{ liebster award }

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Unexpected Runner. It is a way to support bloggers with a focus on those with 200 followers or less. I am so happy she nominated me for this award!  What a great way to help out our blogging community!

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The “rules”:

  1. You must link back to the person who nominated you.
  2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
  3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award.
  4. You must create 10 questions for your nominees.
  5. You must go to your nominees blogs and notify them.

Ready for my Q&A?

1. Road, trail, or mud?  Trail run, any day!! I love the scenery and being in the nature!

2. What is your preferred distance?  8 to 10 miles!  During my half marathon training, I felt like these were my best runs!  Mentally and physically!

3. What is your “dream” race?  Rocky Mountain Half Marathon!!!

4. What fitness app do you use the most?  Runkeeper if my Nike+ GPS watch is not complying (which happens a lot).

5. What do you do for cross training?  Right now, I try to get in 2-3 days of body weight training (simple rounds of push ups, leg lifts, squats, etc) and 2-3 days of running.  With summer here, I will likely only get 2 days of running.  Hoping to get a spin bike or access to a gym so I can do some more cross training!

6. What is your funniest running or race story?  Ummm, lets just say they all involve falling or almost falling!  Oh and some ice skating in Southeast Texas!  Not often we get ice here and when we did, I decided to test out the bridge covered in it!  Needless to say, my pace was pretty fast as I skated across! 😉

7.  If you have one, who is your favorite running partner? If you don’t have one, what celebrity would you most like to join you on a run?  My amazing friend Veronica!!! She was crazy enough to train for a half marathon with me!! I wouldn’t have made it through training without her!

8. How many pairs of exercise-related shoes do you own? Only 2 that are worn weekly :) I have 3 other pair of running shoes that have been retired sitting in my closet!

9. What is your favorite snack?  Fresh fruit!  or some cheeeeeessssee!! =D

10. What is one thing that you can do today that you never thought you would be able to accomplish?  RUN! I was a swimmer for 12 years and never enjoyed running.  After having my son, I had to do something.  After 2 failed attempts at running, in October of 2012 I started C25K for the 3rd time and stuck with it.  No excuses.  I ran my first 5K that December and finally fell in love with running!

Okay, here are my nominees. A few of these are blogs with a huge following already but they are blogs that I love and could not pass up the opportunity to share their amazing pages!

  1. Happy Healthy Mama
  2. Paleo Running Mom
  3. Woman Helping Women
  4. Real Fit Real Food Mom
  5. Will Run for Pizza
  6. Ashley Right Now
  7. Planks Love and Guacamole
  8. The Running Fire Wife
  9. Runner Gal 22
  10. Fit Foodie Runs

And my questions (repeating a few of the same since they are such great questions!):

1. Road, trail or treadmill?

2. What is your preferred distance?

3. What is your “dream” race?

4. What shoes are you currently running in?

5. What do you do for cross training?

6. What is your funniest running or race story?

7. What is your favorite weather (50 degrees and sunny, rainy, etc) to run in?

8. What is your favorite “cheat” meal or snack?

9. What is your go-to pre-long run meal?

10. What or who motivates you to run?

{ simply love }

Grayson will be 3 in June!! (internal panic has begun)

It’s amazing what these little guys will learn from you!  Since the weather has been nice lately, we’ve been enjoying a walk to the park most afternoons before dinner time.  This walk always includes the phrase “Grayson run, momma” which translates to “I want to run with you, momma!” Knowing that my running and healthy living is impacting his life completely over-joys me!  He’s been at all my races and always wants to run with me now!  Hoping I have a future running buddy (since Ben refuses to run with me :P).

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Lately he’s also been picking up the little 3 pound weights and will proceed to lift weights!  With a big smile he will say “work out, momma!” I snapped this picture a couple of weeks ago :)

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I’m constantly reminded that he is watching everything we do!

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His first official race!  1K for the Brave! **heart melting**

LOVE every second with this little boy!  Even if he is growing up way too fast!  This is just a daily reminder that I need to be the best momma possible for him!  Simple as that :)

{ whole30 + fitness }

Soooooo this is the last week of whole30, right?  Yeah, totally lost my days!  Work has been chaotic! Fell off the wagon this weekend and highly regretted it!  BUT today is a new day and I will finish these 30 days strong!  AND then probably start again :) Except, it will be modified a bit! Details to come at the end of the week!  Also in the market for a juicer!  Any recommendations?

Not only have I been lost on whole30, my workout motivation was gone last week!  Like literally…. couldn’t find it anywhere!  So today starts a 6 week fitness program!  I came across an introduction to crossfit endurance plan (basically uses crossfit exercises to help target your endurance training).  The work outs are simple enough for me to do at home!  Here is the article and program!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3kJ0Y9MHmxBSi02aUxOcndJSzA/edit?usp=sharing

Since I didn’t start yesterday, this is what today’s workout will look like and I am super excited!  I think I found my motivation again 😉 Now if only Ben will get home on time so we can both workout!

INTRO CFE DAY 1

{ whole30 day09 }

Sleep: 10:00 pm to 6:00 am – 8 hours!

Activity:  Afternoon walk to the park with Grayson (half a mile walk from our house) then 2 mile sprints later in the evening!! Kept my running pace under 10 min per mile =D

Food: (week will basically be the same)

Breakfast 8:00 AM – Hard Boiled Eggs (2) + Sweet Potato Bar + Coffee

Lunch 1:00 PM – Tuna Patty + Power Greens Salad + Juice of 1 Lime

Snack 4:00 PM – Apple + Macadamia Nuts

Dinner 6:00 PM – Jalapeno Turkey Burger (meat only) + Cabbage Sauté + 1/2 Avocado + Banana

Hunger: Had more fruit today which I think helped me feel full!  I try to limit my fruit to 1 a day but Grayson wanted a banana then didn’t want a banana and well, we couldn’t waste it!

Mood:  Great day!! Seriously no complaints :)

{ fitness friday }

Happy Friday!! Here’s my fitness plan for the next week!  I’m still trying to find the right balance to achieve my goals over the next 12 weeks!  Making progress :) IF ONLY my body would get on track with this time change!

Also, plan on MOVING more during the day!  I work full time in an office where I sit…. all day!  Need to start taking those state allowed breaks and walking around the parking lot!

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{ question of the day }

-Do you plan your workouts for the week?  For me, even if I can’t get all of the “planned” workouts done, this really helps me stay accountable during the week!

{ things i <3 thursday }

{ GEAR CHECK EDITION }

So I thought I would share a few things that helped get me through half marathon training and marathon day!

Let’s start with fuel because well these things are just AWESOME!!! I seriously could eat these every day :)

Honey Stingers Energy Chews

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My personal favorite is the pomegranate!  But I also enjoy the pink lemonade and either of the caffeinated ones!

Next thing that I love is my belt!  I can carry my honey stingers, phone, chapstick, light, ID and any other junk my heart desires!!

Fitletic iFitness Belt

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I have the Ultimate Running Belt and added water bottles and an extra pouch for race day!  Worked out perfect for me!

Now onto the shoes!! I had to buy new shoes in December and was able to get enough training in them so I could wear for the marathon.  Before buying this pair, I was a Brooks girl!  Not saying that my next pair won’t be Brooks but these had the support I needed this time around!

Asics Gel Cumulus 15

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I love bright and colorful shoes :)

Problems with shin splints or knee pain? This next one is for you :)

KT Tape

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This stuff works wonders! I was having some medial knee pain (likely due to weak muscles) and sore shins (due to over-use).  Sunday after our long runs, I could hardly walk. Veronica started taping her knee for extra support so I had to try it out!  AMAZING!  No pain after running with my shins and knee taped!  Now on long runs, I only tape for shin pain on my left side (seems to bother me the most) and I have not had knee problems.  For the half marathon, I did tape my knees for fear of having problems (which I did not).  Highly recommend this stuff!!  You can google ways to tape for whatever pain you might be having!

And finally, these guys get a mention here!  Although, I bought the wrong size so I did not get the full effect of how they work, Veronica and Michelle swear by them!  I will have to try again in another size :)

CEP Compression Sleeves

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They are tight and I could tell during my 1st run with them that they helped my shins!  But then I washed them and they were too tight and my calves would just ache wearing them. :( Not giving up on them yet though!

{ question of the day }

-What are some of your must haves for marathon training and marathon day?

 

{ fitness friday }

Planning out my workouts for the next week to help keep me on track!  I got my 2 miles in last night :) which was actually my first post-marathon run!  Kept a good pace (11:30/mile) but had to stop a few times to stretch out my calves.  They were very tight!  My goal is to incorporate more of the cardio style P90x workouts and get at least 1 run in during the week and maintain my Saturday long runs!

OH!  And WAKE UP SHONIE!!! { Reminder to myself to wake up and get my work outs done in the morning!! }

 

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PS – planning on a big commitment over the next 30 days!  stay tuned as I work out the details and get the husband on board 😉

{ half marathon }

I am over-joyed to say that I ran a half marathon!  I’m still on that runners-high and looking for more races to fill my year!!

I cannot even begin to explain what an amazing journey this has been!  Ups and downs like any journey and moments of self-doubt, but I did it!  I could not have done it without all of the amazing friends I made through our running group and my family’s support!

Let’s start with saying we’ve had a very unusual winter here in Texas!  More cold days than normal (which I will not complain about that) but all of our long distance training runs were basically cold.  Like bundled up cold!  So to see the forecast for the marathon showing 70 degrees and 95% humidity, I was about to die!  I absolutely do not like heat and humidity.  At all……..

So our race weekend started with annoying weather and pasta!  Our running group had a pre-race dinner Thursday night.  Delicious pasta!  This is a picture of the few of us from the half marathon group that made it to the dinner:

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I took Friday off work so I had time to rest, which was needed since Grayson was up all night Thursday night!  I met Veronica Friday around 11 to pick up our race packets and check out the Expo exhibits.  Lots of awesome running gear but I did good and only bought a headband =D

 

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And then it hit me.  oh my goodness…….. I’m running a half marathon tomorrow!  and the mental games began!  can I do it, the heat, no I may not finish… Headed home after lunch with my aunt and sweet friend Alva and took a much needed nap! Uneventful night after that.  made tacos and took it easy!  stayed plenty hydrated! went to bed at a decent time and actually slept good (after the voices in my head shut up).

And then it was the day!  I woke up at 4:30.  plenty of time to get dressed, make sure I had all my gear and eat my pre-run meal (greek yogurt and English muffin – winning combo for me). I left my house around 5:30 and headed straight to Luke’s Locker.  we met there for a pre-race picture with the entire running group (half and full marathoners). And thanks to Luke’s, we got to use clean restrooms and not porta-potties!

 

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After all the good lucks at Luke’s, we walked over to the starting line (nice 10 minute walk from Luke’s).  we headed to our corral and lined up in our respective pace sections.  OH, did I mention at this point it was RAINING?  Yeah.  factor that in to the heat and humidity!  Any ways, we took some starting line photos as we waited in line with the thousands of other runners!

 

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And then it was 7! The elites took off and we were able to watch the marathon elites from where we were standing.  Amazing!! About 10 minutes later, we finally crossed the starting line!  AND WE WERE OFF!  And of course, not even 4 steps in and I was losing junk!  go figure :) luckily Angela was still behind me and picked up my towel for me.  And then we were off again!!  That was the last we saw the rest of our running group as we maintained pace with the 2:45 pace team.  OH hey… guess what!  it was still raining! It probably rained for the first 3 to 4 miles.  Not a hard rain but enough to make a mess everywhere!  We paced with the 2:45 group for about the first 6 miles then we both started getting goosebumps which I then learned was a sign of over-heating.  GREAT!  So we started pouring water on our heads and down our necks to cool off and we backed off the 2:45 pace team. We took the next couple of miles easier as we worked back up to a good pace.  At that point, my left foot was hurting!  Ended up with some blisters from the wet shoes.  THANKS RAIN!  Then we were in the home stretch!  Less than 2 miles to go and oh man were we done!  Around mile 12 the 3:00 pace team caught up to us so we started sprinting!  We were determined to stay in front of them!  And we did!! Although, I’m not sure I would have if I didn’t have Angela pushing me to the end!  We made it back to The Woodlands Waterway and started heading towards the finish line, passing people.  That’s right, PASSING PEOPLE!  I thought I was about to pass out!  And then I could see the end!! We were in the finish line chute!  TONS of people cheering!! Oh, what an amazing moment!  And we did it!  We crossed the finish line and of course, I’m in tears!  I wasn’t sure if Ben and Grayson made it to see me finish at that moment but I knew I finished!  We headed over to get our medals and a finishing picture!  That’s when I saw Ben and Grayson!  I ran this race for many people – I ran it for my mom and other’s who cannot run, I ran this race for me but most importantly I ran this race for them!  I want Grayson to grow up knowing he can do anything that he wants when he works hard for it even if there are times that he wants to give up. And it’s ok to have those moments – that is why he has us!  To always pick him up and reassure him that he can accomplish anything.  I wanted to give up cause of the heat, but I didn’t! It was a long 26 weeks of training with many moments of doubt but I never gave up!  I ran with my heart those last 6 miles.  I ran knowing that my husband would be proud of me (he also told me I had to finish or else he wouldn’t pick me up – thanks Ben ;)) and that Grayson will always have this moment to look back on with me even if he won’t remember it!  And I’d run it all over again :)

A couple of extra shout outs:

VERONICA ~ my sweet amazing friend who agreed to train for a half marathon with me!  I would NOT have made it through the training without you!  thank you for being half as crazy as me!! I am beyond blessed to have you in my life and I cherish every mile we run together!

ANGELA ~ I cannot thank you enough for sticking by my side every step of the way!  you are an amazing person!  and even if this was your last half marathon, i know you will be cheering us all on for many miles to come!!

MICHELLE ~ you are awesome!!! you seriously brighten every mile with your positive attitude!! i know we will have many more miles together and i am so happy this training brought all of us together!!

 

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{ life after half marathon training }

I’m a girl who’s gotta have goals hence the half marathon goal race!  so here are a few goals I am working on now that half marathon training is officially over!

{ personal goals }

focus on losing weight – goal to be down 15 pounds in 12 weeks (I know, I know but I gotta have a goal!)

focus on overall happiness – cause we all need a little more focus on this (not letting the negativity get to me =D)

focus on improving running pace – this will be an ongoing goal and luckily I have some 5K’s coming up that will help keep this in check

morning workouts – do them!

{ family goals }

focus on ben’s goal weight and overall health

focus on family healthy eating – need to add more family friendly recipes to my weekly prep

focus on organization – cleaning plan for the house to keep everything in rotation

focus on more family time

focus on more puppy time

{ starting fresh: highlights + goals }

Happy Monday!

30 days have already passed – where is the year going?!  Grayson will be 3 in less than 4 months! Someone pinch me please!

OK! Back to the post :) I thought it would be great for us to highlight all that we have accomplished these last 30 days and share our goals for the next 30!

{ highlights }

75% clean eating each week!

80% of workouts completed each week!

12 mile run – done!

overall health – we both feel better!  More energy!  and I feel stronger (LOVE P90x)!

my clothes fit better and I believe the hubby lost a few pounds :)

{ goals }

HALF MARATHON on March 1st :)

Continue improving clean eating habits – with a primary focus on the weekends!

Continue improving active living habits – I am working on becoming a better morning work out person!

More walks for the dogs :)

More family time on the weekends (which means more cleaning during the week) :)

More blogging!

The hubby is working on the oh so fun family budget!

 And more of this: { happiness }

happiness