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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2016 in Review

I keep hearing all over that 2016 was an awful year for like...everyone. I'm sure there are a lot of reasons behind that but I hate to look so negatively on a year. My year was full of adventure, change, and love but if I had to do it over, I would. I learned so much about myself and got to see so many amazing places, and I just love being able to look back on the past couple of years and see all that's happened.

The one thing that I will just go ahead and get out of the way is how much things changed in a weird way in 2016 but have since rebounded back. For some reason, it started around February of just being insecure and not knowing if the path that I was on was the one I was supposed to be on, anxiety ridden days, and lots of tears. It honestly was a really weird period of time and while I was doing all of these things, I was SO happy, but then in these moments I would have these waves of anxiety and sadness and I could just work up something to be upset at over NOTHING. I mean I know I'm female, but it's something that I had not struggled with before so it was new and scary and something that I had to figure out. This lasted until about October where I feel as if I'm finally on the other side.

I feel direction, purpose, and happiness without the waves. I just think that it was important enough of a thing behind the scenes to mention because as I look at 2016 in review, I'm in AWE of all that happened that was so wonderful but I also don't want it to sound like life was perfect because I know social media can always make us think that. The TRUE thing is though that every day I had a decision about whether I was going to let the emotions I was going through negatively impact my life, and I just refused. I knew that I created my own happiness, and so that is what I did.

In January, we went to Nashville and decided that I was going to see what it was like to become plant based.

In February, we went on a family vacation in the mountains with my side of the family and a marriage retreat at Lake Lure with our church.

In March, I started my first day as a pharmacist and am still of course working that job one day per week to this day, and we built a mudroom. This was a HUGE project so worth mentioning. haha! You can find the blog that shows the start of it HERE.

In April, I RAN THE BOSTON MARATHON FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! AH! It was so amazing being there!

In May, I ran an ultramarathon for the first time (Gamelands Ultra 50K) and I took home first place (that was a crazy day lol). Tanner's mamaw passed away at the age of 91 and was born in the year 1925! SO amazing! For the past 20 years, she pretty much sat in front of the same TV, wearing the same clothes, the same hair rollers, and ate the same food every.single.day. It was amazing that she lived that long.

In June, we traveled to Colorado for the first time, and I say first time because there will be MANY more. We went to Fraser, CO to a young life camp as leaders and seriously, my heart sang every day I got to look out at those mountains and spend time with those kids. It was a life changing week. I also got closer to my best friend Rachel, who I can't imagine doing life without now.

In July, I went to Utah and fell in love with the mountains there as well. I went there to become an RRCA certified run coach and I got to meet two of my favorite people, Kenzie and Tommy Barlow.

In August, we had officially been in our home for one year, and we couldn't be happier to be staying in a place and NOT moving as we had moved every year of our marriage. This is when heavy ironman training began. I put my head down, basically quit all other responsibilities and made it happen. It was stressful and it was hard, and I think it only intensified that anxiety that I was having because I was alone constantly training and having to tell everyone that I couldn't participate in whatever they were doing. But I was also loving what I was accomplishing, so it all balanced out.

My grandmother (aka Mawmaw) also passed away. It's hard to believe that it was August (although at the very end). I can't believe that we have lived 4 months without her now, and it makes me emotional to type that. I know life just happens that way, but she was a huge part of our family and we saw her and talked to her all the time, so it's just ... hard. This is a blog I wrote about her in the past and I still love reading it! :)

In September, I turned 27 and I genuinely FINALLY felt like I became an adult. Is that weird that I had to get to 27 to feel that way? But I like it. I like how people take you more seriously and that like I pay my own bills (I've been doing that since like 18 though lol) and that I own a house. It's just a cool stage of life that I'm loving.

At the beginning of October, we felt like we might move. Please see above in August. WHY? Lol! Tanner had two really great job opportunities in big cities that just popped up out of nowhere (I should write a full blog on this) but after MUCH consideration, constant deliberation on what to do, we decided that staying in our home and in our hometown was absolutely 100% the plan that God had for our life. Once the decision was made to stay, it was like I could breathe easy again. We realized that we have SUCH an amazing life here, and I'm SO glad that we went through all of that because it really made us look at our life and realize how incredible it is. We really started to appreciate the little things and recognize that even if we were going to move, the grass is not always greener and we need to grow where we are planted, and that's Shelby.

In the middle of October, I went to Chicago for the marathon and it was such an amazing weekend.

At the end of October, I did an ironman (minus a few miles)!! You can read all about my experience HERE and how incredible of a day that was. Seriously, top 10 days of my life. I loved every second of it and knew that I had accomplished something that so many would do.

In November, we went to the Dominican Republic (right after the ironman). I was supposed to come back and fly directly out to New York for the marathon, but decided that it really wasn't the best idea as I had traveled so much and just really needed some routine at home time.

At the beginning of December, we went to San Fransisco and as was typical, I fell in love. I genuinely end up loving just about every place that I go because they all have something new to offer, different people and cultures that I love to learn about, different foods to try, different attractions to go see. I ran the North Face 50K but didn't finish the entire thing. Read about that HERE.

At the end of December as of last week, we hosted the first Christmas in my home since my grandmother passed. We have been doing Christmas at her house since I was born, so it was a really different but good Christmas for the family. My house makes the most sense but I know that it didn't feel as good to everyone because it just wasn't Mawmaws.

In the midst of all the big things, there were the little things. There were the long conversations and laughs with best friends. There was a lot of really late nights and hard work. There were runs I'll never forget, and runs I didn't want to do. There were bike crashes, and date nights with the love of my life. There was small get togethers and church potlucks. There was devotions in the mornings, and cookouts with family on summer nights in the evenings. There were so many smiles, so many tears, and a renewed sense of self. There was deep passion and deep love. I wouldn't trade in 2016 for anything.

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Goals for 2017

It is so unbelievable to me that we are going into 2017! Time is such a crazy thing. I remember thinking that this year was so far off, it was unthinkable. Can you imagine when it's 2030?! That's really only 13 years away which is a long time but not really THAT long. I tell Tanner all the time that life is so interesting in how it's really long but also really short, and goals and dreams are always what keep me on my toes, wanting and hoping to do more. I'm SO thrilled for 2017.

2016 was such an amazing year while also being an interesting year (I'm going to do a 2016 in review tomorrow). My goals were so large that I feel like I just put my head down and did them and when I looked up, it was Christmas and then now here we are! haha! One of my friends at church was like "You didn't throw any parties this year? Why not?!" I genuinely think it's because I just had so much else going on that I didn't even think about doing it, but I love parties, so we just decided that moment that I was going to do a Galentines at my house! haha! :) Let's get to the goals for this coming year! I can't wait!

RUNNING GOALS

My goal is 5 marathons/ultras, but I'm honestly not sure that is going to happen and going to be dependent on how my body holds up. That is a large goal, and I'm okay with that as I'll do less if needed. I also don't plan to PR at those races because that would just be impossible. I only had plans to PR at one of them which I was shooting for Myrtle Beach but upon the hamstring issue and being out for this entire last week, who knows what will happen? I still have plenty of time and my body might surprise me! ;)

The other marathons are:

April - Boston Marathon (I don't plan on being able to run with friends for too long because I know that some of them are going to be going for PR's and like I said, I just want to take Boston nice and easy and enjoy it this time) 

June-Hatfield McCoy Marathon (This is a small race that TONS of people in my community are doing so I couldn't miss out and I love the idea of a summer marathon as those are hard to find. I did Grandfather Mountain Marathon in July of 2015, and that was an amazing race for the summer too!)

Nov-Savannah Marathon (this will be a fast one as well)

Savannah is a funny story because Savannah is the first marathon that I ever signed up for in 2013, and when it came time to train I got so scared that I backed out. I could NOT stop thinking about doing a marathon though for the next year. I worked on my metabolism because I wasn't eating much at the time, gained a lot of muscle, and then I started really running in August of 2014 doing my first marathon in Nov 2014 which was Philly.

North Face Endurance Series San Fran 50K is on my radar for 2017 to go back and get redemption but at the same time I always struggle going back to the same location to do the same type race. It's not because I didn't think that it was wonderful because it really was but just because there are SO many cool races that I sometimes get afraid to box myself in.

I do want to continue doing trail ultras in the future. This is like the year of the marathon even though I thought it was going to be the year of theultra. I just felt that I hadn't given myself a fair shot at being ONLY a marathon runner and I wanted to do that this year and see how I liked it. Next year, I do plan on doing another ironman (seriously-I know I'm crazy lol) but I didn't ACTUALLY get my 140.6 in and now that I've had over two full months to process things, I know that it's something that I have to do. I just hate there isn't more time in the day as I also want to have a year that I focus on trail ultras. 

The 5th addition is up in the air as to what races. I honestly want to do Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in May, but I was thinking and holding out that maybe one day my husband would become an ultra runner and we could do that together. I also would most definitely want to do that with a group and I don't know of anyone doing it. I would LOVE to do the Wasatch 100 but I know that's also something that I've never ventured into before, and I don't think my mind is there just yet. That's just a bucket list thing because Wasatch is where I was running when I went to Utah and fell absolutely 100000% in love.
Regardless, like I said the 5th is up in the air but that's my goal.

It's POSSIBLE that I could get into Chicago (long story haha) but either way, I'll be traveling to be in Chicago on that weekend. I'm hoping to travel to New York for NYC again, and then hopefully running it in 2018!!! That's my big dream!!!

My lifting goals are that I regain the strength that I lost during ironman and get back up to where I can deadlift 200+ while also running high mileage. This was the case right before ironman, and it kinda sucks to have lost that, but at the same time that's the beauty in fitness is that you can ALWAYS gain it back! My body doesn't look the same which I'm genuinely not THAT concerned about (or I probably would have done something #yolo #holidayfood) but at the same time, I know what it's capable of and it just takes a little work to feel like myself again in that area. Like I joke with Tanner about, I stopped lifting, went vegan, and did an ironman and I'm like "WHERE DID ALL MY MUSCLE GO?!" LOLOL! I always tell clients to BE realistic and you can't do all that and expect to look the same. Ha!

NUTRITION GOALS

At this point, I'm pretty much cruising with what works for me, but I would like to continue to experiment more in the plant based world. There are so many fun meals to make, and I am the worst about experimenting, but I want to get better at that as it can really make things yummy and interesting!

FAITH BASED GOALS

I am beginning Utmost for His Highest that is a devotion that you read every day. It's not a lot at all, and for some reason I've been in this season of seeking truth on a lot of things. That sounds so "Christianese" but genuinely 2016 provided the US with a lot of topics that were really TOUGH and I feel that Christians were made to look really bad in many circumstances. I, myself struggled with how many things were handled and people I looked up to doing things I didn't agree with and so I want to know how I feel. This coincides with the reading goals that I have because I do want some of those books to be ones that I'm seeking knowledge of His word, and sink into his grace in my imperfections with all of this. I want to have a deeper connection and relationship with the Lord and that's something that year after year I strive towards, but it's something that you can never be close enough! :)

READING GOALS

My goal is to read at least one book per month which is really slow reading but we all know how life happens and then reading gets pushed to the side. I genuinely love to read so I like to take 10-15 minutes in the evening and sink into a book. I got a library card, and it's been so fun to just go some evenings and go through the shelves. It just is this calming atmosphere, and reminds me so much of my childhood.

BUSINESS GOALS

This is a HUGE one, and another reason that I most likely will stick with marathons instead of ultras or tri this year! My husband and I are launching a new company, and it's something that we are super passionate about, and I'll keep dropping hints until the launch because I'm so excited to share, but also feel I can't yet. It does however have to do with international and local missions and will be heavily focused on charity. While fitness is always going to be HUGE in my life, I just genuinely kept feeling this pull over and over again. It was something that was super hard for me to listen to because to be honest, when you are doing well in one thing, why would you think about doing something else? That's how this is. I bought the domain and got the instagram handle for the name of this company at the end of 2015, and I've been sitting on it for a YEAR without moving forward because I was so busy with my current business and it just didn't make sense to not be able to pour my heart and soul into it.

I decided a few months ago that I was not going to be doing nutrition coaching anymore, and solely focus on run coaching as well as this new venture. Tanner started to see my passion every day for this, and he said that there is just no way that he couldn't be an integral part of it as I am so it will be something that we do TOGETHER. Run coaching is also something that I'm obviously SUPER passionate about and one of my favorite things to do so I knew that was not going ANYWHERE and it had to be something that I could balance (while also working one day per week at the pharmacy-lol at my life). I promise I'm not hyping it up (or I hope not) and our goal is to be able to launch at the beginning of March AT THE LATEST! But the MOST important thing to us is that it's ready. We want to do NOTHING that is halfway and we want people to know that we are serious from the get go. We have a really huge vision for this, and like I said, it's something that I could see myself doing for the rest of my life and that I feel like God has called me to do if I'm being 100% transparent.

I know I've been more absent on social media, but I also have been working a lot behind the scenes so nothing at all is wrong I promise, but just how life has kind of happened. It's also insane to think that I've been blogging consistently now for over 2.5 years! WOW! It feels like I just started this thing while at the same time, NOT AT ALL! lol! It's amazing to be able to look back though and have all these race recaps and fun travel adventures and goals that I set each year to see if I've hit. I just love blogging, so I don't want you to think that's going anywhere either.

My other goals include consistently reshaping myself to be a better wife, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. I really love the people in my life so much, and I want them to know it!! Our goals for 2017 do not include children even though if you had told me that I would turn 28 without having a child, I would have thought you were INSANE. For right now, we have decided that's what is best for our family, and we just REALLY love life together and want to wait a while longer, and that may mean that I don't have them until 30. Maybe I'll only adopt (although currently we do want to have our own as well). I don't know, and I'm just going to seek what the Lord has for me, and right now, I feel it's not having our own just yet! :)

I can't wait to hear what your goals are for 2017! Let me know and we can work on ours together.

 

 

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Visualizing Joy in Imperfect Circumstance

Okay, so this is something that my husband and I talk about frequently because honestly, sometimes we feel like the weakest link. I get asked all the time how I stay injury free, and I've had a good ride, but I just KNEW that as soon as I started doing speed, I'd get something. I took every precaution possible. Here are the things that I did differently starting out this training cycle: sleep more, eat better (more plant based foods), I actually weigh more so I feel I'm more sturdy and durable, dynamic stretching before, static stretching after, and making it a primary importance in my life therefore there is no stress around the workouts. I felt that stress and sleep have made a huge difference in my past. But lo and behold, a hamstring pain after my long run. My long run was FAST this week (16 miles @ 7:22) so I'm sure that's what made it painful.

I know it's not serious (neither the small niggle or situation). I know that if I stay off of it that it will heal (as I have done since the long run so 4th day not running or biking or swimming-only lifting). I reasonably know how this works, and that if I just back off then those things that aren't things won't turn into things. haha! As I have talked about before, I don't really get upset about missed workouts because inevitably something always happens. I will say I get SO frustrated at the fact that I feel my body doesn't withstand well with the level at which I like to do things. Tanner feels the EXACT same way about his.

Tanner has been dealing with some form of injury off and on since literally 3 years ago. It's always something, and when I say always, I mean always, to the point that I feel really bad for him. And as I've mentioned before, he does EVERYTHING the way that he should in terms of injury prevention. Currently, he has a torn hamstring. This came from just one young life night where he was chasing a kid and who even knows what happened...but that was 6 months ago and he's still dealing with the pain even though he's rested it many many times. He finally got an MRI and saw the tear and is on rest from anything leg related for 6-8 weeks. Yesterday, he literally wanted to toss his hands in the air and just say WHAT GIVES!? Poor guy. I just wanted to give him a hug. I know the feeling all too well.

So, we discussed the things that we WISH we could do even if we couldn't do them in that moment and visualize what we love and weirdly enough it helps to soothe the pain of what your body sometimes won't allow. We watched youtube videos on the Salomon channel which I'll link up because it's a super cool channel. We talked about how we wish that we lived at the base of a mountain in the snowyest (is that a word?) parts of the US (we literally get zero snow where we are lol), and how we wish we could be in nature and the mountains all the time doing extreme events.

We wish that we could be training at high levels all the time while also spending the weekends back country skiing and spending vacation in the Alps or the mountains of Norway. Seriously, this is our DREAM. We talk about it all the time, but time and again, our body's seem to say NOPE...THINK AGAIN KIDDOS. I know that all the people who haven't experienced this will think "Oh well just try XYZ". I'm gonna bet we have. We KNOW that when you are doing extreme stuff, you might end up hurt, and that's okay with us. I know that sounds weird, but I think every athlete knows that there are going to be times where something is off, and that is something that you just learn to deal with. What is not fun is when it keeps you from what you love, and in Tanner's case feeling like it will really always be something.

So, we dream. We plan what we can. We do what we can. We give our body's the rest that they are asking for with two injury prone capacities and we work around it. It would be SO easy for Tanner and I to sit back and just say "Forget it", and I even think that people wouldn't blame us. Well, naturally, you know how most people are in most communities. Even those reading this will probably say, "That Katie and Tanner-they just don't listen to their body's and are just TOO extreme." HA! I wish you knew how NOT extreme we are on a day to day basis. We see others and we CRAVE to be able to do what they do without something happening. We feel it's very odd that at our age, we both are so injury prone.

{{I keep saying injury, but I can't say that mine is ever really "injury". It's never anything serious, but enough that every few weeks, I'll have something keep me out for a week and then every half year, I'll have something put me out for like 6 weeks. You can't consistently make progress when that happens. It's literally maddening.}}

But we visualize, and we won't give up. We will treat our body's with respect while also knowing that the pain we feel is worth it for those moments that we get to experience. We know that even if the things that we want to do can only be done in our minds and our dreams because our location, job situations, and our body's aren't ideal, then that's okay. We know that the joy from visualization will manifest in seeing others do these things as well as leading us to keep on the path of pursuit never giving up and know that there will be those windows where we get lucky and the stars align.

I was half injured all the way to Boston last year, but I made it to the finish and that counts for something! ;)

I was half injured all the way to Boston last year, but I made it to the finish and that counts for something! ;)

I feel it's similar to watching the pros in whatever sport that you love. It's so inspiring to see youtube videos of those athletes and maybe it's just me but I think it's because this video gives this small window into the life of what it would be like. In those moments, you are allowed to visualize what gives you so much joy and passion and be able to make it your own by living it through someone else. I know you guys see the training plans and the finish lines. I don't share the aches and pains a lot because who really wants to see that. I also don't share them because inevitably the comments pop up:

"It's because she doesn't eat." (which is hilarious because I eat SO much) 

"It's because she overtrains." (I legit have done a 50 mile week maybe 3 times in my life and otherwise, it's much lower. I WISH I could do 100 mile weeks and I would if my body allowed.)

"It's because she won't rest." (I take one full sit on my butt day every single week and this week I actually have done one lifting day and it's thursday soooooo LOL)

I know you're thinking this isn't normal and that it HAS to be something that Tanner and I are doing. Believe me, I know, and I've been through all the things, talked with the doctors, etc etc. I just think at the end of the day sometimes people are more injury prone than others. And also just simply chance. I think that by chance Tanner got a hamstring tear directly after he had a long road dealing with a shoulder issue which was directly after a hernia surgery which was directly after the time he got a herniated disc while we were moving (crazy right?). You take the good with the bad and enjoy every moment that this beautiful life gives you!

But the thing is, we wake up EVERY single morning with choices to make. We decide how we are going to run the day and not how the day runs us. That is OUR choice, and no one can take that away from us. We can decide that we will put a positive spin on our situations, and we will do all the rehab and prehab for those small glimpses of bliss that we get when we are at the top of the ski slopes. I will live for the moments like when I was in Utah and we reached the summit and I just screamed out because of the pure joy that I felt that I couldn't keep inside.

I will live for the moments when we were traveling to Norway and we got caught in a blizzard and we made our way to the top of that mountain in the snow to a little cafe. It was a coffee and dessert in a cafe and I literally think that we will remember it for the rest of our lives because with the blizzard and being in Norway, it's just things you don't forget.

In the mundane day to day life, you have to CHOOSE joy and visualization of your dreams or you'll never get there. In the bad and the good, choose to recognize that you'll make it through to the other side. Know that if you are smart then you will turn the corner of whatever it is that you're dealing with and get to manifest all those things that you've been visualizing.

So if you've wondered why I haven't posted on insta this week (I know you probably haven't HA), I've been sitting on my butt and just working! ;) lol!

I ALSO KNOW THAT I KEEP TALKING ABOUT AN ANNOUNCEMENT ... that I keep not making... and I will I promise. We are working A LOT behind the scenes and just really want things to be right so it might be a while, but just hang around or keep your eyes peeled in February or March and I think you'll really love what it's all about. I promise I'm not just hyping up something that isn't super meaningful to me/us/gonna be my full time gig/pouring my life into it so much/gonna keep blogging and running so no worries! haha! :)

 

 

 

 

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Should You Become a Pharmacist?

I surprisingly get this question a lot. I get emails of people that want to go into the field and asking my opinion or "why I left" and then I'm teaching a pharmacy technician certification course, and they ask me how I knew that pharmacy was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Let's dive into this shall we? Should you be a pharmacist or not and what is the process? That's quite the loaded question.

For most, I think you have to ask yourself are you okay with long hours on your feet? Like sometimes 10-12 hours without sitting down. Are you okay with never taking a bathroom break or a lunch break because have you ever walked into a pharmacy and been told the pharmacist is on lunch? If so, you were probably raging mad you had to wait even one second longer right? Are you going to be okay with people yelling/fussing at you for things that aren't your fault? Can you multitask to the nth degree? Do you enjoy being REALLY busy for hours at a time? Are you okay with getting very little vacation time and having to have that time approved a year in advance? Are you okay with working every other weekend and varying shifts?

My grandmother that just recently passed at my graduation <3

My grandmother that just recently passed at my graduation <3

Because here's the truth...these are not questions that most people ask themselves before they go into pharmacy school but THIS is the reality that 90% of pharmacists will live in for 30+ years. I know that we can all find flaws in our careers, so I promise that's not what I'm here to do but to genuinely have you THINK it through instead of the romanticized pharmacy that I feel is the misconception going in. If thisis not you, then there are other routes in pharmacy and you need to be proactive from the beginning about going after them because they aren't as easy to obtain.

I also want to say that it was totally my plan to be a retail pharmacist. The path that the Lord had for me was outside of anything I could have ever imagined, but isn't it always? ;) I will say that I was terrified of it, but also excited for it. But my story isn't necessarily what I'm here for today.

Getting into pharmacy school was tough and pharmacy school was even tougher, but that's a small part of your life compared to what you will do in your career, so I think that's the most important thing to consider. There are four routes that people typically go on if they become a pharmacist, and those are

  • Retail pharmacy (Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Target, etc)
  • Independent pharmacy (local drug store-which is actually what I work)
  • Hospital pharmacy (dispensing and what is referred to as "the basement pharmacy")
  • Specialized hospital pharmacy (second year residency, working with a clinical team)

Want to know the craziest part of those choices? You probably saw specialized pharmacy and thought "Oh that sounds cool" and it is. It's amazing, and the people that do those jobs have worked their BUTTS off, but for some reason, those will make the least. Sometimes going from retail pharmacy to hospital pharmacy, people will take a 15-30k annual pay cut, and I know people who have done it just to be able to get out of the world of retail. Retail is HARDDDDD and for the strong at heart, and so from what I can gather, you are paid better because you are their work horse. Pay does matter. We all have massive (MASSIVE) loans to pay back.

Quick side note about loans as paying back loans is as much a part of pharmacy as anything. I'm going to be real with the numbers here so that anyone considering can have the full picture. Depending on what state you are in, you may have the option to go to public, but the only public pharmacy school in North Carolina is UNC Chapel Hill which is the #2 pharmacy school in the nation. If you can get in, that's wonderful but I knew that wasn't an option for me. The other two are private schools, and while I love Campbell, there is a price tag of $35K/year. That's 4 years at $35,000 which totals $140,000. This isn't something you can't look up online but I know money is weird to talk about. If you go to a public school then most likely it'll be about half of that so $70,000. You CAN get in after 2 years of undergrad, but that's rare and typically would be if you went to the college you are trying to get into. My husband did, but that's another $30K/year, so $60K plus that $140K=$200K. For me, it took 3 years, but I went to a public undergrad, so therefore it was a little less (I don't remember the figures). I do know that I came out of school owing $220,000 and so did my husband. We owed $400,000 together with a whopping interest rate of 7%!!!!! That means that each year, it will grow about $30,000 combined (they aren't combined). I won't go into any more detail, but I feel this is SO important and it's not talked about enough when making the consideration to go into pharmacy school. Maybe you have parents that can afford your schooling, and that's great but I would say more likely than not, that's not the case (plus I would never want my mom to pay that-that's insane lol). If you are going into hospital, there is a loan forgiveness program which is where they take a percentage of your income and formulate a payment based off of that, and after 10 years it's forgiven. That's what Tanner is doing and it will save us around $100K. Some will pay their loans for the rest of their lives, and it's payments around $1500/month at the minimum.

If you want to go into hospital pharmacy, it is harder to get into but it can pay off and be worth it in the end but just wanting you to know that you should know from the get go that this is what you want to do so that you can pursue it. Not everyone in pharmacy gets a residency and so the spots are limited, therefore you need to kick butt in school and be involved with all the things to get you to those spots. It's tough, but it's possible. Typically people just do a first year general residency but it's getting more common to do a second year residency of specialty as well. It depends on where you live, but it can be VERY hard (sometimes impossible) to get into a hospital pharmacy job without a residency, so you will end up working retail (whether commercial or independent). There ARE some that love retail, and I'm so thankful for those pharmacists. They work SO hard, and here is a blog I wrote about that.

Now, let's talk about getting into school. You have to have all of the prereqs and if you have that, then you do not have to graduate with an undergrad degree to get in. My husband and I both do not have undergrad degrees but we have doctorates. It's interesting. But, it's becoming more and more difficult so of course if you do have an undergrad degree, you have a better chance of getting in. Once you are in, you have 4 years of school with 3 of them being didactic and the last one is a year of rotations where you get to visit different pharmacy sites and decide which you think would be right for you. I really enjoyed that year for the most part.

I will take this time to say that there are a lot of different ways that you can become a pharmacist. It's NOT just the ways that I listed above, but it just needs to be something that you are actively pursuing or you will end up on that route because it's just the natural progression of things. There is long term care pharmacy (nursing homes) which is more chart work behind the scenes not actually working with the patients, or consultant pharmacy which sometimes provides work from home opportunities (score if you have those jobs lol), nuclear pharmacy, industry (big pharma companies-super hard to get in but really high paying great jobs from what I understand), being a professor, and I'm sure SO many other things. For example, my husband works 7-4 Monday through Friday, no weekends, no holidays in an outpatient clinic for chemo patients at our local hospital that is 1 mile from our house. He has worked INCREDIBLY hard to get where he is, and he's very smart, but he has one of those 1% of jobs that everyone would love. He also knows it and talks about it all the time how thankful he is for his job.

I also don't want to sound like this entire blog was negative, but rather realistic and practical because I feel that you NEED to know what you're up against before you start down the path. With all of that being said, since I'm dogging pharmacy today (ha), I'm literally SO thankful that I did it. SO SO THANKFUL! As tough of a career that it is, it's a stable and good career. If you read all the things above and still think this is the career for you but some of the things scare you then that's the perfect opportunity to pursue some of those paths that aren't as common.

I hope this helps those that have asked! ha!

 

 

 

 

 

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Habits of a Healthy Relationship with Exercise

Last week when I made the post about having a healthy relationship with food, there were a couple of people that asked about what it looked like to have a healthy relationship with exercise. While this is not something that I struggled with, I know that it's something that many do struggle with. The biggest thing with any of these topics to determine if you are mentally sound about it or not is just how you feel and approach the topic. I think it's appropriate to ask yourself some questions for this topic.

1. ARE YOU ENJOYING YOUR FORM OF EXERCISE?

I feel as if I'm a pretty good example of this. Do I think that my sport of choice is going to give me my desired body shape? Actually no. When I was training for the ironman, I had to stop lifting, and then I went vegan so I have lost a substantial amount of muscle. As of last week actually, I felt that it was something that I need to really focus on during an off season because I want to be strong for my sport, but I choose my sport of running because I LOVE IT. I love to run and I love to lift, but I basically love to do both and there's nothing that is going to change that. For a while, I only lifted and I did gain muscle during that time, but I always had this longing to get back to running, so I did.

I also want to add in here that it really is possible to maintain muscle mass while running and training for marathons, and I have written many blog articles about it, but I literally stopped lifting AT ALL and I stopped eating protein AT ALL soooooo...you can't expect any different. haha!!

2. DO YOU DO YOUR PARTICULAR WORKOUTS JUST TO CHANGE YOUR BODY? 

I think this can go hand in hand with #1! Are you just doing these exercises and hating them the entire time? That would be miserable. I was thinking about how if you don't actually LOVE the sport that you're doing, then you can easily form a hatred for the gym if you do morning workouts. If your soul purpose is to change your body then how miserable to wake up at 5am to work out. I don't know about you but I'm a different human at 5am, and I'm not very enthused about what's going on. haha! However, I have huge goals in marathon running, so I'm able to pop out of the bed knowing that these huge dreams that I've set for myself are not going to be accomplished if I don't get up and get moving.

I know that it's unrealistic for everyone to have a sport that speaks to their soul the way that I feel about running, but I do think that it's possible to find what you love and not what you hate and dread in exercise. Did you play soccer growing up? Well find a local indoor soccer team! Tennis? Your local YMCA probably has tons that you could get involved with.

3. DO YOU FEEL GUILTY IF YOU MISS?

I think this is probably the biggest one. It's one thing to have a little bit of guilt if you miss a workout, but I have been a "fit girl" for about 4 years now, and I cannot tell you how many workouts that I have missed and skipped. LIFE.HAPPENS. It actually bothers me when girls get uptight about 1-2 workouts missed in a week. It really is okay, and with consistency in your training and your gym routine for whatever your goals may be, a missed workout is NOT going to hurt you!!! I repeat... jk I won't repeat. haha!

I'm a weird mix and sometimes wonder how I ever make it to the gym and workouts completed because I'm a little too chill when it comes to workouts. I literally feel zero guilt when I miss. haha! The beautiful thing about the first couple of missed workouts though is that you start to trust yourself more and more. You realize that it really isn't a big deal. If you are someone that has tied yourself to that for years and years and never missed, then I actually encourage you to have a season of missing. It helps you to learn and see that 1) your training will be fine and 2) your body will not change. Because that's just not how it works. Our training and our body changes due to diet and exercise are always on a continuum. The workout that you do today is additive of all of the other ones that you've done as well.

I know though that sometimes this is something that many really struggle with and have for years and place a lot of guilt on themselves if they miss, and I'm not trying to belittle that. Just because it's not something that I struggle with does not mean that it's not very real and harms quality of life. The two tips that I have for this are what I said above about giving yourself a few missed workouts and seeing that you are fine (or even thinking back to missed workouts and remembering that you are in fact fine now) and then the other would be to write it all out. Write out those emotions and how it made you feel. After that, write out worst case scenario. Think about what it is that you are feeling and what you believe will happen if you miss? Where does that land you? Is that place REALLY that bad.

Story time however to let you know you aren't alone if this is something you really struggle with. Sometimes I'm in a room full of people (it should be noted that I LOVE being in a room full of people and parties and Christmas and yayay), I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach like "Something is wrong. I need to leave this space." I have felt this so strongly since I was a kid, and it wasn't until probably the last year that I realized that DUH it's anxiety. Once I'm out of the particular space and home, I'm fine again. I felt it last night and Tanner said "Okay, well take a moment and realize that those emotions are irrational." For some reason, because I'm a woman, that hit me wrong. He was trying to be helpful but I was like DUDE LIKE I DON'T KNOW IT'S IRRATIONAL!!! haha! Point being: You might even know that the feelings that you have towards a missed workout are irrational but sometimes that doesn't stop you from feeling them, and that's okay, but I think it's important to rationalize with yourself and realize that it all will be okay.

4. DO YOU SKIP WORKOUTS YOU ENJOY BECAUSE THEY WON'T CHANGE YOUR BODY THE WAY YOU WANT?

This might not be as common, but I know that for a while, I kept putting running on the back burner because of what everyone always told me. I couldn't have my muscle mass and my running. WRONG-O. But, it is something that I have to work hard for, and sometimes people just stay away from running because of it. They also just might genuinely hate running which that's cool too but I just would never want someone to just do something strictly for their body image versus what they love.

5. DO YOU FEEL GOOD WHEN YOU DO THIS EXERCISE?

EXERCISE TO FEEL GOOD. EXERCISE TO FEEL GOOD. DO NOT EXERCISE TO LOOK GOOD! You can ask literally EVERY single person, I think at least, if they are able to keep a consistent gym//run//tri schedule because it makes them look good or because it makes them feel good. If they have a healthy relationship with exercise, the answer will always be that it makes them feel good. Yes, my 16 miler was hard yesterday morning and I got out of bed like "what in the world am I doing?" hahaha! But, once it was done, I remember every single time why I do this. Because it feels good. It feels good literally until I go to bed and wake up and do it again! It feels good right when you finish and if you are sore then it feels good knowing that you are doing something good for yourself. Maybe that's just me but I love when I'm sore. I'm like YES I WORKED HARD! :) ALWAYS do it to feel good not look good.

6. DO YOU DREAD GOING TO THE GYM?

My personal opinion is that you can be a healthy individual and not step foot in the gym. If you don't like the gym, and you have tried to create habits there and every time you end up defeated and hating it, then I say skip it. If you find something at home that you like it or you just simply enjoy walking outside your house sometimes, then that is fine. I get a lot of people in my hometown that say "Oh I can't look like you because you run all the time." First, I looked like this before I ran marathons. haha! And second, it really is possible to get all of the results that you want (for the most part if you aren't super picky and just want to lose a little weight) with diet alone. You NEED to be happy and the things that you do every day should bring you joy.

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Tips to make it through the Long Run

When someone begins training for their first half or full marathon, the long run is always that thing that is looming and they are afraid to conquer. It is something that you know that you have to do but you just don't know how you are going to do it. You think that you might actually die. You get butterflies before you go out the door. I will never forget my first 16 mile run. It was quite literally horrible. It was through Manhattan so I think back and how I would give just about anything to be able to run those beautiful streets again, but at the time I was taking that for granted and it was the most painful experience of my life.

I thought that there was no way in hedes that I was going to be able to add 10 miles to that for a full marathon. I just couldn't. At mile 11, I hit a wall and I just forced myself to continue. The will to take one step and put it in front of the other was intense for that run thankfully, so I did finish when I was hurting and didn't want to. The truth is though: that was just a fluke. I was just having a bad day. I did an 18 miler after that and I was fine.

1. THE FIRST FEW LONG RUNS WILL SUCK

So, the first piece of advice that I have is that every long run is not going to be good. In fact, the first couple that you do might be bad because you haven't figured out your pacing, nutrition, and just your general groove yet. So, be patient and give yourself time to get used to it.

2. PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER

Know that your body WILL get you through it if your mind is there. If you continue to put one foot in front of the other, you are GOING to finish. There is no doubt in my mind and there is no doubt in the way this whole running thing works that if you put one foot in front of the other, you'll get to the other side and you'll finish. The butterflies that you feel are natural, but they shouldn't be in fear of finishing.

3. THINK ABOUT PEOPLE DOING MORE EXTREME THINGS

When I first started and was needing to convince myself to go the extra mile, I used to look for the ultra runner hashtag so that I could find some people that were more extreme than me that I could think about on my long runs. "If so and so can go this far, then I can at least do this much." I have had tons of people email me and say that they have done this tactic for things that I am doing, so heck, use me even when I'm using others. I'm doing a 16 miler tomorrow at 6am. Maybe that will help you to feel like yours isn't as intense, and I'll look to the people that I know are doing 50K races in the snow.

4. STOP THINKING ABOUT IT

This is the same tactic that I use for race days. I know that a certain amount of nerves is a good thing but I don't like feeling nervous. It's not a good feeling so I make myself not think about it. I just push it out of my mind. I busy myself with other things similarly the way that I did (unsuccessfully) when I've been through heartbreak. haha! Sometimes we can't control our emotions, but sometimes we really can. I talk about this a lot because it genuinely works.

5. PLAN FOR IT

While not thinking about it, you also have to plan for it. If you don't plan for it, it actually might not happen and you may end up bailing on that run. Don't go out partying the night before. Actually, for the first ones, don't even have a glass of wine the night before. Have a great hearty dinner, and then go to bed early so that you are feeling good and refreshed. Block out more time than just the time that it takes to do the run because you do NOT want to feel rushed. If you had it planned for a Saturday but have more time on a Sunday afternoon then change the run to that time. If you have a coach that has it planned for a day that doesn't work for you then let them know as that is important. Have some water and gus ready. The last thing that you want to do is to get out there and run out of gas or to feel super dehydrated. The long runs are hard enough without having to deal with those parameters so you want to have planned for those. I plan my long runs around places that I know I can stop to go to the bathroom as well. I know which businesses have public restrooms just in case of emergency. 

6. MAKE A PLAYLIST / LOOK UP PODCAST / BUY AUDIO BOOK

You should never be going out for your first long runs with nothing to do. I can do that now that I've done enough of them that it doesn't bother me and I know how to mentally prepare myself for it, but you need to have something that you are going to listen to while you are running to take your mind off of it. I like to listen to murder podcasts because the stories keep me really intrigued. hahaha! Call me crazy buttttt, I love it. I didn't realize I wasn't the only person that loved murder stories until I found the podcast "My Favorite Murder" and it's respectable humor about murder stories. You have to listen to understand.

I'm not one to make a playlist just because like who has time for that? My husband is a playlist kind of guy though and is always Mr. Organized with everything even down to his phone and his specific playlists. If playlists are your thing, then a long run playlist is an awesome idea. It can be all the epic music that gets you pumped up.

7. ENJOY IT

You are doing this marathon as a thing for enjoyment I'm sure. It might be something that you are testing your limits or running for someone you love or lost, but at the end of the day, this is a life changing experience. It should be something that you adore, and something that you love, and so make sure to look at the scenery around you. I always try to take a second during my long runs to think about what I'm thankful for. It always is so apparent in those moments and long runs become like a spiritual experience because you realize that you really are so lucky to be able to get out there and have the health to be able to complete something so awesome. I cried at the end of that first 16 miler, and it's something that I will never forget. It was a beautiful and painful experience.

I hope this helps you and inspires you to get out there and get those long runs done this weekend! :)

 

 

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Genuinely Loving The Christmas Season

Did anyone else look at the date today and think "How in the world is Christmas in 10 days?" It's December 15th and that is just crazy! I know that I feel like if I just blink then the next 10 days are going to be here and gone and then we move on into 2017! Holy cow! Life is such a fun and crazy whirlwind.

If you are like me, then you LOVE this time of year. I think that most people love Christmas, but also feel the stress that Christmas brings. You might not be one of those people and you might hate it. Who knows? haha! This year was a little different for me because we went to San Fran at the beginning of December for 5 days. I know that shouldn't matter but San Fran wasn't really decorated anywhere like NYC is, and I'm one that likes to celebrate ALL MONTH LONG so I felt like I was missing out a little bit. We weren't able to decorate until that following weekend which was last weekend (which now I'm just in love with my house and may leave up this decor until the end of January haha).

I think that as much as we love it, we are all also overwhelmed by Christmas. It's hard not to be with all of the decor, gifts, wrapping, cooking, parties, volunteering, and that just scratches the surface. We all have all of our normal obligations and to do lists but have to add a lot more time and money into that. We want the ones that we love to be happy when they open their gifts, but also most don't have the money really so it's just most of the time very stressful.

I think that we all are like "Remember the reason for the season" but we don't actually sit down to ACTUALLY enjoy it. For some reason, for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year I just made the conscious decision not to stress. It's funny how you can do that and it just happens. I always have to remind myself of that little piece of advice in other areas. Last year, I didn't feel that way. I posted this blog post about Feeling Inadequate. It was a crazy popular blog because I think that so many can relate. I'm typically one to always be transparent about my anxieties and stress and luckily, I am not feeling as crazy so I get to write about this season in a more positive light #thankyajesus. 

I typically throw parties, but it just wasn't on the to do list this year therefore it didn't happen. I could be upset about that and of course I missed having my family and friends in my home, but at the end of the day, no one remembers the parties that I've had in the past or cares that I didn't have them this year, and I'll probably have them next. Are you a parent? Maybe you just simply don't have time for elf on the shelf? Who cares? That did not exist when I was a kid, and I loved Christmas regardless. Please don't feel the pressure to do that. It's another created thing for consumerism.

I know that we know it but when we stop and think about it, this holiday has been made into one big spending affair. Don't fall into the traps that they want you to fall into just to make all of these stores money. As I always say, experiences > material items. This year our family finally decided that we weren't going to do elaborate gifts for one another (it seriously got CRAZY up in there), but that we were going to shop for some needy families instead. We all agreed that all of the girls would go shopping to pick out the things so that we could spend time together. I LOVE THAT SO MUCH MORE!

I know that I'll be one of those "weird" parents (and I know I'm doing the thing where I'm speaking of things I'll do before I actually have children) but I just don't see the need to get them 487 gifts. I think that a few is wonderful and it allows you to really think about them, get to know them and what they love, and then get them something they will adore. How special! I want to DO things with my kids. I want to take them to see lights, and I want to take them camping in the mountains while we talk about the true meaning of the season and how Jesus was born and what a celebration that is. I want to have an overabundance of joy different than usual, but I think that we don't allow ourselves to sink into that.

We worry about the family drama that's going on. We worry about how we are going to get to all sides of the family and make everyone happy. We worry that our cookies will be the ones that people want to eat at the cookie party and if no one touches ours then we leave disappointed. We put SO MUCH PRESSURE on ourselves when if we think about what Jesus would want, he would look at us and say "Children, please REST! Celebrate my birth but not in this way. Think of me. Talk about me. Why are you buying gifts for your 2nd cousin twice removed and it's a Starbucks gift card because you can't think of anything else but turns out 2nd cousin doesn't even like coffee?" WHY OH WHY DO WE DO THIS?! haha! We spend SO much of our money just built on these expectations of what Christmas should look like when in reality we ALL have it wrong. We ALL were conditioned into all of this because stores wanted to make money and that has snowballed through the years.

Garland is expensive so we went in our backyard and made our own. The garland around the light fixture is home made and we have it up and down our banisters! I LOVE IT!! We have holly bushes too so that's in there!

Garland is expensive so we went in our backyard and made our own. The garland around the light fixture is home made and we have it up and down our banisters! I LOVE IT!! We have holly bushes too so that's in there!

I think that it takes a conscious decision from each person and each family to decide what is right for them. I think that it takes effort because the natural thing to do is to stress and worry and spend spend spend, but when we allow ourselves to truly relax, and we make the decision to not let it get to us, everything changes. That's what has happened to me this year and I just adore it, and never want it to end. I come in the door, and I plug my tree in and I'm just like "AH!" I honestly have bought a lot of gift cards this year and that's totally not my style. I stress myself out to find the perfect gift for each person because it BOTHERS ME that if I'm spending money on someone, I better know them enough that I know what to get them, and if I don't, then why am I spending this money? So, I let that stress me out. I WANT to be thoughtful for my children to only have a few gifts and get to know them, but there are some people that I just am expected to purchase for and I'll not fight that and just give them a gift card because #aintnobodygottimeforthat. It's just not worth the stress.

So while last year I was stressing and feeling inadequate, this year I'm feeling on top of the world and very jubilee. haha! Stick with me for a few more years as I start having kids and we can tally up what my emotions are each year. I told Tanner at work yesterday how I was in the BEST MOOD but that my emotions were like the winds and he never knew what he'd get by the time I got home! ;) hahaha! What a time to be a woman right!?

Okay, now quit your stressing and go love on your tribe. That's all we really actually want. 

 

 

 

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Life Organization Update + Tips to Improve Yours

So a while back in August, I made a post about "How I organized my life" and it was actually extremely successful and continues to be one of my most popular posts to this day. Sometimes it's funny how a topic hits and you have no clue that people are going to be interested but then they are. I think that organization is one of those things that everyone finds difficult so when we are able to make it "click", it really makes a difference in our every day lives so we all try to harness that energy.

Since August, I really did make this habit stick. There are some habits that I work towards that are complete failures (like not constantly eating out of the peanut butter jar with a fork-HA-I'm not kidding it's ridiculous lol). There are some habits that stick (reading the Bible in one year) and this was one of those. The one tip that I heard from someone that said that there are no excuses in each moment and that you genuinely just have to do it THAT second. You can't let things back up. It has changed my life, honestly.

The house stays clean. The dishes stay done. The laundry is always done. I know that I sound like this perfect house wife, and that is so far from the truth. I SUCK at making dinner. Like, I really worry about that and having children. I'm always like "Ah Tanner just make a sandwich or something" BUT BOY THAT LAUNDRY IS DONE. lol! Point is: I'm not trying to make this about being perfect. It's about the stress eliminated through organization.

When I walk into my house, I want to BREATHE EASY. When I was coming into my house, I was feeling anxiety which is why I had that moment in August where I asked my team, "WHAT IN THE WORLD CAN I DO?!" They gave me so many helpful tips and I have put so many into action. But, just like getting a workout routine started, or healthy eating, or reading your Bible, you just simply have to do it.

I make to do lists every day and I stick to them. The dishes go DIRECTLY into the dishwasher. If the washer is empty, the clothes go directly in. The second the buzzer goes off, they go in the dryer. (It is also of note that I don't have kids so I'm not trying to play like I understand that life-I really think with the way kids are it's kind of impossible so I get that).

When you decide you are going to have a chill day, how do you feel at the end of the day? For me, I feel lethargic and I don't want to do anything. When I wake up with my game face on, then I take on the day with my game face. I've realized recently that one of the things that has made me feel the most organized and productive is a morning workout. It sets the tone for the entire day. Tanner has started the same. Out of bed at 445am, bed immediately made, coffee chugging, cars cranked to warm up, and sip coffee and chat like zombies until we leave to go do our individual workouts (we go to different gyms-different goals). I come home and I'm like a machine before I start work. I get ready, do laundry and dishes and write lists and plan phone calls. I feel like a freakin BOSS, and it's such a lovely way to start the day!

This is not a call to perfection. PLEASE don't mistake that for this blog, but it is a call to make simple changes that can change your stress levels! I think one of the biggest things that doesn't allow for us to be organized is because we aren't present!!! We simply aren't paying attention. We are scrolling through instagram, facebook, etc and not truly just getting junk done. My instagram never grows anymore really so I guess it's a trade off. I used to be on my phone all the time helping with that, but I just stopped. It's been bad for business, for sure, so I can't say i feel rosy inside about that, but I also know that I have huge projects in the works, and that's what this thing is all about! :)

When you start your NIGHTS organized, your mornings become organized. For example, I have started blogging the night before (I'm writing this at 9:30pm) and after this, I'm going to pack my lunch for work at the pharmacy tomorrow. I'm going to go to bed after that, wake up at 445am and do the whole deal again. I have a coffee date at 8am for discussing a proposal plan with the city for starting a marathon in Shelby (WHAT WHAT SO PUMPED), then I have to be at work by 9. I'll post my blog post at 745 before I leave my house. POINT: I have all of this PLANNED. I used to just go with the flow and I was just always a hot mess express forgetting everything. I think just about everyone could vouch for that as I was constantly disorganized, double booking, etc etc. I still am classic double booker because I tell everyone SUREEEE in the moment then go home to then see I have other plans (eek- I hate when I do that).

I will be at work by 9 and be feeling like "wow-I just did all that and I can just rest into the day" and that's what I'll do. I try to work an 11 hour shift one day per week because I want to do a really good job at my job there, but I also have LOTSS going on with katiesfitscript that I'm constantly doing (most of which goes unseen I know and people must wonder what I do all day-I promise I'm not over reading books all the time-I WISH. lol)

{{Side Note-speaking of books-I've been reading Bridge to Haven by Francene Rivers on the treadmill in the mornings and I'm truly enjoying it! I had agreed with myself that if I was going to do workouts in the morning then I was to read my devotion or a Christian novel-this is just Christian fiction so it doesn't really count but I'm going to count it this time hehe}}

So here are my tips:

BE PRESENT.

MAKE LISTS.

DO EVERYTHING IN THE MOMENT, THAT MOMENT, IT CANNOT WAIT.

Pick up the sock, don't EVER leave trash in your car (that's a hard rule for me-Am I crazy? Maybe a little), have the handheld vacuum in easily accessible location, have a routine, get up early and do something that breathes life into you first thing that gets you moving, and you're going to feel brand new? Had anyone started this last time I posted about it? How's it going for you?

If you do these three things, you'll walk into clean spaces, clean clothes folded in drawers and you'll fully be able to sit down with your husband on a Friday night and be able to say "No really, everything is done!!!" (because you're a boss and did it in the moment)

 

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Habits of a Healthy Relationship with Food

As I've talked about a lot, it seems to be the trend that 9 out of 10 women have some form of relationship with food. Sometimes it's actually a very GOOD one, but there are very few that don't think about it at all in some capacity. I remember when I was going through the recovery stages to get to where I am now, I would think to myself and wonder if the habits that I was exhibiting were actually those that any woman would feel or if they were unhealthy voices in my head.

One thing to remember is that everyone is VERY different in what they find healthy. The biggest thing is that it works for YOU and keeps you mentally at peace. I used to get VERY frustrated when people would act as if macro counting was unhealthy while I was doing it because I felt 10000% at peace with food in every way but now that I'm on to the next stage, counting for me wouldn't be right just because it became more of a job. However, there are TONS of people that count calories/macros that are fine. It's inherently a GOOD thing to help you reach your goals. Jillian Micheals counts calories. Heidi Powell counts macros. They are both just fine. haha!

However, there are basic things that must be there to determine whether you should check yourself on your relationship with food and maybe work on it.

1. You are NOT thinking about food all the time

I know there are jokes about when you eat one meal, you are thinking about when you are having the next however if you are genuinely doing this then that means that you are not eating enough at that particular meal. Our brains tell us a lot more than we realize about what we should eat, and sometimes we try to restrict and when we do, we start thinking about food more and more.

It's also okay to recognize that if you are in a cut, you won't have as many calories and therefore you might be thinking about food more. As long as you know this phase is temporary then that's fine but if you are just in this never ending phase of restriction of food but yet thinking about it all the time then that's not a good thing.

2. You aren't practicing any "off" behaviors

This kind of goes without saying I think, but I thought it was necessary to add in that if you are finding yourself binge eating at any time or intentionally restricting without clear evidence of a goal that is a healthy weight loss goal then it might be time to look into how you can fix this.

3. You are able to eat out with friends no problem

No matter on what end of the spectrum of an unhealthy relationship with food, typically, it presents itself in wanting to eat alone or at home. You have control over what you are eating OR in other cases you know that if you go out with friends then you might end up going overboard. In either case, you should be able to go to dinner (even on week nights) with friends and not get anxious about it.

4. You can have a cookie or cupcake

There's a difference between having goals and being restricted. When you truly form a good relationship with food, you can pass by the bake sale and have one cookie and it not wreck your day. You can eat it, enjoy it, not feel guilty about it and move on. It's a beautiful thing.

5. You trust your body when things aren't perfect

You are GOING to overeat. There might be times that you under eat because you ordered food at a restaurant and it didn't fill you up (although this is the more rare option). If you overeat, you should NOT feel instant anxiety over this. You should be able to trust your body that in the past, you have over ate and things have become normal again as they will with this situation. You SHOULD enjoy family and friends during the holidays. I feel that we are all trying to desperately figure out how to not gain weight during the holidays when the truth is, most people with a healthy relationship with food, gain weight during the holidays. It might only be a few pounds but there is that trust there that your body will bounce right back because that's what they are designed to do.

6. You eat an adequate amount of calories to support your well being

I feel as if this again goes without saying however there are some that will intentionally restrict but because it keeps them smaller, they are mentally at peace. That was only a very small time in my life but my freshmen year to junior year of college, this was me. I knew that I was intentionally restricting but I told myself that if I ate the way a normal human ate that I'd get all kinds of anxiety so I just didn't. So while I say that everyone is different in what gives them mental peace, this is not a situation where that is useful. Mentally, you may not be in a position presently that you are able to decide for yourself and therefore it might help to ask a dear friend that you know would have your best interest at heart.

Also, if you are an athlete, are you eating to support your training? If not, then it might be time to really look at things and see if you can make some changes to help this.

7. You look forward to gatherings, meal times, etc

For whatever reason it may be, if you are dreading meal times and going out to eat with people then it might be a sign of something deeper. Again, there are going to be times that you are going to say "Uh I ate pizza for lunch and I really just would rather eat a green smoothie for dinner instead of going out" but it's not something that happens all of the time. This goes back to what I was saying earlier about going out with friends, but not just going out, but meals in general. You should look forward to meal times with your family each night and the conversations around the dinner table and the fellowship together. Of course, that's if you eat together which I hope you do! :)

There are so many spectrums and so many things that I could go over, but for the most part I think this covers the board basics. It's also crucial to realize that just because you aren't to these stages now does not mean that something is wrong with you and this does not mean that you cannot get there. I think that as mental health becomes more and more acceptable, we are able to see that these things are not BAD things but they are things that we need help with. When I've read blogs like this, I feel it's a very judge-y topic like "Uh you have a problem and you need help" and I feel it really cultivates an atmosphere of something that you should be ashamed of. It's not that it's not something that you need to change, but I just want to be a gentle voice in the crazy.

If you are working your way there, then you go girlfriend. It takes time. It takes consistent effort. My friend and I were talking yesterday about how we wish that good habits were just natural. We kind of depend on them to be then we get to this place where we are like "Oh shoot, why isn't this happening?" That goes with everything-reading the Bible for example. I have gotten out of the habit. It's not going to just happen if I don't START. You have to start, and then eventually these things become natural.

If, of course, things are serious, you should ALWAYS ALWAYS reach out to a professional! I'm off to my day, and right now currently, my dog just came and laid down on my arm while I'm typing because he wants attention. I can't make this up and it's so cute I have to share.

HAPPY TUESDAY!

 

 

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12 week Full Marathon Training Excel

So this is the most direct that I have ever been towards following a structured PR plan. That doesn't mean that I think for sure that I'm going to get a PR but I'm shooting for that, so I thought that it would be beneficial for those that want to try to do the same to see how I'm going about this. I like to have the same type of workouts on whatever prospective day of the week because that allows me to have more structure and know what to expect. This is also not what every program looks like AT ALL with my run coaching. Here are all of the disclaimers that I want to put forward with the way that I'm training, so that you know how you can tweek your programming to be what works for you.

First, this will be my 7th marathon distance. I have only officially done 4 stand alone marathons but I have done an ultra, and an ironman which has a marathon at the end. The point of all of that is to say that I know what to expect. I was listening to a podcast for advanced marathoners, and one thing that it stated about the advanced is that you can play with fire a little more. You aren't just looking to finish. You know how to prevent injury with yourself so you are capable of pushing yourself further (do more 20 milers, etc) and have an actual paced race plan vs someone who just wants to finish.

Second, I am lifting, but I didn't include the hybrid portion on this. I will be doing legs on my speed workout days. The reason for that is that you want to work the same energy system on the same days therefore you aren't doing speed work and then sore from that the next. You knock out two birds with one stone. I will be doing a shoulders/biceps day on Wednesday and then an all upper and core day on Friday's. My long run is Saturday, rest Sunday.

Third, I ALWAYS switch days around due to scheduling conflicts/life. I know that some are rigid on their plan but I'm not. It works for me and that's fine. If someone wants to run on Sundays then that's fine. I'll just adjust some things so you might see me in the next 12 weeks doing something on some other day, and I just relatively try to get the right mileage in. This is all for fun (though I take it very seriously) and so I try to make sure to not be so rigid it becomes unfun. :)

Fourth, my peak week is 2 weeks out. This is what works for ME after trial and error. I like to peak and then have a two week short taper.

Fifth, my mileage is going to seem super high. This is new for me as I normally peak at 50. I will judge this how my body is feeling and I might not get that high, but I want to try because I want to build that mitochondrial density as much as possible for my body to be able to utilize oxygen in the best way so that I can hold faster paces for longer.

Starting at about week 6, I will start adding some workouts into my long runs. I typically try to do a fast few miles at the end of long runs and then a cool down mile. With speed work and tempos that are longer than 8 miles, this is not an increase on the actual amount of fast miles that I will be doing. I don't want to do anymore than 6 miles of speed/tempo but I will be adding miles on either side (warm up/cool down) that are slower to get in more miles. Again, this is something new that I'm trying for me and everyone is VERYYYY different just like someone would be different with nutrition.

With shooting for a PR, the numbers don't just magically happen. You have to train accordingly to the speeds that you want to hit. If you go to http://www.runnersworld.com/pace-calculators/training-paces then you can put in the distance that you want to go with the speed that you would like to hit and it will give you the paces that you are going to need to hit by the time that you peak for your race. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but it typically plays out that way.

So for my lofty goal, I would have to hit the paces:

Easy Run- 9

Speed workouts- 5:45min/mile (SHEW lol)

Tempo- 6:50

Long Runs- 8:15-8:30

One thing to note is that you'll see the long runs and easy runs are MUCH slower than the speed workouts and tempos. You do NOT need to go fast every day and your paces should vary a lot. You want to work hard on your hard days and let your body rest on the other days.

Lastly, I have increased by 10% relatively in mileage each week so this week will be at 40 then I'll move to 44. It's not a perfect 10% increase, but you definitely shouldn't really do more than 10%. Also, you'll see at the end, I do a deload week before I do my peak week.

I think that's all the things that I wanted to say, but there might have been more that I'll think of later and wished I had said! ;) haha! I'm excited and know it's intense but I'm ready and can't wait to see how my body adjusts.

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How to stay fit in college/grad school

FIRST THINGS FIRST: DEEP BREATHS!

In my time as a coach, I have coached countless women in college and grad school, and there is nothing like the guilt that a girl places on herself while in school to also keep up with her fitness.

I get the question a lot about "How in the world did you stay in shape while in pharmacy school?" The truth is, I just hung on for dear life knowing that I had big goals but with the way that I had to study, I wasn't going to be able to complete them until I got out of school. I remember writing out a marathon training program once (I hadn't ran a marathon at this time) and I got through like one week of training and I knew that was not going to work. Most of the time, I would set out with a goal to do 5 days of workouts per week. I skipped my alarm clock at 7am to go to the gym before class more times than I can count because I was up late studying. I ran only 8 miles as my longest run before my first half marathon and cried the night before because I didn't actually want to run that far. (lolz)

My first half marathon finish line!

My first half marathon finish line!

If you are someone who is training for marathons during college, let me just tell you sister, you are amazing. Seriously. Are you one of those wizards that don't have to study or maybe one of those that just makes time appear out of thin air?

I get asked over and over again how to make fitness work in college and just so that you do know what I did:: I kept my nutrition in check. That doesn't mean that I missed times with friends due to food (however I did because I was hella unhealthy with eating behaviors during college) but for you that can just mean that during the week you try to eat the best that you can while getting in as many workouts that are reasonable for your schedule and just like with anything, if you are consistent, you will be just fine.

The beauty is to remember though that if you have lofty goals for doing endurance events as I did, you are going to have more time after school to do those things. You do have to work more hours of the day and finding time to do those workouts gets tricky, but it's not the same as the stress of grad school where every single second of every single day seems as if it's jam packed and you feel guilty spending your time doing anything other than studying.

One thing that I did TONS of during grad school was at home workouts through a website called bodyrock.tv. This is in no way sponsored, but Tanner found the website for me and I LOVED IT! It's essentially just HIIT workouts but being brand new to fitness, I didn't know this and I just thought it was great that I could feel like I got a great workout in like 20 minutes and I felt the same that I felt many times running 5 miles. I would always write like run + bodyrock in my planner knowing well and good I was not going to run. HA! Again, I would set the bar high and let myself down each week so I don't know why I didn't just set the bar low so when I got in 3 workouts, I knew I was doing good. For me though, if I set the bar at 2 workouts, I might only do 1 and that was a mess so I had to at least pretend I was going to be intense even though I knew school came first.

I wasn't "fit" at all. I was honestly just controlling my diet enough to stay in shape. I didn't discover fitness and health until my final year in pharmacy school to where I knew what it meant to "live the lifestyle". If you are one that already has the lifestyle down with healthy eating then heck yes, you are on a great path and you are rocking mama.

After sharing some of my journey, the biggest tip that I have is just to let it go. This time of your life is not for that and that's okay. That does not mean that you are doing anything wrong, and that does not mean that you need to change anything, wake up at ridiculous hours to get workouts in, sleep less to do workouts, eat nothing, or any of those crazy extremes. It's not necessary. Just know that you are in a time in your life where you might not be as fit, just like a mom knows that she won't be right after having a baby. It's just something to accept and be okay with, and then after the hard years are over, you can be a boss!!!

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Do you have a slow metabolism? (How to make it better)

Have you ever just felt like things were hopeless with your metabolism? You might even be in your 20s and you thought that this was supposed to be the golden era where your body just magically eats up everything and you stay the same size, but you feel like the second you eat a pizza slice, you can see the triangle in your stomach.

I feel as if more often than not, because of mainstream dieting, we all have done a little metabolic damage maybe even without realizing it. However, it has also swung in the opposite direction where there is a trend towards the notion that you have to be eating 3000 calories or you're metabolically damaged and that's not the case either. I think it's pretty well known but for the purposes of this blog, it should be said that everyone is very different in terms of caloric needs. I always use my mom as an example, but she is 55 with very little muscle mass and a tiny bone structure. She doesn't work out (never has done anything more than walk) and she has always had a very healthy relationship with food. She probably has never ate 2000 calories per day on a routine basis. However, my best friend Brandy, who also is one of those rare breed females with ZERO food relationship, eats probably around 2000-2500 calories per day maintaining her model like physique. Brandy has also never dieted and is tall for a female.

First, let's address the age and metabolism issue. Your metabolism declines about 10% every decade with age. That means that (using Brandy as an example) if she is eating 2000 calories now and maintaining her weight then she would be eating 1800 calories in 10 years (age 36) to maintain her weight. By the time she's 56 (my mom's age), that means that she is eating 1458 to maintain her weight. What is responsible for this? There is literature to support that this is WHOLLY due to muscle decline, so how do we combat this? We resistance train! If you are able to keep your muscle mass the same as when you are 18 then you shouldn't have a problem. The issue is that we tend to get busy with kids and don't have sports of our own into adulthood and that leads to a decline in muscle mass. This doesn't mean that you need to be a bodybuilder but just that you are continuing to exercise in some way.

The second thing that we need to look at is our dieting history. Have we gone on extreme fad diets? For women that are in their 40s-60s, I notice that a huge trend was to just not eat like ... at all. There are so many women that come to me in that age group that genuinely eat like 1000 calories per day and it's not even that they are mentally anxious about it, they just have worked themselves into a hole from all of their dieting and didn't realize what they were doing. I hear the phrase "I'd rather just get the dieting over with" and this has created a life long pendulum of 500 calorie diet days and weeks to get to a certain size then a return to normal eating. Again, this was cultural and normal for this age group in my opinion from what I've observed. The advent of the internet has allowed women to realize that this is really really not good for them in the long run.

Our dieting throughout our life is a continuum that builds on itself day after day, year after year. If you aren't working yourself out of it, then you are going to have to diet on less and less each time because your body gets adjusted to the lower intake. When you lower intake to that low and don't build it back, then you are losing muscle mass in the process. This leads women in their 60s to eating SO very little but yet not losing. Because of our culture, this age has become younger and younger. You now see girls that are in their 20s that have dieted so hard and for so long that they can't eat anything or they are gaining weight, and maybe this is you?

If this is you, then dieting really needs to be the furthest thing from your mind. I know that it feels really heavy to you right now and that you need to diet more than anything in the world for your mental state, but for your long term health and metabolism, you are only working yourself further and further into a hole.

There are so many scenarios and different ways to approach this, but you might also be someone that has been on a dieting train for over a year and you have consistently been doing great and losing. You have reached a point where you are maintaining and you don't want to lose the progress that you have made. You NEED to have a season of not dieting. Your body NEEDS and must take breaks. This is why you will find that many of the extreme weight loss stories don't stick because no one sticks with them long enough after they have had to diet down with 1200 calorie diets to build their metabolism back up.

You might be someone who has had a really unhealthy relationship with food, and you don't feel hungry past the point of 1200 calories. That DOES happen, and then it's very hard to convince these people that they need to eat more because they are not hungry for the food. You have to give yourself time to get out of this. You might feel that your metabolism is slow, and it has slowed down to help you conserve energy for what you are feeding to it but it will come back up if you allow it to.

You might be reading this thinking that you have already worked yourself into a big hole and that you are depressed and that you have "metabolism damage" but the truth is that anyone can work themselves out of this hole at any time, and the solution is easy:: EAT CONSISTENTLY MORE. Don't do the seesaw eat more then go back to eating less. If you just eat more, then your body is going to adjust to that. You might gain a few pounds in the beginning due to water fluctuations but your body will level out and you will come back to baseline where your body naturally wants to be.

I have spoke a lot about reverse dieting, and there are many situations where reverse dieting is totally appropriate for this situation as well and I am someone that helped my metabolism through reverse dieting. There are many that will argue that it doesn't need to be this meticulous process and that it can be done just by simply jumping calories and you can make the change for your metabolism over night. This is true, but this also doesn't take into account psychological fear of increasing food and I know there are many girls who would have never taken the leap (myself included in those days) because of lack of trust in the fact that your body will adjust. The slow incremental changes allow for the body to slowly get used to the intake without the bloating that comes with just jumping.

ANY PERSON THAT DIETS SHOULD COME OUT OF THAT CALORIC INTAKE AND GO HIGHER. There is absolutely NO reason that someone should diet at whatever caloric intake is right for them to lose weight and be in a deficit and then to stay at that long term. Absolutely NONE. There must be a break period, or you WILL back yourself into a hole. You have to come up and come to a place that is meant to be for maintaining weight and if you want to have other goals later then that's fine, but the body and metabolism need that time.

 The beautiful thing about the body is that it allows us this change and it allows us to work ourselves out of that. It's number 1 goal at the root of everything that we do is survival. It makes adjustments to help us survive every single day and that's all that is happening when your metabolism slows down. When you start eating less even for like 2 weeks, your body sees that as a need for less therefore it's going to not need as much. If you do this consistently for a period of 6 months, then your body is going to be used to that. You are going to have to get uncomfortable for a little bit to get your body back to a normal state. This is the one time that I recommend eating less vegetables.

Vegetables have a very low glycemic index and are full of water. If you are wanting to increase your intake then you do not want something that is filling you up that much and making you bloated. You have to give your body space to become hungry for more food and if you are consistently filling it with low glycemic index "healthy foods" then it's going to be very hard for you to get in the intake that you will need and you will feel that you don't need more when you really do.

If you are someone with hormonal issues, thyroid problems, or PCOS then there is going to be a metabolic change that happens with this as well, but the same thing applies across the board. If you consistently eat more at a consistent caloric intake higher than what you are doing now then your body will adjust.

Food intake and caloric intake is a direct reflection also on quality of life. Some don't care so much but most of the time someone with a slower metabolism knows it and thinks about it and with three meals per day, that's a lot of thinking. It is WORTH IT to gain even 5lbs to be able to live at a consistently higher caloric intake. Give your body time to adjust, and I think it will drastically change your life.

 

 

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San Francisco Trip

In the past couple of months (since July), I have traveled more than I think I ever have in my life. I remember making a status of all that I had to come and couldn't believe all the places I was getting to go. Tanner and I sat down one night and decided that we wanted to take every trip we possibly could make work with the amount of PTO that he had, and we started scheduling. One of the places that I had been dying to go was California. I had been in touch with North Face about the possibility of running the 50K, and so I knew that this was a viable option.

With all of the places that we have been, I have not been on the plane on our way with butterflies. California had the same kind of allure to me that New York City once did (and still does but I've just been lots of times). It's a place where you hear so much about but it has just never felt tangible. So, needless to say, I was excited. We landed in LA first, and just had a short lay over to San Fran. I will say that I wish I had got to stop in LA at least for a few hours because I feel that might be more of the Cali that I was dreaming of (not that San Fran wasn't a-mazing lol). We didn't arrive until 1am on Friday morning which with the time change was 4am our time so we were TIRED. We slept until 7am (which would have been 10am) and we felt refreshed for the day on Friday.

As I said yesterday, we were staying with a friend that I met at the Boston Marathon, and she is an absolute gem. She had her entire living room area set up for us with a nice queen air mattress. I wish I knew this brand of air mattress because it's certainly the best I've ever slept on and has never deflated. haha! I feel like I always wake up in a taco with air mattresses. Just me? lol.

On Friday, Tanner and I started exploring. One of the things that I had told Tanner the night before is that I HAD to have an acai bowl while I was here. Ironically, Meredith told us "You have to go to this place called Basik" and that's exactly what they are known for. We LOVE some coffee so we first stopped into a coffee shop called Saint Franks and then moved onto those acai bowls. Immediately we realized how expensive San Fran was and even more expensive than NYC (although I think we just learned tips and tricks with living there). We always find it super interesting that the day before we were in a different spot on a map having a coffee for $1.50 then we fly on a plane and then it costs $3.50 for a small. Ha!

After acai bowls, we headed to Lombard street which is the curviest street in America and we were close by. They have turned it into a garden area as well so it was super pretty. If you don't know this about San Fran, the temperature is ALWAYS moderate. It never really goes below 40, but never really above 80. I haven't decided if I love that, but I love some snow so that would make me sad to live here (but let's be real Shelby gets no snow either). We could see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background and all of the houses look like the set of Full House. I felt like I was in a dream in this place I've dreamed about for so long. Isn't life funny like that? Why haven't I just come here sooner? Who knows!

Another thing about San Fran-THE HILLS! I didn't know about it, and I'm not exaggerating that it's the steepest hills I've ever seen on streets. I feel as if they go straight into the air, and when I saw that, I was like "Ohhhhh boy" thinking about how I was supposed to be running a race on Saturday. Tanner and I wandered around and ended up at the Ferry Building for lunch. Most all of the places at the Ferry Building were very heavily meat focused, but we were able to find a place that had some options for us that was overlooking the water. It was absolutely beautiful. We came back to the house at that point to meet up with Meredith before we went to the Cliffhouse to watch the sunset. With daylight savings time as we all know, it's like super duper early and that's where my best friend Brandy met us. We had talked earlier in the year and decided that we were going to plan a trip out here, so she was staying with a different friend but we spent a good amount of time together.

We went to a place called Cliffhouse but the beach was right beside of it, so we laid out a blanket, and a bottle of wine, and just enjoyed it. It was breath taking to be honest, and the prettiest sunset I think I've ever seen. We could NOT stop taking pictures!!

From there, we got dinner at an amazing stop in place called Blue Barn that Meredith took us to and headed back as we knew we had an early morning with the race (4am to be exact). Read all about Saturday HERE.

After the race shenanigans, we showered and went down to Fisherman's Dwarf for some drinks. It was a super cool area that is one of the touristy spots so I would definitely recommend it. I thought when we came, we would need to rent a car and Brandy did because she was staying an hour outside of San Fran proper, however Meredith lives right in the heart and with the parking situations, you definitely don't need a car. We took ubers or walked to most places and found that to be the easiest. Renting a car wasn't that expensive for this week, but I'm glad that we didn't for ease of travel.

After having drinks we met up with Brandy and her friend for dinner, and as usual, we headed back early. We knew we were planning on going to wine country on Sunday so we thought we'd go to bed early. Truth is: we had jet lag the entire time and went to bed at 8pm and got up at 4am every day but we figured we would keep doing it and then we could adjust easily going back.

Sunday morning, we got up and went to brunch at a little hole in the wall and then headed on our way. I knew that west coast was much more "liberal" for lack of a better word so I was challenging myself to stay vegan the entire trip and I totally was able to easily. It's been no problem at all, and I've really enjoyed it to be honest! :)

After that, we headed off to wine country. There are a couple of different areas that you can choose for wine country but we chose to go to Sonoma. It's a little more chill than Napa. We went to three different vineyards and tried about 10 different wines none of which were Pino so then we got a bottle of Pino at the last place and split it between all three of us. Of course, we had to stop and take beautiful pictures in the vineyard as well. We had a REALLY great day at the vineyard and all kept talking about how blessed we felt to be getting to do these things and how much we love life.

We stopped at a restaurant called Soul Food on the way back, and again, AMAZING vegan food. It's so cool to be in an area of the country that values this lifestyle soyou are able to try the most amazing dishes that are all plant based. There are so many combinations and it makes me appreciate food more now that I live this lifestyle. I won't complain but I do wish Shelby had just a fewwww more vegetarian options as it basically is nonexistent.

We got back at about 6pm and no lie watched Netflix until we fell asleep at 8pm. HA!! We are party animals clearly! Monday morning we woke up somewhat wishing that we had flown out on Monday but our flight was on Tuesday so we had an entire extra day. We really didn't know what to do yesterday so we basically meandered around doing nothing pretty much all day. LOLLLL! On Monday morning however, I went to a run group called Back on My Feet. It's meant to help the homeless. They have a point system for when you come to the run club and if you come a certain amount of times then you are able to get certain benefits from that that helps them lead into independence. The program is brand new in San Fran so there weren't that many people there, but it's an amazing thing they are starting. I laughed because I've never done a huddle where we didn't pray but we did this huddle and they like started encouraging everyone, and I bowed my head and then popped back up like "Oh, we aren't praying!" hahahaha! It was hilarious in my head, but makes sense because it is San Fran after all! ;)

We have LOVED San Fran and will definitely be back sometime. We are so lucky that we were able to stay with a friend, and I definitely want a little redemption on that 50K course at some point! ;) We honestly however are REALLY excited to get back to our puppies, decorate our home for the holidays as I'm having family at my house for the first time on Christmas day, and we have big plans for fun things we want to do in our area! :) We have left the season of travel but are really looking forward to some time at the house. Our next trip is Feb 1-8 when we go to Colorado for visiting friends in Boulder and a ski trip! The beautiful thing about travel is that it's beautiful, it's exhausting and when you get a little tired of it, home is always waiting with open arms.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!

 

 

 

 

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North Face Endurance Series 50K Race Recap

Okay, first things first, drop what you're doing and sign up for one of the North Face Endurance Series challenges because this race was seriously amazing. The story of my day is of no reflection of how wonderful this race was and I would TOTALLY do it again and have hopes to maybe come back to San Fran next year and do it.

If you're wondering the story of who I ran the race with, it will make you love the running community. While Bethany and I were running the Boston marathon, at mile 24, a girl ran up to us and was like "OMG I FOLLOW BOTH OF YOU!" and so we laughed, hugged and kept running together. We all know I was dying at that point of the race but she was the reason we kept a smile on and we crossed the finish line all holding hands. After running only two miles together, we became great friends, exchanged numbers and have been friends ever since. She lives in San Fran so it was only perfect that we stay with her to come and do this race! :) She has been the most perfect hostess and we are so lucky to have so many wonderful friends across the US. I'll talk about our trip and all there is to love about San Fran for tomorrow's blog, but today I thought I'd tell about race day.

Tanner and I have had bad jet lag but it's worked in our favor for getting up super early. I woke up at 4am race morning wide eyed, and we ate breakfast and left the house at 5:15 to run and catch the shuttle bus to the start line. The last bus left at 5:45, and we got to the race start at 6am. I will admit that this was somewhat awful because we had an hour to stand in the cold before the race started. It was wonderful however of North Face to have the standing heaters that we could all stand around and chat.

We were in wave 3 however the waves were very close together and right at around 7:10, we started. As I have stated, I was completely under trained for this event but knew that I would warm up, get going and be fine which I was. We knew we would walk the steep uphills and jog the other parts and make our way. After standing in the cold for an hour, everything was frozen so it took a while to get moving, but otherwise it was beautiful. The sun was rising over the Pacific and everyone was geeking out as we made our way into the mountains. It was funny how many cameras were out when that sun was coming up.

NOT EVEN CLOSE TO WHAT WE SAW lol!

NOT EVEN CLOSE TO WHAT WE SAW lol!

Starting at mile 2, STEEP elevation started (we did 3300ft of climb over the 15 miles). It was very weird to be walking at mile 2. I kinda wanted to jog but I knew that if I was about to run 30 miles, I had to conserve so I listened to the fact that everyone else was walking and walked. From mile 2-5, it was switching between jogging downhill and steep steep uphills. The elevation was INTENSE and there was no way we were running up this. We laughed later because Meredith said she looked over and I was like doing the push-my-knees-as-I-walk type walking up this incline, but you can imagine that we weren't really all that gassed because we weren't running. Haha!

Once we got to the 5 mile mark, I won't lie, I was in a bad place mentally. I was thinking how I wasn't even that tired but I just could not fathom running another 25 miles. I also was thinking how this was SO slow moving because of the elevation that I was almost bored. I like to run not walk so the walking was KILLING me. I kept telling myself to sink into it like I do every other run but all I could think about was how Tanner was alone in San Fran with nothing to do because I was running all day. I know he supports everything and he NEVER complained about me racing but these were just my honest thoughts.  (Negative Nancy Saturday lol)

Meredith and I finally got in a groove and started talking about other things. We started discussing deep things in life because that's what always happens when you run with someone long enough and that's something that I really love about it. haha! It's like "We are in the mountains kind of alone. We might as well really get to know each other." Before I knew it, we were coming on the ten mile mark and I felt awesome. I couldn't believe we had made it that far so fast, and the weather was finally turning to sun and I was warming up finally.

We had a lull in conversation and for some reason, I again thought about how there were 20 miles left. I started thinking about my training. I thought how little I had trained for this event, how I get little niggles really easily, and how I wanted SO badly to get back from San Fran and start seriously training intensely for Myrtle Beach Marathon (March 4) for my next attempt at a PR. Getting a marathon PR is some of the hardest training and can really tax your body. I knew that if I ran 30 miles Saturday then I was going to have to rest for a full week to make sure that I came back safely. This is NOT to say you can't run the week after a long endurance event but I know how my body responds. EVERY single time I try to run the week after, I get something that keeps me out for a month. I didn't like the thought of that. It made me not want to put my body in that place. So, mentally, I was done at mile 10.

I turned to Meredith and said "If you were being 100% honest with me, what are your thoughts on finishing this race?" Part of me wanted her to say "WE CAN DO IT!" and the other part was praying she was in my state of mind. She was like "Girl, we could stop right now and I wouldn't care." I was so relieved. We decided in that moment that we weren't going to finish. We weren't injured. We weren't hurting or breathing hard. It was just a conscious decision.

We were whispering as we didn't want the others around us to hear. hahaha! We said we would get to the next aid station (which was actually the actual mile 10 mark) then see where the next aid station was. We knew mile 10 was a literal straight up climb. I told her I at least wanted to do a half marathon distance. At mile 10 they told us that it was 5 miles to the next aid station. I remember Mere grabbing my arm and saying "FIVE MILES!?" which is hilarious because we were so done that 5 miles up a mountain sounded like a really long distance.

However, that turned out to be some of the most beautiful moments. The course map makes it look like it's straight up but it's actually switch backs so we just did all the switch backs through the mountains and made our way to the top of this mountain for the most beautiful views of the ocean and the golden gate bridge. When we got to the top, we pulled to the side and told the race officials that we were dropping. We feel as if dropping was normal because they didn't ask questions or encourage us to keep going. Ha! It was just like "okay what's your number?"

At that point, we asked where to go because we were on top of a mountain. They told us to walk to the nearest ranger station and that we could have someone pick us up there. So, we ate some food and headed on our way. We called Tanner who was super shocked but also excited to come get us early. He texted me that he would have NEVER EVER believed I'd ever stop in a race, and I can't either really, but there's a first time for everything! :)

We made it to the ranger station and had to wait on Tanner for 45 minutes where we laughed about the fact that we should have kept running and we COULD.NOT.BELIEVE what we had just done. I imagine the emotions of someone who quits a job and when you leave, you feel exhilarated like you did something wrong but also freedom but also this weird "I kinda feel a lot of regret but I'm glad I did it anyway because it was a smart decision for today" emotion.

I knew I had to explain why I didn't finish and I felt this weird emotion of needing to explain myself and then I thought, "but why?" Why do I feel the need like this is such a bad thing? I made a decision for myself that was GOOD for me...really really good for me mentally and physically, so there is nothing to apologize or explain for. I got to know a friend on a deep level in the mountains, I got to run in a beautiful place with a beautiful sunrise, and clocked FIFTEEN MILES for the day. How amazing!!!

As we left the ranger station, Meredith took us to a look out to see the Golden Gate Bridge and as I was no longer running and walking through the mountains to this lookout with Tanner and as I'm standing there looking out at the vast ocean and the world thinking how I can not imagine not believing in a God that is SO much bigger than me, I knew I had made the right decision. I almost got emotional and told Meredith how amazing it was that we were able to complete fifteen miles when there are so many people who couldn't do that.

That's Tanner and I walking out to the lookout holding hands that Meredith took right after we stopped.

That's Tanner and I walking out to the lookout holding hands that Meredith took right after we stopped.

I am so thankful for my health and this journey and for those days that turn out way different than we intend for them too..

Today started training for Myrtle Beach Marathon. I will start with a 30 mile week this week increasing by 10% each week with a peak at 60 miles/week. It's exactly three months away and after such an awesome "long run" this weekend, I feel on top of the world to really start training. I had been in a funk and this weekend was JUST what I needed.

 

 

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13.1 Documentaries (Nutrition & Fitness)

So I know what you're thinking...

I'm going to tell you to watch all of the "Go vegan" documentaries, and while those are definitely going to be on here (ha), I want to share some endurance films that are seriously A-MAZING and so inspiring. Here's my note on the vegan films. It's the reason that I made the change that I did a year ago. It was a HUGE shift because I honestly was NEVER planning on doing that. Someone asked me, "Could you just watch them and then just see what you thought? If you decide otherwise, no biggie, but education is never bad right?"

I was like "Well alright then...I can do that." So, I started watching them. Once I started, I couldn't stop, but I'm pretty extreme on most things so there's that. LOL! It's not just about animals for me, but many other reasons and these documentaries explain a lot. Some of these are also not on Netflix.

1. Cowspiracy

2. Food, Inc

3. Forks over Knives

4. Earthlings (kinda graphic)

5. Vegucated

There are actually TONS more, but I don't want you to think that I'm bombarding you with Vegan films, so I'm going to move into other ones. Here is a website that I reference a lot that has a list of all of them, and I haven't made it through them all but I do plan on watching them. It gives reviews on each one of them, so you can know what you're going to watch before hand. I'm also a documentary fanatic. I love them on any topic. Let's move on to the inspiring ones!!!

6. Four Minute Mile

This is about a guy who grew up in a rough home but found out that he was fast and decided to use running to work through his issues with poverty and inner city life through running.

7. It's Raining, So what?

This is about a guy who was super adventerous, had a crash, and became an incomplete quadriplegic who went on to be the first person to even do an ironman race. It's amazing and the human spirit is incredible.

8. The Barkley Marathons

This is about the hardest run that is out there. You have to be accepted into it, and then there are still very few that finish.

9. Running on the Sun

This is about Badwater Ultramarathon which is a race of 135 miles that goes through death valley which is at 282ft below sea level all the way to Whitney Port at 8360ft above sea level! It looks like one of the hardest things someone could ever do.

10. Running America

11. Transcend(click to watch the trailor)

This is about a Kenyan man who faces the challenges of where he comes from, and his story to where he is now which is a pro runner. YALL. SO. GOOD.

12. Run for your Life

This is about Fred Lebrow who was the president of New York Road Runners who grew the New York City Marathon into what it is today until 1994 when he died from brain cancer. Can you believe that the marathon started with only 55 people?

13. Unbreakable

This is about Western States and I think that if you do that race, you have to be pretty unbreakable! ;) Crazy to think that I have friends who did this race last year! I always think of people like that when I'm wondering if I can complete this 50K. haha!

If you saw my post about 26.2 books to read, the final 0.2 was that I wanted to encourage you to get a library card. I have LOVED having one and Tanner commented last night how I was churning through books. I don't read that much but just like 15-20 minutes at night before bed and it's so nice. So, for the 0.1 on this documentary blog, I want to encourage you to actually watch them. Take some time out for yourself to be inspired. I NEVER just sit and watch a documentary. I play it while I'm doing my hair in the morning. I play it in the background while I work (and yes I have a work from home job so I know that makes it more possible), but just making time to be able to see these inspiring films as it's totally worth it! :)

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