Bigger. Stronger. Faster.

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How do you get bigger, stronger, faster?

You do one more rep. You keep pushing yourself farther each mile… pushing your pace. You don’t back off when you think you can’t do anymore… because you can always do a little more… you can…it’s in you. Sometimes you’ve gotta dig deeper than ever…. but it’s there.

Do that enough… and in time… things happen.

I was reminded of that on my last “long” run (before my 50K). I had 15 miles set to do which kinda turned into 15.73 😛

I realized I was almost at 13 miles and still felt really strong.

That is a half marathon distance.

I thought of my first half I did Nov 2011. I had trained through 10 miles. All training plans assured me I’d be able to pull off 3 more miles even though it would be my first time doing it.

And I did. I remember thinking after the 10 mile marker…. “ok Toto, we’re totally in new territory now” but I did those miles and crossed the finish line, tired, but feeling victorious.

And then the other day…. pounding out those miles… feeling strong and like I was just getting warmed up… yet running my own personal half (and a little more) but understanding it’s taken some time, work, and not settling and being comfortable remaining where I was in my first half marathon to get where I was today. If I hadn’t continued to push and challenge myself ( 4 more half marathons, and 2 full marathons) I wouldn’t be heading into the biggest endurance race I will have ever done this upcoming weekend.

And you, my friend, if you take on what you’re doing, press on, and don’t allow yourself to settle and stay where you are, will continue to improve and hit new goals for yourself. You’ll reach new heights. Do things you never thought possible before.

Bigger. Stronger. Faster.

You have everything you need deep within you to do it…. trust me…. you do.

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No Excuses

20150224_120352-1If you’ve spent any time on the internet, or follow any fitness pages, you most likely saw a post with a young woman in extremely good shape, with her kids, and the title “No excuses” posted over it. Besides her age, it’s also evident she took care of herself before, during, and after pregnancy. And let’s not forget this too…. she’s also blessed with some really good genetics.

It got a lot of attention in good and bad ways. I’m not naming names here ’cause I think there’s been enough advertisement on that particular person. It made some people mad. It “inspired” others. There was LOTS of conversation in both directions.

Don’t get me wrong. I really understood what she meant. I did. It was simply meant to say (now this is my opinion here) I have a life, family, work, and stuff going on but I make time for my workouts as well.

See, I get it, ’cause several years ago when I started my own health and fitness journey, I had to remind myself…. “No Excuses”. As you can see in my pic, I made a simple Post-It note that was in my bathroom staring me down. .. reminding me… every morning…..to do it.  As my journey progressed and I lost weight, I added my labels from my diminishing pant sizes to remind me why I wasn’t making excuses to not put my workout into my day. Those were victory moments for me at that time. I cheered myself every time I finished… sometimes… I still do.

You see, in the beginning, it wasn’t easy. Some mornings when it was cold and grey it was tempting to say…. “not today, but tomorrow”…. and I realized if I succumbed to that thought…. day after day…… could potentially go by with me finding an excuse to not make time to take care of my body.

You know what’s way cool ? You do something long enough it turns into a habit.

Something you can’t imagine NOT doing. Like the “OMG I forgot to brush my teeth!” kinda feeling.

And as time went on, it got easier. I got up in the morning and landed in my running gear prepared and ready to do it as soon as everyone was launched for the day. I got over the “it’s cold, grey, wet” whatever feelings and just did it.

Now days the only thing I won’t run in is 1) lightening 2) icy conditions… both are obvious safety issues. On those days, the plan I developed years back, was to start strength training or boxing when I absolutely couldn’t run. I’m glad I did because the strength training has also made me a stronger, more fit, and healthier runner.

That Post- It is still in my bathroom.

I really don’t need that reminder anymore. I’ve landed in a comfortable, slim size pant so those numbers really don’t drive me so much either. I moved to a point of viewing exercise as a gift to my body and to my mind as well. Now I schedule appointments around my training!

Maybe, you’re somewhere in that zone. Perhaps you need “no excuses” to be a challenge to you…. that you are worth that small investment of time in your day to be a better person, parent, spouse, worker. I realized after my workouts even being tired, I felt better prepared to deal with the rest of life… and I don’t know about yours…. but mine can get crazy at times! It might be cliché but running really is good therapy for me, on a lot of  levels 😉

Don’t let the words “no excuses” be a form of condemnation, but rather, allow it to challenge you, to move you onward to your goals and overall health and wellness =)

50 years.. 50K… What was I thinking ?

20150119_181146-1 I’ve always been one to want to step into a challenge. As my fitness journey has progressed, obviously, my challenges to myself have increased. As a runner, I was thrilled to take on my first half marathon in Nov 2011. I would do three more before I felt the call to the full marathon distance. I did my first in Nov 2013, and immediately started plotting my second, which happened Dec 2014. However, in  July 2014 I had a big milestone, my 50th birthday. While many of my friends were plotting cruises and drinking parties to celebrate I determined running a 50K seemed a “fun” way to celebrate that impressive day. So I set out looking for a race that would be done within my 50th year.

That… goes down this coming weekend. I’m excited to be heading to Ft. Worth for the Cowtown Marathon/Ultra Marathon. It’s a pretty big deal for me…. it’s my first out town race and it’s my first “ultra” run. Coming out of the marathon in December, it just seemed perfect to keep moving towards March as long as my body was trained into peak condition. I mean… just keep running a few more miles, right ?

FYI a 50K is 31.7 miles.

I’m as ready as I can be. I’ve trained.. hard. I’ve trained in all kinds of weather. I’ve run fast…and slow. I’ve learned to eat gel blocks like a champ. My longest run a week ago was 28.52 miles in about 5:14. I know my mental game will have to be strong.

The bottom line is… I’m doing this for me. I want to know I can do it. Will it be the only one I do? I’m not sure. There is something…. freaking empowering…. about distance running. And it carries over into my life… if I can run for miles and stand up under the physical and mental struggles… I can press back against those things in life that come at me.

Running has made me strong… mentally and physically.

Not only that, it builds some killer legs too haha 😛

I’m super excited to be able to share my upcoming adventures with you this weekend…. check back and stay tuned for updates…

Why Hello World

I feel like I’ve given birth today.

True, it’s been a lot easier than the delivery of a small person from your body, but it’s been a birth process none the less. It’s how I always feel when an idea finally gets launched out of my mind and into action.

Something creative is born. Future plans are made. Vision and goals are set.

In this instance, finally having the ” idea” of a blog, to actually moving forward to making it happen. Getting out of my personal world of Facebook, Instagram, and small town writing, to flinging myself into the vast world to share my version of life and all it entails.

Given that this is my first post, and you don’t know me from your third cousin twice removed, there’s a lot I can tell you. However, if I don’t tell you ….. you’ll have to keep coming back to find out… more 😉

I’ll tell you this though…. I do love life, people  the weirder  um… more interesting… the better, running, health and nutrition, being strong and fit and helping others get on their own journey of  health and fitness. Actually, nothing delights me more than seeing someone “get it” and the confidence and strength they gain as they learn to make better life choices. I love sharing my fitness journey with others so they know I can relate to where they are, that I’ve experienced the same struggles, feelings, and frustrations.

BUT….. in the sharing of that I want them to know if I can take daily steps and get where I am, they can too. I haven’t always been a running girl (you’re gonna hear lots more on this topic) nor have I always been concerned about what foods I eat or how they make me feel or the impact they have on my body. It has been a process and I’ve taken it one day at a time.

I believe in a practical, realistic approach to losing weight and getting fit. I don’t “do” diets. I believe life is to be lived and enjoyed and food is a gift. We just need to handle it in an appropriate manner. The old school way of moving more, eating better and in moderation led me to a 55 lb weight loss, as well as dropping about 5 pants sizes.

Now days I’m more interested in how my body performs for me when I run, or do strength training than I am about numbers on the scale.  I eat well because I know it fuels my body for activities I love. I don’t view exercise as something I “have” to do, but more as a gift  to my body.

And other random things…. I’m a free spirit. I’m not interested in being kept in a box where someone else defines the rules. I’m not interested in conforming to “the norm”. I love black coffee, Peanut M&M’s, reading, laughing, and unexpected treats. Pink and black are the perfect combination of colors. I love clothes and the more unique and fun, the better. I’m 6’0 tall but love to wear crazy high heels… because I can… and because I don’t care what someone might think about a tall chick wearing them. I love piercings and tattoos..no apologies there…see previous sentence.  I love finding adventures in every day life and I have an off the wall sense of humor.

Ah well…. enough of me… and you already got that in my opening blog line.

Older. Smarter. Stronger.

Come back again… and in the meantime…. welcome to my world.

Share. Let me hear from you 🙂