Archives for May 2012

What Running Has Taught Me About Life

Running has taught me some amazing things about life. Running is good for the body, the mind, and the soul. When I started my running journey, I never dreamed it would teach me so much more than how to stay fit.

They can’t all be good days

I have a lot of good runs, but I also have a lot of really crappy ones. The bad ones make me appreciate the great ones. The same is true of life. We can’t all have good days every day or mountaintop experiences all the time. Make sure you take the time to stop and appreciate the good ones when they come, and know how to properly handle the bad ones.

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Hard work pays off

Running is hard. You aren’t going to be an overnight success. If you want to be better, you have to train harder. Life is hard. If you want to advance in your career, make friends, pick up a new hobby, you have to put in the effort if you want results. Easier said than done, I know!

No matter what just keep putting one foot in front of the other

I always think of the movie Finding Nemo, when Dory sings the “Just Keep Swimming” song. I have sang this song to myself many times during races! There are days when I don’t even want to face all the tasks I have to do that day. But just like in running, I can get somewhere if I just put one foot in front of the other. When the big picture is overwhelming, just take it one step, one day, at a time.

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Don’t compare yourself with anyone but yourself, because there will always be someone better than you

This is a huge thing for me in running, blogging, and in life. In our society there is such a push to have the next best thing your friends or neighbors have. We rarely seem to be content in our own gifts and abilities, toys and careers. I race against myself, and in life, I try to be thankful and content, and not envious or jealous (in a bad way).

Sometimes there will be heartache and pain as you chase your dreams

Dreams and goals are wonderful to have, but we were never promised life would be easy. But usually, the hardest things to get through or to, are the ones worth fighting for. Run hard and fight to reach your goals as an athlete. Fight hard and push through the pains of life as you chase your dreams.

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Appreciate the talents and abilities I have been given, I am truly blessed

I may not be the fastest runner out there (ok, I KNOW I’m not!) But I am so blessed that I can get out of bed every morning and even go for a run. Or drive myself places, or talk to my family. Don’t take your talents for granted, and take some time to think about all the things you are grateful for.

Never. Give. Up. You can do anything you set your mind to.

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This one speaks for itself. Never in a millions years would I have dreamed I would be chosen by Women’s Magazine as a “Blogger on the Run”. I am humbled, and so proud of myself. I have stretched and grown, and been given some amazing opportunities I never would have gotten if I had not learned some amazing life lessons from running. It truly is a wonderful teacher.

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Please do me a huge favor and go over to the blog and check out my feature as blogger on the run!There is something in it for you, too! To celebrate the magazine’s 50th issue, they are giving away some great prizes, so you can comment on my feature/post and be entered to win an entire outfit from Asics! Sweet!

A huge thank you to Women’s Running Magazine for this great honor!!

QOTD: What has running taught you about life?

A New Plan

 

Greetings friends! My days are all thrown off since we were off Monday. Can’t believe it’s Wednesday already! Not that I’m complaining or anything. So, today I wanted to talk training plans with you. I know there are SO many different options and opinions, so why not give you mine, right?

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Everyone loves giving opinions. Don’t you want to hear mine?!

I am going to have a RWS “honestly moment” and share a little tidbit with you. I have NEVER followed one training plan all the way through. I have taken plans, thrown them together and come up with “my own thing” a few times….and here’s the deal….

50% of me saying that is because I didn’t fully like one plan so I mashed two together to get something agreeable.

50% of me saying that is because I can get lazy and complacent and so when I don’t feel like doing a hard workout I can chalk it up to “well I am doing my own training plan so I don’t really have to do this run today.” Lame-o I know, but true.

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Can anyone relate? Am I the only one guilty of doing this? Well, this time it’s going to be different!

That being said, I am DETERMINED to, just for one training cycle, follow ONE plan all the way through and see where it takes me. The only changing I will be doing is switching a day here or there, or adding in more strength training because I don’t want to give that up. But the running, yup. Gonna do it. YOU ARE MY WITNESSES! I need you friends. My race is September 2, and it is going to be hard for me to get in some of these long runs in the heat.

This is briefly what my Smart coach plan from Runner’s World looks like:

Running: 4 x’s a week. Easy run, tempo run or speed work, easy run, long run.

Cross Train: It says “rest/XT” on 3 days. I will take at least one full day of rest, XT the other 2 and weight lift on my XT days and my easy run days.

Apparently, if I follow this plan, I can shave a good 11 minutes or so off my time which would be awesome. I am very curious to see if this actually works. We will find out soon enough eh? I can do this, I NEED to prove to myself I can follow through with that.

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QOTD: Do you follow a training plan when you are preparing for a race, wing it, mesh plans together, or something else?

Anyone notice my new social media icons on my sidebar under my picture? Check out all the different ways you can follow me! (Wow that sounded kind of stalker-ish!) Anyway, be sure to check out the cute new icons and links.

Memorial Day Weekend in Pictures

 

Good morning! I hope everyone enjoyed their three day weekend. I am tired but had a great time, so I am just going to share a few photos from my weekend. I would really love for you to go check out yesterdays post on leaking what you love though, so be sure to check it out!

BBQ Sunday

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Lots and lots of yard work Monday

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Then Bobby and I had dinner with my cousin, Jaimie and her husband Matt last night

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A great weekend!

QOTD: What was your favorite thing you did this weekend?

You Leak What You Love

 

I was reading my In Touch monthly magazine this weekend, and one of the articles really spoke to me. Ever read something and one certain line just, bam, jumps off the page and sticks with you? That’s how I felt reading a part of this article, and it really got me thinking. Well, let me back up and first tell you the part that really jumped our to me. it’s short, it’s simple. It’s profound.

You leak what you love.

Genius right? Why didn’t I think of this before? Subconsciously I’m sure I have, but for some reason, yesterday it just really spoke to me. Now, this can mean really great things for you, or not so great things. Of course, in the article I read it was in the context of Christianity and sharing the love of Jesus. I of course first and foremost want to leak the love of Christ, and I want people to see a difference in me because they see Jesus through me. But in my opinion, it doesn’t stop there.

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Leaking what you love can mean SO many different things. For instance, I LOVE health and fitness. I live it during my workouts, through the clothes I wear, through the things I tweet, my blog, it’s everywhere. I hope I leak it in a positive and encouraging way to the world.

But unfortunately, this can mean some not so great things. Fear not! Sometimes it’s good to take a nice long look in the metaphorical mirror and see what other people see in us because eventually what’s on the inside is going to come out.

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impatience

need for control

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All of these things can lead to self destruction and can also really hurt other people. Of course no one “loves” to be angry or impatient, but if it’s rooted in your heart you can and most likely will leak it out at some point. You can’t hide forever, and it’s not healthy to try to do so. Bottom line is two fold.

1.) If you have some things you don’t like to see in yourself, deal with them! Don’t leave them bottled up inside to leak out on someone else in a way you will regret. Get some help, tell a friend, email me, do something.

2.) Think about what you “leak” most. Not sure? What do you spend the most amount of time doing? What adjectives do people use to describe you? What do you WANT to “leak” for other people to see? I hope that through my life and my blog I leak a passion for Jesus, health and fitness, my family, encouraging others, and of course, Disney.

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What do you want to leak? Remember, you leak what you love.

QOTD: What is something you hope that you leak when you think of the phrase “you leak what you love?”

Also, Happy Memorial Day! a huge thank you to all our service men and women all over the world. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy so many freedoms and I am truly grateful for you and your families!

Weekly Recap: May Week 4

 

Happy three day weekend! It is a scorcher here. It was 97 and VERY humid and sunny here yesterday. You step outside and it just hits you. You can’t breathe and instantly are drenched. So much fun! Despite the heat we had a good day. We workout out, did some cleaning and went to see What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I LOVED it, but then again i love cheesy romantic comedy movies. Bobby informed me we are definitely not having kids after seeing that. Good try buddy. We hit up Target and then stopped by our neighborhood pool party before settling in for the night. A great Saturday indeed, AND, a decent week of workouts (finally!!!) for Heather.

Sunday: rest

Monday: ran 2.5 miles and lifted weights

Tuesday: 10 minutes stationary bike, weights

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: ran 2 miles, weights

Friday: weights, yoga on my own about ten minutes

Saturday: ran 4 miles, weights

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Gym bathroom photo. Clearly entertaining. Oh, and I wore my red white and blue stars skirt for my Memorial Day weekend run.

I know my runs were short, but MAN it was hot this week. I either need to get up earlier to run or become BBF’s with the treadmill. Here are my totals:

Running: 8.5 miles. eh.

weights: 5 x’s, right on target!

cross training: 10 minutes stationary bike. This could use work.

yoga: 10 minutes on my own. Missed class this week because it was the day Bobby got Lasik.

I’m getting back on track after my food poisoning and vacation. I have come to grips with the fact that my running numbers are just going to have to be lower until it gets cooler. Sadly, I will have to do some long running in the heat since I am running a half on September 2, but it’s more of a fun race so I’m not too worries about it. I am home all week this week so hopefully it will be a good workout week!

I also wanted to mention today is my parent’s 35th wedding anniversary! Mom and dad we love you so much, thank you for setting a great example of what a loving home looks like and for always being there for us.

QOTD: What are you doing on this long weekend?

Are you following me on Twitter?  Lot’s of fun going on over there!

RWS Features #25

 

Yay for a three day weekend! Memorial Day totally snuck up on me! The month I take a vacation in always seems so short…where did May go? I hope you all have fun weekend plans. Since we have literally been going the past four weekend, we are staying home and being low key. Cleaning, yard work, BBQ, church, date night, and hopefully some good workouts.

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Speaking of workouts, today I want to introduce you to the pure 2 raw twins Lori and Michelle (as if they need an introduction!) I have had the pleasure of meeting these sweet girls, and I can attest they are just as nice in real life as they are on their awesome blog. Can we say bakery?!?

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1. Why did you start blogging?

We started blogging as a way for us to track our own health and fitness progress. We wanted to help others that might be suffering from food allergies or digestive issues like we did.  We share about what we learn, any new products we have tried and are loving, and just overall health and fitness topics. Our blog was also a way for us to help promote our bakery – Twin Cakes Bakery.

2. Describe your blog:

Pure2raw has changed a lot of the two years.  It is now a place where we share everything from recipes, to health topics (like adult acne), to fitness, and even photography. Pure2raw is a fun, positive, sometimes serious, and honest place where we love being able to connect with others.  On pure2raw we hope to inspire others to move, to sweat, and have fun while doing it.

3. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

We hope to accomplish with our blog is helping out as many people as we can. Whether that is inspiring them to try a new food, like raw chocolate cheesecake, or encouraging them to challenge themselves and do something outside of their comfort zone. We encourage others to have an open mind and do not be afraid of trying something new, be willing to make mistakes, and most importantly learn something new about themselves! We hope with our daily posts we can help others live their life to the fullest.

4. What is your greatest healthy living accomplishment?

Our biggest healthy living accomplishment was running two full marathons and a few half marathons. We never thought of ourselves as runners and never would have imagined us running marathons. It was a fun goals we had plus it was good sister bonding experience. Currently we do not run, but do enjoy other healthy living accomplishments through doing challenges like holding plank!

Thanks so much girls! Everyone please be sure to follow these lovely ladies on Twitter: @pure2raw and go to their blog and say hello!

QOTD: What is a hobby that you have developed over the past 5 years you never thought you would do?

Be sure to join the Under Armour What’s Beautiful challenge and enter to win a $500 gift card from Under Armour!

A Sweet Suite

 

If you missed any of my other posts on the Disney Fantasy, you can go to this post and check the old ones out. I promised photos of the most coveted suite on the ship…The Royal suite, so here you have it!

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An unparalleled combination of luxury, personal attention and sophistication come together in our Royal Suites—featuring 1 opulent bedroom, 2 bathrooms, a dining salon, expansive media library, pantry and wet bar. The Art Deco décor incorporates fine artwork, vintage Disney hallmarks, elegant furnishings and signature services to take your cruise to a whole other level.

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n addition to a host of upgraded amenities, a Concierge Royal Suite with Verandah has the following standard features:

  • Sleeps: 5
  • Size: approximately 1781 sq. ft. including verandah
  • Room Configuration: 1 master bedroom with queen-size bed, 1 wall pull-down double bed and 1 wall pull-down single bed in the living room, 2 bathrooms including master with double sinks, rain shower and whirlpool tubs (whirlpool tub is also on the verandah), living room, media library, open dining salon, pantry, wet bar and walk-in closets
  • View: Private verandah with floor-to-ceiling windows in main living space

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this bed pulls down from the wall, with privacy curtain

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your own hot tub, oh yes

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HUGE deck space

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beautiful view all to yourself

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  • 2 LCD 42″ high-definition flat-screen TVs (1 in the living room and 1 in the bedroom)
  • iPod Docking Station
  • In-room safe
  • Hair dryer
  • Phone with voice-mail messaging
  • Individual climate control
  • Couch
  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Privacy curtain
  • Dining table

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check out the twinkle star/lights on the ceiling above the tub

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TV in the mirror? Yes please!

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private kitchen

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WOW! This suite is luxurious, but comes at a price. Smile If you are interested in booking a Disney cruise please e mail me at [email protected]. It does not cost you anything to have me plan your magical vacation! You can currently book through the end of 2013, and spaces fill up!

QOTD: What is your favorite thing about this suite?

Lasik Eye Surgery

 

Is it really Thursday? This week is flying by, but yet I feel like I haven’t gotten that much done. Don’t you hate that? Hoping to remedy this today and knock out a bunch of things. Why do I feel so behind? Bobby had Lasik eye surgery yesterday! I drove him the hour to Mobile mid morning and he had the procedure done. I decided to do a vlog to tell you all about it.

Poor Bobby. He is a trooper, and I hope that this fixes his vision problems once and for all! Aside from a headache and scratchy sensitive eyes he is doing ok.  Stay tuned for a Nuun giveaway coming up next week!

Today I must get in a run and visit to the gym, I have only run once this week and kind of miss it, who would have thought?! Ha!

Also, did you enter the sweepstakes for the $500 Under Armour giftcard through the What’s Beautiful challenge? Have you signed up for the challenge?!?

QOTD: Have you had Lasik? Tell me your experience! Do you want Lasik?

Progress…It’s a Beautiful Thing!

Don’t you love when you can see actual progress and change? This is why I love recording all of my workouts. It’s great to be able to look back and actually see how far you have come. It is a great motivator to see progress and eventually the results you had in mind. Have you signed up for the What’s Beautiful challenge yet? How are you doing with your progress?

If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out my page on the Under Armour What’s Beautiful site, and be sure to sign up yourself. On my page, I talk about my fitness goal of running a 27 minute 5k. I also show a video of how I plan to accomplish this goal. In case you missed my first post describing my goal, you can check it out here.

So let’s talk about my progress. If you recall, I discussed four areas of workouts that would help me reach my goal: running, yoga, weight lifting, and cross training. While not perfect, I am happy to report I have been doing three of the four things. Sadly, my gym only has yoga once a week, and due to prior commitments, I have missed the past three weeks. I know that is no excuse, and I could still do yoga at home, but I just wanted to be honest with everyone and say that I have not done yoga in awhile.

So let’s talk about what I HAVE done. I am happy to report I have been keeping up with cross training and lifting (even on vacation!) and am getting in my speed workouts each week. I have not been as faithful to get in as many runs as I would like since I was on vacation, but I am making sure to make a date with the treadmill for my speedwork. I feel like this is the most important of the workouts to make me faster, and so far it is working. I am able to hold a faster pace for longer (although still not as long as I would like), but I am making progress, which is awesome to see!

I don’t know about you, but progress makes me want to work that much harder. I just get so excited at the possibilities and thought of reaching my goal!

My awesome new Charge RC storm shoes are helping me run fast to my goal!

Aren’t those shoes great? Under Armour is giving away a $500 gift card, so enter for a chance to win! Leave a comment telling me how you empower your workouts.

Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion, including exactly the following unique terms in your tweet message: “#whatsbeautiful” “#sweepstakes”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post. To comply with FTC Guidelines (see http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm), entrants’ blog posts must disclose that they are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post.

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two entries per household.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/23-6/11.

Be sure to visit Under Armour’s page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Books I’m Loving

 

It’s no secret I loved reading the Hunger Games series. At first I admittedly thought it was a bit strange, but then I couldn’t put the dang books down! I read all three within a week or two, and was ready for more like it. Thus began my hunt for more books of similar styling, and I have found a few I think you would like and wanted to share them with my readers. Here at RWS I believe in physical health AND mental health, and part of mental health to me is sitting down with a good book for some relaxing (and you learn a bit too, right?) So, without further adieu, here is what I have been reading lately:

The Maze Runner Trilogy

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“Thomas (the main character) wakes up to find himself in a pitch black elevator called the box. He can’t remember anything but his first name, everything else in his mind is empty. When the lift soon opens, he finds himself surrounded by other kids who welcome him to what they call the Glade, a large expanse surrounded by stone walls hundreds of feet high that move. The Glade is surrounded by an enormous Maze”

I LOVED these books from the first chapter. The way the author keeps you guessing, you just can’t put it down! I loved learning about “what’s going on” along with the main character. Also I must say unlike the hunger games, I loved ALL of these books. I got bored with the third Hunger Games book, but not this series. I was so sad when it was over, I wanted more!

Unwind

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“After a civil war—known as the Second Civil War or the Heartland War—is fought over abortion, a compromise was reached, allowing parents to sign an order for their children between the ages of 13 and 18 years old to be unwound—taken to “harvest camps” and having their body parts harvested for later use. The reasoning was that, since 100% (actually 99.44% taking into account the appendix and “useless” organs) was required to be used, unwinds did not technically “die”, because their individual body parts lived on. In addition to unwinding, parents who are unable to raise their children to age thirteen for retroactive abortion have the option to “stork” their child by leaving it on another family’s porch. If they don’t get caught, the “storked” baby then becomes the other family’s responsibility.”

While not quite as good as the maze runner trilogy, this was still a good and quick read. I read it on our cruise in about three days. It was very intriguing and I liked the characters a lot, it just seemed so short, I guess I am just bias to trilogies lately! Definitely one to try out if this sort of book is your thing, I enjoyed it.

The Selection

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“For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.”

While slightly different than the others listed, it still deals with a post world war world, and a new way of life and a new structure to society. This was an easy read and also very romantic. Definitely more of a girl book than the others, but highly recommended!

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Yesterday I went on a run at 9:00 in the morning. I thought it was earlier enough that I would beat the crazy summer heat…I was wrong. It was 82, sunny and humid. The second I stepped out of the garage I knew I was doomed. I went anyway, pushing above normal pace but not “hard”. I had to call it quits at 2.5 miles because I got overheated and dizzy. Wonderful. I will be on the treadmill tomorrow!

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Cooling off on the front porch post run. (Check out my post run routine here) Coconut water and a big towel were my friends for thirty minutes after my run! I also made it to the gym last night for my first time lifting weights since May 6th. Feels good to be back!

QOTD: Have you read any of these books? Any other recommendations for me? I love to read!