Those Days In Life

Yes, I’m still alive. Yes, it’s been one of those weeks.

Life, you know ?

Life can throw things at you left and right, good and bad. Tell me you relate? That you understand and get it too ?

Somehow in the mix of life these past few days I’ve been distracted in my writing which bothers me ’cause writing really is an outlet for me. Yet there have just been times I’m hard pressed to connect two words together.

When I launched my blog my primary intent was to talk health, sane fitness and weight loss, lifestyle changes and new habits, and of course, running. You know how much I love to run =)

But there are so many other things in life that make up who we are and so, I will have times that I will address those topics as well.

Family, kids, happiness, grief, maybe even some life questions in the mix, oh yeah, and humor ’cause I get amused by some random things 😉

Topics to write on abound and so I will continue to share my passions of health, fitness etc but also those things we all contend with at one time or another in our lives.

Now, on with the show…..

Last week I was a lil excited THRILLED to get my first ultra medal and official ultra shirt ( does the word “first” imply there will be a second ??) the shirt… I decided with the color I could stop traffic with it or get a job as a highway worker 😉

I’m stupid proud of this medal. It represents a ton of hard work and sacrifice, and I don’t mean just running the 50K distance either.

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That Ultra medal…. and ignore the fact I look like a lemon

Also, March was my most productive racing month…..ever… since I started running… I got some cool runners bling to prove it too 😉 2 half marathons and the 50K….

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That runners bling…..

Ugh, my mileage has reallllyyy come down and I hate it. I think I hate knowing I’ll have to rebuild to that all over again. In a smart way I also know and understand my body must have recovery time from such heavy mileage. I’ll be hitting my bike more, doing boxing and some more weights to strength train and a few days running for awhile. I do have a marathon goal for year end so I know I need to give myself some lower mileage before I ramp it up again in a few months.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ll never be the fastest out there or be the most impressive, but I hope to show that being older isn’t a reason to not be strong and physically fit. I hope to consistently encourage others to get out and do something, to find their “thing” and be good at it, to be empowered by what they can achieve and accomplish.

Really? Is there anything better or more rewarding than setting a goal for yourself that seems huge and daunting, and then, doing it ?? Crushing it ?

So now you know my plan to take over the world……

In other life news, things that kinda derailed me this week. My otherwise, seemingly healthy dog, turned sick and basically after an emergent trip into the vet on Sunday to see if she was having a reaction to some meds or if she was dehydrated, they informed me that she had liver and kidney failure and did I want to put her to sleep…. now ?

To say I was shocked is putting it mildly. No, I couldn’t do it then… I couldn’t go back home with a dead dog and not give my kids a chance to say good bye… I needed that too.. but I also knew if I loved her I would need to act on it quickly. Her condition just rapidly got worse.

Stella was a golden husky mix. At one point my sons dog, she came to stay with us till “he got settled somewhere else” the rest is history on that. In my early days of fitness when I walked, she came with me, as I started running, she easily kept up. She was never on a leash and loved running in and out of the hill country where I lived. She plowed up hills with me like it was nothing. Whatever she was mixed with, she was made for endurance.

As I got stronger, and my mileage increased I worried about her going farther from home. I started to leave her. She cried and howled in the beginning. She didn’t want to be left.

It was fitting at the end, it was just the two of us. I won’t lie. I loved that dog. She was quiet and laid back, lady like when she laid down with her paws crossed at the ankles. She had such thick, thick fur. It filled her ears which I loved to play with and pet.

Watching her go was as much painful, as a blessing to know she wasn’t in pain anymore. Taking her home, burying her, I sobbed and petted those ears over and over trying to commit them to my memory… knowing I’d never stroke them again…or see her keen eyes watching me… or laugh at the way her tail always curled in a jaunting way over her back.

Agony. Pain. Heartbroken.

I finally made myself leave her… pick up the shovel and finish the process. Even now two days later writing this, the grief is welling up in my heart.

I looked for her this morning. I looked for her last night. I know better. But I miss her presence.

I know from experience it will become less painful… less agonizing to think of…. right now it’s still raw… mainly I think… ’cause it came out of nowhere.

So yeah, life. Stuff happens, good and bad. It’s where I’ve been this week. Moments of triumph cloaked in moments of agony and pain.

I hope to be able to continue to chat with you about not only my passion for people to find their way to health and fitness, but also those other real life things that define and shape us.

Have you had particular moments in life that you know have shaped and defined you more ?

Setting Realistic Fitness Goals

When I kicked started my little blog a few short weeks ago, it was to hopefully, share, encourage and motivate those who stumbled across me in the vast cyber world of blogville.

It’s a big place out there boys and girls. And wow, ya’ll have been so…. nice……

I wanted to take my voice into the world to do what I’ve been doing in real life and through my Facebook page, motivating and encouraging people to pursue a lifestyle of health and fitness.

As you know, and as I’ve shared in other posts, I’m a runner and love running and will talk a lot about it ( as in, I have a half marathon this weekend, so spoiler alert, you know what’s coming 😉 however, there’s a lot more to me,  a person, and much more to our lives we deal with so I will also venture into other topics and ideas to share with you as we move along.

I think when people are setting out to do something as (big) as get on their health and fitness journey, they really need a cheerleader, a mentor, and someone who’s plowed the road in front of them to say “hey, I got through this, you can too!”

It can be hard…. frustrating… overwhelming. As one reader commented to me the other day on my post, they hadn’t “thrown in the towel yet”…..

That means a lot … if you can press on taking one day at a time and just focusing on it…. and not the rest of your life….or that you feel like you’ll be fat/out of shape/ unmotivated whatever… you WILL make progress.

Trust me.

There will be days you’ll look at yourself in the mirror in that self-loathing way (don’t… do … that… or I will…come beat you) and you think there’s no progress going on… but there is…. you must give your body time to adapt and adjust to what you are doing. Remember part of the process is knowing that there’s a lot of changes going on…. not just physically inside and out ……but mentally and emotionally as well….

Our bodies really are this cool science experiment.  Work them, feed them good foods, be consistent in that process and in this slow steady way…. stuff happens….

Honestly, I’ve been at this for 7 years now. I’ve kept my weight off, built muscle, gotten stronger, leaner,  have more energy and can physically do more than I did half my age ago. I realllllyy l that 😉

Did you notice something ?

 7….. years…..

I’ve made forward progress by being consistent and letting changes happen in the way they need to……over time.

Are my fitness goals different now, than when I started this process? You bet they are ( and that, boys and girls will be another post)

The important thing is this. I just lived my life each day…. purposefully and intentionally  with forward progress. This is not something you can manhandle out quickly. You’re living your life, settle back and enjoy  the journey.

I still have people who will see me and say “when did you get like that??” and my response is “I’ve just been working at it for awhile”.

May I offer some suggestions if you are thinking of starting your journey or maybe you’re on it and need encouragement.

Ready ? Take notes 😉

Be kind to yourself when you start the process. Firm, but kind.

Don’t tolerate excuses from yourself (you can read more on that in my “No Excuses” post)

Set reasonable goals.

Make a vision board of ideas or goals you want to achieve. My closet door is littered with ideas/quotes/goals.

If you’re serious… tell people! My Facebook page has been a place where I post what I will be doing and I know at least one person is going to ask about what I’m doing and if I did it. Not only that, you are also going to motivate someone else… win/win!

Educate yourself in what you are doing… read and learn.

Finally, make it fun! You are doing this as a “lifestyle” enjoy what you’re doing!

With consistent daily progress you will hit your goals.

But no matter what….. don’t you give up and throw in the towel. You will never reach your goals by doing that!

Have you thrown in the towel before? How many times before it “stuck”? What things  helped you ? Share =)

2007/2014 7 years into my journey
2007/2014 7 years into my journey

Those Long Runs

Long runs.

When you’re a runner, there’s nothing more foundational to your training than a weekly long run. They are key to building strength and letting your body slowly adapt to greater distances. They are  crucial when you’re an endurance runner.

Countless Saturdays  these past months have found me out on the road in the wee hours of the morning. Seriously, what sane person is out at 5:30, leaving behind a perfectly warm bed to go out running ? My long runs have tapered down to my races recently and although I’ll be doing my 50K on the 28th, I’m not putting in any crazy long runs before then.

I am planning a long (ish) run for Saturday, you know, something in the double digits ? 😉

Is it weird that I want to see those numbers show up on my watch ? even in my last race when it was over 10 miles I remember thinking… “yay, double digits, now we’re getting somewhere”.

I’ve gotten to a point though that I really look forward to them. Some nights I’ve been so hyped up I’ve had a hard time sleeping ’cause I’m playing the route out in my head. I look forward to them ’cause on their own they singularly offer a new weekly challenge to me.

Long runs are so  life sucking  empowering for me.

Long runs have also carved out the most intense discipline in my life. It takes a lot to leave your bed and put yourself out on the road to be prepared to go…. in the dark…the cold…….the misty drizzle…. or know you’ll most likely encounter rain before you finish. So many weekly variables to the long run. To  understand that what you’re about to do is crucial to your success as a runner mentally and physically.

But let me tell you about what goes down once I’m out.

I live in the hill country so it’s always dark and very quiet when I leave. I take my music but never use it until the last few miles and by that time, it’s nice and bright out 😉

I take off and let my body slowly wake up and settle into the rhythm of the run.

If you’re a runner, you know what I mean. It’s this zone you just get your body in.

The only sounds I hear are my feet hitting the road and the soft sound of my breathing. If I’m lucky, sometimes, the sky is bright with stars or the moon, and  it’s the most awesome, amazing, privilege  to be out then. It makes me feel so very, very small and once again, in awe of our Creator and creation. One morning I saw four shooting stars…. silent, swift, and quiet streaking across the dark sky.. at that point… you don’t miss your bed at all.

All I can think is…. “If I was in bed I woulda MISSED that!”

I pass houses, dark and silent, the owners still tucked into bed, dogs not let out yet, single quiet porch or night lights still on. There’s a part of me that feels rather accomplished at that point for being out there, already having miles under me.

The night sky gradually leaves as the new day pushes into existence. If I’m fortunate, I also get to watch a glorious sunrise too.

You know that term “break of dawn” ?

It’s a real thing. It happens. But usually we are either inside, busy, or not really paying attention to see it, to actually even notice because it’s swift and fleeting.

Yet, when you are on the road, running, it’s all in front of you. A front row seat to the new days arrival.

It’s that soft subtle move that changes the last glimpse of night, to day time.  Blink and you miss it.

Long runs also give me time to think, process, or mull over ideas. I often get some of my most creative thoughts as I pound out that pavement. Oh yeah, and the therapeutic aspect at times can’t be beat.

By the time the sun is rising in the sky and people are getting out I’m closing in on finishing my run. I’ve usually popped music in to kick me a little more into high gear. I remind myself I get bragging rights when I finish 😉  and coffee…. yes, a little caffeine too…. I’ve earned it…..so  glad my Starbucks peeps love me messy in running gear as much as when I’m all girly again…

Finally, the last couple miles are in sight….. the finish line.

Depending on the distance, my legs could be asking…. “are we there yet ?”  Knowing the end is so close, I dig in deeper to push it all the way (it’s just…..evil…… in the last 1/4 mile I’ve gotta pull this hill that seems to sometimes get taller in front of my eyes 😉

And then, I’m finished, hours after leaving my comfy bed.

I’m tired. Sweaty. Hair dripping. A proverbial hot running mess.

Long run done and as always, I feel freaking victorious.

Running, eating, and other crazy things going down

Hey Boys and Girls =)

Ok, so I’m kinda new here in blog world…..

No, actually, I’m VERY new in blog world…. but it’s exciting and fun and I’m finding it a wonderful way to let stuff…. outta my head…….. which contributes to my overall sanity…. which in turn benefits those I come in contact with on a daily basis 😉

So what am I overall about ?

I consider myself…. primarily…. a runner.

And often find myself pondering……

“How in the heck did that happen”?????

But happen it did, and I love it. I will talk about it a little  tons here in blog land.

But there’s a lot more to me as well. I love doing other active things like weights, some biking, and boxing. I think it’s really made me a stronger runner doing all that cross training.

Not only that, it’s given me arms the boys get jealous of 😉

Needless to say on my journey I’ve also learned more about nutrition and eating better…. ’cause how the heck can I run for a stupid number of miles if my poor body isn’t getting good fuel ? I still totally dig Peanut M&M’s… it’s just a few usually do the trick to satisfy me.

And along the way I’ve learned the best way to lose weight and keep it off successfully is not to go all crazy and do stupid stuff you hate and want to quit like… in 24 hours…. but to make small daily changes… every single day… and I found if you do that…. in time… things happen! And because you’ve not done anything crazy but have been doing things that make it sustainable to you… you have success…. that will last!

My formula…. eat good the majority of the time… find a physical activity you want to do .. and then…. own that sucker….. do it most days of the week. Find another activity to toss in to keep from possible boredom AND to make sure all your muscles are getting worked out.

Seven years later…. 55lbs gone.. a ton of inches…. 5 pant sizes smaller….

Shhh.. I think it might be working…….

So yeah, I will be talking about everything from nutrition and goodies, to practical ways to lose weight, be healthy, and do it in a way you want to keep plugging along in day after day, oh, and then there will just be randomness thrown in ’cause that’s just how I roll at times.

But then… there’s this…. running thing.

As in my upcoming adventure this weekend.

I’m taking on my first ever….. 50K….. because 26.2 miles just weren’t enough to run 😉

My plan is to blog and post all about my adventures from Ft Worth and the whole Cowtown experience… writing and photo stuff… ’cause I really dig doing pics with things… and it’s more fun for you than just staring at all my words…….

Soooo I hope you’ll be back and hang with me… and live vicariously through my antics on the road…

Keep it real out there.. see you soon!20141001_212847-1