Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Marathon Training

I'm not going to lie.  This last week was difficult.  I was dealing with some plantar faciitis on Monday.  So I opted to make my shorter runs this week walks.  I felt confident that I was still getting in distance without pounding on my feet to aggravate the PF even more.

By Wednesday, I had a nasty head cold and all I wanted to do is lay in bed, doped up on Sudafed or Tylenol Cold.

So my training over the last week went like this:

  • Monday I had a 2.56 mile walk.  No pain, just a simple and easy walk.
  • Tuesday I also got in a quick walk, 2.09 miles.  
  • Thursday, I opted to do another walk (1.67 miles) so that I didn't over do it with my PF and sickness for Saturday.
  • Saturday was my long run day.  7 miles.

Total weekly mileage:  13.32 miles.

Now for the good, bad, and ugly.

By Saturday, I was excited for my run.  I was excited to feel my legs moving.  Only, I let my head get in the way.  The day was BEAUTIFUL!  I couldn't have asked for better weather.  The course was equally pretty...although the end had some up and down hills that I wasn't very fond of.  But the scenery was great.  But I just couldn't get into it.  At all!

You see, I made a huge mistake.  I started feeling sorry for myself.  This journey is hard.  Like extremely hard.  And if I'm being completely honest (which I always am on here...) Saturday, it SUCKED.  I spent the last 2.5 miles of my run crying.  At one point I even stopped running and called Jason in tears.  I wanted him to come pick me up and bring me to the car so I could just be done.  (He didn't.)  I cried to him about how hard this all is.  It's stupid.  I am frustrated.  I already lost all this weight once, and I was feeling very bitter about having to start basically at square one again.  He gave me a mini-pep talk and told me to finish strong.  I did not finish strong.  But I finished, and there is strength in that!

On my run, I started comparing myself and my current place to others.  I started wishing I was faster.  Wishing I could finish races in my "goal" times.  Wishing I hadn't spent the last ump-teen months eating cookies and ice cream.

Then I remembered a thought I read.
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second next best time is now."
 --Chinese Proverb

How powerful.  How insightful.  Sure, it's always easy to say...'oh I wish I would have just started much easier it would be now!'

But I can't dwell on that.  And neither can you!  This journey is constantly in progress.  There is no finish line.  But the best time to start working on yourself is now.  Because what you do today, determines what your tomorrow will look like.

Do not fall into the trap of comparison.  When I got home from my run Saturday, I had to have a few friends and my husband shake some sense in to me.  What I accomplished this week was fantastic, and what I accomplished this month has been double what I did last month.  (And February was double what I did in January.)  It is only myself that I should compare me to.

That is the only FAIR comparison.  That is the only comparison that matters.  So while I am not going to be joining the olympics anytime soon, or breaking any records with my pace...just know this.  I'm out there doing it.  And I hope you are too!  Because together, each day we do right puts us closer to the person we want to be!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fitness Friday!

The weekend is upon us.  I have a lot I want to accomplish.  The hard part is actually DOING it.  

So yesterday, I called and seriously considered starting Weight Watchers again.
Jason's work has a killer deal they offer, so I was ready to jump on it ($17 for a monthly pass).
The only problem?  
I live in a franchise area, and we can't make it work.

I was frustrated.
But if I'm being honest, I was frustrated at myself.

You see, I know what I have to do.
I know what it takes.

I KNOW that I can't out-work at bad diet.
But there was something about the accountability of weighing in on THEIR scale.
It made me focus.

Rather than forking out the 42/month it would cost me to sign up...
I'm going to use you as my WW scale.
I'm going to push through and make myself accountable to each of you.
I'm going to remember that each week, I've committed to weighing in hopefully that will make me more mindful of what I put in my mouth.

So here I will track again, each and every week.
I've got to push through this.
I'm not loving where I'm at currently, and I need the accountability.
(The embarrassingly real accountability...)

No matter where you are on your journey...let's travel this together.
It makes it so much easier when you can be lifted up by others in the hard times.
You can do this, WE can do this!
(If I was techy enough to know how to do a blog link up, I would...sorry!)

A week from today, I don't want to see this number again.
(have I mentioned how badly I hate that the scale fluctuates!?)

Truthfully...I don't EVER plan to see this number again...

Thursday, March 27, 2014


So here I am.
Ready to document the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between.

When I said I wanted 2014 to be MY YEAR, I was serious.  And since then, I've eaten a lot of cookies.  (Dang Girl Scouts)  And I've eaten a lot of ice cream (Dang Ben & Jerry's).

But, I've also been doing a lot of consistent movement.

So here I am to lay this all out for you.

I've been hesitant, because in the past when I've said I had a plan....I then have fallen off the wagon.  So I spent the last month (since I've been home from Disney) being consistent to make sure I was committed.

I am.

Now, that's not to say I don't have work to do in areas.  I do.  Especially my eating!  But I can only focus on so much at a time.

I've made it known that I want to do 14 races in 2014.  I've gotten a few of them done.  I have others I'm registered for.  But it's not enough for me to just want to finish them.  I want to TRAIN for them.  I want to cross the finish line knowing I was consistent in my runs, and my cross training.

So I made a goal sheet.  And I have it hanging in my kitchen.  And each week, I'm prepared to report my progress.  I think I'll make it my Monday posts.  I'll call them Marathon Monday Training.  I'll give you a full re-cap on the prior weeks training and food consumption.  I'll be honest and real.  I'll let you know what worked, and what didn't.

Why am I doing this?

Because I want a step by step documentation of my journey.  Some weeks are going to be stinky.  Others are going to rock.  But the key is to keep plugging along, and that is what I'm committed to do.  What races am I running?  You can follow those HERE.  (I've already got 3 completed.)

What schedule am I following?  One from Jeff Galloway...

I love it because he has me running a full 26 miles just a few weeks before my actual marathon.  That means that I was able to sign up for a marathon for a "training run."  I couldn't decide between 3 marathons, all within a few weeks of each other.  His training schedule allows me to complete 2 of them!

So quickly, I'm going to give you a re-cap of the last month.  Normally, my Monday re-caps will be more detailed.  But I didn't want to bore you with that many details all at once.

February 25th weight:  210.2  (it was ugly when I came home from Disney World.  Very ugly!)
That first week after coming home, I began logging miles.

These images are from  I am kind of anal and have a few places I'm tracking...for different reasons.  I always wear my Garmin watch on my runs.  I also track the course and pace on Nike+.  I like to earn the badges on there and see my pace improve.  But, I don't track my walks or my cross training on either of those.  I wanted those 2 to be for running only training.

I use RunMeter to track my walks, and sometimes my runs if I'm needing a little extra boost.  You see, RunMeter links to Twitter and Facebook and when a friend leaves a comment or a "like" for you, it reads it to you.  It's fun...but I don't use it publicly all the time because I don't want to be THAT person.

DailyMile is a place I can sync all the miles I log in the same place.  It allows me to run reports on just runs, or all activities.  It gives me my mile totals (days, weeks, or months).  It is also where I track the miles I'm putting on my new shoes.

So, long story can find me logging in any of the above mentioned places. :)

Back to training...

Week 2, March 3 -- March 9th:

Week 3, March 10 -- March 16

Week 4, March 17 -- 23rd:

And that brings me to the current week.

The only training run I've missed was March 8th.  I opted to spend the day at the running store, buying new shoes.  

My weight, one month later is 205.1.  Not as good as I'd like...but I can't complain because my eating has not been in check AT ALL.

So over the next month, that is my focus.  To watch what I eat.  Because I don't want to be doing all this moving for nothing!  You can't out-exercise a bad is ALWAYS the way to lose weight. So more veggies, water, and lean protein.  (And less eating out, cookies, and sweets!)

Check back on Monday for this last weeks detailed report on my Marathon Training...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Princess Weekend Day 4, Half Marathon

Day 1 of my Princess Weekend is re-capped HERE.
Day 2 of my Princess Weekend is re-capped HERE.
Day 3 of my Princess Weekend is re-capped HERE.

Sunday morning meant it was time for the big race!  After running (okay, walking) the 10k the day before, I felt I knew a little about what to expect.


As we got dropped off by the bus, I figured the walk to the start line would be about the same distance.

Nope again.

It felt we were walking and walking and walking.  I didn't track how far, but it was a decent distance! We wound down by the potties, through some trees.  Then they split off the corrals AA-?? went one way, we went another.

Finally we reached our corral, but we didn't have the extra time we had the day before.  We got into the corral basically as the AA corral was about to start.  Disney set up large TVs so we could see the start line and they had speakers announcing, trying to get us all excited.  In the 10k, I could see every corral...and even the start line.  For the half, it wasn't possible.  

The corral start times varied, but I would say it was an average of about 3 minutes.  Each time a corral would start, we would walk up into the next corral staging area.  Slowly, but surely we were getting close.  With each corral start, the Fairy God Mother would do her magical bibbity-boppity-boo and let off fireworks.  It was a fun way to start the race.

This is the shot I got right as our corral started, we were pretty much in the middle of the pack.

As we started, we stuck to a run/walk ration that was comfortable for all of us.  But soon, we just ditched that completely.  The first several miles were done on the highway.  At one point, we were running down a split highway.  As we ran down our side, across in the other direction we could see the first person running back...ready to finish.  

I wondered if anyone would notice me running like a mad woman across the grass to run behind her...she had to feel excited though, because everyone was cheering her on!  

As the course continued, we came up to the Magic Kingdom entrance.  Nothing looked familiar to me.  At all.

Even inside the Magic Kingdom, I couldn't tell where we were in the back areas.  That is, until we came on to Main Street.

I loved running this portion!  It felt so mystical and magical with the fog surrounding the castle!  There were lots of spectators lining the streets.  This was by far one of my favorite parts of the course.  I wish the whole course could have been ran in the parks.

We opted to take a quick potty break inside the park. 
I didn't go in, but I heard the bathroom was a yucky mess.
Thank you to the Disney park crew who has to go clean up that crap after we are done!

We wound through Tomorrow Land and ended up behind the castle, ready to run through it.
This was the half way point.

Up until now, the course was crowded, but never bottlenecked.
Through the castle it got tight!

They had photographers snapping pictures, but you had to be on the left side of the castle as you were exiting to be in a picture.  Keep that in mind if that is important to you...

After we left Magic Kingdom, there was more running along the highway.  All of the roads are technically on Disney Property...they just take you from one park to another.  This is pretty much what most of the course looked like:

I had to snap a picture each time I saw one of the busses.
These busses were what shuttled those who were slower than the balloon ladies off the course.
Supposedly, they would pull up blocking off the road, and make everyone pile on.
Each bus we passed, we cheered.  We knew it meant we passed another pick-up.

Disney was cute and they had little "pick-me-up" signs all along the course.  

They made it a fun, sweaty, hard, humid party.
There were characters all along the course.
There was music playing!
The atmosphere was fantastic.

Mile 10 was a pretty big deal.

You see, after mile 10, the chances of being swept are very low.
(At least that is what we had in our minds.)
10 meant there was only 3.1 left...and who can't run a 5k?!

Little did we know that after 10 there was a nasty on ramp we had to run up and it had a strange tilt to it.  My knees were feeling it!  It was awkward and slanted and my least favorite point in the race.  It was also at this point we were able to look backwards on the course to see where we were in regards to those behind us.  It looked like the runners never ended.  
(Little did I know, a lot of them would be swept...)

The weather had been very cooperative until this point.  But it was starting to warm up, and get muggy.  I hate humidity.  It felt sticky when I breathed.  Ugh.

As we were trudging along, we came upon this girl:

It's hard to tell from the picture, but she is being led.
She's blind.
Did you read that last sentence?  
She is blind!

It was at that point that we all talked about how ANYONE can achieve what they desire if they put their heart into it.  I was in awe, inspired by her determination.

Also, in the back ground you see Epcot....that meant the finish line.  But clearly, it was still too far to get overly excited.

As we got into Epcot, the park had opened.  They had people holding off the crowds to let us run by.  Disney sure knows how to run a race!  As we ran through the buildings in Epcot, it got more and more muggy.  There was less breeze and honestly, I was just ready to be done!

But never, at any point along the race did it cross my mind that we wouldn't finish.
When we talked about doing this race together all those months earlier, the plan was always start the race together, and finish the race together.
No questions!

Had it come down to being swept, we were all perfectly fine being swept together.
But I knew it wouldn't come down to that!

This race wasn't about the race.
It wasn't about times.
This race was about friendship.
You see, friends are more important that PR's or medals.
And these girls that I spent the weekend with were my girls!  

I had spent the last year+ of my life, talking with them.  Sometimes crying to them.  We've gotten to know each others families, and pasts.  We have shared the triumphs of life, and the low parts that we'd rather forget.  These girls have been by my side as I struggled to finish nursing school...alone, in raising my kids...while Jason worked out of town.  They have literally lifted me up when I was at my low points.  They cheered me on when I was at my healthiest weight, but haven't blinked an eye after I gained a lot of it back.  They were there for me when I told them what a surprise Madison's pregnancy was.  They were there when I cried because I didn't want to be pregnant.  I have shared with them my honest feelings, some that I was too embarrassed to say out loud.  I've watched them send their own babies off to military, I've seen them get promotions they have worked so hard for and deserved.  I've seen them chauffeur around teenagers to football, rowing, shopping, and so much more.  I've heard about the incredible places they've visited, the difficult times they have over come, and I've become stronger after seeing their strength.

This race was NOT about a medal.
It was NOT about a PR.

This race was the moment we could all come and be together at the same time and celebrate our friendship.  We started as strangers, all those months ago, and crossed that finish line (with tears in our eyes) as friends.

Friends to the Finish!

See that is the amazing thing about races.  You grow and become someone you didn't know existed.  You laugh, you get annoyed, you cry.
But you finish.

Thank you Jenn, Windee, and Marcee.
Thank you for standing by me through the hard times we've each faced.
The finish line tasted beautiful because each of you were by my side!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Princess Weekend Day 3...10k

Saturday Feb. 22nd was the start of the races for our group.  I'm going to be honest.  I was worried about having the stamina and strength to finish the 10K Saturday and the Half Sunday to complete the Glass Slipper Challenge.

But I decided to bury the fear, and go for it.

Saturday morning, we woke early.  If I remember right, it was like 3am.  I had to calculate pumping time into the equation.

Once we were dressed and ready, we went down to the lobby of our hotel to catch the bus.  Everything went so smoothly!  I heard horror stories of previous years, but I have nothing but positive to say.  We weren't late, we got on the first bus that swung by to pick us up.  But I think some of the smoothness is because of the location of our hotel on the bus route.

You see, our bus filled completely with all the runners from our hotel.  So when we drove by the stop at the next hotel, there was no room for any of them in their long line.  But I'm sure another bus came along eventually....

Once we arrived at the bus drop off, we had a little walk to head over to the starting line.  I snapped a quick picture, and the excitement was everywhere!

I'm a huge people watcher, so I enjoyed walking through the crowd.  There were so many costumes!  And some were so random...

(Yes, you are in fact looking at a PURSE!)
(How could anyone run in that!?)

One of my favorite costumes at the 10k was an older couple (probably in their mid 60's) dressed as Prince Charming and Cinderella.  I loved them not for who they were dressed as (there were TONS of Cinderella costumes and Prince Charming costumes), but I loved them because they were so excited to get into the race...giddy, like 15 year olds!  They were holding hands as they walked to their corral.  I regret not snapping a was adorable!

Because we were early to the race, we had time to party it up and dance away.  The MC was great, full of energy, and got us warmed up!

As the race start time got closer, we decided to hit the bathroom one more time.  Only, we waited in line FOREVER!  My advice:  don't use the bathrooms closest to the corrals.  They were so much more crowded that others in the area.  :)

As they announced for everyone to make their way to their corrals, the excitement was buzzing!  If you haven't run a Disney race before, then let me explain the corrals just a little bit.  There are so many runners, SO MANY, and because of that there are delayed start times to try and help with the bottle-necking.  The corral you are placed in is based on your registration.  They ask you to submit proof-of-time from other races (10k or above).  This gives them an idea of where you might finish.  

With Disney, the big talk is about the Mickey carts and balloon ladies.  Because you run through parks, they require you to maintain a 16 min/mile pace or you get swept.  To measure this, they place pacers in the very last corral.  And the balloon ladies are the very last people out of that last corral.  They literally carry balloons and stay at that 16 min pace.  Anyone who falls behind them risks being picked up and swept.  

I wasn't worried at all, even with the lack of training.  You see, because of previous times submitted from earlier races we had a very good corral.  (And lots of buffer room.)  We decided that because we had a half to run the next day, we were going to not push the 10k.  We were just wanting to finish.  

As we went through the course, we mainly walked.  We would jog if we needed to pass someone.  But mostly, we walked.  

We probably would have stopped for pictures with characters.....if there had been any we really wanted.  I was kind of disappointed with the lack of "main" characters placed in the 10k.  We mostly saw the "side-kicks."  Like the cards from Alice in Wonderland.  The one place we did stop to get a pictures was for the Genie and Lumiere.  They were giant!  And you can't see it from the picture below, but they had real people hooked up to them...operating them and talking.  It was probably my favorite character spot (in both races).

When all was said and done, we crossed the finish line and felt great!  The medal was big and beautiful.  It was a fun race, and Disney did a great job with all their aid stations.  The best finishing, it set us up to be part of the inaugural Glass Slipper Challenge finishers the next day.  (more on that tomorrow...)

The rest of the day we spent at parks.  From riding Toy Story, to Tower of Terror, we tried to do it all.

One more thing I want to comment on was the weather...I was SO grateful for the weather we had.  The humidity was minimal compared to what I expected!  And during the race (and even at the parks) it was over-cast and manageable.  We even got a little rain Saturday afternoon....although the rain did bring a little more humidity than I liked.  (But at least it wasn't during the run!)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Disney Princess Weekend Day 2

This is the second post in my Disney Race Re-cap...check out the first HERE

On Friday (Feb 21st) we decided to hit the park.  We spent the day in the Magical Kingdom.  Before we left for Florida, we decided it would be fun to play matchy-matchy and order matching 'Party like a Princess' shirts.  It was fun, and all over the park we were referred to as Princesses.  We each brought tiaras and also wore those.  I'm not typically the tiara kind of girl, but I HAD to do was Princess Weekend after all!

This was my first time to any of the Disney World properties so I wasn't sure what to expect.  Our hotel provided us a boat shuttle to the entrance which was fun.

Once we got in the park, I felt right at home.  I was surprised at how similar the Magic Kingdom was to Disneyland!

We started the day off with the mandatory tourist photo...

Most of the morning, we spent in lines for character photos.  From Alice, to Mary Poppins, to Merida...we cheesed it up with them all!

While planning this trip, we each had some mandatory must-do items.  One of the things we hoped for was to try the new Be Our Guest restaurant.  Only, the are reservation only for dinner...and usually book out MONTHS in advance!  However, here's a TIP:  Lunch is open for all, you just have to wait in line.  We waited maybe 45 minutes?  Would I do it again?  ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!

Let me preface this by saying I am a HUGE, HUGE, HUUUUUUGE Beauty and the Beast fan!  It is my all time favorite Disney movie.  But even if I wasn't, I still think the wait was worth it.  You eat dinner inside the Beast's castle and it is magical.  And the food was DELICIOUS.

This is outside the entrance with the gargoyle's....

Here are some different views from inside the restaurant.  At lunch you are able to pick your own seat in one of 3 rooms, all are equally fantastic!  This was the room we ate lunch in:

The west wing room is decorated just as the movie...the Beast has torn the room up, and this is where the enchanted flower and mirror are.

As far as food goes:  my advice is ORDER DESSERT!
I got the fancy lemon cupcake and I was in heaven!

On the way out of the castle, after your dining experience is over, there is a place to stop and get the perfect picture!

All in all, lunch was amazing!  And if you can't get dinner reservations, make it a point to get in line quickly for lunch!

The rest of the day was spent riding rides, and enjoying the park!

We probably would have stayed a little longer, but I had issues.  You see, I am nursing little Madison.  But since she was left at home, I was pumping...or trying to pump.  Only, I have an electric pump.  So it wasn't like I could just whip it out and pump where ever.  After many, many hours I was really hurting and my sweet friends were kind enough to head back and let me pump even though it cut our day a little short.  When we got back to the hotel, I did a little researching.  Turns out, Disney is AWESOME.  They have baby centers in each of their parks.  I had NO IDEA!  I've been to Disneyland too many times to count, and I have NEVER known about this.  I've taken babies, and toddlers...and WISHED I would have known about this.  So....let me clue you in on a HUGE secret:

At every Disney park they have this baby center.  In it, there are TV's playing cartoons.  There are baby changing tables. There are high chairs.  They sell baby food and formula and diapers and wipes!  They also sell baby clothes...just in case there is an accident.  They have quiet, private rooms with rocking chairs where you can even nurse!  (or pump in my case)

I was AMAZED!  After I learned this, I brought my pump with me each day and pumped in their mother's rooms, saving a TON of time (and pain).  Seriously, check them out on your next Disney trip!

All in all, the Magic Kingdom was indeed MAGICAL.  Have I mentioned, I LOVE Disney!

That evening (after I was done pumping in the hotel room because I had yet to know about the cool baby centers), we headed to Epcot.  We picked a country to eat in and wandered around.  It was a great day!  That night, we tried to get to sleep early as the 10k race was the next morning and we needed to be up and awake by 3:30am (1:30am Utah time)....more on that day coming tomorrow, check back!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Disney Princess Weekend Part 1

February 20th, I flew out in the morning to arrive in Orlando, FL that afternoon.  We were lucky, and the 3 of us flying in all arrived within 15 minutes of each other.  Our friend, Jenn, lives in Orlando and was able to come pick us all up...and arrange awesome accommodations on site at Disney for us! It was so convenient to have someone familiar with the area chauffeuring us around.

After we arrived, we went straight to the expo and packet pickup.   (5pm-ish, Thursday)

This was my first Disney race, and I didn't know what to expect.  There were, of course, many places for great photo ops...

(from left to right:  Windee, Jenn, me, Marcee)

As we walked toward the expo entrance, I loved that Disney didn't hold back!  We were welcomed with the red carpet rolled out...

It was very royal-like, and what girl doesn't like the extra special treatment?  Inside, there were many, MANY vendors!  Run Disney was there, and we got to meet the fabulous Jeff Galloway.

If you haven't heard of his training, I highly recommend you look into it!  He is an Olympic runner who recommends doing a run/walk ratio during races to avoid injury and produce incredible times.  I'm currently using this mentality to train for the races I have upcoming this year (more on that later).

We had a great time wandering through all the booths, my only regret:  I didn't buy what I wanted from the Run Disney booth on this day.  I figured I would come back Friday or Saturday to "make up my mind" about what I wanted.  By the time we came back, everything I wanted was sold out.  I read from other bloggers that things sold out by early Friday.  So my best advice:  get there early and buy, buy, buy.  Anything you want from Run Disney, buy!  Because if you don't, it will be gone!

We finished walking the expo, enjoying all there was to see...and mostly, enjoying finally meeting each other IN PERSON!  

We stayed at the Dolphin hotel (or was it the Swan?)  I still can't remember...they are both right by each other.  I loved the location!  That night we walked to dinner and enjoyed the boardwalk.  It was a great kick-off to a fabulous weekend!

Check back for Day 2 recap...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Catching up!

So much has happened since I last blogged.  And usually a blogging hiatus has meant that I've been slacking.  This time, it's quite opposite!

In the last month, I've been busting my butt to stay consistent in my training and honestly...I'm feeling great!  The scale hasn't been as rewarding as I hoped, but I'm feeling good and I know the results will start trickling in.

So, I'm going to back up over the next few posts and take you back to some amazing memories I'd like to document!

Remember, back in February, I took a much needed and deserved girls trip?!

So I met this group of friends online...weird, right?  We all were part of a FB group of a blogger that I won't mention because she's not worth your time.  But there was a decent sized group that ventured off into another FB group.  Soon, I began connecting with these 4 girls in particular.  We began chatting EVERY DAY.  I feel like I've known them forever.  They have been by my side through good times and through really difficult times.  I love them.  And a lot of people think it's strange that we met online, but I think it was fate.  :)

So over a year ago we started talking about the idea of meeting up to do a run....not just any run, but a PRINCESS RUN!  When the Princess Half Marathon opened up, we all jumped on it and got in.  We started making plans (and secretly prayed that none of us were serial killers).

Fast forward to February of this year...

Plane tickets were booked, babysitting figured out, and training had been almost nonexistent.  Honestly, even the lack of training couldn't keep me down...I was SO EXCITED!!!!

Over the next few posts, I'll go over what I loved about running Disney and what I learned from that weekend!  So stay tuned...

In the mean time, just know I've been pushing hard this month to BE CONSISTENT.  It has been a LONG time since I was consistent with my exercise (like when I got pregnant with Madison).  This month I wanted to prove (mostly to myself) that I could follow through again.  I wanted to not just be a person who SAID I was going to do something, but be a person who DID it.

For the last month, I have slowly been building my mileage and increasing my times.  I have been running Monday's for 30 min, Wednesday's for 30 min, and Saturday's for mileage.  I also add in a walk on Thursday's.  As of today, I've logged 30.8 miles for the month.  That may not seem like a lot to some, but for shows I've been consistently following my training plan!

I'm so excited to share with you some upcoming events...but first I want to spend the next few posts reliving an amazing girls weekend with some great friends!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Day of Gratitude

Sometimes the hard things in life can get you down.  At least, they can get me down!  Because most of you know my full story, I won't get into the hard things I've faced.  But I will say that as much as I've moved forward from everything that happened to me, each year as March 3rd comes around I feel anxiety.  Each year on this day, I hope to sleep past it...or that it would magically fall off the calendar.  Some years I've cried and cried through the day.  Others, I've been strong.  Throughout the year I don't really allow myself to go back to what happened to me all those years ago, however March 3rd is the one day I have allowed it.  

Each year it is different.  But most years it's been a hard day.

I've decided this year it was time to make a change.  This year I needed to do better.  So today, March 3rd is considered my own personal Gratitude Day!  And rather than feeling sorry for what happened to me, I'm going to be grateful that I am alive.

You see there was a time, all those years ago, that I didn't want to be alive anymore.  I didn't think I deserved to be happy, or to live.  Thankfully, I've worked through a lot of that.  Because now I look at my life and I tear up.

I am so blessed.

My house might be a mess, and there might not be food in my cupboards or fridge, and laundry might be stacked higher than high.

But I am blessed!

I have 4 beautiful children who love me.  I have an incredibly supportive husband who has stood by me through all the ugly times.  I have an incredible extended family who I love dearly.  And I have been blessed with the most incredible friends in this life!

13 years ago, I never thought I would be this blessed.

So today, I am focusing on how much this life has given me!  I am focusing on how strong my body is, both physically and mentally.  I am focusing on being a fighter.

I am grateful for today.  Yes, today....March the 3rd!
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