Runner's Block

Like writer's block...but not. 

Ever had a period in time when you are just like NOPE NOPE NOPE. 

That was me this week. And I legit listened to that voice. For a hot second, after 2 weeks at 60 miles I was like "Maybe I just won't even run this marathon." HAHAHA! 

Like what is wrong with me? It was so out of the ordinary and there was literally no reason for me feeling this way. I just simply didn't feel like it. I texted Tanner yesterday and said "I think I have runner's block." 

This isn't actually a thing, but it got me thinking a lot because it was one of those things that even hopping into the "one foot in front of the other" on the road or the treadmill sounded like literally the worst thing that I would want to do. The weather has been perfect, I have no injuries, and yet I'm having a moment and this is a moment I've never had so it was shocking.

I sat down and wrote out my goals which is what I always tell my clients to do if they get into a rut (is that how you spell rut? lol). My small goals are: 

1. Run Myrtle Beach Marathon

  • Plan A-PR with 3:12:50 at least to qualify for NYC next year
  • Plan B-qualify for Boston 2018 as I don't have a qualification for that yet   

2. Run Boston Marathon 2017 

I don't plan on PRing this at all, but just hope to beat my course PR from last year which won't be hard to do considering I completely came unglued from heat exhaustion. 

That's all of my short term goals. Then, I listed my long term goals :

  • Continue working towards a sub 3 one day 
  • Get enough miles on my feet so that I can comfortably add speed work without my body doing something ridiculous to me ;) 
  • Do another ironman so that I can get the official 140.6 for my car ! It's 100% all about the decal-jk jk! 
  • Become a hybrid athlete again and get my muscle back 
  • Do another ultra 

Here's the method that I always use when looking at my short and long term goals to get over my runner's block. I think about how the task at hand for my short term is something that I'm very familiar with. I know about the ups and downs of marathon training. I know about what it takes to run a marathon, and I know that I'll run the race the day of no big deal because I've seen that territory before. I know it well. I also know that because I've honored myself in the past taking breaks when needed that my body bounces back SO quickly. I've had enough niggles along the way and small injuries to know that the body WILL bounce right back, so no reason to get all worked up about it. 

When I look at my long term goals, I think about how they are never going to happen if I don't continue forward with my short term goals, and that helps to motivate me for the long term gratification. 

I also take a second to rationalize why it is that I'm feeling this way. Did I run TOO many miles and get myself burnt out for those two weeks? It was a sharp increase so that answer is most likely yes. Do I have other things going on? Well yes. We are launching in T minus 10 days. So, that could be what it is that my mind is just in other places. I am one of those that if emotional, I cannot work out. Like literally, I feel as if my limbs don't work. haha!! That's not the case this time, but I'm not one that takes out all of my worries in the gym. That's not my style. I'd rather sit on the couch watching Grey's anatomy with a bag of Cheetos. 

So, what did I do instead of running the past couple of days? I wifed it up. It just so happens that it was Valentine's week, but that wasn't why. I just decided that was how I was going to spend the time that I would normally have been going to the gym. I cleaned the entire house top to bottom. I organized things within my business as well as my life, and I made essentially every meal home made for Tanner along with his coffee each morning. I literally just didn't go for 3 days of running that I had scheduled, and I should probably care more, but good news is I don't. LOL!!! 

Here's the thing. We all do this for fun, and I just refuse to ever be someone who forces myself to do something that's not fun for me. I know that this probably set me back on my PR (who even knows) and I know that most serious marathoners would have forced themselves especially this close to the race, and I kinda wish I had that kind of motivation that I know some of my friends do (like @babfitrunlife if you follow her on Insta who has literally not missed one run in 3 years). However, I have to honor myself PERSONALLY and that meant honoring my runner's block the past few days. 

I went to sleep in my clean house just thinking AH YES! I think it's gone. And just like that, I felt motivated again and I often wonder that if I had not taken the break, would I have hated every step or would I have been proud to have finished what I said I would do? I'm not sure. This marathon training cycle wasn't pretty or perfect, but that's life and I'll take it just to be able to be involved in endurance. We are 2 weeks out now!! YAY! :) I'm going to do a long run tomorrow then go into the taper! :) 

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Things to Know as a Beginner Runner

I was thinking the other day while I was on a run how there are so many things that when you come into the sport of running that you might not know. I think that people think it's super simple and it is to an extent, but there are so many things that I wish I had known from the get go that would have made the process of "becoming a runner" much easier. I would say that when I was in college, I didn't research enough therefore I was just running miles and knew very little. There is science to just about everything in life, and there's a lot of things that you should be doing as a runner. So, let's get to that list. 

1. Make sure that you buy the right shoes

The last thing that you want to do is buy neutral shoes that are for a pronating foot. You will end up getting yourself injured, so you want to make sure that whatever shoes that you chose are designed to fit the way that you run. You can go to any running store, and get assessed, but here is a blog that I wrote on that topic.  The rule of thumb is 300-500 miles on each shoe, but I'm horrible and getting my shoes switched out is about how I am with my oil change. I always wait too long. Oops. 

2. Educate yourself about the sport

What is a tempo run? Fartlek? Easy Run? What paces should you be going for all of those? See THIS link ! Buy books that educate you about the science behind it all and how you can be better. This might not be something that you like, but learn about pro runners within the sport. Follow their social medias because they will absolutely motivate you to want to be better. There are different methods to training, so you could go on amazon and search for books and read up on all of the different methods and why those coaches believe that to work best. There's the Daniel method, Hanson method, Galloway,  or 80/20 by Matt Fitzgerald. There are MANY different viewpoints and finding what will work best for you with your scheduling, life circumstances, and everything in between is SO important. 

This is the first training cycle where I think I'm finally coming into what works for me. I've tried many different methods, but it seems that my body is handling moderately high mileage but at slower paces without blasting speed work because speed work always ends up in some form of injury for me, but I had to test MANY routes over the past 2.5 years to figure that out. Of course, I'm not going to want to run this high of mileage all the time though so I'll have to figure out how I want to do training in the future! 

3. Find friends that want to do it with you

There have been studies that prove that having a friend with you in any sort of journey is always going to make you more successful. As humans, we are made to be social beings, and even though I'm a very introverted runner, I feel really energized when I go on group runs and I feel like people understand me within my friends that are actually runners. You don't want to annoy your friends that don't enjoy running with talking about it, and you want someone who can share in that passion with you. That also does NOT mean that you need only running friends. Duh. Most of mine aren't actually, but I just think it's important to have a few! :) 

4. Eat well

You want to eat enough but not too much. You really want to find that happy balance of what really fuels you but doesn't leave you feeling gross, gaining weight, and lethargic (unless of course you need to gain weight and then that's not who I'm talking about lol). You want to eat the majority of your foods as whole, plant based sources and I don't say that from the standpoint of my switch to plant based eating but rather, we all know that whole naturally based foods are going to make us feel better. The other basic rule is that you want to make sure that you have enough carbs to support what you are doing. You don't want to get out on your runs and to feel like your legs are lead because you didn't eat enough the night before the long run. You'll learn over time as you experience these things.

I personally believe that tracking your intake when you become a runner is SO SO valuable, and I know I've preached it into the ground, but it's not meant to be an obsessive thing but rather something that lets you know EXACTLY what you are doing and whether you need to make adjustments for your training. I feel like it's just another discipline just like stretching. 

5. NOT EVERY RUN IS A GOOD RUN!!! 

This is so so important. I've talked about my first 16 mile run a lot, but it was so awful. I don't think that I had eaten enough the night before or something, and I thought that's how runs had to be. I thought that's just what it felt like when you got that high in mileage and wondered how I would ever make it to a marathon. That's absolutely NOT what it should have felt like and I'm thankful I hung in there to figure that out. You need to know that there are going to be many bad days, and there will even be bad weeks. I've felt pretty awful this week even though last week was great. I also think I have a cold coming on, but I digress. The point is that you can't give running a solid chance if you don't do this. 

Last, but not least... 

6. Staying in the correct heart rate zone for your runs

This isn't technical like it sounds. I just simply mean that if you are going to be a runner, then you can't go out for a 10 mile run and do it in zone 4 heart rate (super fast for you). You will absolutely hate running and think how you don't understand why anyone would do it. You can't go sprint a 5K and wonder how anyone does a marathon. That's because you run those at ENTIRELY different speeds. You sprint a 5K. You settle into a marathon. If you are going outside of your zone 2 heart rate then you will never make it to the finish line, but if you do settle into an easy heart rate then you'll see what it's like to really fall in love with running. You'll understand how people are able to continue forward. This might be super slow at first, and you can improve that over time, so don't give up if you feel like you are just too slow. If you choose a friend to run with that's faster than you and you guys are running 9-10min/miles and you feel like you're dying and don't understand why your friend is not, that's because they have either the endurance or the natural speed and their heart rate is lower than yours currently was, and you just need to slow down. 

I really just hope to spread awareness about how great of a sport that it can be!!! <3 

 

 

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Updates + First Days as a Retail Pharmacist

Hey guyyyyys! I'm alive and well and back to normal scheduling. As I'm sure all of you know, Tanner and I did LOTS of traveling in 2016. We caught the bug and we took every single PTO day that he had. It was lovely. During this last trip when we were flying out to Colorado, the spark of travel was gone. We were frustrated that we were disrupting another week of routine, and by the end, just ready to be home with our puppies. It always gets things so out of order when you leave for a week, and catching back up feels impossible. I'm so so thankful for 2016 and all the places that I went, and I will be traveling for races the rest of 2017 but we aren't going to travel anymore for a long while. We want to be getting on a plane SO thrilled to be going like we were when we went to Dominican Republic. We don't want traveling to just become something that's like brushing our teeth, because it's so special. We always stay with friends and we find deals on flights but inevitably with having to eat out tons and rental cars, etc etc, it also ends up being REALLY expensive. We have some things we are saving up for!! ;) 

This week, I started as a retail pharmacist. I haven't done that in the past and have been in an office where I just review patient records and make sure that everything looks good and it sounds exciting but most of the time, the records are totally fine. Mostly my job consists of badgering people to remain adherent! ;) haha! So, this week was like I was back in my old home from years ago which is something that I wasn't sure I'd like, and I.LOVED.IT.SO.MUCH.

I'm working in the independent sector which means that I'll be working for a home owned pharmacy versus the retail chains (Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, etc). So, it's so lovely because it has that atmosphere of really getting to know your patients. It also is well known that you stay on your feet for 10-12 hour shifts, you get zero lunch break (so you have to eat like packaged things while no one is looking) and only a pee break if you can sneak off, so I was UBER unprepared on the food situation and thought I was going to pass out by the end. YIKES. I stuffed my face when I left. That's for sure. 

Quick aside to say that if you didn't know that about retail pharmacist, thank ya pharmacist the next time you visit ;)... and if they are gone for 2 seconds, RELAX AND COME BACK LATER!! Never ever go to a pharmacy to wait for a script in the 15 minute time frame. I mean you can, but it's so much better to just drop off and come back later! BUT I DIGRESS! 

You know some weeks where you hit your training perfectly. That was me this past week. I came home from Colorado and I knew that the one thing that I wanted to make sure that I did was my training, and so I woke up every single morning at 4:45am and made it happen before work. When we skied on Tuesday, I still went for 8 miles when we got home. I never ever am that kind of runner. I would always be one to say that I went skiing so that's enough, and it definitely is, but with being so close to my marathon, I wanted to make sure that I gave it my all. I've shown up to many marathons (and I know that I will this one as well) and think how I could have done my training better. I tend to get lazy as the weeks go on and always tell myself "Oh you know you'll finish race day, so you don't HAVE to do this workout." hahaha! That is true, but it feels SO good to hit the training. 

So, last week, I ran a lot. I'm going to be adding in some cross training soon also because I have realized how much I miss tri. 

Tuesday after skiing: 8 miles total: intervals on treadmill (1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down, 800 x 8 @ 6:45 with 3 minute jogging rest in between)

Wednesday when we got home: 6 miles naturally paced @ 8:15 outside 

Thursday morning before work @ 5- 10 mile tempo with average pace 7:49 for the total 

Friday morning before work - 8 miles "EZ" but I ran it too fast because I was in a rush to get to work @ 7:30 

Saturday after work (9-230 work)- 8 miles @ 9:00 

Sunday - 20 miles at whatever felt naturally paced (7:30) 

This was my second week of hitting 60 miles, and last week was a lot of hiking included so I would say this is my first week ever hitting 60 miles on my feet. My body is actually not trashed the way that you would expect, so I'm hopeful for another week around 60 then doing a two week taper into Myrtle Beach. 

I like to do two week tapers because it keeps me light on my feet. At 3 week tapers, I begin to wonder if I even know how to run by the time the race comes around. haha! 

After Myrtle Beach, I will be going directly into Boston training, and I'm hopeful that my training will carry over. Almost always, I just get some kind of niggle, but we will see if my body will hold up now that I've been doing the strengthening exercises as well as making sure that all of the ends and outs of marathon training are taken care of.

This week we finalize on our new house, and we close on March 14th and will be moving into a much smaller place. More than anything, it feels REALLY good. We do not like having tons of stuff, and so it feels good to really just focus on what exactly do we need and giving away the rest. I know it's such a movement right now, so I know I'm not the only one, but I love creating spaces that are very minimal and very organized, so that there isn't much to think about other than exactly what I need. 

I hope that everyone is having a great week, and I will be going back to my Monday/Wednesday/Friday blogging rotation now that I'm back from Colorado and routine will be this way for a long while! :) 

 

 

 

 

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Colorado Trip 2017

I had a friend once tell me that she doesn't read my blog for anything other than the travels that I do and the tips that go along with that because she's not interested in fitness. I thought that was wonderful! Lol! How fun that she still had a reason to make her way over here ;)

So, with that said, I'd love to tell you about our trip thus far. We already know what we are doing for our final two days here, so I'm sure I can give a pretty good picture of what that's going to be like, and help anyone out that think that they may want to find their way out to Colorado (specifically Denver/Boulder area). 

We actually flew out of Atlanta on Wednesday morning and stayed the night with our friend from NYC that moved to Atlanta on Tuesday night. As you all know, we have friends seriously everywhere across the US and love using these times to catch up! :) We have decided however that we don't think that we will fly out of ATL again just because we still live a good 3-4 hours from there depending on traffic and that makes for a really long, unnecessary travel day. But seeing Peter made it totally worth it. He's single ladies, and quite the catch! HAHA! (He would kill me if he ever read my blog and saw that sentence). 

When we landed in Colorado, I had no idea and thought that the friends that we are staying with in Colorado lived only 30 minutes from the airport, so we got our rental car and headed that way! My friend, Bridget, actually works from home so that was convenient and easy to arrange! :) 

The first night, we went back into Denver for dinner with a friend that was once a follower, but over time we just realized we had a lot in common and the last time that I went through Denver on the way to Utah, I had lunch with her, and so this time, we wanted our boyfriends/husbands to meet and do dinner so that was a lovely dinner at a place called Linger. They have vegan/vegetarian options which is great! As usual, when the option is presented to us, it's wonderful to have it, but we don't mind either way! :) However, people who follow me, know that we eat mostly plant based so they pick restaurants with options! ;) 

The thing I will say about Colorado is that they are SO GENUINELY friendly. When they say hello, they mean it. When they ask you how your day was, they want to know the details. If you want any sort of substitute for ANYTHING food wise, they do it with a smile on their face. I don't have Celiacs, but I know a lot of people want to have that option and they have it EVERYWHERE here. More than anything, I think it just says something about the character of the people, and I appreciate that. 

Before dinner, I went and ran on a single track trail for 9.5 miles. It was ridiculously freezing cold, hazy so you couldn't see the mountains but I had been stuck on an airplane so it felt good to move!! The second day, the ice had set in everywhere so I decided to keep the workout INDOORS on that day. I also fell on the ice, and ran straight into a pole because I had my hood up and now have a bruise on my eye lid, but no pain no gain right? LOL. NOT. It hurt. 

The next morning, we went for a hike in Boulder. To give perspective, my friends live in Louisville which is one of the towns surrounding Boulder. Boulder is CRAZY expensive to live in, and so many live in Eerie, Louisville, Longmount and some others to be able to afford the area but just not being in actually Boulder, but we are only 15-20 minutes away. It was super snowy, and when we got halfway up to the peak, it got super hazy and looked dangerous. We had Yactrax on our shoes, but just didn't feel safe (and I also was being lazy because it was a heck of a climb) so we turned around. We still got a beautiful day out in nature and the snow and had a ball. That afternoon, we went into downtown boulder for some coffee. It's ADORABLE! In North Carolina, the walking malls would include Ann Taylor and Banana Republic whereas Boulder has a walking mall of Patagonia, Newton Running, and all the other outdoor hippy shops! ;) I loved it! 

The second night we also were able to have dinner at the home of someone that I grew up with from Shelby. She made us dinner, and we got to meet her husband and precious little girl Madeline. It was SUCH a treat to see such a familiar face and she is someone who has done INCREDIBLE things. She's in politics, and has been on Fox News/some sort of TV probably around 300 times, and was named Forbes 30 under 30 in Law and Policy last year and this year, the 3rd most influential Republican female. She is SUCHHH a joy to be around, so I loved our evening with her. 

On Friday, we spent the day going to 5 breweries all over the area. I'm honestly not a beer drinker...like at all haha! But Tanner is and so that was fun for him to be able to try out a bunch of different places and we were with our friend Matt, so he was leading the way. Needless to say, I drove home at the end! ;) On Friday night, we visited a vegan restaurant and then out for drinks again! ha! 

On Saturday was altitude sickness day! I woke up so excited to get in 18 miles with my friend Bridget (which it turned out being better that we didn't because of Tanner and I's hike on Sunday). We started off and got in the first 6 and it was totally fine. When we turned the corner, there was an intense wind going back but then I started feeling REALLY bad. We started slowing up and going like 9:30 and I still couldn't hold it. I was for sure that I would pass out. We stopped and I took a break for like 5 minutes and ate some Honey Stinger Gummies, and even though I was super nauseous, we kept continuing our way back. I had to stop at least once per mile to breathe and genuinely felt I was for sure going to pass out. We were doing like 10 min/mile and I felt like we were doing 6. It was awful. I was sick the rest of the day with GI upset, headache, nausea, and lack of appetite. Yikes. 

The rest of the day we spent going to consignment gear shops around the city and I found a Prana vest for $20! Score! We also found a ski rack for our car that would save us like $150 but we have no way to get it back so we passed. BOOOO!! 

That night we went to their house to help them paint because they BOUGHT A HOUSE HERE! YAY!!! It's officially official that they are going to be here for a while, which is exciting for them (they just moved in April). I left early to go to bed because I felt so awful.

On Sunday, which was yesterday, was the epic hike. We found a hike that we thought would be "moderate." Tanner has what appears to be walking pneumonia (yea I know lol) and his hamstring issue and he's like REALLY untrained cardio wise right now, and we had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into. It ended up being 10 miles (5 miles of 3500 ft of gain mostly rock climbing in the final 2 miles). There was snow and ice and mud and rocks and falling and cussing and 5 hours worth of work but we made it up and back down and are glad we did. Tanner felt bad that he was "holding me back" because he's so sick but I just couldn't believe he was even doing that altitude while hacking up his lungs. He woke up this morning crazy sick so he is going to just study for his oncology board all day today in coffee shops. 

The hike was beautiful but challenging. It opened up once to where we could get some views and the rest of the time was just climbing. I genuinely thought it would never end, but it did and I'll never forget it. 

We did decide that we aren't as "badass" on the mountains as we try to think we are (I mean we knew this but just a slap of reality check). We also decided that we aren't even sure we enjoyed that kind of "push" as much. So, we decided we will leave the Everest climbs to other people, and I'll leave the 100 mile races for those that are a little more intense than I! ;) I'll stick with road running and triathlon for now! It's interesting the difference in the peaks of Utah and Colorado. Colorado is very pointy so you have to climb a lot to get to the peaks, but then you are like on the ledge looking out over the world. In Utah, it's like you can see more beauty quicker. I like that more! hahah!! 

I had a few ask me about this peak, and it was South Boulder Peak, and when you summit, the other side of the peak that you can't really see in the pictures is a complete drop off. As we were walking around in these pictures, we were holding on to that rock for dear life just because one motion and you're done. I had no idea that it would be so intense of a day but it's a memory of a lifetime. It also helped me to get 61 miles on my feet for the week which is exciting! 

Last night, for the Super Bowl, we headed to a local restaurant and bar and it was a relaxing good time. Today, we chill. Tomorrow, we are going to Winterpark and skiing all day so of course I'm more than thrilled to be doing that!!! Our epic Colorado outdoor adventure is slowly coming to a close, and it's crazy how many trips and memories Tanner and I have made together, and I can't wait for the next one. However, we have decided to not have anymore week long trips away from home for the remainder of 2017. We have some big goals that we are trying to accomplish, and I also feel bad always leaving my dogs with other people. So, this was our big trip of 2017 and it's been amazing! :) 

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Comfort in your personal crazy

So, I was talking with my best friend yesterday about how I appreciated her loving me through all of my crazy. I feel that I'm a little all over the place with ideas and emotions sometimes. I get really passionate about a lot of things, and tend to bounce. We travel a lot and love to stay busy but sometimes it feels very unfocused and definitely not simple. 

You know the life that I always thought I'd have where I just went to work, came home from work, made dinner, watched TV and went to kids ball games (because I certainly never envisioned being 27.5 and childless) and then waking up and doing it all over the next day? I went to college and for the entirety of it, that's what I thought I'd do. 

When I graduated from pharmacy school, I didn't go into pharmacy. I went into blogging/fitness world, and then as time has progressed, I've found that I would love to not throw away 7 years of constant work and that I'd love to do what I've always dreamed of which is working as a retail pharmacist. However, if I told any retail pharmacist that, they'd say that I was crazy and don't actually want that full time. And I know that. Tanner and I are starting another company (launching very soon) and I am SO passionate about it, and CANNOT wait. I'm also really passionate about running and nutrition and coaching people in that which is what I've done for the past 3 years. 

So I'm 27 with the potential for essentially 4 jobs (consultant pharmacy which is what I do now, retail pharmacy which is what I've been hired for part time [only 25 hours every 2 weeks so very few hours], new company, run coaching, blogging, and small amounts of nutrition coaching). I'm also starting a half and full marathon in my home town, and some how and some way, I don't feel busy. I feel like I have a lot of down time. I think because two of those haven't really kicked off yet.

Some people email me and say "I don't know how you do it all." And I always think "It really is just how I love to do life." I TRULY enjoy it. It gets a little crazy sometimes because I want to do WELL at everything that I do. There are days where I'm like "What am I doing right now? Why can't I just live simply doing ONE thing?" 

On top of all of this, Tanner and I travel a lot, and he is also studying for board certification in oncology pharmacy as I know I've mentioned and some other really huge things that I need to keep private for now with his career. The point of all of this is that this is how we live. This is how we thrive. This is what we love. 

But for some reason, I feel I have to hide that.  I had dinner with my dad last week and he jokingly said as he's driving off that "I've been telling you to slow down since you were 2 years old, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen so I've just learned that it's what you love." YES YES YES. THANK YOU. He's like the one person I never thought would say that either. 

My friend that I was discussing this with said that there was no reason for me to be ashamed because as long as we love our life and we love each other during it, then there's nothing wrong with it. It has always felt like that I needed to hide the fact that I don't really like "slowing down" because that's not seen as normal. There is a HUGE movement towards complacency in fitness and in life. ACCEPT YOURSELF. DON'T TRY HARD. DON'T DO TOO MUCH. IT'S TOO MUCH.

We make decisions and we move fast. We got engaged after 5 months and it was like the perfect precursor for the way our life would go. We decided in a 2 week span to officially move to New York City and it was the BEST. We decided to sell our house and we have an offer on the table and a contract with a new house like within 2 weeks (part of that being luck I know). Before church, I might run 16 miles while Tanner does laundry and cuts the grass and we joke on the way to church that most are just getting up and we are like WOOO WIRED READY TO GO! 

This is us. This is who we are. And there's nothing wrong with that. And I'm finally resting in THAT and not looking forward to the rest that I don't genuinely don't enjoy.

We kept saying that once we get to THIS part of our lives, we would slow down and then after that, we found a new deadline of slowing down...then a new one...then a new one. Just recently we had the talk of "WHY DO WE EVEN FEEL LIKE WE NEED TO?!" It's this notion that we are supposed to and then when we get to a spot where we can, we get anxious and don't enjoy it so then we move onto to the next thing. 

The point of sharing my personal stories with you guys and being super vulnerable about emotions that I have is not so that you think I'm crazy but so that you know that if you are one of these people, you aren't alone. And it's okay. And everyone will tell you that you need to chill out and calm down and loosen up when you were probably born this way and this is how you function.

We all have many passions and of course it's hard to fit it all in and there's a time and a place for everything. OF COURSE. We must be mature and vigilant to doing the things that we are doing WELL and to not space ourselves out too thin, but also recognizing that there are some people wired to need rest, and there are others that aren't and that's what makes this world go around-DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEOPLE! <3 

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Update on My Training, Injury, Life, and Jobs

So, if you have been following along, you know that I had the hamstring issue and let me just pause there to chat about the recovery of that. 

It took a good month + 1 week to completely get over it. I told Tanner last night that I've realized that life is just a continuation of this. We can't all be healthy all the time whether that be actual sickness or injury and the best thing that you can do is just to do the things that you love when you can, deal with the injuries and sickness when they come loving life through it all. Tanner has a terrible high hamstring injury and has been dealing with it for about a year now. He basically has had to accept that he just isn't going to be super fit during this time, and we will figure it out step by step to get through this. It obviously makes him very upset, but as I've told him many times, he has so many things going for him and he is so intelligent and I try to encourage him to focus on the things that he is good at right now vs the things that he can't. 

One thing we can both do that we love is SKI!!! So much fun this weekend!

One thing we can both do that we love is SKI!!! So much fun this weekend!

The beautiful thing about sharing this journey of our injuries is how many people have said THANK YOU FOR SHARING! It's so ridiculous how taboo we have made injuries in the fitness industry. Like really silly. It's like if you have an injury, it's because you either did something wrong, you aren't training properly, you're over working yourself, or not eating enough. It couldn't just be that -ish happens. Because, turns out, it does. haha! We also have made it taboo to slowly come back from injury and to push through some hoops to get there. It's just TOO INTENSE. LAY LOW PEOPLE. DON'T DO ANYTHING HARD. IT'S TOO MUCH! Okay, I'm being sarcastic, but really. I'm glad that I can have an open space to show you that injuries DO happen and sometimes it's not because you did something wrong or something that you shouldn't have done, and sometimes it JUST happens. And getting over it sometimes takes a year (Tanner) when it's a high hamstring issue.

I hope that I can also be a place that you feel welcomed to be able to enjoy fitness through these hoops. Don't give up when it would be SO SO EASY to throw in the towel. Through all of these things, I've asked myself, "Should I just stop completely? Maybe run 5K's?" And I always come back to the answer that NO! This is what I love and this is what I'm going to do, which is super far distances, and when things sideline me then I will enjoy all of the other activities that I get to do in the meantime. I'm thankful for MANY MANY injuries in my 5 years of fitness that have taught me really valuable lessons about myself and about life and how to approach things. There is ALWAYS the other side so just hold out for it even if your injury is a hip labrum tear that takes a year to come back. ALWAYS COME BACK! 

Feels so good to be back!

Feels so good to be back!

On to my training now! Honestly, it has no structure which is against marathoning "rules" but whatever. For the past few weeks, our schedules have been crazy (what else is new? lol) and I have just been getting in runs when I can as many as I can making sure to pop in a long run. We are leaving for Colorado on Wednesday morning early (and we went skiing in West Virginia this weekend) but the good thing about Colorado is that we have no plans. We plan on treating it as if we live in Colorado and I will work some hours in the morning, Tanner will study for his oncology board exam (he is studying to become board certified in oncology pharmacy to be able to practice more clinically where he is working), and I will get my workouts in with my friend that we are staying with that is a runner as well. 

Last week, I did 3-8 miles, and a 16 miles. All were slow miles except for one day I did a tempo run with 1 mile @ 8, 6 @ 730, 1 @8. My 16 miler was an average pace of 7:48 and I'm feeling more like myself. The other runs were in the 9-9:30 range as I'm being VERY cautious. I'm trying to slowly add 10% of mileage back however that turns out, so this week I will try to do 44 miles (last week's total was 40). 

The week before that, I did a 13.5 miler, 10 miler, and 2-8 milers. Each day I would just head out and try to just run 9 min/mile pacing and just enjoy running. I like to call it intuitive running which is against anything anyone would tell you to do to prepare for a marathon. 

I'll be back with structured training in the next few weeks, but I'm enjoying this. I don't think. I don't really record or plan out training, but I can't wait for that routine again. I have been swimming once weekly about 3000m, and I'm lifting about 3x weekly now (very light legs to build back strength, bis/tris/abs/back, shoulders/chest). I am doing my hip stability work every day (but of course I miss some days) and I'm hoping to get pictures of those exercises and do that blog on Wednesday as many have asked for that. 

My plan for the future looks a lot different than what I'm doing right now. When we return from Colorado, it will almost be like another "new year" for me. I already have training planned and I'm going to add some cross training (biking/swimming) into the mix more as I do want to do an ironman in 2018. #SorryILiedWhenISaidIdNeverAgain My reasoning behind this is 1) I was dramatic during the last training season and 2) I didn't actually complete the 140.6 that I've always dreamed of because they cut the course short due to the hurricane and I can't leave that undone. The other thing that I'm planning on doing is trying to continue with an increase of 10% in miles each week but keeping them slow (for me). I've never tried that approach before and I think less impact might be really good for me. We will see, and I'll of course keep you guys updated. 

I'm going to do Myrtle Beach full, but it won't be a PR and I've accepted that. I am hopeful to qualify for Boston for 2018. I'll always be open and honest, and before I was absolutely shooting for a 3:10 but that's not going to happen and it won't happen in Boston either because I just want to enjoy Boston this year. Sooooo, the PR that I'm shooting for is Chicago in October! I know that some people will drop races if they can't PR but I just truly love to run marathons, so I'm not going to do that.

Here's some other updates on my life: 

1) We have found a little house that we love and are going to try to get. It was built in 1956 and the couple before us gutted the entire thing and rebuilt the inside, so it is ADORABLE. Those houses don't really come available in Shelby so we jumped! 

2) I have agreed to work more in the actual pharmacy of my current independent. They have been trying to get me to do this for quite some time, and I just always told them I couldn't because I was too busy with my own businessesssss (which I still am honestly). However, I have prayed about this and I just genuinely REALLY want to practice the type of pharmacy that I went to school for which is where I get to interact with people face to face in the retail setting. And I get to do that now! YAY! 

3) I've realized that in my free time in the past couple of months because I've actually had more than I've ever had in my life, I just simply don't enjoy that very much. I end up getting on Facebook, getting sad about the things going on in our world, and I feel SUPER unproductive. It's not that life needs to be about productivity but I am happy when I am doing something whether that be active or learning something new. I'm not someone who likes to walk TV for hours. So, as I've realized this, I have decided to change it. The things that I'm going to begin focusing more are: doing MORE for our new business that I had waited for until launch, starting a marathon and half marathon in Shelby, and I'm actually going to pour back into medicine to make sure that my mind is sharp for the new position that I'm going to have.

I think that focusing on medical knowledge instead of social media knowledge is probably a better use of my time! ;) 

So, there's that, and I hope that you guys are doing amazing! 

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My Journey from hating running to loving running

I put up a picture the other day on my Instagram that talked about how I feel that I can confidently call myself a "marathoner" and when I started, I had a hard time even calling myself a runner. I always wanted to be a runner, but how did I finally make that leap to actually DOING the thing that I wanted to be known for, and maybe even actually enjoy it? 

I played traveling soccer growing up as many of you know, and as you can imagine, running was always the punishment. I HATED it. I told people I don't eat green things, and I would refuse sometimes to run when my dad told me it was good for me. I was such a little brat. I just liked to eat McDonalds and sit until I went to practice and didn't realize at the time that if I would even just try for half of a second outside of practice, I could actually probably go far with it. Oh well. 

State Championship our senior year and I clearly had just got done running! HAHA!! I also still have and wear those shorts and this was 10 years ago! LOL! 

State Championship our senior year and I clearly had just got done running! HAHA!! I also still have and wear those shorts and this was 10 years ago! LOL! 

The first time that I ever started "running", I was a junior in college at Gardner-Webb University and I would run 1.5 miles around the campus with my friend Valerie before practice. We genuinely felt like we were running really long distances, and every time we would get to practice everyone would be so impressed that we had ran before. We felt awesome. I loved that.

When I left GWU to go to pharmacy school, Valerie started running marathons and I remember thinking how amazing I thought that was and how had she gone from our 1.5 mile runs to THAT?! I would text her and be in awe and she would reassure me every time that it's totally possible for anyone, I just needed to sign up and go. 

I gained around 10lbs when I went to pharmacy school within the first 2 months, and then I met Tanner and he suggested that in order for me to feel better, maybe I should run. He ran on occasion and offered to go for a three mile run with me. I thought "Oh just a little further than me and Val-this will be easy." I HATED IT. HATED IT. HATED IT. 

My pride was so huge that I was just angry that he was in super good shape and I was embarrassingly not. I thought it was running. For some reason, I couldn't use logic that I just wasn't in shape, and I just thought "RUNNING SUCKS! NEXT ACTIVITY PLEASE!" 

My friends started talking about doing a half marathon, and I was embarrassed that I felt I couldn't so I told them I'd sign up. I remember being so upset because I did NOT want to run, but I also had such an ego back then. It's funny looking back now because if that were my friends today doing something I didn't want to do, I'd say "Uh guys, I think I'm going to sit this one out." But, I'm thankful that I continued. 

I "trained" but not really. I hated it all. Every run felt awful. The furthest that I ever ran before the half was 8 miles, and I was supposed to be doing 10, but got so mad at how much NOT fun I was having, so I called Tanner at 8 miles and asked him to come pick me up. I actually don't think I'll ever forget that day. I was going to hang up this running thing. It just wasn't for me. 

The half marathon was in two weeks, and I had decided not to do it. For whatever reason, I wanted to impress these girls that were doing it. They were so athletic and I thought so cool, and I didn't want to be the one who didn't show up. So, I cried the night before the race, said I'd NEVER EVER EVER run anything ever again, and I showed up. I ended up having an incredible time and feeling more proud of myself than ever! FIRST POSITIVE OF RUNNING!!! 

At the time, I was really struggling with binge eating (hence the 10lb gain in 2months thing). I'll never forget that we went to Ruby Tuesday's brunch as like a celebration of the half, and I ate literally everything that I could get my hands on. I decided in my mind that I hated running, but I had done the half marathon thing, and I deserved it. My hips hurt so bad, and I went and laid down on my bed after brunch, fell asleep for 4 hours and when I woke, I knew I'd never touch running shoes again. 

OH, HOW WRONG I WAS. 

Typically, continuing to run is propelled by race day and feeling that high and recognizing the training was worth it, but that wasn't the case for me. I didn't run for 2 months, period. I did however think that I needed to do SOMETHING to stay in shape, and I knew nothing about lifting weights. I was under that impression that cardio was the only thing you needed to do and elliptical seemed like I didn't get a good enough workout, so I felt I "had to" run to not be "fat" in my head. My brain was SO WHACK at the time.

I had a friend who was doing the Palmetto 200 and putting together a team. She asked if I would run 3 legs of it, and I told her yes. I trained a little bit, but not much but I figured I'd show up and see what happened. I didn't realize I had one 10 mile leg, but nevertheless, I finished it. I didn't enjoy it, and I got in the car, unknowingly to everyone, and just said I was really hungry and kept eating tons of the food we had prepared for the trip.

The problem was in my head, but I believed it to be running. Part of the problem was my diet, but I didn't see it that way. Running was a means to an end-a way to lose weight or keep it at bay. I needed an intervention but no one knew but me. 

During my third year of pharmacy school, Tanner somehow got me to come lift weights with him one day. Instagram had just kind of started and I saw all of these girls with abs and doing these competitions and lifting weights. I WANT TO BE THAT GIRL. OMG LET ME BE THAT GIRL! I knew I could do hard things, so I hung up the running IMMEDIATELY and jumped on the 12 week training program to the competition and lifting weights. My body TRANSFORMED. For the first time in my life, I had it figured out. I had finally figured out how to get the body that I ALWAYS CRAVED. THIS.WAS.HEAVEN.

Nope, sure wasn't. ha! 

Soon after that 12 weeks was over, I was like "Uh am I supposed to eat 6 meals of chicken, broccoli, talapia, etc etc for the rest of my life?" But I forced it. Day after day, week after week, I was too scared to do anything different so I didn't. It's what I knew worked, but eventually the cracks started to form. I couldn't keep it up. When I gained weight but also lifted, I began to really look down on myself. {{It's funny how in the moment you are like "I'VE FOUND FREEDOM!" and then soon after realize you were lying to yourself. Yes, clearly, again, not right in the head and I'm well aware and shared this like 47,000,000 times so this is not new info because I know they'll be someone who tries to act like I wasn't ever honest this entire journey. LOL! }} I felt I was "hulking out" of everything I owned, and remember going shopping with my best friend who doesn't work out at all and is just tall, lean and beautiful, and I just broke down in the dressing room. I felt I worked so hard to look "so awful" next to her (puh-lease). She was super sweet of course and gave me encouragement. 

still my best friend to this day- 6 years strong <3

still my best friend to this day- 6 years strong <3

At some point, I discovered macros-who knows when? I FINALLY felt like I had FINALLY FINALLY found something that taught me about nutrition in a healthy manner which I've talked about in GRAVE detail but this is more about running, so I want to move on. However, that's a huge part of the story line. I was FINALLY at peace with food. I built up my metabolism, and I finally felt like that maybe that marathon idea was something that I could do. 

So I looked online and found that the Philadelphia marathon timeline would be perfect for me and we lived in NYC so it was a short bus ride over. That was in June 2014. I started training. For the first time ever, I didn't associate it with weight loss. AT ALL. I was running to conquer a goal. I was running to do this marathon thing that I had always said that I wanted to do. Every single day was a new advancement and because I wasn't so focused on obsession, I was able to relax. I hadn't binged before the run, I wasn't going to binge after in reward for the run, I wasn't going to starve myself so I couldn't run. I was just going to run because I simply wanted to run. 

Everything changed. 

Every single time I got to go for a run, I was so excited. I loved the freedom that I felt as I ran. I loved the way that I felt when I was done. It DEFINITELY didn't hurt that I lived on the Hudson River in New York City (where the Statue of Liberty is) so I got to run looking out at this beautiful life every day. I had done an absolute 180 on running, and I knew that would be the rest of my life, and we are going on 3 years strong now and I'm more in love with it than ever. It has only grown and grown. I feel as if it's my own personal slice of heaven, and when I was able to remove the barriers, be in shape enough to do it, and relax into it, it became so much more to me than just a run. It helped me to reshape the way that I viewed exercise. It helped me to see lifting in a different light as well. 

Working out no longer became about what my body could look like, but about what my body could do. How much could I lift? How far could I run? It was a challenge. It became my testimony versus my personal tragedy. It became my escape from anything versus the one thing that I dreaded that I had to get done. It was like finally being able to be free of unhealthy thoughts and see "WOW! This is really WHO.I.AM. Like, THIS right here is what I was born to do and love SO MUCH!"

When I went on that first run with Tanner six years ago, I had NO idea that my life would lead into what it is now with running. None. I would have told you that you were crazy. 

Now he has to keep up hehe! ;) 

Now he has to keep up hehe! ;) 

If you are someone that feels like running sucks the first few times that you do it, give it a few times. Sometimes you might be like me and just simply be out of shape. If you are someone that is struggling with your diet, and feel that this makes a huge impact on your running, then I would say that it would help you to STOP running completely until you get that fixed and revisit how you feel about running when maybe those variables aren't there. If you are someone who thinks that you are dying every run that you go on, maybe relax a little bit. As Desi Linden says, "You just have to let the run come out of you." 

There is not a truer statement. The run must flow out of you. The first mile is ALWAYS hard. It's always the body's way of letting you know that it's adjusting to what you are doing and doesn't really like it very much. You will get moving, and relax into it. 

Maybe running isn't your personal slice of heaven, but I know there's something out there that is. Search for it. Try many different things, because when the passion strikes and you are able to place your finger on that one thing that makes you feel alive, you won't ever be the same. 

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Perspective

This year is the one year that I've realized that perspective is EVERYTHING and I seem to only be able to see in the rear view sometimes. I tend to look back a little too much, and I think it's something that we all do. The thing that I want to emphasize however to myself as I've processed through some emotions about different things in the past year is that there is NO way that you can see through the lens of perspective until you are seeing it as perspective. Hindset is 20/20 is not a phrase for nothing!! 

Tanner and I have decided to sell our house. We have a four bedroom, three full bath home. Isn't that funny just to hear it out loud? How silly right? We are two people with 2 teacup yorkies, and we don't step foot into 2 of the rooms. When we moved home from New York, we could not believe the prices of houses in North Carolina (specifically Shelby) and everything is truly SO cheap. We thought we wanted to buy a house that would be our forever home, and so we bought a house that we could grow into. 

That's a lot of growth needed LOL!

That's a lot of growth needed LOL!

We look back and while that made sense at the time, it doesn't really make sense for us. We don't plan on having kids for another few/5 years and so pouring money into a large home when we could be saving and we love to live minimalistically is what makes sense. We love cozy small homes, and sometimes we feel as if we live in a resort or something. So, when we started talking about selling our house, we just couldn't believe that we had even bought this house to begin with. PERSPECTIVE! We can now see through the lens of HAVING the American dream and now recognizing that downsizing is really what we want for now. 

The funny thing is that in 5 years, we might say "Well shoot! Maybe we should have just stayed in the big house" because we will have perspective of having children at that point. Isn't life funny? LOL! I'm hopeful that won't be the case however, and that we can utilize this time to save and travel!!! :) 

Another crazy thing is that Tanner and I almost moved back to New York City in September. That could be a blog in and of itself, but Tanner was presented with a job opportunity and it was something that he could NOT turn down and so our minds immediately made the shift, and we started going into full on move mode. The details of moving were going into fighting over politics season, so moving from a small country town actually sounded FANTASTIC at the time! ;) For lots of reasons, we ended up deciding that this was not a good choice for us and stopped that pursuit. It was 100% the best choice, and THANKFULLY through perspective we are able to see that it was NOT a good choice for us vs me writing this blog from New York City like "oh boy! What did we do?" haha! 

When I was doing my ironman, I was really overwhelmed. I didn't know how to balance doing all that it required, and so I just balked. I basically quit life other than ironman and I went into a hermit hole of training. It made my eating become really off. I was hungry so I ate more, but then I gained weight and felt not like myself at all. I certainly wasn't going to get that extra 5lbs off because I was training for an ironman and needed fuel. Because of time constraints, I was never able to hang out with friends, I isolated myself in training and didn't have any training partners, and became VERY dramatic about training. It really REALLY isn't that bad....like at all. Through perspective, I'm able to see that I could totally do ironman training again and approaching it in a completely different manner...a manner of balance and graciousness towards being able to do what I love and even being afforded that opportunity. PERSPECTIVE. I couldn't have seen that during. 

I'm always always telling myself if I had just seen THIS at THAT time then THIS would have happened. It's not always bad things or regrets, for example, moving back to New York, but for some reason I tend to think in that way. The beautiful thing was when I recognized the potential for perspective thinking, and that is learning valuable lessons. 

It has made me realize that while I live a fast paced life, and LOVE that life, I need to live a life of caution and mature thinking. I need to sit down with my husband and say "Okay, this feels exciting and brand new, but is this good for me? What would perspective look like for this topic? If I were looking from the inside of this (as most things take WORK), would I be happy that I'm having to do work for this?" It's been really useful for me in not making erratic, spontaneous decisions on things that might not be good for me. 

I truly signed up for Ironman without thinking about perspective, and I think if I had thought more about what it was going to be like on the inside, then I would have been able to handle things better. I prepared myself for training. I didn't prepare myself for loneliness or self image issues that I hadn't seen in YEARS. Life is so interesting. 

I know that we don't just walk throughout our life making big decisions daily, but it is a continual ongoing process of every day decisions that make up how your week goes and your year goes. You don't have to look back at perspective and say that you didn't do anything either, so one think that I've committed to doing is not just making goals, but thinking about what those goals look like from the inside and what those goals look like on the other side. If I am to think about the end of 2017, 'where do I want to be?' is of course the first question. But, the second thought is what will perspective look like on that end. Will I be happy with how things turned out? But also recognizing that even if perspective tells you that it wasn't a good choice, it ALWAYS ALWAYS worked out. Perspective told us that maybe our house is too big for us, so we are selling it! It's work of course, but it's not a big deal. Perspective tells me I should have enjoyed ironman training, but I made it to the finish line and it's forever one of the best days of my life and now I know when I go through another training cycle how to deal with that feeling during training. It's ALL a learning experience. Perspective teaches you so much.

Every single day is an opportunity for change and growth and looking forward on perspective, and I hope that I'm not the only crazy one that over thinks everything! ;) 

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Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

So I have no idea why I had this idea, but I did. Tanner is studying to become board certified in oncology right now, and as you can imagine, that requires a lot of extra studying. He will take the exam in April so many weekends are dedicated to that right now. I wanted to cook him all the meals that he needed so he didn't have to worry about that. I honestly don't cook THAT much, so it's always a special treat for him! ;) 

In other news, I have been without my Mac book for literally going on 4 months now. I have been using a beat up Microsoft computer, and I'm so so happy to report that I took it to the genius bar in Charlotte, they diagnosed it with a hard drive problem, we ordered the hard drive, installed it, took it back to Apple yesterday to have OS X put on it, and now we are cooking with fire again! WOOO!!! I have my computer back!!! YAY!!!! I feel I can breathe easy again! lol!

It's not complicated. I just throw things together and hope for the best, and this time, it worked out! ;) There is no reason that some of the below are bolded and others are not, but for some reason I can't get it to change that! :) ENJOY! I know that Tanner and I are mostly plant based now, but this is not a vegan recipe (obviously). 

It really was delicious and you'll have to let me know what you think! 

Another recipe that I made us for dinner this weekend, which was great, Is that I heated up some potatoes, mashed those up with a food processor while I sautéed mushrooms and beef crumbles on the stove in teriyaki sauce. We just put the potatoes in a bowl topped with the beef crumbles + mushrooms and it was A-MAZING! Tanner said it was one of his most favorite things that I've made ever. Isn't that something when it's THAT easy!? If you wanted to do a lower carb option, you could always do cauliflower instead of the potatoes! 

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Inauguration Day

In light of this historic day, I started to write a blog. The blog was going to be about the Christian church and how I feel that loving one another comes FIRST and politics second. I wrote it all out. I wrote how I felt that by listening to one another GENUINELY and having in person conversations, we would be able to help people to see our side better than with heightened emotion.

I said lots of things, and then I read it over and thought, "I can't do this."

For some reason, in such a huge historic event, we feel we all have the right words to say. We feel that OUR WAY is the right way and I felt that even writing a blog felt like me saying that I felt that way as well.

The truth is, I don't have the words. I also don't have the tough skin that some do to fight. I like to discuss PASSIVELY but inevitably that's never what happens. I write this blog in the sight of only what I personally can do.

I do not accept this man's behavior, and neither do you no matter what side you are on. We can ALL agree on that. You aren't happy with the things that he's said and done even if you voted for him and supported him, but we block those things out because for some reason politics make us get around those things. If you can fight me and tell me that you agree with him saying he's going to grab a woman by the p**** then this might not be the blog for you! LOL! But, I don't think ANY of us agree with that. Some just work around it.

The only thing that I will write on my blog is that for me, I will try my best to listen to everyone. I will know how I feel but I will try to let the words that they say sink in, realize their upbringing, their geographical location and their experiences that formulated those opinions and try my hardest not to judge them or condemn them because of it. I want good for this country and good for this man because there is no longer a choice. There are many that will say that they do not accept it and never will. He will never be their president, and that's okay. There are many that will say that he is proudly their president.

If I have found deep underlying things about people that I once thought I knew that no longer aligns with what I believe, then I can avoid them for now but also continue to show compassion to them so that one day maybe they will see the grace that I extended and see that it's worth it to be on "my side."

Please take note of this friends: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.
— James 1:19

Listen with open ears, hopeful hearts, and discerning tongues. LOVE LIKE CRAZY!!!

I can assure you that an aggressive (even if it's knowledgeable) facebook status will do NOTHING but make your pride bigger and your ego stronger. The likes will pump you up. The arguments will get you heated, and the shares will make you feel alive. YOU got this figured out!! But it's REALLY not about you.

It's so much bigger than that, and maybe just maybe if you are gentle, loving, and kind, the cracks will begin to break and we will be able to come together.

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Personal Best or Race Chaser?

Because it's hard to be both...

And I try to be both! haha!

Let me explain. Are you someone that loves to go to races or are you someone that loves a new shiny PR. Typically, when you start out, you are just doing races to be able to finish them. That's how I was of course, all the way up until the past year really. When I look at a marathon now, it's hard not to look at it and say "Okay what is going to be my A race and the one that I shoot for a PR?"

We all have potential to shoot for a PR but sometimes, that is just not what people are interested in. I know PLENTY of people that would rather just run all the races vs really sitting down to think what could be their PR race and shooting for it. Sometimes I feel myself getting sucked into the vortex of shooting for PR's because I do feel like I have speed that I haven't had the chance to tap into due to little tweaks that come up and things such as the ironman that take me down an entirely different path.

If you are wanting to shoot for a PR, then the stars have to align really. You can't be planning tons of things around it. You can't do a race before it that you are running fast. You want to try for it to be a flat(ter) course. You want to make sure that you have had the chance to build miles, then add tempo workouts, then add speed workouts. If you throw too many races into the mix then it's just the back and forth between recovering and then you don't have adequate time to let your body build up to the next training cycle. Realistically, if you want to PR, you should only do 2 marathons per year in my opinion.

But if I'm being honest, that's not my kind of thing. I'm someone that would much rather run races vs always getting PR's. I like for my goals to be further or to be the specific race but not necessarily that my time has to beat the time that I had on a marathon before, but there's a pressure and a stigma behind that. If you do some race that you are just doing for fun but your time is not good then people might question if you are training appropriately, but for me, I'm just kind of like "No, PR wasn't my goal. PRing is HARD!" I have 5 marathons planned for this year, and to some, that might seem excessive and to other ultra runners, it's childs play. haha! I feel this weird pressure like I'm only allowed to run the races that I have the chance to PR and if I'm not perfectly on my game, then why do them? I can see that mindset, but it's just not one that I have. I just simply love to go to races, and run them no matter my time.

So, with the thought of Myrtle Beach Marathon, I wanted to PR. It's a flat course. I had a good base and I had a solid 12 weeks to add in speed work and ALL the miles. I was ready. I was going to peak at 60-65 miles/week which I've never done but was going to push myself and see what happened. Literally, the second week, I got the hamstring thing, and it's been off and on for one month which means, I have to make decisions.

Should I do Myrtle Beach Marathon at all? For some, with PRing being the most important thing to them-they would forgo the marathon, but I just genuinely WANT to run this race. I want to be at this race with all of my friends from my hometown so just not going is just not an option for me.

Should I go down to the half? I mean I could, but honestly, I just don't think that a half is as fun when I expected to do the full. I do a half marathon basically every weekend on my long runs or longer, so it just doesn't sound like the challenge I was wanting.

Should I race the half? That would be challenging, I could shoot to qualify for NYC in 2018 (1:32 needed for the half which I think I'm capable of) and maybe this is the smartest option but if I'm being honest, it's again not what I had planned or what I want to do. It does however allow me to be there with all the people that I care about!

Should I just aim for Boston qualification for 2018? I don't have a race yet that I've qualified, and my PR is a 3:15 with the qualifying time being 3:35 (3:30 to be safe) and I think I'm capable of that without hurting myself or anything of that nature.

Should I pace someone that I know is doing their first marathon? This is actually what I WANT to do at this point, but I'm not sure if she would want me to do that as I haven't asked.

When you are looking at whether you want to just run the race or chase a PR, you just have to be realistic. If I'm going to do an ironman, I can't expect to have a marathon PR in the same year. If I'm going to run 5 marathons, then I have to treat some of them as long runs, and I can't be pushing so hard on all of them, or you won't PR at any of them. It's just like with gaining muscle while endurance training. You can't expect to gain tons of muscle with running 50 miles/week. The body responds to a stimulus and it's pretty straight forward. We want to buck the rules a lot of times, and you can ABSOULTELYYYY maintain muscle while endurance training as I've talked about MANY times, but you just have to be realistic. So, with that, I'm going to be realistic about Myrtle beach. I've had to eat my pride and say that the PR I wanted is not going to happen, so how can I go to this race and make it the best time ever?

My family is going to be there as we have a second home at the beach and my entire family has not been to one of my marathons at the same time, so I'm absolutely thrilled. The time is irrelevant when I look at that! :)

 

 

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Guest Post-How to Love Your Body

Today, I get to share with you guys someone really special to me and to just about anyone that meets her. She is one of a kind and carries herself with confidence yet gentleness, grace and beauty all at the same time. She's one of my favorite humans! And you're going to love what she has to say on this topic. We know each other because way back when I hired her to do my photography for my wedding. She has since moved into other ventures and I love watching her grow and change! <3 Her name is Sarajane Case, and you can find her empowering blog HERE.

I used to think that being fit was a skinny persons privilege; that a fat person desiring a balanced approach to health was trying to live in a skinny person’s world. Pushing their way into a party they were never invited to.

That the only parties I had reservations to were yo-yo dieting and deprivation. That asking myself what felt good to my body was foolish, lazy and quite frankly only OK for someone who was already thin.

I would go to the gym with my head down knowing that everyone there assumed it was my first time or that it was some phase I was going through. Like everyone was watching me thinking, “wow, good for her for trying.” I’d daydream of t-shirts saying things like, “I come here all the time.” Or “I actually really like salad.” Or “I could probably beat you at tennis.”

I wore clothes that covered my skin and pants that never pushed into my hips in the wrong place. Tank tops were for skinny people, shorts were for skinny people, and bathing suits well you get the point.

As a thick-bodied person you are often told to cover yourself up. Maybe it’s not directly and sometimes it is. But, it’s in the way you hear people talk about others and what they’re wearing, it’s in the “Who wore it best” columns and the whispered critiques of a stranger saying, “that shirt is just not flattering on her.”

The day came when I grew indifferent to the gazes of others. Their opinions of my body became less relevant because I was enjoying my life so much. I surrounded myself with supportive people and I chased after joy first and foremost.

I decided then that I would choose how much of my body to show, what to wear and how I chose to interact with my health based off of my own desires and nothing else. I guess part of that is an act of rebellion. A belief that the more you look at my body the more normal it will be to see women with dimpled thighs and stomachs that aren’t flat. The more you will look at your own stomach changing shape and think that it’s just not that big of a deal.

You deserve to feel attractive. To walk around looking people in the eye while you feel the air on your skin.

Forget the rules: wear stripes, wear color, enjoy your workout, play the sport even if your thighs clap together when you run and for goodness sake just buy the shorts.

 

Let me be the first to say that I want to see you.

 

Don’t make yourself smaller for me.

Make yourself healthier.

Ask what your body needs that day and allow it to happen.

Chances are if you ask your body enough it’s probably going to say it wants greenery, water and a nice bit of movement.

I promise that you deserve to feel healthy no matter what size you are.

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InsideTracker-A New Way to Look at Your Blood Work

I talked a little bit on Wednesday about the work that I had done by a PT to determine about the imbalances that I had. Another thing that I did to help with my training was to get a full total blood work up. Yall, I'm not playing around with all of these tweeks. I was going to be proactive, figure out what was wrong and train like a normal human being! haha! I knew that something had to be wrong somewhere, and I think I'm able to piece together the puzzle pieces.

If you aren't familiar with Inside Tracker, and you may have heard some other bloggers talking about it, it's really an ingenious business model where they are taking something that you can get in a doctors office to the next level that you would never get in that setting. Admitably, as a pharmacist, my first question was: How is this different?

The biggest difference that is worth it's weight in cold is the in-depth analysis that they do and how they correlate this to things that you can change, fix, and learn from. They TEACH you. At the doctor's office, if you had a total blood panel done, they would most likely not even call you back if you had everything pretty much within normal limits. If you had something that might need to be tweeked then they might would mention it to you. Inside tracker went through every single biomarker with a range from high to low with parameters that show you whether you are high or low and explanations of why this is important. For example, this is what it looks like for Magnesium on my blood testing.

OR CALCIUM..

So, what about if you aren't optimized. For most of my levels, I was optimized which is definitely not a bad problem to have. It makes me feel really great about the changes that I've made in my diet throughout the years and the way that I'm taking care of myself however, there are ALWAYS areas for improvement. If I was to look at someone's ferritin levels and they were between 11-307 as a woman, then I would say that they are fine, however the cool thing about Inside Tracker is that they are going to give you a range and how even though you may be "good", you can also work on things. For some reason, when I looked at this the first time, I missed that my ferritin was a little lower than optimal.

When you sign up for Inside Tracker, it allows you to put what kind of sports that you play and the diet that you typically are doing. So if you'll notice, it talks about running and cycling because those are the things that I said that I do and gives feedback on why it's a normal occurrence for someone that is doing these things to have lower iron. There is a little bit more information after this but I could not fit it in the top picture so here is that! As an endurance athlete, I want to be utilizing oxygen in the BEST way that I possibly can and not just the lower end of normal.

There are different options in your dashboard and one of them is nutrition. So, we know now that my ferritin levels could use just a little work, so how can I fix that with my diet. They populate things that would be good for your diet and give you ideas of food for the day based on the things that you could optimize. If you have something wrong with any other level then you are able to click on both at once, so for example if you had 5 areas that needed work, you could click all five and it would give you options of things to eat that would address all of those issues at once. I heard someone say once that we should be adding things to our diet and not removing them, and I think that is SO true for overall health. There are so many micronutrients in each one of the choices that we make every day and I used to be such a little turd about that. I really didn't care at all, and that shows how I was way too focused on just image. This is about HEALTH. So, it's really awesome to be able to see each food and what that can provide and keep ADDING foods not taking away.

This is JUST for ferritin and also populated because I put that I'm dairy free, pork free, poultry free, beef free, and fish free. You can not check any of things and it will give you other options. You can choose that you are paleo or vegan (I actually did not put vegan because I felt that I have egg whites often enough that I'd be lying haha). You can choose vegetarian as well. You can choose what foods that you strongly like and strongly dislike. It is going to populate meals and options for you to be able to optimize your blood work.

The beautiful thing about this is that you can also choose what parameters you want Inside Tracker to look at and there are different levels. I did the mack daddy and had everything tested to knock everything out and make sure there were NO areas that I could utilize optimization in. Here is what part of my table looks like for inflammation for example. 

If you look at the bottom, you see Strength and Endurance, and those bio markers are testosterone, cortisol, creatine kinase, and SHBG which stands for "sex hormone binding globulin." All of these MATTER. Every single level in your body MATTERS for your health and your performance and so I really do recommend that even if you think that you are healthy, there are always ways that you can optimize.

If you go to the about section: https://www.insidetracker.com/about/ , you'll see that they have a really credible staff that has put together all of this clinical knowledge into a format that can be easily and readily available to people that haven't been to 10+ years of schooling for this. They are bringing the knowledge of health to a totally different level and especially for athletes.

The process is really simple. When you sign up, you will have to fill out some paperwork and you just take that to a local lab testing center and everything is set at that point. You will give the paperwork to the testing center, they take your blood, and then after that, you will be sent the results in the format that I have shown above with the recommendations for you personally. If you use the code KATIESFITSCRIPT, you get a great discount as well. 

While I was there, a cool thing happened and I've realized, if we let ourselves, we can find amazing triumph stories every single day. When I went in to get my blood tested, the lady at the counter was honestly kind of rude to me. I can't say that I wasn't annoyed. It was right before Christmas so I assumed that she was ill that she had to work. When she took me back to take my blood, she started asking about my life and my Christmas holiday and I found out that her husband had died one month ago and she said she found it really hard to function this Christmas. I had judged this lady, to be honest, and it was such a good lesson that we have NO idea what others are going through. So moral of the story: Be nice to the person taking your blood! ;) haha!

Let me know if you have any questions about Inside Tracker if you are considering it. Email me at katiesfitscript@gmail.com I think it would be really beneficial for anyone.

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One of the coolest moments of my life

On Monday night, the best thing happened to me and I couldn’t not share this story with you guys so this blog might be short but it’s very sweet. I went to the YMCA in Shelby to run 6 miles on the treadmill. I’m sticking to the treadmill right now during my recovery period (my hamstring thing is gone) just to make sure that it is most definitely gone and not returning.  I don’t want to get out on the roads and something to happen so I’ve just been playing it safe.

Side note before the story begins. Last night I went to a PT in my hometown that is a good friend of ours. I posted a status asking if anyone would be willing to look at my gait while running to assess. He texted Tanner and said he wanted to have me come in and do a full assessment. We did a Y balance test, functional mobility assessment and tons of other things. We have a college close by and he said that it’s all the testing that they put all the athletes through to make sure that there are no asymmetries, instability, and mobility or strength issues. Obviously, as I’m sure everyone knows, if there is an underlying issue then there are compensations that will happen. It was the SMARTEST thing I think I’ve done in my athletic career and I HIGHLY recommend it if you can find someone to do it for you.

He found that I have major weaknesses in one of my hips which may not show up immediately on a gait analysis while running but as time progresses in my run, I probably am doing some anterior pelvic rotation, not utilizing my hips and core correctly and that’s what hurt my hamstring but it can lead to every issue that I’ve ever had. It also is causing some pronation on my right foot. When we looked at the slow mo video of me running, I was cringing at my pronation on the right side. It looks like my ankle is about to break and here I am running 16 miles on this thing having no clue.

I also found out I have a weak core. Um, what? I seriously would have never guessed but this is also probably due to weak hips. He basically explained that these are things at my age that take 2 weeks tops to fix and then you’re good. If you wait until you are older, it can be harder and so I’m so so thankful that I had someone do this. I told him when I started one test that I had bad balance on one leg (always did stunts on the opposite) and he explained that it’s not my balance, it’s my hip stability.. Seriously, how crazy that I could have fixed this years ago?

On to my story but I felt that was important! I was on the treadmill running and I saw this guy that I’m friends with in the gym looking at me (aka a guy that I see in the gym and we don’t really know each other but we say gym things to one another HA). I kinda did the half smile/wave thing but was also like “Why you staring brah?” He walks over to me and says “I really think you were meant to be in my life for a reason.”

Yall, I almost fell out on the floor. I was dying laughing in my head thinking this guy was trying to flirt with me.  Doesn’t he know I’m married? But, my ego was a little big there. He wasn’t flirting, but my first thought was “OH GOOD LORD HERE WE GO!”

He starts with his story while I’m running. This was it:

“When I moved to Shelby when I was younger, I started going to James Love Elementary and I didn’t know anyone. I was a really shy black guy who really wanted to do well. I had this teacher and she told me that she knew I had potential and she pushed me to be the best that I could be. She told me that I could do anything. I kept working hard and she moved me up to be with all of the smart, white kids (I’m quoting here) and I didn’t want to go. I was shy, but she told me that it was going to be okay and that I was going to do awesome. I kept working hard. That teacher had a lasting impact on me and I think about her all the time.”

At this point, I’m still thinking this guy is flirting, and had no idea where this story was going but this is worth it y’all, I promise. Hang tight. HAHA!

He said he started seeing me in the gym and heard about me (my town is small) and so he started following me on Instagram and my journey. He said he thought I was really inspiring (and this guy is like SUPER fit so that was such a compliment) and pushed him to be better. He said I couldn’t help but think that this girl reminds me so much of that third grade teacher that I had. They both push me to be better.

He went on to say that he saw one day that I was on the front page of the newspaper. It was the story about how my grandmother had made the folders for all of the grandchildren in my family and that I was dedicating my ironman to her. It clicked. THE TEACHER IS THIS GIRLS GRANDMOTHER!!! HER NAME WAS MRS DAVES. JELMA DAVES. That’s your grandmother, right?

….

….

Now, I’m sobbing on the treadmill. haha!

He said, “I just wanted you to know that you carry her spirit so much that I felt the emotion that you guys reminded me of each other. You are inspiring so many just like she did. It’s in your blood. I see it in your family on facebook, and you all have it in your blood. I’ve wanted to tell you for weeks. I was trying to build up the courage to come talk to you.”

I will probably remember that story for the rest of my life. This guy didn’t have to even tell me this but he felt compelled to and even though my grandmother has been gone now for 5 months, I’m still able to have glimpse of her in these moments. What a blessed morning it was!

On Friday, check back because I’m going to talk about my assessment that I had with Inside Tracker with all of my blood work. It was seriously an awesome thing that I had done so I can’t wait to share with you all.

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Eating Healthy-For body image or health?

About a month ago, I asked everyone on my facebook if the motivation for them to eat healthy came from those that want to improve their body or to improve their health.

The results weren't THAT shocking, but I did ask people to be honest with themselves. I think that there are many different reasons across the board and paths that people have taken that have landed them where they are, and it's very interesting. Once someone makes a habit of something, it becomes much more natural for them to be able to do and while I'm sure they enjoy that it keeps their body in check and that it keeps them healthy, it really might not even be something that they actively think about. That's honestly probably me at this point. It's just the life that I live and the things that make me feel good, so that's what I do.

I loved the honesty of some women who said, "YEP! Totally 100% because of my body!" I find that mostly in my home town to be honest. Health is not really a priority here and most of the time when I hold seminars, I will ask the group if people are interested in learning about how to get healthier or about weight loss because they are not the same, and most of the time people openly state, "weight loss". Sometimes, as I'm sure everyone knows, some women have to go to extremes to get their body's to respond to much of anything and I wouldn't say this is healthy, but it would get weight loss which people would equate to healthy. It's an interesting world that we live in...

Throwing it back to my first photoshoot-ha!

Throwing it back to my first photoshoot-ha!

I think if you were to ask anyone which one is "better", people would tell you that if someone is focused on their health and not their body then they are going to be more successful long term and they are going to be happier while doing it. I think that is true to a degree but I think that because of culture, we have associated changing our body's with this loathsome thing. You can want change for yourself while not hating yourself. I'm hopeful that more HEALTHY minded fitness individuals will continue to preach that message. There's 47 sides to every story. It is however interesting that the women (there was ONE man that said he did it for body image) that say that they do it for their image are ashamed to say so. They say things like "I hate to admit it but..." I think that IMMEDIATELY sets someone up to have an unhealthy mindset. I think that we have created an atmosphere that if anyone no matter if they need to lose weight or not, we have created it to be a taboo thing that you aren't allowed to do. If you are ashamed to be doing something, you are going to keep it in the dark and do unhealthy habits. I don't like that. I think that we need to encourage people in their positive life changes no matter the reasoning. If they have a negative or unhealthy way that they are going about this, then of course we need to lovingly speak truth to them the best that we can that this is NOT the way that you should do things.

I also think that it's pretty interesting/obvious that it matters with age. You become less concerned with your image as you age and more concerned about your health. I saw a meme once that describes this so well. It says...

At age 20, I worried so much about what everyone thought of me. At age 40, I stopped caring what they thought. At age 60, I realized they weren’t even looking at me to begin with.

HOW TRUE IS THAT? If we could just harness that at age 20, then we would have a much happier life I believe. It IS OKAY to change yourself but it's not okay to loathe yourself, be concerned about what everyone around you thinks of you, and not care at all about your health as long as you are getting the desired reward of whatever you want your body to look like. That's the grey line that we don't talk about in fitness enough or maybe so much now that the pendulum has swung.

I think the most interesting group is the group that didn't really respond on my facebook status just because I'm well aware that status didn't reach THAT many people across all backgrounds. It just happens to be the people that are active on facebook and that are mostly interested in my stuff that facebook puts my status as something of importance on their newsfeed with their algorithm. I wish I could get a more comprehensive view from the world. I believe the most interesting group is the ones in their late 40's to early 50's. I'm not saying this is all inclusive either and that if you are in this age group, you are going to tell me this isn't you. LOL. But.... they talk about weight loss like it's going out of style and they do THE MOST EXTREME things to get to the result that they want, but they legit don't have a mentally unstable mindset about it.

Not to pick on here, but my aunt will be like.... "I've only had a protein shake this morning" and it will be like 6pm. I'm over there like WTH WHY HAVE YOU NOT ATE? THAT IS NOT OKAY!!! If someone in the fitness world were to post that to instagram that they were just slashing their calories to lose some quick weight, people would lose.their.minds. hahaha! But in that time, it was just what was normal. I've seen women in this age group tell me of programs that they have done that make them have diarrhea, eat only 500 calories per day and do some injections or something and they are telling me this as in "THIS PROGRAM WORKS! I LOST FIFTY POUNDS!" It cracks me up. I'm like OF COURSE YOU DID YOU LOONEY TUNE!! lol!

My age group is obsessed with image, but we aren't just obsessed with body image. We are obsessed with telling everyone how we got to our desired goal while eating SO MUCH. People all over talk about how they eat 2000, 3000, 3500 calories. We have eating challenges to eat 10,000 calories in a day and it's ALWAYS fitness people that do those challenges. ALWAYS. People in my mom's age group don't do that. Like, literally not at all. When my grandmother was alive, I remember telling her one night about this in my age group (she ate very little her whole life). I would tell her how some girls ate like 3000-4000 calories per day, and they were still in shape. She would scowl her nose. She was feisty but I find it so interesting. She said that it was wasteful and she couldn't understand and fathom why anyone would need to/want to do something like that. She was born in a different time and went through the Great Depression. Trying to eat as much as possible or doing some 10,000 calorie challenge was something that offended her. CRAZY RIGHT?

I got off on a tangent, but I think that the focus of your decision to lose weight depends on a variety of factors. It depends on how you were raised, the relationships that you had with people, whether you are emotionally connected to food, what generation you were born in, what internet access that you have, and so many other things. I think that the biggest lesson and take away from this tiny little survey that I did and thinking through all of this is just simply that we are all different. You cannot put someone in a box and tell them that THIS is the way that they should do things for their physical and mental health. They aren't going to do it. They have to find what makes THEM click and what makes them happy. There are some women who no matter how much I try to convince them otherwise, they would rather eat NOTHING for like 2 weeks, lose weight SUPER fast (even if it's muscle and water) and then not eat healthy anymore. The cycle will continue their whole lives, but THAT'S THEIR CHOICE. We can't make others choices for them just like my grandmother can't for all these "younguns" she thought were gluttonous. haha!

So, why do you eat healthy? I think it's okay to be a mixture of both or maybe even start out for looks but get interested in the healthy side of things. We need a healthier world so whatever works for you is what you should do! :)

 

 

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Life & Training Updates + New Blogging Schedule

Hey guys! I think 2016 could be called the year of change. There were so many things that changed in my life, and some were good and some were bad, but either way, I grew from every single thing. That's what life is all about right? Changing and growing and loving and learning!

If you know anything about being a blogger, it's actually a lot more work than people assume. Writing articles every single day has been my routine for the past 2-3 years and taking most weekends off. I missed weeks here and there and days during the week here and there, but for the most part I have been consistent. I think that if you are wanting to be a blogger and for the traffic that you generate to make you an income, then you have to be consistent. The more consistent that you are, the more page views, the more that you can promote to companies. My income has always come almost 100% from my coaching, and then I'll land an opportunity here and there for my blogging. Most of the time, when I tell them I have 85,000 monthly viewers, they tell me that's not enough for much of any compensation (like $50 or something and so I'm like PASS-I'm trying to make a living here).

You guys know that I'll always be upfront and honest with you, so with the way that things have changed in my life and the new business ventures that I'm doing, I have felt that inconsistency has been more and more. I feel the topics that I'm writing aren't resonating with people as I'm not hearing feedback, getting likes, comments, etc that I used to. It's not about likes and comments, I promise, but when I do this for a living, I have to consider those things, and what I'm doing and if my time would be better spent in other areas. For the past 3 years, I've felt that the blog allows people to get to know me, learn what I know, and then hire me, and I still VERY much believe that. However, I also have HUNDREDS of articles that I've written that I feel people can reference. With all of that said, I wanted to let you know of a schedule so you can know when to check for posts. I'm going to be blogging on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays instead of every day now!! :)

As far as my life, it's truly really wonderful. Someone asked me the other day if I feel like Shelby is home and if I fit in. I would have to say that I don't fit in. I'm very different than a lot of people around here, but I also have tons of friends so it's really not a big deal. I think people think I'm a little too intense here (lol) but it absolutely feels like home now. It didn't for a while. We were so excited when we came back but then once we settled in, we kind of had second thoughts like "Why didn't we go somewhere like out west for adventure for a little longer?" We are bad about "grass is greener" and we even VERY seriously contemplated moving. The move wouldn't have been not to come back but just that we are still so young and there is still so much out there.

However, we decided that we were not growing where we were planted and that was our own fault. We could say that about anywhere. There are TONS of adventures within 40min-1 hour from here, and we haven't done any of them. Uh...that's our own fault. So that's why we cancelled (well we hadn't bought anything) our trip to the UK this summer. First, that's super expensive and we wanted to save some money to pay down debt and second, we wanted to do a staycation and really fall in love with all that western North Carolina has to offer. We are 1.5 hours from Asheville. We have Linville Gorge and South Mountain and Crowders Mountain and Boone/Banner. We even though about going to spend a week where Tanner grew up and fast packing all over the mountains where he is from. We wanted to stop spending money on flights and expensive new cities and just spend more time in nature! :)

So, we are really loving the season that we are in. This weekend we are headed to Seven Devils (near Boone) with our best friends to go skiing at Beech. Fortunately, it's supposed to snow. Unfortunately, it's supposed to feel like -3 in the morning. Lord help us. haha!

As far as my training, it's sub par with the hamstring issue that I had/have going on. It only hurts for a little bit after my runs, but I'm cautious to jump head first back in doing long runs. I'm planning on trying to get in 12 miles next weekend, and if that doesn't happen then I'm dropping to the half for Myrtle Beach which is like the LAST thing that I want to do but I think it will be the smartest. You just have to roll with the punches, and I have the rest of my life to run races. I'd rather just enjoy life without worrying about missing one race even if I really wanted to PR! :)

I think that's all for now. I hope all of you are well and will enjoy coming back on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays! 

 

 

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What does success look like to you?

Yesterday, the Forbes 30 under 30 was released. There were people from musicians to social entrepreneurs to techies to a food business. It's always one of my favorite articles to read as someone who is under 30. These people are making such a huge impact on the world and at such a young age, it's really inspiring. They put all of their fears to the side and got to work on things that they were passionate about, and now they are all millionaires. On a poll asking them if it was for fame and fortune, 4% of them said yes. That's hardly anyone, and that's even more inspiring. These people genuinely love what they do and the impact that they are making.

But these are 30 people out of the entire population of 20 somethings and we can't all have success that looks like that of course. So how can we define our success reasonably and what drives it? I think it's important and some people might not and that's not a big deal. I think that deep down however, even if someone is not actively focused on success is doing things in their life so that they can have some form of success whether that be that they are successful at doing well at their job or those that don't get as much recognition for their success like stay at home moms. I'm sure they want to be successful at raising tiny humans to be decent members of society!! I'm sure that the jobs that we wouldn't deem as "successful", if someone moves up in the company, they are proud of their success.

Point is: It's so individual.

For me, it points back to my faith a good bit. Is what I'm doing in favor of the Lord's will for my life? If the answer is no, then I need to find a way to fix that. I have felt that very deeply in many situations where I almost felt shame for the things that I was doing to reach a certain level of success. The fitness industry will do that to ya! ;) But like I said, it's so individual and the calling that I feel is not something that others may feel even in my same sectors so that doesn't mean wrong, that just means different.

I have come to the realization that success is a big driver for me. It's never been about money to me. I really don't mind having second hand clothes or old shoes. My biggest expenses for myself are plane tickets and adventure opportunities. I love to lay my head down at night and be so proud of who I am becoming each and every day. I love to wake up in the morning refreshed, ready to tackle another day working towards my own version of success. I genuinely think it's fun.

I'm a huge fan of introspection. What are you doing RIGHT now that you could change that could make a huge impact on your life? Like I was saying earlier, success does not have to be your next job promotion. It can be success in being more loving to your husband or it could be success in remembering to take your multivitamin or success in giving to the community more. There are active steps that we can take every day and decisions that we can make that are actively progressing us more towards success and positive life change.

Here are some areas that I really like to look at and find new ways that I can improve.

FINANCIALLY

Financially, at the grocery store, we can get lazy. I start doing daily trips to Ingles vs weekly trips to Aldi. I start wasting because I think I'm going to cook with something new, but yet never use it. We start to want to eat out more. I start to buy tons of 20oz diet sundrops because I'm ridiculous LOL! As many 20oz sodas as I drink, I could save $50-60/month probably. That's another bill! We have realized we REALLY don't watch cable, so we are cancelling. There are small tweeks that you can make to cut back.

HEALTH AND FITNESS

Unless you are a raw vegan, I'm certain that we could all do a better job of getting in some more veggies. We can work towards getting in just one more workout this week. If you are someone that struggles in the opposite direction, then it might be that you are eating a little more and exercising a little less. What can you do to ACTUALLY take care of your health for your lifetime?

FAMILY

How are you serving your family every day? Are you mad when your husband doesn't clean the kitchen after you cooked? Try asking him nicely or try doing it with a genuinely kind heart. I love to clean but had realized I was cleaning the house EVERY single time. I just nicely asked and for the past two nights, Tanner has cleaned the kitchen after dinner. This wasn't an argument. It was just a request. He asks that I find systems to keep up with my keys and so then we create systems for that! No fighting necessary! Sometimes it just takes being nice and not accusing. We don't have it all figured out of course, but we used to fight a lot more about stuff and we just don't anymore. We have learned one another and each do our part.

Are you going to see your grandparents? Uh guilty. I need to go see my grandmother as I missed the Christmas party at her house. I need to go see her more in general as she's my last grandparent left.

Are you spending time with them? Family is so important and family equals success as much as career. 

CAREER

Moving into careers, what is something that you can do to be a better steward of your job today? Can you even so much as make a better relationship with you and co-workers by killing them with kindness? Can you try harder on the little things that annoy you? Can you go into work with a positive attitude that extends all day even if it's forced. Someone once told Tanner that we aren't all going to be living out our passions every day at work. You hear people saying all the time that you must be in the wrong field if you don't wake up excited. Well, I think that's false. I think that we can all start to get bored/annoyed/frustrated at work and sometimes it's not our passion, but that doesn't mean that we can't control our attitudes towards it. We don't always control our circumstance, but we ALWAYS choose our attitudes.

BAD HABITS

Are you smoking? Drinking too much? Yelling at your spouse/kids too much? Make ACTIVE steps towards change. You CAN do it.

ORGANIZATION!! Yall know I love that one, and you've probably seen THIS blog about that.

There are a million things that you can be successful in. There is no rules set on this nor is there any reason that it should stress you out. Success doesn't have to stress you out. It can be fun, and there is a mental shift that happens when you decide that you ENJOY moving towards positive change in your life. I hope that you'll choose that today! I know I'm excited to do so!

 

 

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Why Work So Hard For a Hobby?

Ever wake up with a fire in your soul and you just want to bottle it up and save it for all the time. That’s how I feel this morning. I was woke up by something early, and I just couldn’t go back to sleep because although yesterday was the first day of the year, today really feels like the fresh start.

Last night I asked my husband if he would sit down with me and write out our goals for the year. He laughed because it’s just so “me” but agreed and as I knew that we would, we had so much fun once we got going. We have dedicated 2017 to be the year that we don’t travel as much but rather stay where we are and adventure in our close surroundings. As much as we love to go new places, and we know that we will, we know that the area that we live in is FULL of adventures and mountains to peak so we want all of them to be focused on being outdoors as much as we can.

I know what it feels like to go through the motions of workouts and to not have the fire in my soul. I did a lot of that in grad school. I worked out and I even ran a half marathon but the motivation the entire time was mostly about body image. While my passion is endurance sports, this can be applied across the board for whatever your passion may be.

For some reason, having a passion for something can be looked at in a negative light, but the beautiful thing sister is that this journey is not for them, and it’s about you so don’t let anyone look down on your dreams and tell you that they are too big or not big enough. This is YOUR journey and we have the next 364 days to make it our own. Every single day, we have the opportunity to go on a new adventure. If you’re making money doing your passion, people are more okay with it. How silly is that right? We all have to make a living, sure, but sometimes distancing yourself from any sort of monetary compensation and just doing something that sets your soul alive is the best medicine you can give to yourself.

What is going to be the thing that gets you up in the morning before work? What is going to be the thing that makes you go on the runs on a Friday night when you just want to go to dinner and lay on your couch? Is it actually worth it all for just a few seconds of crossing a fine line?

I think that you know that I’ll tell you that it is.

It’s so much more than a finish line but about the character that you build while you’re on the journey. It’s so much more than the adventure of that day as it is the adventure of every single day. Even so much as this year, I have let some in my life tell me that I’m being a little “too intense”.  When I explained that ironman training was at least 2+ hours of training every single day and 5+ hours on the weekends, people thought I had literally lost it. Thankfully, I had the community on the internet to let me know that there are SO many out there that have this passion that I have. I say that to say, you AREN’T ALONE IN YOUR DREAMS!! Go after them, because there is NOTHING that can take it away from you.

Where does the motivation come from though? You’ll hear people talk about internal motivation and that it’s the most important piece of the puzzle to make sure that you get it all done, but I believe it’s a combination of external and internal that is going to make it happen. Sometimes with huge goals, you have to have a variety of reasons to make it all come together and I’m going to assure that a desire for a certain “body” is about the last on the list that’s going to help you get there in a positive way.

There is not one goal on anyone’s New Years resolution list that is not difficult and requires sacrifice, but I would venture to say that there is also not one person that put it on the list for it to sit there for the next year. We all joke about never doing our resolutions, and how everything fades into the background come February, but why? Why does your fire not keep burning? I think that it’s worth looking into to figure out what is motivating you for change and start there.

How about you resolve to not let your body be something that you change this year but your mindset? Why can’t it be an attitude of adventure vs an attack on your physique at the gym? Why can’t we be grateful for what we can do every day vs hating the skin that we are in? Why don’t we eat well because it’s good for our long term health and makes us feel good? Why don’t we try new recipes that are full of abundance in natural foods from the Earth because it’s fun?

I grew up as southern as it gets, and my diet consisted (I’m not kidding) on McDonalds, Chickfila, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Bojangles and hamburger helper. I’m not being a prude because LORD KNOWS I love my fast food, but my point is that at some point, we all have the decisions no matter how we are used to eating to change that. I genuinely wish that my cravings for fast food weren’t so big but it’s because it’s comfort to me and what I was raised on. We decide our days. ((Please don’t take this out of context as me telling you to restrict yourself-we all know fast food isn’t a superfood lol))

I’m huge on visualizing and writing out goals and getting it out of your head and onto the paper. What would we have done if J.K. Rowling hadn’t put it on the paper and just left it in her head?  Write it down or type it out even if you don’t hit every single goal.

The biggest thing is wanting it yourself when the doors are closed, and when no one cares what you’re doing. You aren’t posting on social media about your workouts, and you are just in your zone. That’s when it gets hard, but that’s when you’re finished that it’s all worth it because you know that the motivation that you pulled was from deep inside of you and not from some validation from others. However, like I said, mixing the two is not a bad thing. If it motivates you (which it does for everyone) to post about your workouts and for people to encourage you on your journey then by all means, post about it. You have no idea who you’ll help and change by being the little light that never burns out that they can look to for positive inspiration for their goals.

So why would you work so hard for your hobby? I think the real question is why wouldn’t you? If your life only revolves around what makes you money then you aren’t going to be as fulfilled as you could be, and I truly believe we ALL have this fire in our spirits for our specific passions and it’s just a matter of opening up your heart to be able to experience what true love and passion feels like.

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A Beautiful Email from a client & friend

A few months back, I made a post about anxiety and being transparent in that. I got so much beautiful feedback, and I happened upon one of the emails from a client this morning by searching for something else for her in my inbox. I have a folder on my computer that is called "When Clients make me happy" that I save emails like this, and I wanted to share with you guys as I thought that it might really make you smile because of how much truth she speaks in it. She is seriously such a joy in my life to coach!

Here goes: 

Dear Katie,

I had so much I wanted to say to you after reading this mornings blog post and it just felt a bit too long to post of fb.  I wish we could sit down for a cup of coffee or go for a long run and chat in person.  First I want to tell you that it takes courage to share our struggles publicly and so good for you for having the courage to be honest and to share those.  I'm a little older than you, with a few more years of experience, but not too much ;)  Becoming a mother though has taught me a lot and forced me to view things from a slightly different angle and so I wanted to share some of that with you.  

Today's world is so much different than what even you or I grew up in.  I didn't have the pressure of social media when I was growing up, attending school, getting married, or starting our new little family.  There wasn't a need to keep up with people or feel like I wasn't doing enough or being judged by snippets of my life.  They say comparison is the thief of joy and I truly believe it. But that is the world we live in now and it's almost possible to avoid.  Of course there are wonderful aspects of it too.  Reconnecting with old friends, making new friends that you would ever have met otherwise, and being able to stay connected to family worldwide. But one of my biggest challenges as a parent is teaching my children (and learning myself) how to be in the world, but not of the world.  How do we stay connected and reach people but stay grounded in Christ?

I think the answer lies in the Cross.  Everything Jesus did in his life here on earth revolved around what HE would sacrifice on the cross.  His ministry, His character, His attitude...it was all about the cross.  His life on earth was focused on revealing WHO God is and rescuing us.  He didn't care if he was the most popular, the most liked, the favorite.  Can you imagine if His ministry was taking place today with an aspect of social media??  He would definitely not have the most likes or followers or be the most handsome.  But He was always genuine, honest, and treated people with love because he is love.  We tell our kids the same thing.  I don't care if you are the most popular, the most liked, the prettiest, the funniest, or the best at anything.  In fact you will probably drive yourself crazy because there will almost always be someone just a little bit better.  BUT we do care if you are kind.  And we DO care that you always do YOUR best.  Not because of selfish ambition but because God is THAT GOOD.  We should always do our best.  And find our self worth, and our joy in the cross.  He loved me that much, that he gave his life for me.  When you continually turn your eyes to the cross, everything else pales in comparison and tends to fall into place respectively.  It doesn't make life easier, but boy can it change our perspective.

We have a book we read to our kids called "God gave us Christmas".  It's an adorable book about a family of polar bears and in the story the mama bear is taking her little cub through a trek in the northern wilderness to show her God in our world.  At one point in the story mama bear tells her that "God would have come even just for you."  Little cub asks "even just for me?"  and mama bear replies "even just for you."  It always gives me goosebumps when we read it to our kids because how powerful is that?  God would have sent Jesus even if it was just for you.  He sees us individually and loves us so much that he sacrificed His only Son so that we would have a way to Him.  

It doesn't make it easy everyday but when you use that as your compass for your self worth and joy, it sure steers us in the right direction.  I am sorry that you have been dealing with this anxiety in your life and again am just so thankful for you and for your willingness to share.  You have an individual skill with a unique vision and I think that is what draws people to you.  Sure people may go, or unfollow but that is in God's hands.  You will reach the people that He intends for you to as long as you keep putting Him first.  I appreciate the way that you took time to seek Him first.  That shows maturity, thoughtfulness, and wisdom.  I will continue to pray for you as I have been doing today, but just wanted to share a bit more of what I was thinking about.  Thanks again for sharing yourself with this community.

Love in Christ, 

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The best posts of 2016

Let's just get rolling. As I was doing my year in review yesterday I realized there are a lot of really helpful posts that I need to archive for you guys better! 

I'm going to go through month by month! Let's go! :) If you click on them, each one will open in a new window so you can keep referencing back! Maybe bookmark this one for later! <3

January-

February - 

March -

April - 

May - 

 

June - 

July - 

August-

September- 

October-

November

December - (Finally I have carpal tunnel now LOL)

I really do hope that this helps you, encourages you, inspires you and teaches you something!

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