Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday Motivation

There were times this past week when I had a choice...let whatever was going on or whoever was going on dull the sparkle in my life or see past it and shine on.  This week we chose to sparkle!  I was able to spend 5 days with people and places that makes me shine and fills me up...including putting thousands of twinkle lights all over the house!  This year we are going to sparkle like a champ!  I'm encouraging you to do the same!!  Don't let anyone or anything dull your sparkle whether it is a big goal you are shooting for this year or just life in general...shine on my friends!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

From our house to yours....
Thank you for following along this crazy journey with me!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Heart of Thanks

It is important every day to stop and remember all the blessings in your life.  I know I don't do this nearly enough but I am certianly blessed with a healthy family and amazing all of you!
I'm thankful for the friends...some of which have become family...that I have made through running.  This community is amazing in it's way it takes you in and surrounds you!  I have made so many amazing friends not the least of which my BRF Jill!  What would I do without her?!

I'm forever thankful for my family!  The girls are blessed beyond measure to have all 4 of their grandparents loving on them and praying them through their lives as well as an amazing relationship with their cousins.  I'm so thankful for family each and every day!!!  (and clearly my sister and I need to get out from behind the camera so we can have a pic together!!!)

Finally and most importantly I'm thankful each day for my husband and the girls!  They bring such joy to my life and I love them!

What's on your heart of thanks?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Motivation

Think about all the places where you pour your energies.  Some of the places are ones that are given....your family, your job, friends....but you may be pouring so many energies into everything else that you are failing to pour it into yourself!  It is not a waste of time to invest in yourself!  Feeding your body with food that is going to make it feel great...moving it so that your heart is pumping...investing in YOU!  I know it's easy to is so easy, especially this time of year, to give until your cup is empty...but don't forget you.  You can't give overflowing if you aren't filling yourself!!

What are you going to do this week to invest in YOU?

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Woohoo it's Thursday!  This has been a crazy week and am certainly excited to be able to see the weekend in view!  Here's a fun dose of randomness!

Go to sleep...Our mini-chickie has been having some sleeping issues for well about 5 months now.
She was our sleeper until we made the fabulous decision to put her in a toddler bed.  That was when all hell broke lose!  She struggles to fall asleep (gets out of bed several times before finally staying) and staying asleep (which requires me to sleep on her floor until she falls back asleep).  I am just about at my breaking point now.  I am exhausted and physically in pain due to lack of sleep and sleeping on said floor!  This week I have missed a lot of my morning workouts because I either just fell asleep when my alarm goes off or she wakes up just 10 min before I get up.  I have been trying to fit them in at night or in the day but it is leaving me spent.  I also am a space cadet at work half the time which is never good when you work with kids all day!  I love her to pieces but we need to get this sleeping thing under control.
Virtual race time!  There is still time to join me next week for the Running on the Wall virtual 5 miler Turkey Trot!!  I got my race packet this weekend and the prizes this month are awesome!!!  The shirt is as always super comfy!  I can't wait to get my trot on!  Are you in?

Yearly miles...For the past 5 years I have had a year end mileage goal and for the past 5 years I have hit it.  This year my goal was to hit 1500 miles.  Between low mileage in February due to a back injury and low motivation over the summer I didn't know if it was going to happen for me this year.  Well right now I am sitting at 1293 miles total which means I will have to average about 35 miles each week from now until the end of the year.  I think I can do that.  We shall see!!!  Do you set a year end goal for yourself?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Motivation

Yes this quote is from a few years ago but this morning waking up this is how I felt..that I had been lazy/irresponsible with my weekend and have erased the progress I made over the week.  I am setting big goals for myself for the rest of the year and slacking off with nutrition on the weekend is not going to get me there!  I know that it is easy to let my guard down once Friday night rolls around but I need to dial it in!  I am the only one to's to 7 days of focus!!!

How do you stay on track over the weekend?

This week's goals for the Holiday Sweat Challenge are focused around core strength.  Since having two C-Sections and abdominal surgery prior, my core is most certainly my weakest area!  I am setting a goal of 20 minutes each day working on core strength.  What's your favorite move to strengthen your core?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

10 Years Later

On this day 10 years ago, I married my best friend. When I met my husband, I was not the crazy runner I am today.  In fact I had never run longer than 6 miles but I was a gym rat (Fun fact is that we actually "met" in college but I was a little too....ummmm...boy crazy to realize what a gem he was!  Thanks for the second chance babe!)  When we met and even when we got married, we would go to work each morning and see each other each night at the gym.  After being there for 2+ hours (yes I had 2+ hours to put in at the gym and I weighed more than I do now!) we would head home, make dinner, and relax.  Flash forward to today when we fly through our days at rapid speeds...go to the gym either at 5am or 8pm and try to wedge the best workout into the short time we have...then make dinner and crash after the girls FINALLY fall asleep!  Life is certainly different than it was 10 years ago and so are we.  My husband didn't know 10 years later he'd be married to one of those crazy runners who is out running in the middle of a snowstorm because she is training for yet another race.  He didn't know just how many races there was going to be after that first marathon....but he has been there...carrying the extra burden and letting me run.  I know that so often my focus has been running...getting back into shape after kids...getting faster...running longer.  My husband has been there....behind the scenes...lightening my load so that I could do this.  I would never have been able to do any of this without him being a partner in this journey.  I could not have asked for a better father for our girls (anyone who knows him knows that those girls hold his heart), a better partner, or a better friend.  On this day 10 years ago I made the best decision of my life...and I'd make it all over again!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday Motivation

This is the first week of the Holiday Sweat Challenge with Amanda at Run to the Finish and Fit Approach.  I love doing this challenge each year!  It not only keeps me focused during a crazy holiday season, but it forces me to get creative with my activities.  This year I am also including my girls.  During the Summer and beginning of Fall we are super active and outside a lot.  However once the time changes we (probably more me) turn inside.  Each week I am setting a minute goal for myself to be active and also one for my girls.  I know that some days depending on weather or daylight, I am going to have to get creative on this but I am ready to show them that being active is important...and FUN!  So this week I am setting a goal for myself to be active 400 minutes...and for my girls we are going to shoot for 25 minutes a day!  I set my workouts in my calendar and have fun planned for the girls.  We are going to rock this week!!

What is your goal this week?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Love Where You Runch

Last year during our horrific winter (Let's go ahead and NOT have a repeat of that OK Mother Nature?!), I did a challenge with a local running store that had you run outside every day for the month of January.  Well our January not only was snow-filled but we also saw temps below in the middle of the day!  Considering that the middle of the day I thought was the warmest part of the day to be outside, I started running during my lunch...Runch if you will!  Yes a teacher's lunch is only 25 minutes long...yes I have to return and continue teaching for the rest of the I don't have access to a shower (Just ShowerPill!)...yes all my coworkers thought I was nuts (they already did but this really solidified it) that I was headed out during below zero temps.  I noticed something though...I would return (ever so frozen) and have TONS of energy for the rest of the day!!  Thus began the RUNCH!  
Fast-forward to this time of year.  School has started back up and so has runch.  My coworker/friend joins me most times but others I go it alone.  The Fall always seems to just fly by for our family since we are super busy all of a sudden.  I LOVE running in the Fall so having it fly by is always a sad thing.  However this year I have noticed that my runch helps me to take it all in.  A short 25 minute run is all I need a few days a week to love the leaves and beautifulness around me!  We have been hitting the rail trail lately and I have to say I am loving it! 
Runch has been an awesome addition to my work week but it helps that I am loving where I runch! Wouldn't you?

Where do you run?  I always love to see the different scenes that people run in!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Gearing Up with Altra Lone Peak 2.5

If you had to take one guess at where most injuries happen for runners, where would you think it was? The road? The trails?  Nope...on the track!  The repetition of impact leads to the highest amount of injuries in runners.

Meeting the creators of Altra Running shoes, I was blown away by the accomplishments these men held!  Golden Harper, who as a competitive runner holds the record for the fastest marathon at age 12 (2:45) worked at his family's running store.  He saw so many people coming in over the years complaining of the same injuries and issues...knee pain, foot pain, and shin splints.  He literally (in his toaster oven) began cooking up a whole new approach to a running shoe!
Enter the Altra Zero Drop technology!  Over the years with customers coming in for the "modified" shoes, Altra Running was born.  It's zero drop feature returns runners feet to their natural position along with their uniquely shaped toe box which best mirrors the shape of a foot reducing blisters and other foot issues.  The results...people are raving about a cushioned zero drop shoe that gives them what they need from running a 5k to 100 milers!!  And these guys know...they've run them all!  Their goal is to have healthy, injury free runners!
As part of the Runner's World weekend, Altra fitted and gave us our own pair of Altra shoes.  I chose to try out the trail shoe since I knew we had a trail run coming up and I had never had a pair of trail shoes before.  Golden, Brian, and Jeremy took the time to ask us questions and fit us all for a shoe that would meet our needs.  They even spoke with us after the race to see if it was still working for us....and yes they even showed us how to tie them like a cool kid!!

I tried out the Lone Peak 2.5 which is a moderate cushion shoe.
I could talk to you all about the fit...the awesome colors (you know I love a colorful shoe)...and how stable I felt running in them along the trails and rock beds but I want you to first hear it from avid trail runners first!

I wore the Lone Peaks all day on Friday on our first trail run with Bart and then on our trail race that evening.  My feet felt awesome!  I had a few aches but after talking with Brian and Golden I realized it was more of the fact that I only run trails once in a great while (which I really want to change).  One thing that I really felt was that my ankles and feet felt stable while running on the different terrains. These shoes kept my feet from getting hurt!!
I would highly recommend these shoes for those of you who are heading out on the trails!

I also wanted to share with you a few things Altra is cooking up for 2016!!  The first being basically a smart shoe!!

Inside the shoe is a chip which acts as a sensor and sends information to your phone or iFit that tells you about foot strike and other information!!!  It's amazing...and very cool when you flash light on it!!!

Also in their 2016 plans are a wicked lightweight jacket as well as a backless jacket that can be taken off while running (if you are that coordinated) and folded into a fanny pack!  It was very cool and Jeremy and Colleen were great models!

Altra is part of the Runner's World Half and Festival again next year and will be for the long haul!  Make sure you make yourself a part of this awesome weekend too!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday Motivation

Sorry for the delay....seriously some Mondays it's like being shot out of a cannon!  Add to that a change in my work schedule and YIKES!!!  Either way onward and upward!  During our lunch with Deena Kastor at the Runner's World weekend (yes I'm still talking about that weekend), she talked about positive thinking during runs.  Even saying "Don't quit" when the pressure is on can sometimes be boiled down to simply "Quit".  She spoke about going into a race and deciding on three positive things you are going to focus on throughout.  Training our mind that even when the hurt comes or our breathing is laboring, we have good to focus on.  Our mind controls so much of what we are doing and how we are living.  I remember a quote that I actually quoted last year by Linda Dillow.  "Two women looked through prison bars.  One saw stars, the other saw mud".  The trick is to focus on the stars in all or whatever we are in!

Are you seeing mud or stars?