RWS Features #12

 

Good morning! Last night was super fun at the Mardi Gras parade. I will be doing a post on the parade with pictures and such for you non-New Orleans folks out there. Fact: It wasn’t until 6th grade that I realized Mardi Gras was NOT a national thing? Growing up with it I just thought everyone got a week off of school!

Today I am hanging with my family and getting in my last long run before Princess. Speaking of which, did you catch my exciting Princess announcement yesterday? Can’t wait! I will be live tweeting and Facebooking (is that a word?) so be sure you are following along.

Today I am featuring a FitFluential Ambassador on RWS. Everyone, meet Dawn! Dawn blogs at Running at Dawn.

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1. How/Why did you start blogging?

I first started blogging about 10 years ago as a way to keep myself entertained during the day at my semi-boring desk job. I’ve found it to be a great way to connect with people with similar interests that I ordinarily would have never met.

2.) Sum up your blog in a couple of sentences

Running at Dawn is about my experiences as a physical therapy student and an athlete, interspersed with random cat pictures.

3.) What do you wish to achieve/accomplish by blogging?

I hope to inspire people who are getting started on their fitness journey, and connect with people from all over that are interested in fitness, sports, or just find my stories interesting.

4.) What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

Quitting my “day job” as an IT professional to go back to school to earn a physical therapy degree. It was a bit of a scary change, but it’s just been the best decision ever.

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Thank you Dawn! So glad you decided to go back to school to persue something you love! Good luck in your racing this year. Everyone be sure to visit Dawn and follow her on Twitter!

QOTD: Have you ever voluntarily made a scary change that turned out being amazing?

RWS Features #9

 

Good morning! Bobby and I are having fun at the beach. We really needed to get away and I am so glad we did. While we are busy hanging out on the beach. I leave you with some awesome awesome FitFluential ambassadors to read about. These folks are amazing, so please be sure to check out their blog and say hi!

Today meet Caitlin from Cait Plus Ate!

Caitlin has a fun blog, which I don’t know HOW she has time for since she is currently getting her MBA! She is quite the foodie and also is fashionable and friendly. Be sure to check out Cait Plus Ate!

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1.) How/Why did you start blogging?

I have been reading blogs for about three years now, and always thought it would be fun to do my own. I was always so nervous though! After I graduated college and started my full-time job, I decided to take the plunge and begin Cait Plus Ate to get my career plans moving. I consider it my walking/talking resume, but I also started the blog because I wanted to connect with the amazing people of the blogging community and have an outlet for my passions and also my frustrations that I sometimes struggle with when it comes to living less “rigidly” regarding food/fitness.

2.) Sum up your blog in a couple sentences

Cait Plus Ate is a place where I write about food, fitness, and all the fun it brings me each and every day!

3.)What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging?

I hope to achieve a career in marketing/branding for the restaurant or fitness industry! I want to share my passions with as many people as possible and also experience as much as I can. Finally, I want to find the balance I have been seeking and learn that indulgence is OK.

4.)What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

Probably finally running an 8 minute mile, which I spent several years off-and-on trying to accomplish!

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QOTD: How do you balance healthy eating when there are things like parties, weekends, and special occasions?

Defy the Odds

 

When I was a baby, my family found out I had a heart murmur. At that point, I am sure many scary and devastating thoughts went through my parents minds. Would I ever be able to play sports, or run? How would this change their lives?

Thankfully, as a child, the murmur went away on it’s own, as they often times do, and I have never had issues with my heart. Of course, I was too young to know anything, or see this as something that could have potentially impacted my life in a negative way. It’s a good thing too, because I ended up being the epitome of the word “tomboy.”

I played sports, I got messy, and I RAN!

I played basketball since 3rd grade, soccer in 5th-6th grade, and volleyball and track since 7th. I was the mega athlete, the one who ate, slept, and breathed sports. I was inspired as a younger athlete by the older girls on the varsity teams. I wanted to be just like them.

When I got to High school, I continued with volleyball, basketball, and track. I had finally become on of those varsity girls I had looked up to, and I wanted the younger girls to look up to me. They did, and I competed with all my heart.

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My senior year, I found out I had scoliosis. I had a lot of back pain, but my curved spine wasn’t curved quite enough to justify surgery. I went to physical therapy, but I, of course, kept on competing., kept on playing, kept on running.

Now, as an adult, I no longer am a part of an athletic team. I have coaching varsity volleyball and middle school basketball in an effort to relive the glory days. I enjoyed my job, but I felt like I was missing something. I personally needed to be fit again.

As I think back on the physical and mental challenges I faced to become a well trained athlete in high school, I realize that I was pretty inspiring! As a teenager I didn’t really realize it at the time, but I had been a fighter, a champ, and a role model.

I decided that I would become a runner. I would compete, with myself, to become fit, and to become healthy again. When I ran track in high school, I ran the 100 meter dash. To me, a 400 was a long distance!

Now, at age 25, I have competed four half marathons, and am almost done training for my first full marathon.

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As we move into 2011, I believe a lot of strength, power, and self confidence will come in completing the marathon. I think it will be the boost I need to keep striving for a fit and healthy life. I believe I can be a role model to other runners, or just those looking to live a more active and full life.

Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would be doing this. I think the high school Heather would be very proud of the adult Heather, and if I could talk to high school Heather, I would tell her that she is my inspiration. Her (my) drive, determination, and heart made me the woman I am today, and I am forever grateful.

I think for these reasons I deserve a spot on the Team 4all roster. I am committed to health and fitness (and looking cute while doing it! Just look at the name of my blog!) I have jumped many hurdles to get where I am today, and I believe my story could be an inspiration to other people who need to look inside themselves, and find inspiration from within. Sometimes people need a boost of confidence and to remember that they are awesome! Or, as one of my favorite people once said (Walt Disney)…If you can dream it, YOU CAN DO IT! 

Marathon Inspiration

 

Tomorrow is the one month countdown to my first marathon. Since I missed 6 weeks of crucial training, I have been a little down/nervous about it. This morning, I watched last night’s episode of the Biggest Loser. I was excited about this episode because every year it is a great motivation. It was the episode where the final four contestants run a marathon.

     Every season I watch, I cry, I get inspired. BUT, this is the first season I have watched where I have been personally training for a marathon. I can say this really was the pick me up I needed today! My two favorite contestants, Patrick and Ada, are part of the final 4. Ada is awesome and so strong and competitive, and Patrick is a Mississippi boy from about an hour or so away from where I live. I have been rooting for those two the whole time!

A little background:

Patrick started the show at 400 pounds. He is 27 years old and married with two little boys.

before

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now, running the marathon with fellow contestant Frado.

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Also, we have awesome Ada before at 278 pounds:

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and now running the marathon:

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Patrick finished the marathon in 5 hours and 45 minutes (approx) and Ada finished in 4 hours 39 minutes, smashing the female record for the Biggest Loser marathon. Frado, the 3rd contestant finished just after Patrick, and Elizabeth, the 4th contestant, who had only run a long distance of 8 miles before the race (a stupid move) finished in 7 hours and something.

It was so inspiring hearing their stories and seeing their progress, I thought, if they can go from their previous weights to current weights, which is still not where they want to be, all in 3 months, then I can do it too.

Yes, I know I am undertrained, and coming back from an injury, but my goals do not revolve around time. I just want to FINISH and HAVE FUN. It is such a great accomplishment in itself to run a marathon, even if your time isn’t what you wanted it to be. I need to stop being so hard on myself and realize I have come so far in this past year of distance running, and I should be proud of myself.

As a blogger it’s easy to get caught up in PR’s and what other bloggers are running. Yes, I may be slow, but I have PR’ed in all of my half marathons (4 of them) and now I am a month out from my first marathon, all within a year. I think that is definitely something to be proud of! So, as Biggest Loser says…What have YOU done today to make you feel proud?

(by the way…that IS the questions of the day!)

 

Be sure to watch the finale next Tuesday!

-You can follow me on Twitter or join my FB fan pages on the right hand column of my blog.

Effort

I have this poster hanging up in my classroom. I am big on motivational kind of stuff like that, and a lot of those types of things really apply to school. I have looked at the poster 100 times but today I REALLY looked at it.

Effort. You can’t become a better runner, spouse, parent, employee, without effort. I tell my basketball girls all the time that they aren’t going to just wake up one day and be a good basketball player. They have to work at it, and put in the time and EFFORT to become great.
I think the hardest of the 4 on the poster for me is the last one. Making the most of every opportunity. I squander a lot of opportunities to be better at things but especially my running. Sometimes I can just be flat out lazy. I am really trying to work on this. I can’t let the small stuff get in my way of me running/working out. Yes there are days I literally just need a break and can’t do it, usually when I am so mentally tired. But, there re a lot of times I am just being lazy! Anyone with me? So. Imprint this poster in your mine. Give your best effort. don’t give up or give in. Make the most of every opportunity. Achieve your goals through commitment and hard work. You can do it!

I did however reward myself today with McAlister’s sweet tea. I have been so good lately with my liquid calories, so I thought I deserved it.

Bella said she wants some.

On a workout note, it is pouring rain and 45 degrees so no run for me, and I am achy from my good run yesterday. But I am about to hop on the elliptical, and put forth some EFFORT!

Spring Fever

Today is groundhog day. Sadly, the little guy decided it would be fun to torture us runners with 6 more weeks of winter! This excites me….not so much. I am SO TIRED of cold. It was “supposed” to get up to 60 today…but what is it? 49! Now, I know to some of you crazies that live above the mason dixon line, that is not cold, but to me, thats cold! Especially when its gloomy and overcast, and you have had a long day, a long meeting after work, and a headache.
I know it’s only February, but I so long for spring! Pretty green scenery, nice warm temps, and longer days. I LOVE when it gets dark late. I feel like I have so much more time to “play” outside. It’s my favorite. So in case you didn’t figure it out, that long day with the ehadache and meeting and stuff, well thats me today. So here I sit, watching super bowl media day on the NFL network.
I have done some abs and legs, but nothing to constitute an actual workout, so I guess I will go do a few more sets, and pack my gym bag for tomorrow, and dream of this: