March 31, 2011

You Are More

I've been batting this post around in my head for the past week or so, but Christie O's post today over at the Sisterhood was the push I needed to get it all down and out there for you to read/see/hear.

I am more than the choices that I've made,
I am more than the sum of my past mistakes,
I am more than the problems I create,
I've been remade.
This has been my personal anthem, although I can't take credit for it.  Sure the idea to personalize it was mine, but beyond putting "I" instead of "You" I did nothing.
What it makes me realize?
I am more than the girl starring back at me in the mirror.
I am more than the girl who took a wrong turn, that lead her down a selfish and obsessive path.
I am more than a set of saddle bags, courtesy of one too many comfort food indulgences.
I am more than the last race I ran.
I am more than the sum of my caloric intake.
I am more than what you see when you look at me.
And I know that you are too.  We've all got something to write on the chalkboard - worries, fears, missteps.  Its time to knock that dust off our hands and get to living life.  The way we would if we had a giant eraser to take it all away.
Cause ya know - there is One who will love you no matter what you write up there.  He knows it all already anyway, and He still cares enough to make a way to wash you clean.
Please take a moment to (re)watch the video.  This time, sing it to yourself.
Because you are so much more!

March 30, 2011

Goal check!

Is that a hockey term?  I know nothing about hockey, but I swear I heard that phrase somewhere.  Oh well moving right along...

Time to check in on those goals.

Weight - the same as last week.  I'm making an executive decision to stop weighing.  Period.  The End.  While I know this may not always be true, but I've "capped out" on weight.  138 is the most I've ever weighed, no matter how sloppy my eating habits or how lazy I've gotten on the exercise front.   Its what I currently weigh. 

I seriously doubt that, excluding anything extreme, I'm going to gain more.  Its just how my body is.  The gain was steady until hit this point, then it didn't matter if I was running 30 miles in a week or barely doing anything, eating fast food or not.  It just stopped.

Don't mistake my attitude. I'm sure its possible to gain more than this, but I've spent all of 2011 at this weight, and the past 3 months have seen a lot of different sides of me.

If the Shrinking Jeans gals have to have a weight from me each week for the challenge then I'll just enter today's weight.  It will show a gain for the challenge (the challenge start weight was on a different scale), so that won't put me in danger of winning anything.

Read Bible daily - I hit this one 7/7 times this past week.  If I had to do well on a goal this is the one I'd have picked! (And did pick I suppose.)  Although I will admit to "phoning it in" on Monday, doing the bare minimum.  Had I phrased it "study the Bible" I wouldn't have been able to count Monday - it was a read through with little thought to practical application.

Beyond that I did well - I spent the other days studying my Sunday school lesson and the verses that went with it as well as knocking out the books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians on my "read the Bible in a year" plan.  The book of Jeremiah is a struggle for me, so I only read my chapters in it one day.

Exercise daily - This was a stretch for me to count it as 7/7.  6 out of 7 no question, but I counted tending the fire as my exercise for Sunday.  It is activity that takes a bit of strength and ump, especially walking out to the wood pile and carrying in wood.  Either way what does it matter - I'm the one grading this and I give myself an "S" for satisfactory.

Reading for fun - 5/7 on completion.  Then again if it has to be forced into my day, its not for fun is it?  I finished two books and started a third.  Definitely an "S" for this goal as well.

64 oz of Water - 4/7 for this goal.  The days I fell short I got 7, 6, and 5 cups.  Not an epic fail.  "Needs Improvement" on this one.  *Hides from Roo*

3 Veggies & Fruits - I'm leaving this for last in hopes you're just skimming.  I consistently got in 2, but on some days 3 was a stretch.  I don't think the green peppers, onions, and peperocinis on my pizza means I got my daily three.  But I could be wrong.

Lenten activities

No soda - fail. I got it on Sunday (I asked catholicDan - Sundays are celebrations & you're allowed to stop fasting for the day) and loved every minute. Was drunk on caffeine so while we were sitting in gawd awful tourist traffic I made my phone charger a mic and sang along with the radio. The cars around us thought I was crazy but I enjoyed it. Jay on the other hand, got frustrated w/traffic and flipped a dude off. See soda isn't all bad - Jay had water and was crabby. I had soda and was happy.

The fail was Monday when I purchased and drank half a bottle (10 oz). I did, however throw the rest away.

Praying before meals - Epic fail. I forget all the time. Sometimes it'll hit me half way through. Sometimes it escapes me completely. Pretty much the only time I do it is when Jay reminds me. He just likes to point out when Christians fail - he's obviously never heard the "He's still working on me..." song.

One thing that does frustrate me is that even though I was drinking at least one regular soda a day (sometimes more) I haven't lost weight since cutting them out. I'd say that's an easy 200 calories cut from my diet and none of it has show up on the scale. With numbers like that it'll make it hard to stay away from them after Easter.

How has your week gone? Hopefully its been one of moderation and success.

Also please pray for my parents: my dad is having shoulder surgery today.  Its not a big deal medically speaking, but his doctor said it was one of the more painful surgeries that were performed.  My dad's not big on pain so my mom needs just as much prayer as he does.

How can I pray for you this week?

March 29, 2011

I'm not Superwoman

Okay most of you who've read my blog at all know this.   Those of you who lurk and skim...well I just thought I'd put it out there so there was no question.

Who am I kidding - I'm the only one who ever thought that.  I'm not perfect, as hard as I try to be.  I'm not able to get it all done in a timely fashion.

And it kills me. 

How's that for a Tuesday True Confession?

Yesterday I did the typical 8-5, getting up at 6:30 to be ready and out the door at 7:30 7:34.  Lunched with a friend to catch up on weekend events.  At 5 I hit the gym for a 3.1 miler on the treadmill.  I was home by 6:15ish, had dinner ready by 7.

We ate (watching a bit of TV while we chowed down), then I cleaned up the kitchen.   I was in the shower by 8, followed by drying my hair and packing my workout bag for today.  I was ready to crash by 9. 

That's it.  I barely read enough of my Bible to say that I'd done it and I was asleep well before 10. 

I didn't get my grocery shopping done, I didn't get to read, or do housework or much of anything except what had to be done.

What I don't understand is what am I doing wrong?  I know plenty of people have more on their plate then I do and still find a way to make it work.   I just don't know how to do it and I'm frustrated.

I didn't bore you with the details of my day just to hear myself banging on the keys.  I need help.  Suggestions on how to make a more efficient use of my time. 

Changing my workouts to the morning doesn't help because it just puts me in be earlier - I lose time either way.   I also don't normally go to bed that early, but I was overwhelmed and stressed  and sleep seemed to be the best resolution.

I volunteered to help out with a ministry at church, yet I have no clue when I'll even talk to my pastor about what that ministry might be. 

How do you do it?  How do you make life work? 

March 25, 2011

What's for dinner?

I try to be a frugal kinda gal.  I know the lowest prices on the items I buy regularly and try to stock up on them at the low price, so when the go "off" sale I don't pay the higher price.  Canned food, pastas, frozen veggies - you name it I stock pile it.

Meat is no exeption.  I buy ground beef (or turkey if the price is right) and chicken breasts when they go on special.  I have a super cool vacuum sealer (thanks to the in-laws) that helps package the food for an extra long freezer shelf life.

There is, however, a downside to that.  When the meat has been frozen for 3 months, it takes a little work getting it to thaw.  Most weekends I meal plan and move the required meat from the freezer to the fridge.  Typically this happens Saturday, and by Tuesday the meat is defrosted and ready to go.

The hitch is when I'm not home over the weekend, or things are too crazy to set my meal plan.

 Like this weekend.

Tuesday night we ate with my parents and meal planning was the furttherest thing from my mind.  Wednesday I used the ground beef I'd put in the fridge on Friday. 

Last night I was stumped.  By the time I got home and did my train wreck dancing workout DVD it was late.  I was sluggish and tired and didn't feel like cooking anything.  Jay was no help, so I just about settled on Ramen for the evening.  Ramen is my lazy "go to" meal.  Which wouldn't be bad, but we eat 2 packages (4 servings) each.  That's 760 calories for nothing but a big pile of noodles.

At the last minute I decided I wasn't going to feed my body crap.  I deserved better.  Jay deserved better.

I had a green and a red pepper in the freezer so I decided I was going to fix my favorite meatless meal: Italian Peppers and Rice.

Its a recipe that I pulled off my favorite recipe site that originally called for pork chops, but Jay isn't a big fan and said he's prefer to just save money and eat it meatless.  (Click the link for the original recipe.)

Then I had the brilliant idea to replace it with chick peas so that we would still have a protein source.

I've never tried it with the frozen pepper and onion blend that I stockpile, but I'm sure that would be yum also.

Jay thinks its a bit bland, so he adds teryiaki (don't ask, I have no idea) but I think its quite tasty.  I'm convinced that he's killed his taste buds with smokeless tobacco because if a food isn't spicy (think Mexican/Cajun) then he has to add season all or something to jazz it up.

Its definitely a good choice for a quick and easy meal!

For you foodies out there, what would you suggest to spice this dish up, while still staying in the same taste family? 

March 24, 2011

Finally a Hawaii Blog!

Traveling with my family as a child, I always struggled to pack light. What if I forgot something? What if the 90+ degree weather suddenly turned cold and I need a jacket? What if we caught a play and I needed a nice dress and fancy shoes?

(My family never caught plays. Just in case you were wondering.)

“Only pack what you can carry” was my dad’s our family motto. Not because carrying the luggage was actual a problem, but because we always traveled in small cars. Small cars have small trunks.

Being the spunky young woman I was am, I just became strong and good at carrying stuff. (I’m still young right? Right???)

So when this whole pay-per-bag thing started in the airline industry, I was not a fan. I’m cheap and I want 6 different shoe choices for a 5 day trip. That’s just the way I roll. But, alas, my opinions matter not to the airline big wigs, so I’m forced to choose.

Any relaxation or excitement for exploring new places is forgotten when it comes to fitting everything I’ll need for a week and a half in one suitcase, one carry on, and one backpack. It doesn’t help that I read quickly and I need several books for a full day's worth of travel.

Sunday night, as I was packing for our Maui vacation, I was super stressed. My one and only saving grace was that I knew our hosts would either have a washer/dryer that I could borrow, or they could point me in the direction of the nearest laundromat.

My parents both had to work Monday morning and weren’t available to take us to the airport. My aunt (dad’s sis) had offered to take my mom to any follow up doctor appointments following her surgery, so my dad called her and asked if she would mind dropping us off.

Before you question, yes, I realize those are totally not the same. However since both she and her husband are retired, we figured she wouldn’t care to help us out. We were right.

At the airport, they saw us through the security checkpoint (I remembered to leave my pocket knife at home this time) and we were off to our gate. Our local airport is a small one. While that’s annoying for trying to get a direct flight anywhere, it meant no full body “porno” scanners to worry about.

After 30 minutes of the loudspeaker asking anyone with flexible travel plans to take vouchers instead of a flight, the plane finally started boarding. Only Jay had just sent an email with a fairly large attachment. Anxious that we’d miss the flight I went and asked how much longer until the final boarding call. I was assured that we still had a few moments and I was forced to find something else to fret about.

Our flight from Knoxville to Dallas was fairly uneventful, and since they don’t serve snacks, only drinks, on planes these days, I didn’t realize I had forgotten something terribly important.

My hand sanitizer.

I remember setting the 5 oz bottle out of my purse meaning to get one that was 3 oz or less (to met TSA regulations), only I had never made the swap. I was forced to eat my Fuddruckers burger and fries with dirty hands. As we ate lunch, we watched fellow travelers check in at the TSA stations. Several weren’t as luck as Jay and I. We got to watch the scanners in action. Hopefully no radiation skipped over our way as we stared.

We got to the gate early, but they were already loading. Once again Jay had to check his email and wait for his replies to move from his “outbox” to “sent items” before he closed it up and we got on board. We were in no rush since we’d be in the air over 8 hours.

Thankfully a friend had loaned me a 500 page fiction book. I’m weird about reading, and don’t like to start another fiction book the same day I’ve finished another. I think its that the characters get so deep in my brain that I have trouble going from one set to another. When I finished the book, I flipped through some magazines then decided to take a short nap.

Unfortunately for the stranger seated to the right of me, I did the uncomfortable head doddle in his direction. Thankfully, however, no drool was involved.

We finally landed in Honolulu and made our way to the gate for our next flight. It was so frustrating to be in Hawaii, yet still have to wait to get to our final destination. Jay occupied himself with work emails while I hunted out and scored us dinner at Burger King.

I already hated the time change – I had nothing to read, was exhausted, and couldn’t call home to chat without waking someone up.

During the Maui flight, my exhaustion had really set in and everything was getting on my nerves. Jay and I weren’t seated beside one another. The girl seated beside me had used one end of my seat belt to buckle up. I could either say something to her, or ride the entire 40 minute flight with my belt twisted.

Obviously, I had to say something.

I was too awake, so I pulled out my non-fiction book “Somebody’s Gotta Say It” by Neil Bortz. For those of you who don’t know, he’s a talk radio guy who loves to offend. While he’s a bit hateful (which I’m sure makes great radio) we share similar libertarian political leanings. I just knew that someone would read over my shoulder how public schools are brainwashing our children and comparable to child abuse. (Before you flame me, I don’t claim to share all of his opinions – but he’s definitely an entertaining read.)

Also on the flight was the snorter from hell. You know the type – they act like they’ve never met a tissue and think that snorting the snot back up into their nasal cavity is the wisest choice. He was seated directly behind me and snorted every 3 seconds at one point.

Yes – I counted.

For real.

At one point I got a 7 second reprieve but then he was back on his 3 second rotation. It took all my self control to not hit the flight attendant button and ask her to give him a tissue.

People suck yo. As we disembarked, a woman asked a man to help get her carry on down from the overhead bin. Remember the “don’t pack what you can’t carry” rule? The “lady” (used loosely of course) didn’t even have the courtesy to say “thank you” to the man who assisted her. Later, while waiting for our host to pick us up, this same woman and her husband (wonder why he couldn’t have helped her with her luggage issues?) almost ran over us on the sidewalk. Apparently we were standing in their walking zone.

Can you tell I desperately needed sleep at this point? Thankfully Jay’s buddy Chad showed up shortly thereafter, adorned our necks with leis and drove us back to his house.  I kept taking deep breaths to enjoy the fragrence of the flowers (yes, my lei was real, not one of those cheap plastic ones).
All of that and I don’t have the first picture of Hawaii to share with you yet. Be patient, they’re coming shortly.

March 23, 2011

Good Enough?

This has been a mixed up jumbled week.  I haven't completed an official workout in a week, I haven't tracked my calories in over 10 days, and I lost no weight this week.

The kicker?  I really don't care all that much. 

Ya see those things I haven't done?  Those were choices I made.  Deliberate choices.

Cleaning my house on Saturday?  Far more important than working out.  Helping my sister over the weekend?  That's getting the job done.  In light of the week's events "completed her food and exercise diary for XX/XX/20XX and was under her calorie goal" didn't even register on the radar.

Having lunch with the Princess and Little Man, followed by dinner & playing on the playground with them was far more rewarding than any training run could come close to being.

I'm going to apologize in advance for not being able to cheer you on commenting on your blogs this week.  I understand that many of you are on this journey so you can have those moments with your children and grandchildren.  I also understand (maybe more than anyone) how health and vanity get confused sometimes.

How'd I do on my goals?  While I had a salad most days, I averaged about 2 fruits/veggies a day (at least 3 was goal).  I moved every day, but Wednesday/Thursday were the only two days I actually "worked out". 

I did very well on my water - I drank as much water as possible without Jay fussing on me for having to take potty breaks on our road trips.

I hit the reading goals out of the park.   Practically every night I've read on my front porch swing.  For those days we were traveling I love reading while riding in the car.  Even exhausted at 11:30 at night, I got my Bible reading in. 

So while I'm up 1.4 pounds from last week, I'm happy with my life.  I'm blessed to have an incredible family.  I'm blessed that we're all in (mostly) good health.  My sister said a few days ago that it was surreal having her Grandparents extend their condolences for the passing of her husband's father. 

My BIL was headed home for a spring break visit when he got a call from his SIL.  The ambulance was at his parents house and they were trying to resessitate his father.  His flight couldn't be pushed up any more, and he arrived 2 hours before his father passed. 

I refuse to believe things like that are coincidence.

Also?  Through a conversation started by Twitter, God's hand of protection with my husband was revealed to have started from an early age.  His hemophillia diagnosis was late in coming, which meant he was never treated with human blood - including blood infected with HIV like many other hemophilliacs in that era.  He was, however, diagnosed just days before he was about to have surgery.  A surgery that would have quite possibly killed him since the doctors weren't aware of his bleeding disorder.

God's timing is always perfect, whether we realize it or not.

I guess knowing all of that, its hard for me to care that eating pizza and ice cream with my niece caused me the scale to rise. 

She's missing her father and sad about her Papa.  And I'm just enough for her, to provide her with comfort and a sense of security.

If I'm enough for her and the Little Man (& my husband & parents & grandparents & doctor), that's enough for me.

March 22, 2011

What's your story?

I've been doing a lot of deep reading here lately.  On the surface the books look harmless enough.  They aren't 1,000 pages long nor are they filled with heavy words or a vocabulary that requires me to have a dictionary every step of the way.

Yet they have both stimulated my mind.  To pull myself out of the ordinary and into the world of greatness.

Step one - Don't feed the black dog. (depression)

Step two - Consider each choice in light of eternity.

Step three - Begin living a story so great your heart smiles just thinking about it.

Last week I finished reading my preview copy of Andy Andrews'  The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity(official review to follow in a few weeks).  This week I've been working on Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.

Why do I do what I do?

What difference am I making in this world?

I'm starting to get excited about sharing my stories from Hawaii because what good is living fun stories if you can't share them.

I'm also excited about planning out my stories for the next few years. 

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to change the world.

What I love about real life is that stories can be as simple as hugging your niece tightly because she's too young to understand her feelings and just needs to feel loved.  But they can also as complicated as spending 14 hours in the car to help your sister fix a mistake.

What's your story?  What kind of legacy are you leaving for your children and for generations to come?  I'd love to hear about them!

Also? Please continue to remember my brother-in-law, sister, and the rest of the family in prayer as they say their final goodbye's to his father. 

March 18, 2011

Financial...erm...scratch that...Fitness Friday

In my head, there is a battle. 

To iPhone or not to iPhone.

If I did, I would choose the $50 out of date iPhone3.  So what's the big deal?  The $25 a month extra for a data plan terrifies me.  Sure its not a lot on a monthly basis, but I hate the idea of being tied down to charges each month.  That's over $300 a year (over half our monthly mortgage payment) to have Internet on my phone.

The reason this isn't going to be a financial Friday post where I ask for your advice is that I already know what you're going to say.  You'll tell me to go for it.  That its no big deal.  We've got the money might as well enjoy it.  Welcome to 2010!

(Yes I realize its 2011, but I'm only getting the phone for $50 because its soooooo last year!)

You'll all tell me to go for it.  Well everyone but Live Simply - Live Well.  She'll tell me to run far, far away - clutching my 2005 Razr tightly.

So instead, I'm going to tell you about how (and why) I spent $150 today to prove that I'm better than my husband.

Last year I was involved in the Mountain Man Memorial March.  A friend's husband was serving in Iraq and she wanted to form a team to walk in honor of him.  We started training in January for this even, doing long walks every other weekend. 

My darling husband made fun every step of the way.  Sure its 26.2 miles, but its just walking.  Why do you need to train for that?  You could do it tomorrow and be just fine.

What he failed to realize was that it wasn't just a marathon walk.  It was, as the name suggested, more of a march...a hike.  Military types traveled to G-burg in order to  participate in this even.  Most wore 40 pound packs and were dressed in full military gear.

This event isn't "just" anything.

So at the end of last year as he was massaging my tired little tootsies, he made a bold move.  My husband challenged me to a race.  He & I would both compete, but this time as individuals, racing against each other. 

If he wins, he gets 300 points.  Sorta like a token at Chuck E. Cheese.  Not really worth anything until you get enough. 

The system is fairly complicated, but if we ever get to +300 I get to go on a $300 shopping spree.  If we ever get to -300 points, he gets a TV in the bedroom.  There are various things that can earn points, but this will be the single largest batch of points awarded.

He currently needs over 400 points to get his TV.  On the other hand, I only need 150 or so before I hit my shopping spreed.  Winning this event will be the equivalent of putting cash in my hand.  He's that confident that he - a couch potato who thinks 5K is a "long run" - can beat me.

I've given him a 0.6% chance of winning.  I'm that confident, although as it approaches my confidence is waning. 

Since I'm a list person, let's break out the bullet points to see in who's favor the odds lie.

Reasons he could beat me:

  • He's legs are longer than mine.
  • He's got stronger quads for climbing those steep inclines.
  • He's determined.
  • He always is faster than me running, even with zero training.
  • He's a man, and sometimes they just suck like that.
Reasons I will win:

  • I've completed the 26.2 mile distance twice: once in the march last year, and once running the Disney marathon.
  • I've been training.
  • He thinks 5K is a long run and gets bored easily.
  • I've study nutrition needs for endurance running & walking.  I know what and how much I need to put in my back pack for what will probably be a 7-8 hour jaunt.
  • I have already told him that I'm not packing snacks for him like I typically do on hikes.  He's on his own.
  • I have good shoes that are broken in.  His shoes are worn out and cause blisters. (& he's too cheap to buy new ones.)
  • The most distance he's ever covered was on this hike with breaks along the way, including completely stopping for lunch at the top.  Yes he did better than me.  Yes I wanted to stab him along the way, but I was probably anemic at the time.
  • He's a mutant.  The chances of him pulling a muscle that hasn't been exercised in over a month is great.  Cold of me to say, but over and over I've begged him to train for this.  Then I asked him to call it off because he hasn't trained.  I've done my part and am washing my hands of it.  Until of course its time to drive him to the hematologist.
Now the countdown begins.  In 4 weeks we'll know the answer to the question that's burning in every one's mind - who's the better endurance athlete in the Mutant family!

March 17, 2011

The Least of These

Last night was my first time helping out with Lost Sheep Ministries feeding the homeless of Knoxville under the interstate bridge.  What more appropriate time then this to participate in "Thankful Thursdays" hosted, this month, by Grace Alone?

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 34-40  (source)

Those of you who follow me on twitter, its well known that I've been struggling with the committments I've made for Lent.  Giving up carbinated beverages and praying before every meal.  Doesn't sound too awfully difficult does it?
For the past 9 7 days, my friends have listened to me whine about my headaches and encouraged me to press on.  Keeping at it has gotten easier.  The headaches haven't went away, but with each day I get more and more angry at this substance that has addicted me.  That anger makes me more resolute in following through.
Last night?
I didn't know how I would feel going in.  Would I be judgmental?  Would I openly weep for them?  Would I be able to treat them as individuals rather than objects of pity? 
What I felt was humilty.
I was put in the beverage line offering several options: fruit punch, orange juice, tea, white milk, and chocolate milk.  Most people reached for the milk, until we ran out.  Orange juice was the second most popular. 
What stood out to me?  Only one person asked for soda.  Sure they are probably use to their choices, since they don't change much week to week.  But over and over again, they were reaching for that which would nurish them most.
How pathetic, weak, and foolish I am!
Sure there is nothing wrong with enjoying food - if you have that luxury.  But how spoiled am I to forget that, at its base, its a sustainer of life. 
So today I would like to pause to thank My Sustainer.  For nurishing food and beverages.  For life.  For forgivenness.  For my home (with or without mice).  For a life so wonderful, I forget to appreciate it.
What are you thankful for today?

March 16, 2011

How You doin'?

I hope everyone is having a great week!  Mine's super busy with more to come, but you're not gonna here a complaint from me!  My sister and her kids are coming in this weekend and staying for a few days. 

We're dumping the kids with my parents and she & I will be having our first sister date in a long time.  I had suggested us doing a class at the gym then getting dinner and she thought that sounded like fun, but she's not sure she can handle an hour long class.  Crazy, since she gets up most every morning at 5:30 to work out before starting her day.  Yes, lack of confidence runs in our family.

The best way I've found to deal with a lack of confidence?  Beat it into submission.  Either with a great workout or a training plan that causes me to achieve great things.

Yesterday's weights class kicked my butt.  It was a class designed for more advanced people and I felt awkward and out of place.  There were moves that I couldn't do.  I don't mean couldn't do well.  Couldn't do at all.

Have you ever put a body bar on the end of a step, done a push up and while in the "down" position pulled your right knee to your right elbow?  Me either, but I was surrounded by ladies who were performing this move like it was nothing.  I couldn't even do a modified push up for this, because it makes the knee/elbow move awkward.

I got really down on myself. I kept looking into the workout mirror and seeing that circus freak from a couple years ago.  Remember me telling you about her - she looked like she was a magicians "sawed in half" trick gone wrong?  I tried to "fix" her by losing 15 pounds but she was still there just smaller and less obvious.

Before going down that road for too long (I allowed myself to stay on it for the rest of the class) I decided to jump off that path and choose a different one.

I'm a triathlete.

I'm a marathoner.

I'm a daughter of the King.

And gosh darn it people like me!

Those aren't things you can say about a fat, weak, pathetic loser. 

Taking a look at my goals for the previous week you couldn't say that about me either.  No, I'm not a loser in the weight department either, but that's okay too.  I tried to do each of the following this past week:

Read my Bible daily

Did this 7/7 days.  Some days were just a few verses studying my Sunday school lesson.  Other days included doing my chapter reading for my read the Bible through in a two years plan.

30 Minutes Daily Reading
Recreational Reading - At least 1 chapter a day

30 minutes is asking a lot, considering I only have 4 hours from the time I get home from work until the time I go to bed to fix/eat/clean up dinner, do chores, and have time to decompress with my darling love.  I've changed the goal to make it more realistic

64 oz Water Daily

I met this goal 6/7 days (only getting in 56 oz on the 7th day).  Two days I actually reached 80 oz!  I've also committed to not drinking any of the water drink mixes with aspartame.  I have a few left over, but once those are gone I'm not buying more.  The kind with stevia are a little more expensive, but worth it health wise in the long run.

Eat 3 or more Fruits & Veggies

Hit this 4/7 days.  This is really a struggle for me, but that just means I made a good choice in making it a goal.  The "miss" days were days I ate out for lunch (two planned, one unplanned).  One thing I'd like to start doing is eating less on planned eating out days.  I normally skip morning and afternoon snack on those days so that I'll have more calories for lunch.  Instead I think I should keep those calories and just order less when I go out.


I hit this one every day, although some days were less intense than others.  Saturday I just completed the push ups, but I'm good with that.  I spent the rest of my day cleaning and my evening enjoying time with my parents and grandparents. 

I did so well with these goals, I'm wondering if they'll be mastered well before this challenge is over.  If so I'd like to up the ante, but I don't think its quite time for that yet.  Looking forward to another week of it!

Spring In2 Action

As for my Lent give up/add plan?  Its not going so hot.  I caved last Thursday to the headache/fatigue and had a coke (with my burger and fries).  Since then though I've not had a single carbonated beverages, with the headache to prove it. 

That's 6 days!! 

To you that might not seem like a lot, but that's better than I've done in the past.  The fatigue has mostly gone away, which makes it a lot easier. 

Praying before every meal?  The only time this has occurred as it should have was last night over dinner, when our hostess asked if it was okay if her husband prayed before we ate.  God is good!  Earlier in the afternoon I was worried about my solo prayer being awkward. 

Most of the time I get half way through and remember.  Or get all the way through and remember.  The important part is that I'm pausing to give thanks.  Even if the food is already in my bell.

So how you doin' this week?  If you are observing Lent, are you struggling?  Those of you shrinkers how are things treating you?

March 15, 2011

(Kinda) Before and (Sorta) After

A few weeks before Christmas, my hubby and I started a remodel project at our house.  More accurately, we hired someone to start said project.  We wanted a complete bathroom overhaul, and while they were at it, we requested custom built-in bookshelves in the upstairs landing.

All the work was finished up shortly before we left for Hawaii and now they are ready to enjoy.  I have searched my computer over and I have no before picture for you.  I am a bloggy failure.

Forgive me?

Here's the closest I could find.

But you get the idea.  It was a wall with a window and a baseboard.  Somewhat exciting when the window was up on a sunny day.  That's where I can hear cows from across the river that make me feel like I'm at home.

The perfectionist in me didn't love the finished product at first, but its certainly growing on me.  Especially now that Jay's moved his stuff in.

The window seat even has a storage compartment for smaller things, with a flat handle so that it can also be used as a seat.  We got a piece of custom cut foam as a cushion for that area.  I need to find some nice material and make a cover for it.

What does any old vintage house need?  More storage storage of course!

I'm sure we'll have no trouble filling the three good sized drawers at the base of the unit.

Now, for me to stop procrastinating and get my books placed on my side of the shelf.  Its not like it has to be perfect. 

Who am I kidding of course it does!

March 14, 2011

Mission Minded Monday

For a while now, I've been a consumer at my "new" church.  I use the quotes because I've now been there over a year.  People have since visited, joined the church and plugged in while I sit on the sidelines.

Thankfully that is all starting to change.

A few weeks ago my Sunday school class committed to feeding the homeless.  Every Wednesday night a local organization Lost Sheep Ministry sets up under a bridge and provides a hot meal.  Originally we were suppose to serve last Wednesday, but the ministry informed us that they were overbooked with groups wanting to help (Ash Wednesday - no doubt) and could we come this week.

After soliciting help for the nursery (yet again - we're a church growing with babies every week it seems! don't worry, I don't drink out of the water fountain) and for a media person (ours was out on vacation so we had to resort to using the old hymnal), the pastor said that anyone looking to get involved should see him after the service.

So I did.  I let him know that I wasn't a huge fan of babies so nursery work wasn't something I was interested in helping with, but that I wasn't sure what else was left for me.  He threw out some ideas, took down my phone number and said he'd call to discuss them more fully.

Also?  My mom called this morning asking if I would be interested in joining a hiking ministry.  Her church (where I'm still officially a member even though I attend elsewhere) is starting up a program.  She didn't want to be involved by herself, but my dad isn't physically able to do it.  I told her that I couldn't make the initial meeting (also this Wednesday), but I would love to be a part of it! 

I'm so exciting at all the work God is doing in my life right now!

How do you give back to the community?  Are you a part of a church ministry?  Maybe a community organization that helps out?  If you're not involved, I'd encourage you to seek out ways to change that.  There are plenty of great things out there just waiting to be done!

March 10, 2011

Random Junk Mail Prompts Me to Prompt You to Action

I'm the designated mail getter at my house.  Our box is at a weird spot in relation to our driveway and I always drive by (yes drive, not walk) and get it on my way in from work.  I'm a weirdo in that I enjoy getting junk mail, I even enjoy bills.  No mail is the only kind of mail I don't enjoy.

Before you cart me off to the loony bin, I enjoy opening bills because I get that nerdy high when I open them and write them in my day planner (in red ink - to show its money owed.)  Then when I pay the bill I highlight it in green (the color of money) to show its paid.

Okay, I'm starting to get a nerdy high just talking about it, and I'm getting myself off track.

Junk mail.

I love it.

I'm not sure why, but I love opening my mailbox to find something.  Anything. 

One of those random pieces of junk mail is a hemophilia newsletter.  If you've read here very long you know my husband is a mutant.  (No really - he has a genetic disease that no one else in his bloodline has.  A mutation.) 

Unfortunately, he's not a mutant in the variety of Wolverine. 

Okay so the knives shooting out of his hands would be creepy in real life, but I'm talking about Wolverine's ability to regenerate.  In fact, my husband's problem is just the opposite.  As a hemophiliac, his blood lacks a clotting factor.  The result?  His body takes longer to heal than your average non-mutant.  Sometimes to the point of requiring medication to help things along.

Back to the newsletter.  Every month (or is it once a quarter) we're told of the different places we can go have a free meal if only we'll sit through a presentation from a pharmaceutical rep.  (Believe it or not the cheapest couple in the world has never attended one of these.)

What I did find out?  March is Hemophilia awareness month.

I don't claim to be an expert on the topic, but I know that loving someone with the blood disorder can sometimes be scary and painful.  I know the basics about the disease.  You and I probably clot in the 90-100% range, my husband clots in the 10-12% range.  Even scarier is that he is a mild case, and that there are hemophiliacs who have a less than 1% clotting ability.

I'm thankful that his case is mild.  I'm also thankful that since we've been together, he's only had one major injury.  (You can read about it here and here.)

As a hemophiliac born in the same decade as Ryan White, I'm glad to say that my in-laws did whatever they had to do to ensure that Jay was never treated with human blood.  Having said that I know there are some people where that's just not feasible.  One treatment can cost thousands of dollars.

Because of that, I'm asking you to give blood.  In my area, Medic is our local supplier when it comes to donating or receiving blood.  I don't know if you have a similar organization in your area, but please do some research.  Donating to Medic means your family is covered (for free) if the situation arises that you would need a transfusion.  And thankfully, due to tragedies like Ryan White's, the blood is highly screened and safe.

One day I was playing around on Facebook and saw a "donate blood and run a 5K" challenge.  You guys know how much I love a good race, so my first thought was "I should do that."  I had just finished up my treatments for anemia, so it only took a second for me to remember what a bad idea that was.

My second thought?  Maybe I could talk Jay into giving for me!  Obviously the excitement about the race had clouded my judgment.  His blood would be as useful to Medic as tits on a boar hog.  (One of my dad's favorite sayings.)

Not one to give up quickly (unless it suits me), I talked my dad into giving.  He's a Medic regular - gives on behalf of himself and my mom, on behalf of my family, and on behalf of my sister's family (they won't take BIL's blood because he's from the United Kingdom).  I told him that he needed to wait to give until I could tag along and take pictures.

Thankfully, he's not one to shy away from the spotlight, and the Medic people didn't think I was too crazy.

Hi Daddy!  I promised the Medic workers that I wouldn't get pictures of any one's faces except my father's.  Medical confidentiality and all.

The process is really easy.  After some paperwork and a quick finger prick (to make sure you're not anemic) you then get escorted to one of these lovely beds.  The get you hooked up and off you go.  I have tiny little stubborn veins.  I've had nurses fight over who has to take my blood.  Both times with Medic?  They hit me first try with no problems.

Once you fill 'er up, you get cookies, soda, and a free t-shirt.  All for giving the gift of life!

Yes, everything around here revolves around University of Tennessee football. *eye roll* but you can't blame Medic.  Whatever works, right?

So please, give blood if you can.  If not, try to encourage someone in your family who can to do so.  Also?  Please never take your good health for granted.  I promise, for every time you participate in a contact sport, there is a mutant out there somewhere wishing that he could join you. 

"Thanks guys."

March 09, 2011

March Goals (Spilling into April)

Yeah, yeah.  I know that the month started last week.  I was in paradise, so I didn't exactly sit down with a pen and paper on my hike through the bamboo forest to write down my goals.  I'm back in the swing of things now, so in conjunction with the Spring In2 Action challenge and weekly check in I wanted to share my goals with yall.

Spring In2 Action

Give me a moment to crack open my handy dandy notebook.  Stop laughing at me.  Yes, I have an eating chart as well as a daily goal chart printed from a Publisher file and bound in a 1 inch white binder.  Yes I am a nerd.  Deal with it!

  • 64 oz of water daily.
  • 3 fruits/veggies per day
  • Exercise at least 15 minutes per day
  • Read Bible daily
  • Read book of my choice 30 minutes daily
I know I've read it a million times, but I'm going to have to research portions as to what counts as a serving of veggies.  Also I've decided too subtract one thing and add one thing to my life for Lent.  (Today is Ash Wednesday.)

I'm going to abstain from drinking carbonated beverages for the next 40 days.  Yall know that I've tried this before to no avail.  This time I've got better motivation.  Instead of focusing on my deprivation, I'm going to focus on the cross of Calvary and the coming Easter season.  Whenever I encounter a craving for coke, I've resolved to pray for those who have no clean drinking water.

Also?  I've decided for the next 40 days I'm going to pray before every meal.  I've been incredibly bless - God has provided our daily bread and then some.  I should have an attitude of gratitude, and I don't.  I need to set aside time to thank Him for that.  To thank Him for our good health as a family. 

I have decided that I'll be calorie counting (just for some structure - please see my printed off goal chart as proof that I crave structure) and weighing in every Wednesday, but I don't want to share that number here.  I want it to be a tool, but not my focus.

I feel like I'm off to a great start - now just to keep it up!  Can't let Ashley (my fellow Dare Devil Diva) down! I refuse to call us the Triple Ds cause that's just false advertising!!

How's you're week going?  Are you observing lent?  What goals (be it fitness, financial, or otherwise) do you hope to reach this month?

March 08, 2011

An Odd Take on Vacationing in Paradise

Can I confess something?  Not an "I ate too many girl scout cookies" kinda confession (something I did not do just in case you were wondering).  But a straight up, on my heart, I feel bad just typing it kinda confession.

I don't wanna blog about my vacation.

Don't get me wrong it was wonderful, but I'm just not feeling it. 

We hiked to falls.  We swam in fresh water.  We snorkeled in the ocean.  We saw breaching whales.  Up close.

But I just don't know how to put it in to words.  Maybe its a perfectionist thing.  I've been battling that monster since before vacation.  All my life really, but he seems to have grown larger recently. 

It as perfect as a vacation can be, and I know I'm going to do a horrible job relating that to you.  Also?  You've probably already seen the pictures on facebook so that'd be redundant.

While I'm confessing?

I'm a horrible person.  The gross, icky kind that you don't wanna be friends with.

My first reaction upon seeing the morbidly obese woman walk toward our gate?  Dear god please don't make me sit next to her.  (The "g" in god is lower case because this certainly wasn't a real prayer to a real God.)

After Jay and I had boarded and had taken her seats.  She got on the plane.  Her discomfort was very obvious as she attempted to make her way up the aisle, knowing every eye was staring straight at her.  Knowing every mind was thinking that same prayer I'd said moments earlier.

"I guess that'll teach me to wait to go to the bathroom." She tried to make a joke of getting on the plane after most everyone else had.

I waited until she got a couple rows past me then started sobbing.  I made sure to be quiet, so she couldn't hear, but I couldn't hold the tears back. 

How selfish are we that we presume that a few hours on plane next to an obese person could be any where near as uncomfortable as living her life?  Dealing daily with the stares, the judging eyes.

Lord forgive us!

March 07, 2011

Monday Mish-Mash

I'm tired and haven't done this bloggy thing in a couple weeks so bare with me.  Hopefully yall are still out there!

I was planning on my blog being about vacation, but that's not going to happen today.  I promise that the details are forth coming, I just have another story I have to share with you.

Its about courage.



A few weeks ago Jay and I found evidence of a mouse in our kitchen.  Thankfully not the mouse itself just "thank you" gifts for providing it with something to nibble on.

Please hear me out.  I know this may sound silly, but I promise its worth sticking through.  (No pun intended.  Mouse.  Sticky.  Never mind.)

I cleaned my kitchen then went to the store for some traps.  After a week we still had nothing.  (I was sick most of that week or else I wouldn't have been content to do nothing else that long.)  When we left on vacation, my parents took over.  They baited the traps better than Jay & I had to no avail.

Mama & Daddy were on the job two weeks and nothing to show for it but a mouse with a new haircut.  When I got home, I bitched explained my frustration to my sister who recommended chocolate.  I explained that our parents had been trying for two weeks & they are the ultimate mouse experts.  I trusted their traps.

By Saturday I was in tears.  The only thing I got done all day was clean up after this varmit.  Then yesterday after church, I was driving to my parents house and it hit me again.  Sobbing I remembered a Psalm the pastor read about crying out to God and Him hearing.

So I did.  I prayed about a tiny little mouse.  I put it in His hands.  I asked for wisdom to know what to do.

At my grandparents house, my Papaw said something (seemingly random) that I thought about on the drive home.   When I mentioned seeking sanctuary upstairs, my Mamaw said "they can get up there too ya know."  Yes, but they weren't.

Papaw responded "Why would they bother to climb the stairs when they've got all the chocolate that they need in the kitchen?"

Then the light bulb went on.  As I got ready for bed, I pulled out a Hershey bar and gave it to Jay with specific instructions.  "Put a little of this on all the traps.  Then eat the rest.  We can't have them eating the bar for free - we wanna make him work for it."

So he did. 

And at 1 AM, while he was getting a late night snack, he hollered upstairs for me.  I'll spare you the gory details, but it worked.

Here are the facts:
  • I serve a God who loves me more than I can imagine.
  • I came to the end of my rope and cried out for help.
  • The problem was (at least in part) resolved.
  • I don't believe in coincidence.
Now I had a doubt in the back of my mind "what makes you think that God loves you more than that tiny little mouse."  I'm sure He loves the mouse, same as He loves all of his creation.  But I also know that He loved humans enough to send His only Son to die a horrible death to provide us with salvation.  I can't say the same for the rodent population.

I know some of you might think I'm cruel or inhumane.  Barbaric even.  I promise I'm not exaggerating when I say that I was about to snap.  Silly or not, I mentally couldn't take it any more.

Think what you will, unfollow if you must.  I know that I did what I had to do.

Of course this all begs the question - if He's faithful in the little things why do I have a hard time trusting Him with the big things??

Speaking of "coincidence" I found it quite fitting that there was a blog in my reader called "Trust me and take courage."

March 03, 2011

The Song that Changed Christian Music


Only one day until Winter Jam!! 

Of course I wrote this pretrip, and am currently on my way back from the sunny beaches of Hawaii. Instead of dreading getting back to life, I'm pumped about the Winter Jam concert tomorrow night.

It'll be our first girls night since my friend had her baby, and we had a blast last year.  Sure we were surrounded by youth groups, but that didn't stop us.  We're firm believers that age is just a number.

One of the headline acts was Newsboys.  I was a fan of their stuff in the 90s, but never really got into their stuff after that.  It seemed weird to me that in 2010, Michael Tait (of DC Talk fame in the 90s) was singing all the old stuff.

I even leaned over to one of my friends and said "This just seems wrong.  I keep expecting him to break out into Jesus Freak or something."  As they were wrapping up their set, they prepared for their last song. 

Oh, Oh, Ohhhhhhh

My friend and I turned to look at one another and started screaming like a bunch of 15 year old girls.

Of course all the real 15 year old girls were confused as to why the Newsboys were playing that song - they weren't alive back when it was first released.  I still get giddy when that song comes on the radio.  Classic concert moment!

And guess what - they're the headliner at Winter Jam this year too!

PS - In the 2nd verse, its talking about John the Baptist right?  Cause at first back in the day I thought it was actually talking about Jesus, but then thinking about the "King took the head" line I'm thinking its John.  Cause he was beheaded and Jesus wasn't. 

PPS - The best halloween costume I've ever seen was of my Old Testament professor's kid as John the Baptist.  He cut a hole in a card table, covered with a table cloth so you couldn't see his body.  and his head was surrounded by lettuce and on a silver platter.

March 02, 2011

So Much Cooler Online

The story of Brooke and Jay begins several months before our first meeting. I had created a page on Myspace and the prompting of my friend Libby, but never really used it much till another friend (Corinn) suggested that I could use to meet guys.

Simultaneously, Jay was preparing to move down here from Ohio and began looking for people (girls) in the area that he might like to get to know. In May of 2006, I received a friends request from him as well as an email. According to him, I was one of his first Myspace friends (he signed up for MySpace on May 20th and friended me May 25th).

Apparently I had that sweet, innocent look that he seems to go for. Or else it’s the chin, he likes ‘em pointy. How else do you explain a man that thinks that two of the most beautiful women in the world are Reese Witherspoon and me?

My family had vacationed in Ohio late May, so right off the bat he and I had something to chat about. For several months he and I emailed back and forth. I knew he was different, because unlike most of the other guys on Myspace, his emails were lengthy and thoughtful and consisted of more than ‘u r hot. wanna go out?’

At one point, however, the long emails put me off. Here was this cute, or at the least photogenic, guy that spent a good deal of time talking to me. Surely there was something wrong with him, as he seemed too good to be true.

Trust me, I knew all about to good to be true. From the one that got away, who now I wish would have stayed away to the other myspace date who only smiled with his mouth closed in his pictures – for good reason.

My fears about Jay were confirmed when I posted a blog about my craving (and searching) for Planter’s CheezMania cheese balls. He took it upon himself to do a couple of pages of research about why the product was hard to find and was eventually discontinued.

Little did I know that shortly after moving down to Tennessee, he injured his leg at work. Since his Jeep was a manual transmission, he was pretty much confined to his house. Had I been stalking his comments, I would have seen that everyone was asking him how he was going and throwing around ‘get well soon’ messages.

He was hurt, bored, and so his research in response to my cheese ball ranting wasn’t all that scary or stalkerish as I first suspected, but at least for the moment it did make me question his sanity. In the years (hey its been 4, that’ qualifies as “years”) since, I’ve also learned that when he does something, he goes at it full force. This man doesn’t know how to half @$$ anything. He does it all the way, or it sits in the garage for 7 months. Moving right along…

Finally in September, he asked me out. After emailing for 5 months, just coming out and asking me to go out with him would have been a bit awkward. So instead he came up with a cheesy line.

Brooke Sept. 7th, 2006:

Sounds like you've made friends in the area fairly quickly. So are you still liking it down here pretty well?

Jay Sept. 7th, 2006:

Am I still liking it here? Yeah, its pretty good, but it would be EVEN better if you wanted to do something with me sometime?! I'm such a dork, and have wanted to see ya for a while, but thats just my shy personality coming out in me I guess!

Brooke Sept. 26, 2006:

I would love to meet up sometime. I'm sorry to say that my next couple of weekends are crazy. But we really do need to plan something!

It took several weeks for our schedules to finally work, because we both had trips planned in October. I went to a friend’s wedding the first week in October and went to Green Bay the last week of the month. The weekend before my trip to Wisconsin, he traveled back to Ohio for the OU homecoming game.

I suggested Friday, October 13th. Fortunately, he wasn’t too superstitious to accept. I emailed him my phone number and ask him to call me so that we could work out the details. Surely over the phone I could tell if he was too good to be true.

He called the Wednesday before and our conversation lasted less than 2 minutes. By the end of the call I was convinced this boy had no interest in me. Nonetheless, we would meet in person for the first time 2 days later.

To be continued at Johnny Carino’s…

If you want to read more of our love story, here are blogs about our first date and our first kiss.

March 01, 2011

Runner Chick Chats

Hi Smart+Strong=Sexy readers! I'm Katie and I "met" Brooke a while back when I was really into money saving blogs (I still am, just not as obsessed) :)

For almost 6 years (high school and college) I was in a relationship with the same person. As our relationship deteriorated, my weight increased. I was my heaviest at 20 years old, in an on and off again relationship (engaged and not engaged, the stakes were high) and trying to figure out what to do after graduation. Just looking at these pictures breaks my heart, I look so uncomfortable and so unhappy. My weight gain was purely emotionally, I couldn't control my fiance or my future, but I could find comfort in oodles of chicken nuggets, nightly trips for ice cream and serving bowls full of Captain Crunch.

Eventually our relationship evened out and we began planning our wedding and I determined it was time to lose some of the weight! I started walking on a treadmill at the gym for 10 - 15 minutes at a time, until I worked my way up to walking a mile or two at a time.

Eventually enough was enough and we ended up breaking up 3 days before our wedding. Crazy!!! I found myself truly single for the first time in almost 6 years, weighing a little under 200lbs. My youngest sister, Hannah, participated in Girls on the Run in elementary school. I had watched her finish a 5k and picked her up at a few practices and vowed to never run. Look how tired and sweaty they were....yuck! She bugged (nagged) me enough about running a 5k with her until I finally decided to give this running thing a try.

One day at the gym, I was the only one in the cardio room, so I bumped the speed up to a slow jog for about a minute. I was out of breath and sweating but I was also pretty sure I had just run. This running in secret continued for a couple weeks. A minute here, a minute there when no one was around. I was embarrassed of the copious amounts of sweat pouring off me and I thought for sure people would think I was a fraud. Eventually a 30 minute walk would be about 25 - 50% running.

I had done all that running in private, not even telling my sister! It was just too personal and emotional at the time to make myself even more vulnerable. Tired of the treadmill, I moved my running outdoors. I'd run a block or two, then walk a bit. I started feeling proud of being a runner and wouldn't take walk breaks if there were cars coming, I wanted them to see me running! I'd go out for 10 - 30 minutes at a time, depending on how I felt.

Finally in July 2006, I admitted to my sister that I was running and would do a 5k with her. She was thrilled and said she noticed I was losing weight, which she contributed to the running. We signed up for the Lakeshore Days 5k on August 13, 2006 and I began running the course a few times after work. I was amazed as the objects (Big rock, the yellow house, etc) that marked how far I could run before taking a walk break got further and further apart.

The day of the race came and I was so nervous! I was obviously a newbie runner in a cotton t-shirt, shorts that rode up and cotton socks, but I was running a race dang it! I didn't take a walk break until after the halfway point, I was so proud of that fact! I ended up finishing in 30:24, which was good enough for second place in my age group (small races rock for that)! My mom even said "I couldn't believe it was you coming down the road, Hannah had only just finished!"
After that I was hooked! For the next 3 years I ran 3 - 4 times a week and raced a few 5ks for fun. Then in 2009, my sister and I trained for a 10k. I ended up running it in 57:11!

After 2 10ks in summer 2009, we trained and finished a half marathon that fall (2:12:59). That was a real challenge as I experienced IT band trouble and a cartilage tear in my knee!

As my running improved, I shifted from mostly treadmill to mostly outside running, even through winter, thanks to a pair of awesome running tights, toasty pull over and yak trax. In winter/early spring of 2010, we trained and completed the 5/3 Riverbank Run 25k. The weather was the big challenge here! Some of our training runs were as cold as -6 degrees, in 28 mph wind and hot as 80 degrees. Race day weather wasn't much better, it was 35 degrees, drizzle and 25 mph winds. All those runs when the couch would have been warmer and more comfortable were going to pay off! It wasn't easy, but I completed the race in 2:35:59!! Right on my goal of 10:00 pace!!!

That about sums up my running history. I've placed in a few smaller races, which is always a fun confidence booster! Currently I'm again training for the Riverbank Run 25k! I did 8.55 miles this morning in 1:24:15 in 20+ mph winds!

Thanks for reading my running history ramblings!!

Katie was my first running mentor.  I bugged asked her a million questions leading up to my first half marathon.  And I still have never ran a 5k as quickly as she did her first!  Safe to say she's high on my list of people I want to be like when I grow up.  Thanks for sharing your story today Katie!