Boston Marathon 2017

Hey Guys! Long time no talk! Maybe one day I’ll get around to explaining my absence when I can put it into words better, but for now, let’s get to this post! It's hilarious reading this post in comparison to the marathon post before this one when things went the exact opposite direction!

So, THE BOSTON MARATHON!! It’s currently 4am and I always have the biggest trouble sleeping the day after a marathon for whatever reason. I’m going to talk about everything, but if you want just the race recap, you’ll see where I begin talking about Mile 1 forward! :) 

Last year, I shared all about the Boston experience so I’m going to link that up here, so that you are able to read all about what goes down as all of that was the same this year. I knew going into this race that I had just had my PR therefore I was treating this like a long run and just going to enjoy the day like I wasn’t able to do last year. If you are someone that already knows half of this story, I actually DID enjoy the day much more than last year crazy enough and I’m SO glad that I ran Boston this year. It gave me a new appreciation for Boston that I didn’t have before, and actually stepping out of the blogger/running world also gave me perspective for it. Some people at the gym in my hometown came up to tell me congrats before I left and said “We can’t lie that we aren’t envious but so excited for someone from Shelby to be going.” That hit home for me. Boston is a big BIG deal, and I’m going to go when I can!! Next year, I’ll have a red bib and be in the first corral because of my finishing time at Myrtle Beach so there’s no way I will miss that! :) Tanner will also be coming which he wasn’t able to this year, and I missed him so much. He also was DYING to be here but sometimes life happens! :) 

I had planned to stay with a friend/client who lives in Boston (who I will be staying with tonight) but last minute she decided to go home for Easter before she moves states. I texted Bethany and of course she immediately was like “Um come stay with me!” She’s the best. Seriously. So, I ended up having a slumber party for the past 3 nights with my best friend so that was freakin awesome, and I loved how it all worked out for the absolute best. 

You see how well that went! lololol! 

You see how well that went! lololol! 

We also are in the same hotel (Sheraton near the finish line) with another best friend of ours, Sarah. Fun story: Sarah found me through another blogger who she is real life friends with (powercakes) like 3 years ago. She liked all of my posts so I looked her up and we became friends. A year later I got close to Bethany. A year after that, I realized that Bethany and Sarah live in the same town and introduced them. Nowwww, Sarah and Bethany are best friends in Pittsburgh and run together all the time. Haha! I love how small the world can be. We met up with her yesterday morning to walk to the buses for the ride to Hopkinton. That ride takes approximately an hour. It’s 30 miles that they are driving you out and a bunch of yellow school buses so it takes forever, which is one of the reasons the start time is so late always and we have to run in the heat of the day. 

PRE-RACE

We got to Athlete’s Village, which is a few acres of grass that they set up tents, music, food, etc while we all wait until we walk to the start line. We had about 45 minutes until start at that point, so we all just rested and ate cliff bars and bagels. 

Walking to the start line is about another mile, so our start time was 10:25 but they had us begin walking at 9:45 just because it takes a while for 30,000 people to walk in the same direction and then they have a final stop for the porta-potty. If you’re thinking it’s a huge mission to even begin this race, you’d be right! ;) I walked 4.1 miles before the start! (which if we are all honest makes it extremely difficult to do well in this race which is why it will never be an A goal PR course for me-I think we know that from my previous two attempts haaa). 

My time yesterday was 4:05:30 which is almost exactly ONE HOUR from my PR 6 weeks earlier. That doesn’t happen. That’s a RIDICULOUS gap in times, but I am SO SO LUCKY I even finished this race and I literally walked the final 2 miles with run/walking the last 5. It was a hot mess express the second half, but I still loved what I could and I was pulling deep inside to do just that. 

There were 5 of us that started together (me, Sarah, Bethany, Mel and then Michelle who I didn't know until the start ) and it was seriously such a powerful run squad. We all talked about how we are so lucky that we have found close friends in the marathoning world as we used to all do this alone. 

Miles 1-4: 

The race is downhill at the start so this always feels pretty good for the most part. It’s always super difficult because you are trying to weave in and out of people and it’s a MAD HOUSE but we were keeping a really great pace and feeling strong through it. I always tell Tanner that I know the course of my day by the first 5K but yesterday was not that. I genuinely thought I’d keep the 7:35-7:45 for the entire race and be TOTALLY fine and was thinking how easy the pace felt with having done 7:10 for an entire marathon six weeks ago. I was excited to get around a 3:23ish time and had that as this semi time goal in my head. 

Miles 5-8: 

We were still running 4 deep with our run squad and we all commented on how that never happens and how it was helping us all so much to keep the pace nice and easy and we all agreed that we felt great!! No issues! The heat was there, the pavement was hot, the humidity was HIGH, we were sweating like crazy but at every single water aid station I took water (which I never do lets be real) and I would grab a second and pour it all over me. So every time I’d pour a cup of water all over me and would cool off.

Miles 9-10: 

I thought to myself “Eh I probably won’t make it with the run squad all day but it’s all good. I’ll let them do 7:45s and I’ll do 8’s. I also thought to myself for the first time, “I don’t think I handle heat well.” Ha! I run in the heat at home sometimes and I don’t feel awful. I ran awful last year at Boston but thought it was just a fluke, but this year kind of confirmed that I need to be careful in the heat. It’s also INSANE to me that 7:45’s can begin to feel hard as that’s not a hard pace for me to hold ever. Heat is a crazy thing. 

Miles 10-14: 

We all continued to stay together. It truly was amazing how well we all were doing running together. We weren’t chatting. We all were in our zones and running our races with the quiet reassurance that the other one was right beside us. I absolutely loved it. So much. 

From the start until the finish, there are ALWAYS people lining the sides of Boston. It’s simply unreal. There’s never anything else like it, and people are screaming for you the entire way.

At mile 13, I dropped back a little but eventually caught back up to the girls. I felt a wave of nausea but it subsided. Up to this point, I’m still honestly pretty good. 

Miles 14-16:

At mile 14, I decided to officially leave the run squad. Mel went out ahead and then Bethany and Sarah continued to run together while I dropped back. It pretty much went down SUPER fast from there. 

I want to interject here that I knowwwww that sometimes these stories can look like excuses and just plain annoying. I want to just simply share my story and not some big conjured up story of why my time was not my best. I’m NOT NOT NOT a time/PR focused girl. It’s always freakin amazing when it happens, but we all know there are good days and bad days, so I’m just sharing one of my bad days so that you have a mixture of this sprinkled in. I’ve actually had loving people in my life tell me to just not share stories like this because people judge. Can I just say HOW SILLY?! So, then all we see are the PR’s and then when people don’t PR, they are terrified to even tell the story so then it is the constant comparison trap of thinking everything is perfect in everyone else’s lives. And it’s not and we all need to not be ridiculous and know that THAT’S OKAY TOO. 

At mile 14ish, from what I’m remembering, there is the screaming “Kiss me” girls section in which girls make these signs that say things like “Kiss me. I won’t tell your wife.” Or “Kiss me. I’m lesbian.” Or just simply “Kiss Me” and there are people that legit go over there and kiss them. I know this sounds hella awkward and I don’t partake (ha) but it’s tradition and we can’t break that! ;)

I pulled back to an 8:10 minute pace which quickly dropped to an 8:40-9 pace going into mile 16. Miles 15-16 is when all of the hills began and I just wanted to be able to go by effort and not even look at my watch, so that’s what I did and when I would look down, the pace that felt REALLY hard was 8:40 and then 9:30’s started to feel labored. OH.BOY. I always know that when I’m struggling to hit an 8minute pace then something is seriously wrong with me. But I didn’t think too much of it and just readjusted my goal to go 9’s for the rest of the marathon and still get like a 3:35.

Nope. 

Miles 17-20: 

I don’t really remember mile 17 and then at mile 18, I had to pull to the side and started dry heaving. I had been taking water and energy/electrolyte chews, but I knew if I was dry heaving then I didn’t have anything in me, so I asked someone for water and chugged. Mistake. Haha! 

Right when I started back up, which I basically like dry heaved then quickly started back, I knew that water wasn’t going to stay down. I can’t remember exactly but I want to say I threw up 5-6 times on the course. Fantastic I know. Haha! I kept trying to get in Gatorade and water, but it wasn’t happening. I knew I had to keep trying though.

At mile 19, the cramping began. It started like in my quads (left to be exact), which I’ve never had a Charlie horse in my quad. Supppppper weird feeling. It makes your leg straighten out completely, so I was trying to run with a straight leg. I had to pull over. I worked out the soreness and began on my way again (at like the slowest that I could be considered running at this point).

At mile 20, the cramping began to fully be the biggest issue. Both of my quads seized up and I was trying to run with two straight legs. I just wanted to keep moving forward. I would be danged if I was going to walk 6 freakin miles. Yuck. I would stretch them, ask for Gatorade, throw up Gatorade, try to walk with straight legs, try to jog with straight legs, new cramp. This was on repeat for the next 6 miles. I actually would take Gatorade at the aid stations but then ask the people cheering if they had anything and this one girl handed me a Snickers. HA!! I was like BARF no thanks! 

Miles 21-24: 

Mile 21 was probably my longest mile although not sure of the split. My splits are crazy. I could not stop the cramping. It moved into my back (yes my back which was bizarre and unexpected) so I would have to stop, calm the muscle spasms down in my back and quads, and try to shuffle step forward. I realized at this point of course that any time goals were absolutely 100% out the window and I wasn’t sure I would finish. Every time I’d throw up, they’d ask me to go to the med tent, but like seriously I have a “few” miles left, and I didn’t go through this sufferfest to stop now before I get my medal. 

At mile 23, I had a missed call from Bethany so I called her back and she asked where I was thinking that I was finished. I was crying and blubbering hearing her voice and explained I was not doing well and just going to have to walk/hobble the rest of the way. So, that’s what I continued to do for what felt like forever. I also was truly not being reckless out there. Like, I was walking. It's not like I was trying to push pace or do anything crazy. I just wanted my medal. ha! 

Miles 24-26: 

This is when the crowd gets insane. My head was throbbing and the screams were deafening, but it was just what I needed to get me through. My body would go into cramping (calves, back, quads) and when I would slowly work them out and continue forward, the people would go nuts for me. Then I’m like crying as they cheer. 

At mile 25, you see the Citgo sign, and I knew I was almost there. I remembered on last year when Tanner and my mom and best friend Brandy were sitting at the top of the bridge and I was able to see them. I envisioned them waving and I was pretty delusional at this point so the hallucination was pretty real and gave me strength. Hahaha! 

At mile 25.5, Bethany calls me again to see if I’m okay. I thought she had seen me doing the death straight leg march so I answered. I don’t just like take calls on the course normally FYI. Haha! She was like “YOU ARE NOT OKAY! MED TENT!” and I was of course, through slurred speech, telling her that she was crazy if she thought I wasn’t going to walk the rest of it. She said later she knew she would have done the same exact thing, so she of course understood. 

I could finally see the right on Hereford and thought AND THEN JUST A LEFT ON BOYLSTON AND I’M THERE! So, that’s what I did. I was able to straight leg run (my legs just would NOT bend). Right about at the finish line, the full out cramping happened again and I wanted to yell “SON OF A BISCUIT JUST LET ME GO TWO MORE STEPS BODY!! GOODNESS GRACIOUS!!!!” 

I look in front of me and I see the ex marine carrying the American flag and with a prosthetic from stepping on an IED in Afghanistan. I start crying. I thought if he can do it, I can do it. I put my hand on his shoulder just like runner lingo of YOU INSPIRE ME SO MUCH!!!

This is literally seconds after my finish 

This is literally seconds after my finish 

 

Of course, I began again and the crowd went crazyy. This made me super emotional, and a lady came up and did what you see on those viral videos. She put her hand on me and I told her to run her race and she refused. She helped me hobble to the finish which of course then I start crying. 

POST RACE DRAMA DIVA FESTIVAL 2017

I lean down (head between legs) because I felt dizzy and when I stood back up my chest started hurting really bad. I zombie stiff leg walked forward, and they watch for you so a guy immediately grabs my arm and says “Maam are you okay?” I didn’t speak and then I felt my chest and couldn’t breathe. I started hyperventilating. They asked if I had asthma as I’m gasping for air. Two people grab me and start coaching me “IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE OUT THROUGH YOUR MOUTH” and I was able to calm down. They put me in a wheelchair (but I couldn’t bend my legs so they had to hold them as I went into the med tent.)

They took vitals (super high heart rate but I had just got done hyperventilating post marathon so it was 200) and my BP was like 90/60 at this point. They asked me questions and I laid down for a bit. I couldn’t take Gatorade as I knew I’d throw it up but a banana sounded good so I ate one and a bag of chips. I started to feel better and they let me walk/hobble. After I got a little way, I started feeling super light headed, nauseous and asked for a banana. I laid down like on the floor while they got me back on the bed because I knew if not I was going to pass out. That’s when my BP dropped to 80/60 but my HR had come down at that point. They let me lay there some more (still confused why everyone around me is getting IV’s and I’m like “uh I’m fairly certain I qualify but whatevs.” After a bit, I was okay/not okay but wanted to leave. I felt awful because I knew everyone was waiting on me. I was alone at this point. 

I had to walk maybe like 0.5 mile to them and it felt so awful. I don’t know how to explain it, but just everything was off. I knew I wasn’t okay, but I thought it was carbs, so I ate another banana. I couldn’t find Starbucks then I finally do. I walk inside, they aren’t there, and things are getting really blurry. I called Bethany, then went outside to find them. I ask to sit down. 

Robby comes over and asks how I’m doing. And that’s when my entire body went into full out cramping like I’ve never felt in my entire life. I can’t even explain my calf on the right that moved into my groin. I tensed up so much as they are yelling to get me a wheelchair. They tried to grab my legs/bend them to put them in the chair and I screamed DO NOT TOUCH MY LEGS!!! I can’t explain groin cramping. It’s unreal. Everything went black. I told them “I’m going to pass out” and I don’t remember the ride to the med tent. They said they were yelling clearing people, and asking me questions that I did in fact answer. I came to more once in the med tent, and I honestly don’t remember getting on the bed, but I was in it. My back cramps so I’m like in this weird contorted position. 

Not even gonna lie folks, and I’m totally not dogging the volunteer care but they basically did nothing but give me a bed to lie on. They called PT over to massage my legs and just had me lay there. They asked me if I wanted liquids..NOPE. But they got me water to sip through a straw that Bethany held there for me. I kept it down for maybe 15 minutes then threw it all up with the bananas. Still no one is concerned or asking me questions or saying anything. Sarah is a nurse and was finally like “Um, what does she need to do for an IV? She clearly needs one.” 

The doctor comes over and like asks me if I want an IV. It was super awkward. I was like “Well if it will make me feel better???” I’m still so confused how they determine the need because blacking out, low BP, full out body cramps, and throwing up seems to be enough cause, and so finally Sarah was my mediator and was like YES YES SHE DOES PLEASE.

They took vitals and did the IV and within 10 minutes of the IV, I started feeling better. It was like I could feel the cold liquid going into me and I immediately came out of this fog. I could speak normal again, my cramping was there but manageable and all was okay again. I finished up the bag of fluids (like could we not have done that an hour before and saved the drama, I mean really?). We were on our way!!! 

We get outside and of course my calf is still cramping so Sarah and Bethany were like SCREW THIS PIGGY BACK RIDE TO THE HOTEL AND ROOM SERVICE. So they switch and carry me. That gets hard because it was a mile back so then they both like double carry me. Eventually, I’m finally able to walk on my own. 

Wow. What a day!!!! It will be a memory that I never forget, but one that I’m taking very seriously. I’m going to really look into what happened, and avoid it all costs because I wasn’t reckless. I took plenty of fluids before, early on in the race and ate well (probably my best ever pre race food) and so I don’t know what happened. I know you can’t help the heat, but if my body does that bad then I will have to reconsider summer marathons. I have decided that a marathon that I was going to do in July just for fun with Shelby people, I’m going to simply cheer for them. I can’t be doing this again in the heat. This is the kind of day that makes you question running marathons in general, but that won’t happen for me. I’ll continue, but just smarter. My next marathon will be Chicago in October. I’m taking two weeks (maybe more depending on how I feel) completely 100% off. There’s no reason at all that I need to be running anytime soon. But for today, I’m going to try to enjoy it the best that I can with friends that are still in the city (which I'm not posting this a day later and I did have a wonderful day in Boston yesterday with friends)

I’m so thankful for the Boston experience once again, and for the memories that I’ll hold dear in my heart forever. 

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Myrtle Beach Marathon 2017

ISN'T LIFE SURREAL Y'ALL!? Man oh man. I kind of can't believe that I have sat down to write this post. I genuinely just keep asking Tanner if that was me and my body that crossed the finish line in 3 hours and 5 minutes and 59 seconds, and while we are talking about this time, can we discuss something? When someone asks me what my PR is, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY? I mean CLEARLY my PR is a 3:06 now, but it's in that 3:05 window and who likes to round up??! 

HAHAHA! 

Okay, I know I know it's 3:06! ;) Also, who asks people what their PR's are? That's right. No one. MOVING ON! 

I will say, if you're prepared for all the antics that Katiesfitscript normally brings on race day, you might be disappointed. There's one detail that's typical me, but I think I'm finally maturing in this racing business, and not acting like an idiot. After yesterday, in all seriousness, I'm feeling very motivated for my eventual goal that I've shared of a sub 3 and ready to really take things to the next level with training and documentation. I skip too many runs, I don't track data enough, I know y'all will think I'm lying but I eat SO SO bad sometimes that I then feel really crappy on runs, and I literally didn't do any speed work for this training cycle, and that's embarrassing but I was scared with my hamstring issue.

So, I am hoping and praying and praying some more that I can keep miles steady, slow, and build up a heavy heavy base (using Boston as simply a slow easy long run) to go into Chicago this year and going to push higher mileage than I've ever done before with MOSTLY slow easy miles and then to add in those tempos and speed work. I DO NOT want to be one of "those people" that doesn't do the training and then gets the times on race day. I want to do the work. There are 3 take aways from yesterday. 

1 - YOU ARE CAPABLE OF FAR MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE 

2- MAYBE A SUB 3 IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE

3- I QUALIFIED FOR NYC MARATHON AND THAT MEANT THE WORLD TO ME!!!! 

If you've followed my journey, you know that qualifying for NYC was my A goal and has been for a long time, and I love New York City with my entire full heart, so being able to qualify for the race is just one of my biggest dreams, and if I'm being honest, probably more than Boston. EEK, I said that out loud. I feel that's blasphemous. 

Let's get to this recap before things get too long!!! :) 

This is for good measure to show what this PR really looked like HAHA! 

This is for good measure to show what this PR really looked like HAHA! 

Okay, so if y'all will remember last Thursday, there was the tornado-ish thing that happened in North Carolina, and it cooled the air from all the heat we have been having #byewinter #iloveyou #seeyounext year. The start of Myrtle Beach Marathon (which I will now abbreviate as MBM for the rest of this blog) was supposed to be 35 degrees. Y'all know I love cold, but I absolutely HATE freezing while I'm standing in a starting line corral pondering life like "Why do I do this to myself again?" hahaha! So, I wasn't thrilled about the change, but as usual, it was a good thing and I take it back and I'm thankful it happened. 

The start time was 6:30am but I don't like to wake up and immediately run, so I woke up at 4am to make sure that I was WIDE awake by start. I ate my typical bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter, and I was still hungry so I made a peanut butter sandwich and then had some chocolate. I realized I had no gloves or a head wrap and just knew I was going to freeze. I am SO thankful for what we did next. We left the house at 5am and stopped at Walmart. I went in and looked all around finding NO winter stuff. SHOOT. I asked the workers and they said they had just put the gloves up and handed me a pair of kids gloves that were on sale for 25 cents and I'm so so thankful I had them. My hands FROZE even with them on. I don't generate heat well, and so I stayed cold the entire marathon to be honest, but I run well in cold so it's okay. 

I got to the start super early so we got a parking spot close, and just sat in the car (and ate a cliff bar). When I see Facebook groups and people talk about what they eat on race morning, I am shocked at the answers people say. I eat A LOT on race mornings, much more than normal, but everyone finds what works for them. I took 4 Gus with me, only used 2 and savagely ate a banana on the course. I'll explain later why I only took two. 

I like to get out of the car RIGHT before start, but I judged that wrong, so I ended up in the corral about 15 minutes early. I had asked a friend (Brad Mckee) the Thursday before to run with me, and we live 4.5 hours away from MBM so I didn't expect him. I did know there were tons of runners from Shelby there, and I looked EVERYWHERE for them, and could not find one single runner. I know my friend George will read this (Hi George) and I knew he was running the half. I wanted to run with him, but just couldn't find him, so I just accepted that I'd be doing this one solo. Right about that moment, Brad walks up and I gave him a big hug like THANK GOODNESS someone to pace me. I told him my plan which was to do 7:30 for the first two miles then settle into 7:15 pace. Yeaaaaa, I basically never did either one of those paces. Oopsies. 

Miles 1-6

There's was a 3:10 pacer, and I thought I'd keep my sites on her, but race how I felt. I took off and felt great and kept looking down at my watch and kept slowing myself down. My first mile was 7:05. I honestly was mad at myself like KATIE SERIOUSLY DO NOT DO THE STUPID RUN TOO FAST THING! But I majorly believe in going by feel. So I kept running by feel. At about mile 2, Brad was like "Do you want me to slow you down because I can?" And I said yes. And then we hit 6:59 for the second mile (again totally my fault as I roll my eyes at myself lol). I really thought I would never be able to hold that. Brad was chatting, and I caught a cramp. Yes, at mile 2-3, I had a side stitch and thought how I could have probably done without the PB sandwich. So, I just ran by feel and started taking deep breaths. 

Let me stop right there for a second. I talk about PR's, and I go for them. I show up on race day with my mind focused. HOWEVER, I really really am not emotionally invested, and never have been with PR's. If I had not got the time that I had, I would NOT have cared, and I mean that. I love to run. Period. Stressing over PR's DOES NOT AND WILL NEVER wake me up in the morning to run. Stressing over PR's will never get me to the finish line. Enjoying running and pushing myself to the best that I CAN BE in those moments is what does it. Bottom line. I seriously mean that or I wouldn't say it. That also doesn't mean that PR's can't motivate you, but I've realized that having that pressure on me actually makes me dislike it, so I try to really not focus on it.

When I got the cramp, I told Brad that I was just going to do whatever and that if I have a cramp that early, it would probably be a bad day. He told me to hush (in a nicer way hehe), to breathe in through my nose and out of my mouth and that it would go away. He kept talking, and the side stitch was there until about mile 5-6. I was so focused on my cramp and breathing that I just didn't look at my watch and kept running. At the end of mile 6, I took my first gu (salted caramel is my one and only choice of gu). My splits for Mile 3-6 were: 

3- 7:04:55                  4-7:07:33                    5-7:10:29                     6-7:07:89

Miles 7-11

At mile 7-8, Brad and I were still talking and I told him that I thought that I should probably just go into quiet mode to focus. I really wanted to see what I was capable of without playing around. I told him that I wanted to hold the 7:10 pace and that I felt perfectly content there. Right about this time, we ran into a pack of guys who said that their goal was 3:05-3:10. I was EASILY hanging with them, so I thought to myself that I would hang until I couldn't and then I'd let them trail out ahead. {Spoiler: we finished within one minute of one another}

Brad talked to them. I just stayed behind them and let them chat while I listened to their conversation and just kept my breathing. I never focus on breathing. Details are not my forte, but I was scared of another cramp. I started chatting with this guy beside me and YEP INSTANT CRAMP AGAIN. UH. 

At mile 8, I stopped talking pretty much for good. 

Let me remind you guys of my previous PR (3:15 at Thunder Road which was 1.5 years ago) where I was being a ham the entire race shouting things like I LOVE RUNNING while dancing. Don't get me wrong. In my mind, I felt these things on Saturday but I just felt much more in a zone of solitude if you will. 

At mile 11, I spotted people from Shelby on the side walk. The reason I saw them is because they had made signs of a sweet lady in our town named Lisa who was doing her first marathon, and put her face on the sign. hahaha!! They had SO many made, and it just made my day to see this sign and be able to laugh and they cheered for me, so that gave me a boost. I knew Tanner was in between miles 12-13 so I was excited to see him! 

My splits were: 

7- 7:09:06          8-6:58:69             9-7:10:50        10-7:11:92           11-7:04:97

You can see after mile 8, I got mad at myself and told myself to stop being reckless and slowed down. HAHA! 

Miles 12- 18

At mile 12.5, we passed someone that said "Wow, you go girls" and it's always an indicator of like "Wow, how are you up here with all of these guys?" haha! The girl behind me that ended up in 3rd place ended up being a friend of a friend of mine and went to the same church as me from NYC so that was a CRAZY CRAZY small world.

Right about that time, I spot Tanner, and he has the camera out. I smiled of course, but for whatever reason, again, this race I just felt laser focused, I asked him to stop taking pictures. LOL! Not rudely but just asked him not to. He said he was shocked when I said that. HAHA! Clearly, I always want the camera apparently! ;) He asked how I was, offered me Starbucks (haaa) and ran with me for a hot second, then we were on our way. Brad said "relationship goals" which he doesn't know made my day brighter, but it did. haha!! 

This is when I saw Tanner! ha!

This is when I saw Tanner! ha!

At the half marathon mark, it said 1:31, and I was just in complete shock. My half PR is a 1:32!! The guys with me talked about how we were on track for a 3:05 and I thought to myself how that was a cute plan for them, but that I would never make it that far. I knew that 20 mile wall would hit me like it always does...like it has EVERY single marathon before except one. I anticipated it. I was prepared for the mental and physical pain of it (which is something I had never done before-prep for the pain). [I took my second gu at this point. I had two Gus in each pocket of my vest. I realized that it was a little difficult to get into my right hand pocket and my hands were cold so whatever I got out of the left.]

I told myself to keep breathing like I was, keep focused, and just keep doing by effort the pace that I could. I know the exact feeling of my body's movement just from so much running where I know I'm right at the brink of a heart rate that I can sustain for long periods of time and I wanted to hang there. 

This was also where the head wind was of about 20mph. We knew that if we could just get to the turn around point then we would be fine, but it was a good 10 miles I want to say of just straight wind. I don't want to say it was brutal. Everyone kept mentioning it but I legit just kept thinking how I didn't think it was slowing my 7:05 average pace, so I was fine with it. 

At mile 15, Brad had decided that was where he would split off. He had planned a 15 mile long run, so that was perfect for him. At this point, two of the guys with us had dropped back, and it was just me and this guy who Brad had been talking to who was shooting for 3:05 and ended up with 3:04. YAY! I never even got his name, but we chatted for a little bit.

At mile 16, I started approaching the second place female which ended up being my sweet dear friend Rhea!!! (Let me just plug in here that Rhea's plan was 100000% what she planned and what she did but she's TOTALLY one BEAST of a runner and her PR is a 2:53. She's incredible, and wayyyyyy better runner than me. She has been coming back from injury as well.) When I was approaching her, the guy I was with said "I think second place female is slowing up" and I said "No! I don't want that! She's my friend!!!" And he was like "oh oops sorry!" LOL! Don't mess with my friends HAAA! I actually had never MET Rhea in person until that moment when I saw her side profile and was like "Is that her? I can't tell." And then she recognized me, and we did the whole OMG OMG HIII (But also it's mile 16 and we are running fast paces so let's talk later) kind of thing. HA! 

But at that point, I went into 2nd place. The third place girl was right behind me still. Reminder everyone that I actually KNOW the girl behind me. I just don't know that I know her, and she doesn't know that she knows me. HAHA!

RHEAAAA! FINISH LINE HUGS!

RHEAAAA! FINISH LINE HUGS!

At mile 18, the guy that I was with says "GIRL YOU ARE GONNA GET THAT 3:05. EIGHT MILES LEFT?!" And I literally said out loud, "Heck Yes. Let's do this!" 

I reach down to get a third gu from the right hand pocket and my hands were warmed up by this point. I come to realize (and this is the only hilarious OMG moment of the race) that when I had put the bib on, I had put the safety pin through the zipper of my vest so I had literally locked my Gus into my pocket and could not get to them. I start panicking a little, and start trying to un-do my bib. My hands were warm-ish but not warm enough to do that. I try to take off my glove, and still couldn't get it (all while I'm trying to run 7min/miles here). I just said "Forget it. I'll start taking Gatoraid at aid stations, not water and it'll have to do."

The splits for this segment were:

Mile 12- 7:05: 73     13-6:58:40.     14: 6:59:84    15-7:05:02 16-7:00:29    17-7:00:84   18-7:02:88

Miles 19-23

I think that my friend I had made on the course had his plan for mile 19, and that was for him to take off his top shirt, throw it into the bushes, and then take off. And that is exactly what he did. For a split second, I thought I had slowed up without realizing it, as the girl behind me took second and I went into third. I was like "Shoot! Am I slowing up because that SUCKS! I always hit this stupid wall!" And then I looked at my clock and for miles 19 and 20, I clocked in at 6:53 and 6:54! No no no. I was NOT slowing up. They had sped up, which was AWESOME for them, but I knew better for me. I slowed back down to what felt comfortable. That was when I texted Tanner at mile 20, "Send En" which the phone autocorrected to exactly what I wanted which was "Send Encouragement". YES I TEXTED WHILE RUNNING. CUE EVERYONE FREAKING OUT THAT I SHOULDN'T DO THAT! lol!! This is the result and my husband officially is the cutest ever. 

It was EXACTLY what I needed. He just kept blowing up my phone to the point where I was like "okay dude love ya but enough encouragement. My phone is gonna vibrate off my hand" but it distracted me with sweet texts while I kept running. I also got a text from Bethany "I know you have your phone"... she knows me so well and then she started sending encouragement too. It.Was.Great.

Yes, the dog saving one is the best! Glad you think so too! :P 

I could NOT believe my paces were still consistent going into mile 21-22. I stopped looking at my watch mid miles, and just would run at what I felt to be even consistent pacing with heart rates I could handle, and each time I would look down and it would STILL be on target. I was freaking out with excitement. It was right around mile 22, when we were running through this park, and we hit 22 and my watch read that I had done a 7:10:80 that I just knew. I knew I had a huge PR and I was so giddy inside. I had had this intuition that I rounded the corner and the clock read 3:09 and I sprinted to get under the 3:10 mark. I thought in that moment how awesome that would be (so clearly STILL completelyyyyy not expecting what I ended up with and happy as a clam regardless). 

Splits were: 

19-6:53:57          20-6:54:59              21-7:05:50           22-7:10:80

Miles 23-26.2

At mile 23, we went through this really fun aid station. I decided I wanted to dance with the volunteers as I couldn't believe how great I felt so late in the game. They, of course loved it and danced with me. I was able to grab a banana and I just sunk my teeth into the entire half (hard to explain in a blog) and ate it in one swift bite. YAY CARBS AND THE LOCKED IN VEST POCKET! 

I started to be able to see the second place female. Placing is really fun and cool, but me racing for me personally is all I care about. I've had so many people ask me about like sprinting down the girl to get second vs third and that is literally not what happened at all. I just kept running the same consistent pace I had been running, and it just happened. 100% truth right there. Also, the girl who got third is about the sweetest chick on the planet, who got the BIGGEST PR and I am so so excited for how awesome her day was as well. But either way, at mile 23-24, I went back into second place. 

At mile 24, I just was in shock and awe at how well my body felt and then my calf like grabbed. I joked with my family after that I like yelled at my calves like 'DON'T YOU EVEN THINK FOR ONE SECOND YOU WILL FAIL ME NOW. YOU BETTER HANG TIGHT!' and they did!!! YAY thanks calf muscles!!! However, I kept that pacing started to fall. I started looking at my clock every two seconds and it was falling into the 7:30 range. I thought to myself at that point how I had been keeping the 7:10-7:15 range and 3:05 was SO SO CLOSE, I just couldn't let it slip through my finger tips. I could do anything for 2 miles. So, I prepared my mind and went into that over drive, fight or flight mode. 

I went into the deepest place I had and started cranking my arms. Volunteers were yelling and holding out water and I was to the point where I can't smile at them. I can't tell them 'thank you' like I always do at every aid station. I just had to ignore them, and focus. I hit the brick wall...straight to the face. That's always how it comes but it wasn't awful like usual. It was just semi awful. I hit the end of mile 24 at 2:50:00. I thought to myself, "Could I make under 3?" Clearly, brain wasn't functioning at that moment because DUH, NO. LOL! But I COULD DO 3:05! I hit the end of mile 25 at 7:24. 

KEEP. MOVING. KATIE. PUMP ARMS AND KEEP MOVING. 

I was alone. I didn't have George yelling at me like my last PR. There were minimal people at this point on the sidelines as we went through this park. And my minimal, I mean literally zero. It was me. That was it. My clock hits 3:00 in the middle of my last full mile, and I almost start crying that moment. It was so surreal, and I'll never forget that moment. I'm in my FINAL mile and I just NOW hit 3 hours. How? How did I run this fast? OH.MY.GOSH.KATIE.

I gave it everything I had, and ended up finishing mile 26 at 7:23 as we rounded the corner into the crowd for the final 0.2 where everyone was yelling. 

I could see the clock. It read 3:05:20 (I think-my vision was blurry). I HAD TO MAKE UNDER 3:05. I started sprinting with everything in me. I could hear people who must have known me screaming on the sidelines. I heard Tanner's voice. I heard my mom's voice in the distance going absolutely insane yelling "GO KATIE GO!!!!" I hit the time chip at 3:05:59, and I went off to the side and did my usual "crying while I catch my breath and all volunteers ask if I need a med tent moment." 

I look over and can see my mom and Tanner and I start yelling and they have their arms in the air yelling "WOOOO!!!! YEAAA!!!" and I run/hobble over to them and give them the biggest hug. I knew Rhea would be coming through soon though so I told them I was going to stay in the corral for her to finish and give her a hug! She finished shortly after me and I got a cute video of her crossing the finish line and got to give her a big hug!!! YAY!! 

Splits were: 

23- 7:10:40            24-7:14:64         25-7:24:34             26-7:23:66     26.2 (sprint to finish)-6:15

This is what walking looks like post marathon HA! 

This is what walking looks like post marathon HA! 

WHAT A RACE. WHAT A MOMENT!

It has given me SO much confidence in myself, and as I tell Tanner I don't mean that arrogantly but objectively. As they say, we are our own worst critic and this just opened my eyes to what could happen if I could get all of the pieces to fall into place. I cannot WAIT to see what happens in the next year with running!

I love this sport.

Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if everyone ran! <3 

Maybe like this? ;) 

Maybe like this? ;) 

Here's some data for those interested, and obviously this marathon was FLAT AS CAN BE...JUST LIKE I LIKE IT!!! lol!

Avg heart rate: 172 Max Speed @ finish line: 5:22min/mile 

And this for good measure because who doesn't LOVE adorable teacup yorkies falling asleep on the ride home from exhaustion from mommy's marathon? Peyton, I'd sprint to that finish line to save you (context: Read texts from Tanner above). HEHE! ;) 

 

 

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The World Hunger Project

I launched on facebook and instagram on Saturday night, but I haven't officially announced tomy blog nor shared lots of details of what to expect and what's to come. And maybe you only follow my blog so this will be the first time that you are hearing about this.

If so, watch this video:

Video shot and edited by Market Street Studios, Concord NC

www.worldhungerproject.com

I have been hinting at and wanting to share about this for months now, but just wanted to make sure that everything was right before I did so. We have worked our little butts off to make it come together. We started getting passionate about this about a year ago, and it's only grown since as we looked more into it and started educating ourselves more. We have laughed at ourselves tremendously about how awkward we feel we were in the video and joked with friends and family about how you always hate hearing your own voice, but we are working on it! ;) Tanner's actually super private so I'm proud of him for doing this! <3

So what does this mean and what are we doing? Just to give a recap of the way the structure of things will work-

a) Anyone who buys anything will be given a choice at check out to which country that they choose to give their proceeds towards. You can read about the different organizations on the website under "Outreach".

b) At the end of each month, I will take all of those and give them out to their respective locations.

We currently are working with 4 different locations and hoping to add more in the future, but wanting to become stable with these right now and make sure that we could give to them sufficiently before adding more.

If you subscribe to our newsletter (which these will be very infrequent) then you will get 10% off your first purchase on www.worldhungerproject.com.

The different things that you can do to get involved is to hold a pop up shop which is where you make money as well as get to give the gift of food by letting me know when you'd like to have it and where, I come to your location, and we have a party and tell about the mission. If you have a fundraiser to do at your school, this is another way that will be modeled in the same way. Lastly, if you have a local retailer in your area, then we would send you apparel and goods to have in store! :) We plan to organize trips to the locations, but all of this is just going to take time so bear with me as Tanner works full time and I'm a one man show most of the time but want to do this really well and grow to help as much as we can.

The need is so huge but I feel that we can make an impact. I know that you have heard that by just giving money, you aren't actually helping the communities with hunger but rather just putting a band aid on the problem, and I want you to know that we are moving towards growth in that area. The organizations that we have partnered with are orphanages therefore they are children with no means to work so we are working with schools because this is the best way for the children to become educated so that they can provide for themselves in the future. Sometimes, also, the schools may be the only place that they receive food. However, sometimes school is not an option right now and these children are just on the streets and there HAS to be funding in those areas as well within those orphanages to get these children food. We feel that's what we have been called to as of right now, and so we will do what we can knowing that as the future unfolds, we will see how we can help with sustaining these children in the long term to be able to provide for themselves.

When looking for places to sponsor, we searched far and wide to find organizations that were actual people that needed actual funding, and that we weren't just giving our money to random charities that we didn't know where the money was given. These organization leaders of the homes aren't just sitting on their smart phones in Kenya, so communication was and is going to be difficult and slower than our generation is used to, but every email I get is SO meaningful and exciting. The people who have started these are also putting themselves on the line and dedicating their lives to the bettering of the lives of these children in their homes.

When discussing ways to bridge this gap, it immediately became apparent to us that we wanted to do it as an outdoor brand. We felt that this made us feel connected with the world more than anything and that's kind of where that came from. We are going to be rolling out new things as often as we can to provide many different designs. We also don't want to just stay with t shirts. We hope to have vests, coats, scarves, and even jewelry. All of our designs have been done by my friend, Blair at blairhenderson.org.

I've had a lot of people ask me how they can help. The things that help are obviously anything monetary that you feel led whether that be through donation or through buying something, or if you'd like to hold a pop-up shop! The other things that we would love is if you were share either our video, Facebook page or Instagram page and follow them yourselves for updates! :)

Our bags are on pre sale for the next 2 weeks and listed under the Shop tab on our website www.worldhungerproject.com

Our bags are on pre sale for the next 2 weeks and listed under the Shop tab on our website www.worldhungerproject.com

Here is the link for the social channels: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldhungerproject/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theworldhungerproject/

Lastly, we just ask for your prayers. It's challenging, rewarding, scary, exciting and crazy the vision that we have and the ways that we want to give and we know that it's made possible with help from everyone! As my church says, we are less without you but more because of you. 

 

 

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A Journey of Self Discovery

I feel like this is one of those blogs that I'm hopeful that many of you can relate to. 

Ever feel like you are in a constant search for who you are, what your purpose is, and how are you going to fulfill that? I want this blog to come across in the type of language that I want it to be so I'm going to say upfront that this is NOT meant to be negative. It's meant to let you know that it's a journey and I sometimes wonder if there is ever a landing spot, and that it can either be a fun discovery or a destructive one, whichever path you choose.

We think that if we can land at a certain point in time that we will be happy and we will have it all figured out. It's so funny how we truly believe that when we graduate from college and the dust finally settles from the 18-25 years of beating that we have had from school our entire lives, we are going to have it all figured out. Like, suddenly, poof! Sorry to break it to the college girls, but it doesn't work like that! ;) I know that a big part of me has an identity that is wrapped up in when I will have children and that THAT will finally complete me as a human, but I know that's not true either. 

I know that many that follow my blog know this about me, but also might not share this with me, and that's totally fine, but I personally believe that's because my hole is not being filled up with the only one that can totally give me purpose and that's Jesus. For the longest time, I kept striving and striving for this ultimate place of self discovery but it doesn't come. When is the "enough" button ever clicked? 

We get excited to make goals. We get excited to become better humans, make more money, become more successful, and the chase quite literally never ends. We wonder if we are doing what God has called us to do, and we struggle if we feel we aren't living that out. We become happy in those moments when we say "Okay this is it" but then it quickly fades the next day when someone has it better. 

I know for me, I'm super self aware of people, but in a way that I love to evaluate the things about them that make them awesome and try to pull from those things. I had dinner with two of my favorite girls in the whole world last night and they both are so inspirational on so many levels. I want to be more confident and genuinely happy in who I am like Valerie and I want to be more witty and hilarious like Molly, and we can take those pieces and be inspired by them to make the world a better place, but then at the end of the day, what are we resting in? Are we resting in that we weren't good enough or that we are aspiring to be better? Because there's a big difference. 

As someone who has grown up in her 20's sharing most of it online (started at age 23 and now I'm 27), I have felt self conscious in the change up of who I was not on a fundamental level but just small things, and that all changed a few months prior. I'm not sure when it finally became okay, but I also know that that's why I can share it now. Isn't that always how it works? When we are struggling, it's a bit hard to let others know about it, but when we kind of get through those rough patches, we hope to share them in hopes that maybe someone else is in the midst. And I think we are all in the midst of that self discovery but just being confident in the natural change that will occur in your early to late twenties. Heck, maybe it's something that continues our entire lives, but I can't speak on that because I'm not there yet personally! ;) 

I think about Taylor Swift and how many mistakes that she has made growing up, but she's growing up right in front of our eyes. Can't we give her some space of self discovery? I think about people who make mistakes and then change. I think that we need to allow others the same grace that we wish to be extended to us in our change. And most of all, I think that we need to rest in the fact that we are GOING to change. 

The thing that has helped me the most in all of my seasons of change and that I've honed in like crazy recently is the element of accepting the change as a good thing, and not a piece of yourself dying. For the past like 6 months, I've just felt that I didn't know what was happening. I was going through a midlife crisis when I'm way too young for that, but couldn't even place a finger on the reasons for what I was feeling. Then, of course, you convince yourself you have anxiety based on every article you read online, and I think that part of it is just growing up, and that we all have some kind of baseline anxiety.  It's just natural. (I know there is ACTUAL clinical anxiety that some people have). So, what can you do? 

Side Note: This guy below says that he learns more about women daily from being married to me (ha) but he is the epitome of grace in a husband. He loves me so so well.

Every day doesn't have to be a decision on your future, and every day doesn't have to be about all of those thoughts that fill our brains (as women I think most of the time lol). If we can just sit, rest, and let the change happen knowing that we are good people and that all of the other stuff is just details, then you know that you're okay. (Also therapists are cool too and I still think would be beneficial in my own life because who doesn't need an unbiased ear to listen to our junk, right?)

What if I woke up tomorrow and never wanted to run again? Well, we all know THAT won't happen but what if it did? Or what if (God forbid) something happened and I couldn't run anymore. Who am I at the root of my being? Am I a good person? Do I try to live a life that Christ would have me live striving for it the best that I can? Do I love my husband with all of me and am I a good sister/daughter/and friend? Am I loving sacrificially and wholly to those around me and giving thought to the pre conceived bias/prejudice/ or malice that might systematically be in place from a society that has taught those things? 

When you sit down and look at your root, are you a good person? I think that most of you reading this are very good people. I think that we all, by the nature of humans, want to be kind and loving, but all of those other "purpose" pieces can't seem to fall into place, but I don't think that they are meant to. I think that we are supposed to give those up. I think that when we are following the natural nature of just being kind and loving and good that the purpose will naturally shift and come into place. 

I think we think too much, but I think it's important to work through these emotions of self discovery to get to the other side where you can rest. Let your sweet mind rest, girlfriend. Because the other side is beautiful. It's a place that you can look at the woman that you are and you can say, you know what, she still has some learning and pruning to do and that's exciting, but she wants so much good. She desires it with her whole heart, and she wants to give it out like candy. 

I want to be a woman who when you look at me, you see the eyes of Jesus that is nothing of my own doing but simply him pouring out of me, but I could not (and cannot) become that with the self inflicted narcissism that our society tells us to have where we are always concerned for our next jump up the ladder. The ladder doesn't need to be climbed. We just need to rest on that first step knowing that at our core, if we are good, then that's all that matters. 

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Weekend Fun and Marathon Goals

So, this weekend was quite the relaxing one, and I'm not complaining one bit. We are having a launch party with our closest family and friends in Shelby on Saturday night, and so I spent time really cleaning the house and preparing for that. I'm super thankful for how supportive my friends are, and I woke up this morning with such a happy feeling in my heart. I think that it's partly because you can hear the birds chirping outside, and there is just nothing that can compare to the feelings of spring coming. I'm so thankful for being in a part of the US that we have season change. I have realized I love change. It brings about a new awakening and just a feeling of thankfulness for life. 

Saturday, I got to hang out with my mom some (who took this photo hehe) and went to dinner with our favorite couple where I also received the final edits to our promo video for our launch! EEK! Sunday, we went to church and then I did my long run! 

Thank Ya' Jesus is appropriate for heading into the taper! hahaha! @clothinginlove on Insta is where this is from!

Thank Ya' Jesus is appropriate for heading into the taper! hahaha! @clothinginlove on Insta is where this is from!

Last week, I had a moment where someone was mean to me online, and this has actually mean happening a lot more recently, and I ranted about it on my personal Facebook. I actually had had a glass of wine or that would have NEVER happened. Lord, help. haha!! I just know that it's all part of this game of blogging, and there is no reason that I should let it get to me so much. I started this because I wanted to share my journey, and that's what I continue to do. I'm a spaz and we all know that by this point, and no one is everyone's cup of tea and I really truly am fine with that. Referencing what I was saying above, I have the most supportive and loving people IN MY LIFE...like my REAL life...the one that has nothing to do with what people say when they are clearly showing a reflection of things that are wrong in theirs. That doesn't mean that I'm not human, but I can say with confidence that it has truly made me search the depths of who I am and whether I am okay with that person, and if I am, then there is no reason that things others say should touch me because I'm confident in that woman. I will always try to be self aware to take things that others say, take the parts of it that are truly constructive, and toss the rest. BUT I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THE GOOD ... THE ABUNDANT OVER FLOWING GOOD! And it's so silly to focus on the negative. I will NOT continue that. Attitude is everything, and these faces on these photos bring me so much joy. Last photo teaser before Sunday! haha! 

I got sick last week, and so on Saturday when I had planned for my long run, it just didn't happen. I planned on getting up early on Saturday morning and going with my running group, but I had to cancel, and I was really bummed. I knew I needed to get it in as this marathon training has been FAR from perfect, and so I tried again on Sunday. The second I made the first step, I thought "This is gonna be a good one!" and it most certainly totally was. I couldn't have asked for a better final long run going into Myrtle Beach in two weeks. I was so thankful. I hit 7:17 for 16 miles! :) These are uncharted times for me on long runs just being honest. I typically am in the 7:45-8min/mile range so I can finally feel the cumulative effects of years of training. It's been 2.5 years now since I began this journey and I wondered if it truly was possible for someone to get faster and I'm watching it happen in my own life. KEEP AT IT YALL!! 

So, moving into marathon goals. I do want to speak them out loud. This is considered taboo in me and Bethany's world (if you're new here-that's my best friend lol). We think that we will jinx ourselves, but for me this time, I'll admit that I'm playing with fire, and I almost need to speak it out loud to keep myself accountable. 

  • Goal 1: Qualify for NYC! 

The goal for my age group is either a 1:32 half (which if I don't get this qualification at this marathon then I'm going to schedule a half to try for that later in the year) OR 3:12:50 full marathon time. I thought that it might be best to aim for a time that was a weeeeee bit faster than that, so that I give myself some space to fizzle out at the end because that is alwaysssss going to happen, so my goal time is 3:11. EEEEK. 

This goal would mean that I had to do that 7:17 average for 26.2 miles. It's also my 7th marathon or above distance (this including my ironman and ultra) in 2017 so I felt it only appropriate to keep the lucky #7 going! I know now after this weekends long run that I can do 7:17 for 16 miles, so just 10 more miles right after a nice taper! 

I'm going to start out going slower than that of course to warm up. It's a flat course, so I haven't planned out variations in pace based on the course. I'm just simply going to try to stay consistent around 7:15. My PR as of right now, according to my data, I did an average of 7:15 for 27.2 miles, but I went too wide on the tangents, so therefore my official time was 3:15 (which is an average of 7:30). I KNOW RIGHT? ISN'T THAT ANNOYING!? If I had done the correct tangents, then my time technically should be 3:10. OH WELL. We all deal with that, so I'm not alone there.

I'm really focusing on nutrition. I finally feel like I've got myself figured out. I tend to eat CRAP the night before a marathon just because it's a good excuse to do so, and that annoys me at myself. There is no reason for it. I'm going to eat a large carb heavy plant based meal at lunch the day before so that it has time to digest, and then continue eating only carbs the rest of the evening. On the morning of, I plan to have 100g carb before the race starts (with long digesting carbs when I wake up) and then either a banana/bagel or gu at the start dependent on how hungry I feel for actual food (if I'm not hungry I'll do a gu). I'm going to use a gu every 5 miles starting at mile 5, and I'm going to FORCE MYSELF to not stop taking them at mile 18ish which is where I always start getting sick and stop!! lol! Okay moving on to goal 2! 

  • Goal 2: Qualify for Boston

I know that this training cycle didn't go as I planned, and just like I knew in the first steps of yesterday's long run that it was going to be a good run, I'll know the second I start at Myrtle Beach. I'll know if it's going to be a good day and forcing a 7:15 pace is NOT going to happen if I don't feel good, so I'm not going to cause myself that much pain and I'll probably just back down and make it an easy long run at the 8min/mile pacing to train for Boston 2017, but I still need qualification for 2018. I don't think that I'm actually going to run it in 2018, but I always say those things, so I want to at least have it. haha! 

  • Goal 3: Just finish 

The truth about marathons is that you just NEVER EVER know what can happen. You can train all you want and expect XYZ, but at the end of the day, you have to go in with just the expectation that things can happen and finishing is just as great of an accomplishment. I have been reading a lot about advanced marathon training, and how race day can be "playing with fire" with trying push yourself and possibly going into heart rate zones that you don't mean to venture into, completely bonking and then the whole train falls a part. It CAN happen, so I just always like to aware for these things. 

With all of that said, I also wanted to say that I'm super duper proud of my client Ashley. She CRUSHED her half marathon and got a 23 minute PR which is FREAKIN AMAZING! 

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Runner's Block

Like writer's block...but not. 

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

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

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

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

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

1. Run Myrtle Beach Marathon

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

2. Run Boston Marathon 2017 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Things to Know as a Beginner Runner

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

1. Make sure that you buy the right shoes

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

2. Educate yourself about the sport

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

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

3. Find friends that want to do it with you

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

4. Eat well

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

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

5. NOT EVERY RUN IS A GOOD RUN!!! 

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

Last, but not least... 

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

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

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

 

 

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Updates + First Days as a Retail Pharmacist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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Colorado Trip 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Comfort in your personal crazy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Update on My Training, Injury, Life, and Jobs

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feels so good to be back!

Feels so good to be back!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's some other updates on my life: 

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

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

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

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

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

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My Journey from hating running to loving running

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OH, HOW WRONG I WAS. 

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

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

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

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

Nope, sure wasn't. ha! 

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

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

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

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

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

Everything changed. 

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

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

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

Now he has to keep up hehe! ;) 

Now he has to keep up hehe! ;) 

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

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

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

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Perspective

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

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

That's a lot of growth needed LOL!

That's a lot of growth needed LOL!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cinnamon French Toast Casserole

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

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

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

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

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

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Inauguration Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Personal Best or Race Chaser?

Because it's hard to be both...

And I try to be both! haha!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Guest Post-How to Love Your Body

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Don’t make yourself smaller for me.

Make yourself healthier.

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

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

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

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InsideTracker-A New Way to Look at Your Blood Work

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

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

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

OR CALCIUM..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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One of the coolest moments of my life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

….

….

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

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

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

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

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Eating Healthy-For body image or health?

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

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

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

Throwing it back to my first photoshoot-ha!

Throwing it back to my first photoshoot-ha!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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