“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

3 Things Thursday

Ok, this is kind of on the fly because it is the end of the month and I am SWAMPED at work...

1. Tomorrow night is my first coaches meeting for the Fleet Feet- No Boundaries running group.  I am helping coach with some pretty amazing runners.  I can't wait to spend the evening picking their brains!!

2. A few weeks ago I saw the podiatrist to get fit for inserts for my running shoes.  I seriously overpronate when I run and it was causing me problems. You can read about it HERE.
They called today to say that I could come pick them up tomorrow. I'm interested to see how they feel on my long run Saturday. 

3. If you read my blog last week, I bought a brand new Running Skirt on Ebay for $11.00! I got it in the mail yesterday and it is a perfect fit!! I can't wait for it to warm up again so I can try it out!
I have the "On Your Mark" 5k next Saturday and I was hoping to wear it for that. I am praying for sunshine and warm temps!  The 5k will also be the first race my friend Angie has ever run. I'm so excited for her!

I'm out until next Monday! Hubby is working all weekend and I doubt I will have time to pee much less post.... So, I hope you all have a wonderful, blessed, weekend, full of love and lots of sunshine!!

If your new to my blog, welcome! If your not new, thanks for stopping by!
I love reading your comments and feedback!

Ecclesiastes 4:10
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 

* Today I'm thankful for my friends and all of you who offer inspiration and encouragement!

Grace and peace, 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Show n' Tell Wednesday

I considered doing "Word-less Wednesday" but let's face it....being "word-less" is nearly impossible for me. I love to talk and I love to tell!

I have read a lot of inspirational stories of fit to fab and incredible stories of weight loss. I never really considered my story that great until recently when I was looking through some old pictures. 
I have been active my entire life.  I played soccer, golf, cheered and was on the dance team in high school and college. Being involved in so much really helped me maintain a healthy weight and I could always eat what I wanted to.  When I got out of college was when the trouble started.  I had never worked out on my own, I was always part of a team.  So the weight slowly started to creep on.  It wasn't until I was preggo with my first son that I REALLY lost control....I did not enjoy that pregnancy at all.  I was living in a new place with no friends or family so I was already a bit depressed.  Add pregnancy hormones and cravings to that mix and by the end of the pregnancy I had gained a whopping 70lbs.  I was miserable!!!
2 weeks after the birth of prince #1
 I decided then I would NEVER let my weight get that out of control again.  I had watched my own mother battle food/weight issues her whole life and I did not want my kids to deal with that too.
I didn't know what to do, so I started taking diet pills. That was when ephedrine was legal, and I lost 80lbs in 9 months. It was extreme and a very unhealthy way to lose weight. Plus, I had no tone at all. Was I skinny?...yes. Was I healthy?...no.
When I decided to get preggo with prince #2, I was terrified of gaining weight.  Food had become an obsession of mine.  I thought about food all day long, what I ate, when I could eat next, how many calories I've consumed, how hungry I was.  By that time, ephedrine had been outlawed and I was having to make healthy choices to keep my weight down.  This was all new to me. I spent 6 months of pregnancy #2 on bed-rest and I was able to keep my weight gain down to 25lbs.
Preggo with Prince #2- claw marks courtesy of preggo#1

It was in 2005, 1 1/2  yrs after the birth of prince #2 that I walked into a gym for the first time in years.  I hired a personal trainer to teach me how to live a healthy, balanced,lifestyle.  He gave me a meal plan and an activity plan and the tools that I needed to take back control of my health.

It wasn't long till I was bit by the fitness bug! I loved to see how my body and mind could be transformed through fitness.   I was working out with weights with my trainer 1 time a week and on my own 4-5 times a week. I also added Pilates classes, I was able to get my mid section trimmed down and toned up better than it was in high school, sure I still had the claw-like stretch marks, but who cares, I had abs!!  By the end of 05' I was teaching 4-5 pilates classes a week and  
In early 2006, on a whim and with much prompting from my trainer, I entered a fitness/figure competition.  I had no expectations of winning going in. I wanted to do it to prove to myself that I had it in me.  I entered the competition world blindly. In my category Amateur Tall there were 15 other girls.  Most of the girl were 5 yrs younger, had never given birth, and were born with definition!  I figured I had nothing to lose and I gave it my all and came out in 3rd place!  I almost threw up when they called my name for the trophy.  I was pretty sure they had the wrong girl.

It was my first and last competition. A few months after the competition I injured my neck tumbling. The injury required 7 months of physical therapy and I was not able to work out with any weights for almost a year.  By the end of that year I was still at a healthy weight from making good food choices, but my muscle tone was less than desirable.  It was depressing to see all my hard work go down the tubes.  I waited one long year for the Dr. to tell me it would be okay to workout again and when the day finally came I could care less.  When you work out or run everyday, it's easier to get up in the morning and go to it....but when you have been sedentary for a year it is hard.  I wasn't sure I wanted to conquer that mountain again. Maybe I could just be happy being complacent....and I was...complacent that is...for about another year. Of course that weight started to creep back on...I did manage to get through preggo #3 with minimal weight gain..about 20lbs. Though  I was already about 15lbs over weight when I got pregnant.

When prince #3 came along I started running.  I don't know why. It just seemed easier than going to the gym. I could put him in the stroller and take him with me.
Maybe it's because I'm older, maybe it's because I KNOW what I am capable of, maybe it's because I decided to educate myself on my own fitness.....but I am committed to being the healthiest I can be.  I am so proud of myself and what I have accomplished.  I am still 10lbs from my goal "healthy" weight, but I don't feel intimidated by the mountain anymore.  I have found a healthy balance and have a much healthier relationship with food.

So now you know the rest of the story.... well not really the rest of it....ok most of it... I could keep writing but I don't want you to fall asleep at the computer.....;)

If your new to my blog, welcome! If your not new, thanks for stopping by!
I love reading your comments and feedback!

Grace and peace,


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Ran and a Question

I had a great run today. The temp was colder than I would like, 37 degrees compared to 71 just 3 days ago. For some reason I always seem to run a bit faster in the cooler temps.  I don't know if it's in my head or what, here are my splits for todays run:

5.5 miles- 43:37 mins

mile 1- 8:29
mile 2- 8:27
mile 3- 8:35
mile 4- 9:01(not sure what happened here);)
mile 5- 8:48
mile .5- cooldown

Christina over at Lazy Bones Running asked a great question on her post today:  
"How or when did you know you caught the running bug?"

I knew I had caught the running bug when I decided to dish out an obscene amount of money for proper running shoes and didn't feel guilty about it...at all.  I had just finished my first 5k race in 2008. The thrill of crossing the finish line and being able to run a 5k without walking made me so proud of myself. I'm a naturally competitive person, so I couldn't wait until the next race to beat my time. I had run in an old pair of New Balance that were about 4 yrs old and had never given thought to proper running footwear or attire before this race.  Buying those new running shoes to me, meant I was going to be running...a lot. I enjoyed it enough that I was going to start investing not only my time, but my money into it.

Flashback photos: A few pics from my first race ever!
This was 10mins before the race. My friend Gina(who I made run with me) told me to show her my game face!

And here is me falling...I am NOT very graceful!

So thankful for friends who support me! Gina lives in Chicago(my hometown) and has run this race with me two years in a row...Gina loathes running. Now that is a true friend!

I love to look back and see how far I have come.  I have truly fallen in love with running!
I think we all hear negative comments from people who think running is crazy.  Everyone wants to share their horror stories about how they "used" to run but they blew out both knees or hurt their back or lost an eye....for some reason(probably their own insecurities) some people just don't like when you get fit. Maybe it intimidates them or convicts them in their own lifestyle.  Whatever the case is, I'm learning to tune that negativity out and turn it around.  It no longer bothers me, it makes me feel good.  It makes me feel like a runner.  They obviously see something in me that they want but don't know how to get it......this always gives me an opportunity to draw them in or at least to share the joys of running.

Tomorrow is Show N' Tell Wednesday and I have some great things to share with you!

If your new to my blog, welcome! If your not new, thanks for stopping by!
I love reading your comments and feedback!

Grace and peace,

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sharing Some Sunshine

I received a little Sunshine love this weekend from Sara over at Rookie on the Run who honored me with this Sunshine Blog Award. I would send Sara some right back, but she has already been Sunshine-ified!

Now time for me to spread the love!
If you get tagged put the logo on your blog or within your post (right click and save). Pass the award onto your favorite bloggers then link the nominees within your post. Finally, let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
So, I'm sending some sunshine over to:

* Mary at Fit this, girl! - If you haven't check out this blog yet, you should! Mary has such an awesome attitude towards fitness and life. Always has some yummy recipes to share and I love the pics she shares! I just love to read this blog!

* Jen at Setting You Free - this blog just makes me feel happy! Jen is totally down to earth and has a love for the Lord that shows through everything she does! 

*Melissa at Melissa's Adventures in Living Life - This girl lets her thoughtful and caring nature show really show through in her blog! You can always count on a pick me up when you read her blog!

* Deanna at The Unnatural Mother - This girl is hilarious!! Be prepared to pee on yourself when you read her posts! She has the guts to say stuff that most of us just think...love it!

So there it is....these girls add a little sunshine to my life so I thought I would send them a little too!!

 Hope you are all having a great day!!

If your new to my blog, welcome! If your not new, thanks for stopping by!
I love reading your comments and feedback! 

Grace and peace,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Three Things Thursday

I've been trying to come up with a really creative repeat post theme to no avail....so I'm jumping on this bandwagon! I don't know who started it, but I like it!

Thing 1
50 degrees! That was the temp outside today during my run! Sunny, clear skies and 50 degrees! If I hadn't already packed my running pants I would have run in shorts. Probably would have blinded a few people to with my pasty white legs, but would have felt wonderful!  I think I could smell spring in the air....Love it! I spring and all the reminders of God's beauty and faithfulness that it brings along with it!
Time constraints only allowed me to get in 3.5 miles but I will get in another 4 this evening on the treadmill.
Thing 2
I bought my first Running Skirt today!! Woo hoo!! I can not wait to get it!
How cute is that??!!
Here is the clincher.... I only paid $11.50 for it on Ebay!! Supposedly it's brand new with tags, so we will see when I get it...I've been buying and selling on Ebay for years and have gotten some STEALS!!
Now I need some really cute socks and a rocking shirt to complete my Nashville Rock n' Roll running outfit.

Thing 3
I had coffee with my mom this morning....in fact lately, when I drop little prince off at her house in the morning I have been making a point to stay and just hang out with her for a few extra minutes....one small step for me....on giant leap for our relationship! ;)  It is getting easier and I can tell that my patience and compassion towards her is growing. If you don't know what I'm talking about...I wrote about it HERE  God is so good and when I think about the work He has done in me regarding my mother, I'm in awe.  When God says in 1Peter 5:7 to cast all your cares on Him, He means it...He will take care of you. God is faithful...and faithful to perform His word! 

I hope you are all having a wonderful week!! 
If your new to my blog, welcome! If your not new, thanks for stopping by!
I love reading your comments and feedback! 

Grace and peace,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mad Props to Stay at Home Moms!!

Wow! Back to the office after a long, unexpected 4 day weekend.  The kids had snow days Monday and Tuesday.  They were thrilled to be out of school.  Me, I have a new found respect for all stay at home moms. Especially those of you who still find time to run.  When do you do it??
It was chaos! I love schedules...LOVE them.  If I don't have a schedule my world spins out of control.  Ok, maybe that's a slight exaggeration...but you get the point.  Monday I woke up and got ready for work, got the boys ready for school and Grandma's, we were ready to go by 7am when the phone rang, no school.
So we all changed back into our pj's, after all, we had no where to go, and couldn't even if we wanted to because they closed several roads due to ice.
The rest of my day went something like this:
  Laundry, fix kids snack, laundry, sweep floors, empty dishwasher, load dishwasher, fix kids more snacks, clean bathrooms, watch the View(love those girls!) while re-hanging the mirror above the fireplace(it was crooked), fix kids lunch, put little prince down for a nap, contemplate laying down with him, decide this will be my only opportunity to get a run in, sit prince #1 and prince #2 in front of the Wii and pray they play "nice"... hop on the dreadmill, manage to chugg out 6.5 miles before little prince wakes up..hungry....Geez! These kids eat A LOT!!! Fix little prince snack and organize the junk drawer...found a $20 spot..Woo hoo!! I'm sure it's hubby's secret stash, but I've earned it.......feel guilty....put $20 spot back in "hiding place", little prince is done, play wii with prince #1 & #2 while little prince screams for the remote.....prince #1& #2 quit because I ROCK at Super Mario Bros.....sore losers...just kidding...but really I do rock at it....look at the clock realize hubby will be home in 30 mins, start supper....oops, i haven't showered yet and I stink!  Hmmm.....shower...supper...shower...supper...decided to finish supper, it's not like hubby hasn't seen me funky before!  By the time hubby walks in the door all I want to do is take a shower and a nap.

The next morning we got the call School cancelled again..... Day #2 was similar to Day #1 with a little more Super Mario Bros..;) , plus I managed to pound out 4.5 miles and a Jillian Michaels Trouble Zone Workout(see my review HERE). 
Of course it is always great to be with the boys and I miss them like crazy today, but I'm back in my office today on a schedule....(*sigh*)

***I am behind in my 1000++ miles goal for the year, hoping to catch up in the next few weeks. I have a couple long runs planned and I'm excited that Spring weather is right around the corner!!!! Oh Happy Days!! 

If your new to my blog, welcome! If your not new, thanks for stopping by!
I love reading your comments and feedback!

Grace and peace,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

We All Fall Down

The secret is to pick yourself back up again. 
This week has been trying..to say the least.  My littlest prince has some upper resp. crud that has been plaguing him for a couple months and he just can't seem to shake it. Antibiotics and breathing treatments have been little help.  We found the problem this week when a strange odor started coming from his room.  My first thought was that one of the little princes peed on the floor.  They like to pee in random places, i.e, garbage cans, the neighbors bushes, Lowe's garden section.....the joys of little boys! 
So in preparation to steam clean the carpet, I moved little prince's crib.  I was horrified, there was a patch of moldy, mildewed carpet about 2'x3' under the crib and the wall and base boards were warped from water damage.  I have no idea how long it has been leaking.  I felt horrible that every night after I give little prince a breathing treatment I lay him in a crib surrounded by mold and mildew, which inevitably is causing his breathing problems.  Poor baby!!
We had a new roof put on in December because of severe hail damage last year and of course our first thought was that it was coming down from a leak in the roof.  We had the original roofer and a separate roofer both come look at the roof and they both told us different things.  We also had a foundation expert come and look at the foundation to see if it could be coming from there(We are on a concrete slab).  So far, we have three different answers(guesses).   Insurance man came out yesterday and said he thought is was from flooding.? Makes no sense to us since it hasn't flooded by us EVER, and we are on a hill........I don't like insurance men. Do we have flood insurance?...no...why?...because we are not in a flood zone and our Ins. man told us we didn't need it.  The one thing that all four men told us for sure was that it would cost some serious moolah to fix. 
On top of that, I re-injured my back this past weekend(an old disc injury from my tumbling days) and it put me out of running commission for 3 days.  Doesn't seem like much, but running is my outlet. It's the one hour a day I have to myself, to gain perspective, to pray, to unwind.
Combine those things with the fact that I have had little sleep due to little prince sharing our room, and it isn't good.  Yesterday I started to have a pity party. I allowed myself to fall into the trap of anxiety,guilt and doubt.  I let myself become overwhelmed by "things". 

This morning I woke up early and spent some time in prayer. The Lord always helps me put things in perspective.
Today I'm thankful.  I'm thankful that little prince is starting to breathe better. I'm thankful the water damage was isolated to one area. I'm thankful that today my back feels better and I can go for a run.
I was reminded this morning of Philippians 4:6(NLV) "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."
More than anything, I'm thankful that I serve a God who is more than enough and can meet
all my needs.  Phillipians 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
It comforts me to know that I have King who cares about my circumstances, who cares about me and doesn't want me to feel anxious or overwhelmed.

What are you anxious about today?  
How do you handle your anxiety?

I am heading out for my first run of the week and I will be running with joy!

If your new to my blog, welcome! If your not new, thanks for stopping by!
I love reading your comments and feedback!

Grace and peace,

Monday, February 8, 2010

I Remember...

Registration for the Fleet Feet, No Boundaries Running program closed today.
I handed out forms to all my friends, neighbors, and all the people that I have been begging to come running with me but always declined.  I expected maybe two to commit.  Last night, I had 9 people turn in their registration!! There are 50 spots available and the other 8 coaches recruited the other 41.  I am so proud!  Some of my friends that registered I had all but given up on as far as running was concerned.  Some of them have never done any type of physical exercise and some have just been too intimidated to run on their own.
My friend's hubby even asked me "am I going to be the biggest one out there?"

That question made me think about how intimidated I had felt before I started running. 
I remember all the fears and insecurities I had.  Running just seemed  so much bigger than me.
I also remember my first runner's high and the euphoric feeling of my body in unity. 
I remember my first 5k and feeling of accomplishment.
I remember the pride I felt when I took first place in age group and how I thought I would never be there.
I am excited to be able to experience this with my friends.  I am excited to share in their joy and their journey.
More than anything I am honored to introduce them to my good friend...running.

What do you remember about your first run?

Grace and peace,

This scripture helped me overcome my fears:
"For God did not give us a spirit of fear but one of power,love, and self-discipline."
2 Timothy 1:7

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

10 Things Running Has Done for Me

 Yesterday, Shelly from It's Just One Foot in Front of the Other posted a Lift Your Soles giveaway.  One of the ways to enter was to post 10 things running has done for you.  I thought I would share that list with you!

10 Things Running Has Done for Me
1. Running provides me the time I need everyday to clear my mind and connect with God.

2. I has given me a sense of accomplishment and helped me meet and exceed goals.

3. It has boosted my confidence in my abilities.

4. Running has helped me maintain a healthy balance in my crazy sometimes chaotic life.

5. It helps satisfy my competitive drive.

6. It has helped to spark a love for running in my boys. Something I pray will be a lifestyle decision for them!

7. It has made me more aware of my body and the way it works.

8. It was the catalyst that introduced me to the blogging world where I have connected with wonderful runners from all over the world!

9. It has given me the boldness to encourage my friends and loved ones to start running and live healthier lifestyles.

10. Running has taken me farther than I thought I could ever go, faster than I ever imagined was possible!

I to run!
I to talk about running!
I to write about running!

What has running done for you?

Grace and peace, 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Kick Off: Count Down to Redemption and a Review

January Stats:
Miles Run: 55.4
Pounds Lost: 3

Today kicks off my 12 week training program for the Nashville Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  This will be my redemption race and my goal finish time is 1:50.  I was going to run a Half in B'ham on Feb, 14th but decided against it.  After the last episode at the Half in AZ., I want to make sure I am more than prepared for the next Half I run.  I will meet my goal.

When I was preparing my training schedule; and by prepare I mean: google and print,  I came across Hal Higdon's Half Marathon training programs.  I used his training program for beginners for the Half the first half that I ran in November and I liked it.  This time I am going to be using his Intermediate training schedule.  The difference is, the Beginners program is mainly running and strength.  Pretty much designed just to get you to the finish line, and it did. I was happy with my first half.  The Intermediate program has something that is new to me...Tempo runs.  I've heard about tempo runs and read all about them on blogs like Tall Mom on the Run and CAUTION: Redhead Running (awesome blogs to check out!), but I have never really given them a second thought. 

This is how Hal Higdon defines a Tempo Run:

Tempo Runs: This is a continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10-K race pace. A Tempo Run of 30 to 45 minutes would begin with 10-15 minutes easy running, build to 15-20 minutes near the middle, then 5-10 minutes easy toward the end. The pace buildup should be gradual, not sudden, with peak speed coming about two-thirds into the workout. Hold that peak only for a minute or two. I consider Tempo Runs to be the "Thinking Runner's Workout." A Tempo Run can be as hard or easy as you want to make it, and it has nothing to do with how long (in time) you run or how far. In fact, the times prescribed for Tempo Runs serve mainly as rough guidelines. Feel free to improvise. Improvisation is the heart of doing a Tempo Run correctly.
 You can check out his Training Schedules HERE 

So tomorrow is my first tempo run.  Advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!

 The other day I was at Walmart and they had all the workout DVD's marked down to $8, so I decided to pick one up for rainy days.  I picked the Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones DVD.  This is what caught my eye- 

"Zero in to tackle your trouble zones and lose up to 5 pounds a week! Eliminate love handles, muffin tops, and wobbly arms for good!"

They had me at muffin tops!!

 What it is:
No More Trouble Zones is a 40-minute strength training workout that targets every major muscle group—not just the areas that you'd normally think of as "trouble zones." Besides saddlebags, muffin tops, and triceps, you'll also hit chest, back, shoulders, biceps and more. It's really a full-body toning workout.  It starts with a 5 min warm up, then a 40-minute workout that is broken up into 7 different workout circuits, lasting about 5 minutes each.

Pro:  All you need for the workout are light dumbbells and a mat if your floors are hard.
Cons: It looked like they were using 3lb. weights in the video and all I had were 5lb.  5lb. weights were okay for part of it but I really struggled on some parts because the reps are so high. Could probably switch it up if you have various weights at home(I bought 3lbs today.)  Sometimes 5lb felt too easy and other times I had to put the weights down completely.

Pro: Seeing Jillian's rock hard abs totally made me want to keep going!!
Con: I expected her to be tough and loud mouthed like she is on The Biggest Loser, and she wasn't.  I like the drill sergeant personality when I'm working out.  Some one to tell me to get my butt in gear!

Pro: It was challenging and had a good mix of mat work. It was not boring at all!
con: Jillian gives little instruction on proper form or modifications for beginners. I would say this is not for beginners at all.  If I didn't have a basic knowledge of fitness this might have been difficult to complete. 

Jillian recommends doing it 5x a week, I'm shooting for 3x. I really liked this DVD and overall I would say that this workout kicked my muffin tops right in the face!  I'm sore in all the right places!

 Grace and peace,

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