatever time that I was going to run. It isn't ideal, but it does the trick! ;) 

Reviews.com, a website dedicated to conducting unbiased research on products, recently reviewed 58 elliptical machines by comparing specs, key features, and core functionality, to find the best elliptical machines on the market. They took a hard look at the ergonomics of each machine, evaluated their customization options and even had a competitive triathlete personally test 19 finalists. They created a guide to help navigate the buying process and found four top picks: best overall, best fitness programming, best budget and most portable. Here's all of those evaluated for you if you wanted to look into one:  http://www.reviews.com/elliptical-machines/

HOPE YOU ENJOYED TODAY'S PRODUCTS!! Let me know some of your favorites if you have any to share!!! 

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Adoption Part II

If you have followed me for awhile then about a year ago, you might have seen me post THIS.

I'm a huge fan of adoption and that grows and grows as the years go on. A few months ago, I got really emotional one night because I genuinely felt like my child (a child that I will later have) was born and being neglected somewhere. Is that weird? PROBABLY. I CLAIM IT. IT'S OKAY. 

About a month ago, Tanner came to me and was just like "I want you to know I'm fully okay with adoption like 100%" and it's not that he's ever been against it, but he actually meant like he could only adopt and be okay. I was like WAIT HOLDUP REALLY? We talked for a long time about the needs in the world for adoption and how sometimes we felt like with this on our hearts, why not be open to God's direction in that for our lives. Lemme throw some stats on ya real quick that blew my mind and have changed my life as I sit on them, wrestle with them, and decide what I want my family to look like. 

Photo from: http://www.afromum.com 

Photo from: http://www.afromum.com 

There are currently an approximated 140 million orphans right now. There are 63 million that suffer from acute malnutrition. Three million kids die per year from hunger. 5.9 million children died in 2015 with 45% of those being malnutrition but all kinds of different reasons. (birth complications, malaria, etc)

Now don't get me wrong-I can't go saving the world and I feel that on a heavy level. I recognize that there are children that can't be reached due to government restrictions, and that even if money is provided, sometimes the government is not going to give the resources to certain people in certain areas. That makes me emotional, but I have to push it from my mind thinking about starving babies. 

In the Us, there are approximately 415,000 children in foster care as of 2014. I'm sure this number has only increased, and there were 253 children in Cleveland County (where I live in 2013) that are in foster care which is really high for our area. Our area has a large need for fostering. 

All of these numbers just stare at me, and I'm just like UHHHHH. I can't stand it. 95% of those in foster care are over the age of 5, and I will be 100% real that adopting outside of infancy terrifies me in that there is a lot of neglect experienced by the child and thinks that can happen that makes for a really difficult raising of that child. I'm no saint here, that's for sure and not sure that's my calling. 

I think it's CRAZY how long it takes to adopt from other countries...it's frustrating and expensive, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that either, and I guess I'm asking for experience if anyone has it to share in that. But as I said, there is a grave need in my own community so why not start there? But then I think about the living conditions of those in developing countries and I wonder if they need it more... I'm not prioritizing children here but I'm just saying. 

My mom made a post about how to not have entitled children and while the article has nothing to do with what I'm about to say, I was thinking about how entitled I feel that I am. I'm entitled to be able to complete an ironman. I'm entitled to have a house and a car and all of these things that seem so basic but yet are SO huge to so many of this world. I think it's normal to have a mom and a dad and a family that loves me. But in reality I'm just really blessed because of where I happened to be born. That brings me to my family that I'm wanting to build (not yet-we really aren't ready for children just yet so I post this now in terms of future years down the road). I think about how entitled I am to have a family that looks like X-Y-Z and maybe that's not the route that God has chosen for me. Maybe I think about a child that I'm supposed to have one day that is 11 years old when I adopt him/her. That's not really what I saw for my life, but who am I to say ya know? Why do I feel entitled to have 4 children of my own (I used to want that) if there are so many that need me and I can provide for that. 

I also feel like I can't miss out on what it feels like to have my own, but then again maybe I can and I just don't even know that yet. 

I feel as if even this blog post sounds almost like superior like I think I'm going to go save the world or something. That's not it AT ALL, but rather just thoughts that go through this crazy brain of mine while I'm working out basically 3 hours per day at this point in ironman training. 

If you've adopted or are adopted, I'd love to hear your story even if you email me (katiesfitscript@gmail.com) or if you want to share your thoughts in the comments below. I asked for stories on the last post and loved reading every one. I know the process is so difficult, and that I have a very "bleeding heart" romanticized type mentality right now so I don't mean to be naive or immature about any of it. I'm just trying to be prayerful in our decisions as we build a family eventually ... one day .... not now ;) 

 

 

 

 

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Small Injuries-When to Push / When to Stop

So I think they call these "niggles." 

I legit had not heard that phrase until I went to Utah and now I feel like I've seen it like 100 times all over the internet. Is that a thing? Either way, in case you don't know the definition of niggles: 

This is a thing that is bothering you that feels like it could be an injury but isn't quite an injury but you gotta be careful with it because what if it does become an injury and then you gotta sit out for months !

This is such a tricky line, and for once in my blessed life, I don't have a niggle. I think I need to hit myself over the head with a 2x4 for good luck (knock on wood) so that I don't jinx myself right now, but I'm the queen of these. I feel like they never go away to be honest, and sometimes I wonder if that's just part of the game. I've thought that until recently when I made two changes: 

Sleep & Less Stress

I am the queen of "ohhh it's not a big deal if I don't sleep. It's not a big deal if I do this and that and as much as humanely possible for a person to do." It was biting me in the butt time and time again. I got to a point where I was just super stressed out and I started eliminating things in my life to where it was just my job, family and training for the time being, and for the first time in 2 years, I have been niggle free for 5 weeks now. This is huge, and now I'm going to be the biggest advocate for those small things that you think are not a big deal but are in fact A REALLY BIG DEAL! I make absolutely certain that I'm getting 7 (at MINIMUM) but hopefully 8 hours of sleep per night, and then as little stress as possible. That's just a tip from the pro of niggles. 

But the blog is meant to be about when to push through them and when to stop. I think that this is not something that I'm really educated enough to really write a blog on, so I'm just going to throw that out there. I'm not a physical therapist, and I'm not trained in this area so take my word as a grain of salt in the health professional world and just from experience. 

From my experience, there is a big difference in the pain that I feel that I know is from actual injury and then the pain of something that I know is going to go away. You just KNOW. I would get really upset when I knew that whatever I was feeling, I knew was there to stay for a while especially when I was going into Boston because I knew that I had already paid for everything, and I wasn't just going to stop running. 

At the first sign of any pain that I feel to be an injury, I stop. I take the rest of that week off from running even if that's on Monday. I know that might seem extreme but I've done this enough times that I know that pushing through pain is just not worth it. Your endurance will resume ASAP from just a few days off whereas if you push through then typically you'll end up being out for weeks. The other week (if you follow my blog pretty closely), I said I felt a little something in my calf and so that Monday after that run, I didn't run the rest of the week. Yes, I continue to cross train (biking/swimming more than usual with the same amount of hours spent training) but I don't do the thing that's hurting it. I resumed that Friday because I felt from walking around that it was fine. And it was. I can tell the calf thing is just a knot so I mean it's kinda still there, but it's a knot and that's very clear so I know it's not a big deal. 

If taking time off during the week was something that hurt your performance or ability to do marathons, then I'd be about the slowest and unable to complete any of them. Two of my taper weeks (first and second marathon), I didn't run at all. I did elliptical and thought "well I'll just show up on the day of and see if it's gone" and it was both times. If I had pushed it and told myself I HAD TO RUN then I probably wouldn't have been able to complete those marathons. I'm like a seasoned niggler so I KNOW it's not worth it.

It's also not worth the mental anxiety that you give yourself. 

I fuss at Tanner LOTS if he has something of this nature. He gets SO down because he can't progress (he actually has had months now injury free-HOLLAA) but I know that so many others do as well. For some reason, it just doesn't get me down. Time is ALWAYS going to keep ticking and I never plan on stopping this so therefore the time spent off my feet is not a big deal as I know I'll be back in action sooner rather than later if I just sit out a few runs. The one time I got REAL upset was before Boston because my "niggle" had lasted 12 weeks (Can we stop calling it that? I have decided I do not like that word. It sounds too close to another word that disgusts me...). I went to a chiropractor who said she thought maybe I had early stage osteoarthritis (I don't), and I legit went home and balled my eyes out. I thought I was going to have to give up running for good, and MIGHT AS WELL THROW ME IN THE GRAVE (I'm jokinggggg....kinda). 

Now, I will say that I know myself and I know that I have a high pain tolerance. If you are someone that gives up easily (I don't mean that mean but I just mean that we all know how to evaluate ourselves), then it might not be something that you should always just give up the run. You have to keep a steady training program going or you really aren't going to be able to keep progressing, so it's that fine line of being able to recognize that. I know myself in that I push REALLY hard all the time, so if I feel something, I know it's something. 

I know this is SO vague, and doesn't provide any clear real understanding of what you should do, but I guess my point is that it's OKAY to stay off your feet sometimes. I came back from Boston and after the marathon, things felt fine and then I was able to run an ultra pain free 4 weeks later. You never know what your body is going to do. I haven't felt a pain in that area since, so clearly it's gone.

When I do have an injury or feel like I have one, I typically give it two weeks before I go see someone. It really might just go away on it's own and then you don't have to go through the hassle of the appointments and the copays. Blah blah. I don't just jump immediately and go see someone. It also depends on what it is. I would NOT go see someone even if my calf issue was here in 2 weeks. It's a KNOT. They will just tell me to rest. If they are just going to tell me to rest then I don't need to pay them to tell me that. If I feel I need an Xray to figure out the issue (like my stress fracture) then I will go see someone. 

I know it sounds like I'm a big walking mess, but I think it's important to realize that when you are marathon training or training for ultras/ironmans, this is VERY normal. I was talking to the Barlows about this while I was in Utah. He is currently working towards the Grand Slam (4 100 milers in 11 weeks). Do you think he has niggles? UHHH CONSTANTLY. Your body can only handle so much, and so when your hobby is pushing it to the limits, you just have to be mindful and careful! :) 

HOPE THIS ISN'T USEFUL TO ANYONE BECAUSE YOU'RE ALL MINOR INJURY FREE!!! 

 

 

 

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Learning to balance the unbalanced

Have you noticed I've been blogging less? Tanner always tells people that all I do is blog and jog! HA! But now a days, I'm blogging, jogging, swimming, and biking. I've always kept that tri element to my training even when I'm not actively training for a tri just to keep some cross training but obviously this is WAY different. 

I went to a friends house on Sunday night for her birthday/graduation, and there was a girl there that has done 2 ironmans. She commented that it was "impressive" that I was doing a full after having only done one half (and I told her how I crashed and burned at the half HAHA). I know what she was probably thinking "THIS GIRL IS CRAY!!" Haha no I'm kidding, she was so sweet! But really, I know that it's intense that I went from not really being a good half ironman triathlete to doing a full and I explained to her that I think that's why this training feels SO intense. 

IMG_3341.JPG

I'm sure that many that follow this blog also follow NYCRunningMama or Michelle, and she made a post a little while back about how being a full time working mom and a marathon runner (especially with how far she commutes to work) is just not balanced. It's just not. We can make it look like roses and peaches and at the end of the day, she loves it or she wouldn't do it, but the truth is, it's just hard sometimes. 

I'm going into two months out from the ironman, and this is the heaviest month of training period. For me, that means time. Time is so precious and every single ounce of my time is going to be spent training (to give a picture-it's at LEAST 2-3 hours per day with 5-7 hours on Saturdays). My husband is so great and has basically put his life on hold for this training period because with marathon training, I could make things work. I could run different places if we traveled, I could hang out with friends no big deal, but with ironman, it's just not happening. Tanner is always so great, but of course he has to be willing to sacrifice that as well (it's just for a short time so it's really not a big deal I know). 

All of this to say, we are ALL busy. We all have those things that we feel like "How in the world am I going to get this done?" and it's stressful. I had a moment yesterday where I was like "I'm just not going to do my bike ride today. I have client check ins. I need to finish this. I need to finish my RRCA run coaching certification and this is just too much." But then, I snapped out of it. Every single time that I look at these situations as overwhelming, I look back and say "Katie, this is your dream and you choose this. You WANTED this. You WANT this." 

That's the dang truth. I do want this. So deeply. 

We all choose how we spend our time. We all rant about how busy we are as if busy has become some badge of honor (that's another blog post) but at the end of the day, you have a certain amount of minutes every day and you choose how you want to spend them. You go through seasons of life where things are a little bit crazier than others. That's where you find your true character, resolve, and strength. You prioritize. You organize, and you make it happen. I don't even have kids y'all. GOD BLESS THE IRONMAN WOMEN WHO DO! I bow to you women! ;) 

Training is not what is overwhelming to me. For some reason, I'm a crazed lunatic, and I genuinely could train all the time. Each workout that I do (for example on Friday I did 14 miles followed by 3000m swim), I think of them differently. I'm not in the pool thinking about "I just ran 14 miles" but rather just like it's almost a new day. The thing that gets me is the time and how I can't seem to shake this crazy ridiculous guilt that I constantly feel that my friends are all judging me that I'm not hanging out with them enough and then my husband is upset we can't go camping or something. I know that I'm the only one that is actually thinking about it though so I give myself a pep talk and get over it. 

During this time frame, I knew that things would be different. This is not new news, but it needs to be a realization that when you set a goal, the reality is that it's not always hashtag balanced, and you just have to make it work. In pharmacy school, things weren't balanced, but you just make it work. I DEFINITELY don't have it figured out. That's for DANG sure, and that's the reason that I'm making this blog. I'm just simply trying to be real that sometimes when you have a dream, and it's a dream that most don't even understand or think is important, you do what it takes to make it happen even when life is not balanced as we all try to perfectly portray on the interwebs. 

Closing in on 8 weeks out-WOWZA!!! LETS DO THIS!!! 

P.S. I did complete my RRCA run coaching certification yesterday!!! Holler ;) 

P.P.S. If you didn't hear, Garmin worked with me to get a watch face that you can download that is specific to the phrase that I use all the time "Life without Limits!!!" Tag me on facebook or instagram is you get it. I'd love to see!! :) https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/1eb0d740-21e1-420f-8d2b-6847b7def28f

 

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