Friday, September 19, 2014

The Trail

One year ago I was prepping for my first marathon. I was nervous and scared and so full of nerves. The unknown really can stress a person out, or maybe it's just me. Last year at this time I thought I had prepared the best I could. I had ran (I use that term loosely because it was a sucky day and run) 20 miles, I had strength trained, etc. It came time for race day and you can just imagine the nerves, although I was super excited and really didn't care about my time. You can read it about here
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Before I even hit the pavement this past weekend I was super nervous. You see this summer has been a whirlwind to say the least. It seems like I haven't had the time for proper training. My sister's wedding, pictures, my kids, work, the weather, more weddings, it seems like I have no time for anything, and it really stresses me out. I haven't ran more than 16 miles since August and I was feeling the stress of it all and it was consuming me. I've been plagued with leg injuries and have been battling through them.
I've thought this whole process would be easier this time around. I think mostly because I've done it before. I've already ran the 26.2 miles I really have nothing to prove. I could care less if my time is faster, but I know my pride wants me to do better. I've done better at every race this year and I guess I'm just afraid of not meeting that goal. I know I've trained better. I've been lifting weights, biking, and running. I've been doing the strength exercises, seeing my chrio, and eating more calories to fuel me. I've even been making sure to get more sleep. What the hell am I so nervous about.
That has been my thought process. I woke up bright and early Sunday morning and decided to run for me. I was going to run as far as I could (of course within my time constraints) and be happy with it.
I started out and of course that damn throbbing in my calf was telling me to stop and turn around and go back to bed, but I'm bull headed sometimes and I kept going.

After mile 7, I came to my trail. The trail that is where my running love was fueled.  You see when I first started back to running 2-1/2 years ago I couldn't run that trail. I kept trying and trying and I'll never forget the time I was able to run through the whole thing without stopping. I remember the tears that I shed because I was so proud that I was able to push through the pain. That I didn't give up when my lungs said to stop, when the heat was to hot, when everything said no you can't.  I remember feeling so proud that I had ran that trail.  So on Sunday when I came to that trail I stopped running and I walked it. That one mile long trail I walked it, and I reflected on why I started running in the first place. I reflected on why I kept pushing onward, and what running means to me now. I reflected on how beaten and battered I felt after running my marathon, and how much I was hurting now. I reflected on all those nay-sayers, that feel like runners have to fit into this perfect box. Those people that think that unless you're this fitness body type that you shouldn't run a marathon. Those people that have given me looks when I say I've ran a marathon.

I also thought about all the people that have said they started running, or some physical fitness regimen because they saw that I did it. I thought about all those people that have been inspired to live healthier just because they saw me do it. I say this and by no means do I feel like I am an inspiration to anyone. I am not narcissistic like that. In fact, it surprises me every time someone comments here or when I see them. I have never felt that what I do will help someone else. I just try to be the best person I can be everyday, for my family and for my overall health. 

So getting back to that trail, after I exited that trail I felt truly uplifted. I don't want to say that God was speaking to me but maybe he was. Maybe just maybe he was showing me that no matter the obstacles that are put in front of me, I always try to make the best of it and try to come out the other end stronger. I ran the last 4 miles and while I was still in pain I knew that I would finish the upcoming marathon strong. It may not be better are faster than last time but what matters most is that I finish it.  I found my clarity and why I continue to completely exhaust myself.

With that being said this weekend I'll be running my 5th half marathon. I rested my achy leg all week and it feels better. My marathon countdown says 23 days till race day.

~There is no luck involved in finishing the Marathon, the ingredients required to tackle this formidable challenge are straightforward: commitment, sacrifice, grit, and raw determination. Plain and simple-
Dean Karnazes -Runners World~

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Thief of Joy

It's been a whirlwind again. I feel like that's a constant state in my life. I feel like I'm constantly apologizing for my lack of posts, but really this is real life. Summer is busy and I may not be able to post every week. I hope you'll understand and stick along for the ride. Also, sorry for my lack of photos. My phone has gone loco and I'm not buying a new one until the new iPhone comes out. It's a sad sad world...not really.

Anyways, work, clean, eat, run, repeat.  The truth is I'm no different than every working parent out there.  We all live crazy busy lives. We all long for the day of nothing to do and when that day comes we quickly fill it up because we can't sit still or maybe that's just me.  Even as I write this I'm listening to music, writing, and doing a project with the kiddos. It's always chaos and it's my life. It's why my running time is so important. It's truly the only time I can unplug. I can let all the thoughts, and craziness go. I've been asked why being so completely exhausted can bring clarity to my mind. The reason is because it's just me and my music, even if I'm running with Hide-a-Key, we usually end up staggered or far apart.  I can let all my worries and troubles play out. I can let the music consume me. It's my happy place.

I thought after the wedding madness that life would take a moment to breath, but the truth is it's still busy. Between photo shoots, editing, getting kids stuff ready for school, doing the normal house stuff, I still am busy and exhausted. This past weekend we took our annual family camping trip. Before we left I got up early and got a quick 9'er in, then home shower, and take the mini's to get their hair cut. B donated 9 inches of hair to locks of love. So sweet. Lil C got his fro under control. That boy has so much hair.

                            No this is not our site...just a picture for your viewing pleasure.

Then it was off to the great north woods. Full of relaxation and a break from reality. My phone decided to go psycho on me and not hold a charge anymore. (Insert sad face) But instead of stressing I embraced the unplugged weekend! No texts, FB, IG. Dare I say it was exhilarating and awesome, and I have taken a step back and refocused. There's no need for anyone to see my everyday life. It's exhausting. I know some people really like it. They feel motivated that I can fit working out into my busy schedule, but I wonder if it's also shaming.

Just follow-me here.... I post away all my workouts, my busy life and you're at home looking it. Are you motivated? Have I helped? Maybe some, but I wonder if I just get the eye roll of others.  Let's be honest it feels good when someone says "hey great job". I'm not going to lie; it makes me feel good. I work at a thankless job. I don't interact with other adults except for pick-up/drop-off. So yes, the little pat on the back is nice.

Do I continue to share this journey I'm on? Do I continue to put myself out there, knowing full well that their are so many haters and nay-sayers out there. Knowing full well that there are many people who hope I fail. Knowing full well that there will be days when I mess up and when I just don't want to do the work. It's a double-edge sword. So what do I do?

I still don't have an answer to that question. I really enjoy sharing my journey, but I don't want to feel like a have too. I also don't want to be portrayed as a narcissistic jerk either. Daily selfies can become that. It can become someone so obsessed with how they look, or how many likes they get.  I feel like the differences in mine is I really don't care what I look like. I show you the good, bad, ugly, pretty. More often than not I'm make-up free. I have breakouts, Dr. Suess character hair, sweat, fat bloaty days.  The biggest change in all of this, is not so long ago I refused to have my picture taken. It didn't matter the angle or filter. I hated the way I looked. I hated everything about me. My extra mommy pooch, my hey nancy's, my legs, hips, face. It's sad and even as I write this I tear up a bit. It's a sad realization that I felt that way, and that I did for so long. I still feel that way sometimes, but I also realize that no body is perfect. In a world of skinny apps, filters, angles, photo shop nobody is indeed perfect.

What is perfect. Perfect is what society and social media want us to believe. Tan skin, abs, muscles, skinny..just a few of the words that pop up when you type in the word perfection.  I think perfect is a myth. There is no perfect. We are constantly told we need to be better, but what if we're healthy and happy. Then we're told we're content. I'm not sure which is worse, but I do know that I will never be society's perfect.

My perfect is one where I'm happy. I'm fine with how I look yes, I may want a tummy tuck and boob lift, but not because society has told me I need it, because I want it. I want it to so the loose skin on my tummy doesn't ache when I run, so I don't have to wear a tank under a tank to keep the skin in place.  Who needs to judge me on that. Is that being a narcissist? I don't know, and it may never happen it's just on my I wish I could list.....I'm being honest. I hope that honesty isn't taken in vain.

This was hard to write. I think because when it's raw and real and in black in white for the world to see it makes it too real.  So I may step back from posting. I may post once a week.  Either way I need to do what's right for me and my journey.

Until next time
                             I'm far from perfect but I love the person I am, the husband I married, and the perfect son we have! My life is great and that's what matters most :) love u Steve and Jacob!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It Was A Drive By Fruiting....

My post today was going to be about struggle but a different kind of struggle, one that you take to the pavement to work through, but in the midst of the news yesterday I chose to write this instead.....

As I write this I am sadden. I am sad that the world has lost a great comedian yesterday.
I could tell you all the things that Robin Williams was, but I'll tell you what he was to me. He was a person that could make me laugh in my darkest hours. His movies got me through some of the saddest times in my life. I remember watching Hook with my siblings after a particular chaotic night and we all were brought to laughter by his antics. The sadness that had happened was forgotten for a couple hours. I still laugh and quote Mrs Doubtfire. "It was a drive by fruiting", WELL HELLLOOO!  Patch Addams, Jumanji, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Aladdin, I could list them all but wikipedia can do that for me.

I loved his movies and I loved his humanitarianism, but I also understand his laughter through his pain. There are many people out there that smile the biggest and try to do so much for others because they themselves are hurting so much on the inside.  That laughter and helping others helps dull the pain they are feeling themselves. While it is still not confirmed how he died, they are thinking it was suicide.  There is always so much judgement that comes along with this type of death.  I think it's hard for people that have yet to live through it or who have known people that have lived through it to understand. They can't understand that you're heart is breaking and you feel absolutely hopeless.  They feel like there is no other way to live and that the world would be so much better without them in it; as a burden.  I say this before you judge.....stop and think.  Put yourself in someone else's shoes.  Just because you may be able to handle the weight of the world it doesn't mean the next person can.

                                   This quote has been on my mind for a while.   Can anyone really make you feel alone?  Or do you already feel this way and occasionally encounter those that reinforce that emptiness?  Everything you feel, think and see is already within you, attributing it to another person is merely a denial of yourself to yourself.

With that being said I want to make sure that people know that their is always someone out there willing to listen. Your struggles may seem like a mess you can't possibly clean up by yourself, but that's why we're given friends, family, and even help us; when we can't do it by ourselves.

Now you're free

Monday, July 28, 2014

Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Broadcast

Hey Hey Hey.....
Now that life is back to normal or as normal as my life can be.
I love love love routine. I find I do the best when my routine is on track. Exercise, eating, life in general.
My job is not totally routine but that is fine. We have a semi-routine, but I really just go with how the kids are feeling.
Exercise is a huge routine must for me. Monday through Sunday I have it all planned out. If I mess up day I try to get in my missed workout somewhere.
Eating- This is huge!! I really wish sometimes that I could just graze on whatever and it would be ok, but that's not how I roll. So I have to map it out.

Since my sister's wedding wrapped up last weekend I needed a little breather. I needed to sit back and just get some rest and recharge. I needed to re-establish my goals and really focus and what really matters.
We all know this life we live is really super short. We get a blink of an eye to really accomplish anything. I'm the type of person that really tries to do it right, although sometimes my right and what's really "right" is all over the place. So with that being said I took a break last week and didn't let the pressures of what I'm suppose to be doing get to me.

Preach it Demi

So as some of you know Mondays, Wednesdays, & Saturdays are strength and run days for me.

And since I was exhausted from the wedding I didn't get up early and since it was friggn' hot out during my run time, my home girl Hide-a-Key and I just walked. We caught up and had some Starbucks.

I also feel these pictures would be better with a prego belly, but since that shop is closed and I'm not about to do one from the chest down (because nobody needs to see that) this will have to do.

Tuesday I skipped getting up again because I'm lame and I needed more sleep, but I did get some good news.
See that blonde hottie....and if you don't follow the arrow. That's my "real life" friend Lori. She is the bomb.
I was actually going to write a whole post on her awesomeness but since Jen beat me to it I'll send you to her page. Just because I don't want to steal her thunder. I will say that I love Lori to death. She is really one of my soul sisters and I can't wait to see her again soon!!!

Wednesday again I slept in but since it was super nice and hot out (again with all the heat...), the little kiddos napped and the big kiddos played in the sprinkler and mini-pool. While they did that I decided to man up and get back to business of building the baby guns. Later that night was run night and I was dreading this run like the plague. I am a total fan of heat. In fact I love the heat, but only if I'm laying around and don't have to do anything. Now when it comes to running I'm in heaven at a comfortable 50-55 degrees. That's my sweet spot. No asthma issues, legs are you see where I'm going here? So with that being said it was an uncomfortable 85 with 100% humidity. For the love of God...but being back on team get yo shit together I did it. 
Love the minis!!

Thursday I was suppose to get up early, the same with you see a trend here.
I was so unbelievably sore from my Wednesday kick butt into action that I could barely move. I did some stretching on Friday but I was still hobbling around like an old woman.

Saturday I had a plan to get up early like 4:00AM to get ready for myself ready for a 5AM run solo. So I went to bed early Friday night and proceeded to get woken up every 2 hrs by one or the other of my mini men. T had growing pains (leg cramps), C had to go potty and needed a gink (drink), T got up again because his tummy hurt, C got up because his ankle you see a trend here. So I literally got no sleep. My alarm went off at 4, 4:15, 4:30 and I never heard any of them at all. I must have turned them off in my sleep. My husband even tried to wake me up at 6:30 asking if I was going running and apparently I said "Well I guess that's going to work out", and went right back to sleep. All of which I remember nothing....

I woke up at 8:30 and felt better and didn't feel depressed or bad about it. I actually kind of felt revived and rejuvenated. So being that I had the mini's for the day, since the hubby was going into work I decided that I would take them on a bike ride. Truth post here I hate riding my bike on the street, in my garage that's fine, but I'm always afraid of riding with the kids on the city streets because people are crazy. So after a quick demo of how to install the bike rack, I packed up the boys and we headed off to the trail. It's paved, it's local, and it's safe.
My little guys made it!!! The little one - C rides in the trailer, and Big T pedaled his little legs off. We stopped at 4.5 miles to play at the park for a bit and have a snack. Then we were back on the trail for the rest of our ride. I was so beyond impressed with T's riding abilities. He did awesome! We then headed for home for some lunch and cleaned a bit. Then it was time for me to get ready for my mTT run.

I signed up to do the Packers (Go Pack Go) 5k race. If you're not familiar with mTT you can read all about it and my past race here and here.
This organization is super close to my heart and keeps me humbled in my own life. Life is too short to take it for granted. Anyways, so I was part of Team Patrick. 
Patrick (in the white shirt) can walk, talk, and even run, but he is blind in his left eye and can only see partially in his right. In order, for him to participate in any endurance event he needs someone to hold onto him or to be tethered. So with Joel (tall guy in back with visor on) on his right and tethered and me (big sunglasses and white skirt) on his right and with Jayne (red headband, black shorts) in front or behind he was able to participate in this race.

Packer's 5k Team

Before the race we had to get bikes set-up, name tags on, and a little pre-race fun. Then it was time to line up for the group pictures and honor a Captain that passed away. Captain Kyle was honored with a stroller with his pictures on it that Katie pushed and also a balloon release. It's always sad to say good-bye, but we know he's in a better place and doesn't need a stroller anymore. He can run free.

Patrick did amazing. He finished his race strong, and I feel so blessed to meet him and his parents.

Yes I was screaming at the top of my lungs "GO TEAM PATRICK GO!!!!"

Sunday I had church, and a bridal shower to attend, then it was home for family time.
This week I'm back into routine. I already did my morning workout and I'm hopeful that my run tonight will go well since it's a whopping 60 degrees. Ya ya...

How was your weekend? Any fun plans? 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Maid of Honor, Photographer, Wedding Planner

So I know it's been a hot minute since I wrote a post. My girl Fe asked if I quit blogging.
It may seem that way; but really I've been so busy I can barely breathe. My little sister just got married this past Friday. I was one of her maid of honors, one of the photographers, and basically the wedding planner.
Since we are a family of DIY'ers there was a lot of time, and planning that went into everything from the decorations, to the programs, to the gifts for the attendants.

My sister got engaged in February 2014 and wanted to be married in July. Yep, 5 mths later. So it was rush, rush, rush to get everything done. Along with marathon training, going to Texas, etc I've barely had enough time to get my laundry done. So no I'm not giving up on the blog but I'm just making sure it's not consuming all of my life.

But back to the title. The wedding...

Thursday after a nice run. I got washed up and ended to the nail salon to get my nails done.
Then off to the hall to decorate. After decorating I had to run and pick up the arch, columns, a birthday cookie cake, my veggies, and some lip gloss. We headed to rehearsal after the madness that is rehearsal we headed over to my mom's for a get together.

It was a lot of funny, being able to let loose and get silly. Team dork's right here.
Before we all left we were given our wedding party gifts.

There was a godmother mirror with a heart.

I was also given a special gift from my nephew.  My sister has taken in this little man as her own from day one as have the rest of my family. This gift was very special to me and you can best believe I cried my eyes out. 

After finally getting to sleep it was the big day.
My little sister picked me and Miss B up to head back to the reception hall to decorate the tent.
photobomber- Miss B

Then we were off to the salon to get our hair done, eat, and for me to play make-up artist.

Then it was back to my sister's house for all of us to get in our dresses and finishing touches.

My little guys..sent from my hubby.

I had no phone on me during this day. I was so busy making sure that everything was taken care of. So sorry for my lack of pictures. I did drag my big DSLR out for individuals of the lovely couple but they are still waiting to be edited. 
Over all, it was a beautiful day, the bride was beautiful and she never knew about the hic-ups that happened along the way. I'm thankful for that! I gave my matron of honor speech and cried my eyes out.
I got to dance with my babies and my family. 

And because we're photo....

I'm so happy for my sister, and new brother. I'm happy for the friends of my sister that really kicked it into high gear to help out. What I'm thankful most of all is that my sister had her dream wedding and I got to be a part of it. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

So What It's Wednesday..

Hey everyone!!! Or me just babbling to myself. It's all good!
Sorry I didn't post on Monday. I think my usual weekly posting would really be Tuesday as my Mondays are hectic, but with the tsunami of rain we got yesterday nap times were all messed up, so that led to know post. I'm sorry.....

So let's take a look at those goals.
Last week:
This week here are the goals:
Monday -Run/arms Did 5
Tuesday - Spin/Legs Yes
Wed- Run/arms Did 5
Thursday - Spin/Legs Yes
Friday - Stretch or yoga Nope I slept in
Saturday - Long Run 13 miles 11 Miles instead..Time was an issue
Sunday - Rest

This getting up at 4:45am is getting a little easier. Although truth be told I'm ready for bed time by 8:30 but I push myself to stay up till 9pm.. I know living life on the edge..

Saturday night we celebrated my birthday. My birthday is/was actually on Sunday but we had a family party to attend. So we met up with friends and family and had a big steak dinner with free dessert. Then headed out to hear some live music. The music was good but super mellow and after a glass or bottle of wine (thanks Randy), I was ready for bed. I wouldn't say I'm old but I will say that getting up at 4:50am played into the equation of needing to leave by midnight. 

Over all it was a great day/night. Sunday I headed out to the family party with the kiddos (my hubby had to work). It was super chill and was nice since I was still very tired, but I put on my big girl panties and played some games and visited.

I've been doing super well with my eating except for the birthday dinner. The sugar meltdown happened Monday morning when my body was going through withdrawal. Let's just say it wasn't pretty. I'm going to keep up with this eating well and limiting sugar plan. I will eat it occasional because it's in many things, but I really honestly have so much more energy when I don't consume it in the form of cake, cookie, crap...

So here's the goals for this week.

Monday - Run - Did 6.50 miles
Tuesday - Spin/Legs - Did
Wednesday - Strength /Run I did the strength part already
Thursday - Spin
Friday - Rest or Yoga
Saturday - Long Run 13 miles
Sunday - Rest

I hope you have a great week and I'll leave you with this little picture gem that shows what a real dork I am.
I sent this out to some of my friends on Thursday to brighten their day.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Back to the Grind

Hello Monday Morning!!!
I can honestly say I did not have enough down time this weekend. Here's to hoping next weekend might be a little slower!!
Last week I had some heafty goals. What I did was marked in red.
Monday - Run Did 3 Miles
Tuesday - rest Rested
Wednesday - Run/Strength Spin/Leg Strength
Thursday - Spin Rest
Friday - Strength and stretch Stretch
Saturday - Bellin 10k Race Race Day!!
Sunday - Rest Rest

I went to the chiro on Tuesday and sure enough my ankle was jacked out of place a little. So being a good patient I decided to for go any running until the race. I still spinned and did some leg strength. I'm resuming the weights today. The cleanse is going great. I had one slip up of sugar Friday night and I paid for it Saturday. Yikes...Do not I repeat do not eat sugar while on the cleanse. Although, my hubby said it might have just been the subway. I think not!!!
It was also the kiddos last day of school on Thursday!!! I'm so excited to have them home for a little bit before school starts back up.
Left -First day of school / Right -last day of school

As for the race I felt I did pretty good at the race given that I had to stop and go potty a couple times and I felt like I may puke every minute, BUT I only stopped to go potty and that's it. I didn't PR, but I didn't think I would. My best time for this race has been 1:08 (with a potty break, teeny tiny bladder here). That time was when I was 50lbs lighter. I ended up finishing in 1:15. Now I know there are a ton of people out there that can run way faster and that's ok, I only try to do the best I can and I feel like I did that!!!

Saturday after the race we had a graduation party that lasted 9 hours. It was a ton of fun!!!!
Sunday was Father's day and we started the day off with brunch with my padre, and then we came home and I let my hubby take a nap while I weeded and planted flowers with kiddos!! A huge storm rolled in and after that was done we headed to the in-laws to hang for a bit. After a couple hours of an Eye Spy marathon, we went to leave only to find that our middle man locked the car doors with our keys in it. really I should know better. After running home and getting the spare we came home and enjoyed our family pizza night. It was an awesome weekend.

This week here are the goals:
Monday -Run/arms
Tuesday - Spin/Legs
Wed- Run/arms
Thursday - Spin/Legs
Friday - Stretch or yoga
Saturday - Long Run 13 miles
Sunday - Rest

Here we go!!! Marathon training is back in full swing. I'm hoping for 6-9 miles runs during the week and longer ones on the weekend. I'm going to keep up the strength training and the spin since they really helped me with time and endurance during the race in April!! 
I'm super excited because it's my birthday on Sunday and we're going out for a big juicey steak dinner on Saturday. I'll be done with my cleanse by then and onto the second part of the 24 day challenge. I'll be back to being a good girl after that dinner. I really like the way I'm feeling and I'm noticing little changes in my the good old girls are shrinking...ekkk....
That's all I got. I hope you are doing great and sticking to your goals.
Share them with me. If you want me to help you stay accountable let me know!!!

Have a great week!!!

What are goals? Are you eating clean?