January 2017 Goals

I know I’m a little late with the goals this month, I just have had so much to talk about here on the blog! I hope you all are having a great start to 2017. I bought my new planner, and have been busying myself with filling in important dates, birthdays, and events. (Yes I know I am a total nerd, I’m ok with it!)

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Several of you asked about my planner when I posted it on my Instagram story, and I love it. I got it from Amazon.

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You can find the exact one I got here: me & my BIG ideas Create 365 The Happy Planner, Hello Life, 18 Month Planner, July 2016 – December 2017 (I got it on sale because it starts with July 2016 and goes through 2017), or you can get just the 2017 version here: Create 365 The Big Happy Planner, Make Things Happen.

Goals. Goals goals. Ok, so you may have seen my post last week talking about creating goals in general. I hope it gave you something to think about, and maybe now you have created some goals for 2017 for yourself with some action steps. (If you missed the post you can check it out here.) Let’s take a look back at my December goals then move into my January ones, shall we?

December goals:

1.) Get unpacked: B+ While 99% of the boxes are unpacked, everything is not “put away” in it’s proper place. I need to get to organizing now that we have unboxed all the things.

2.) Be intentional and present this Christmas season: B- Eh. I really tried, but moving in to a new house, in a new state, right smack in the middle of the Christmas season makes it tough. We watched lots of Christmas movies, went to EK’s preschool program, Christmas eve church service, and had family come into town. However, it all just felt a little…rushed. I want to so badly do better next year.

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3.) Get into a workout routine: B- Again with the yes/no. I DID join Orange Theory fitness in December (blog post coming next week!) but that is only for two days a week. I also recently got pieces for a home gym (that post coming soon as well!) but now it’s more of finding time since Emma Kate is only in school three days a week. I need to workout more than those three days, so I have to figure something out to make it better. Right now I am thinking OTF twice a week, home gym twice a week, and a long run to make five workouts. Now to just get the timing right so I can actually do this…

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January goals:

1.) Organize my closet: We have an extra bedroom off of our master that I have dreams of making a “dressing room” for me. Since it’s not currently in the budget, Bobby and I are sharing the smaller master closet. We are trying to come up with a temporary solution, and I need to figure it out sooner rather than later, because I am just wearing the same 4 outfits over and over because it’s easiest. Ha.

2.) Fix my workout routine: I am determined to get this figured out and have a solid couple of weeks with it “working” for me. Once I do it I will be able to stick with it, so I just need to figure out what times and days work best for what workouts.

3.) Eat better: I know I’m being vague, but it’s because I’m not sure what I want this to look like just yet. Maybe only eating one treat a day? Only drinking water? Less snacking at night? Still trying to figure out the specifics. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my clothes are fitting a little tighter. Better eating coupled with a better workout routine should get me back on track, I just need to get the rest of the Christmas candy OUT of my house, and meal plan better. Sometimes convenience wins in our house and it’s not the healthiest choice. Better planning is key.

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That’s it for this month! I will check back in at the beginning of February to let you know how I did.

QOTD: What goals do you have for January? Did you meet your December goals?

Get Paid to Be Healthy

I often hear people say things like “well if I got paid to workout I would do it more often!” What if I told you that there IS a way you can? For doing simple things like walking and writing healthy tweets and getting sleep. Um, yes please! Count me in! This is perfect with the New Year, because hopefully you are already moving more than you were in 2016. I recently stumbled upon an article about a new app called Achievemint that allows you to connect different fitness trackers and social media such as FitBit and Twitter, and it gives you points for certain healthy things you do. The points add up and turn into CASH. Yes, like money deposited into your PayPal account cash. Here is a screen shot to show you what I am talking about:

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So yesterday I did normal things like tweeted a healthy tweet, weighed myself, went to sleep, and walked around (NOTE: I wish I slept 9 hours ha! My FitBit read “laying in bed watching the Bachelor” as actually sleeping. Oops!) and checked my points at the end of the day on Achievemint. I am literally making passive income for just doing my normal thang.

There are so many apps you can connect, like your Garmin, Foursquare, Map my run, My fitness pal, FitBit, and Runkeeper (and lots more!) Connect your Twitter account to get points for tweeting health related things. It really is that easy. If you want to be more active to participate even more in this app you should  learn Modafinilcat closed explanation that will help you keep you alert and more energetic.

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A few more details:

-You can earn up to 80 points a day for for tracked activity like running, biking, and walking.

-You can earn up to 6 points a day for posting healthy things on Twitter, or Foursquare.

-Points expire one year from the date in which they are earned

-Once you reach 10,000 points ($10) you can get paid! Holla!

**If you sign up for an account using my link, you will get 250 points to jump start you! (This is an affiliate link, but hey, you get rewarded, too!) Good luck and make that money!

QOTD: What apps would you connect? Ok, now go sign up, it’s free!

Body After Baby: Two Years

Note: This post is about body image, weight loss, and eating. If this may be a trigger for you, please feel free to skip this post and come back another day!

I know it may seem a little odd to do a body after baby post so long after giving birth, but for me personally it has taken this long to really feel good about myself. I wanted to be sure other women know that if it doesn’t happen in 3, 6, 12 or 18 months, IT’S OK. Slow progress sticks around better for me anyway as opposed to a quick fix, and I much prefer lifestyle changes instead of “diets”.

For a quick refresher before we dive into the now, let’s take a look at what I looked like one month postpartum below:

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and then again six months postpartum below:

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and now (2 years postpartum) below:

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Also here’s a shot from the day I had Emma Kate (9/24/14), and then from August of this year:

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When I was 12 months postpartum, I was one pound over my pre pregnancy weight, so I weighed 151. At the time I was happy with that, but what I didn’t realize then was that I wasn’t in the best shape when I got pregnant…so getting back to my pre pregnancy weight still wasn’t my “happy weight”. I wanted to be stronger and have more muscle. I wanted to feel better, to be the best mom I could be.

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I am now sitting at 143 pounds, so I have lost eight pounds since probably about mid June (yes I sat at 151 from last September until this June, fluctuating a pound or so here and there). So what changed? Well, a couple of things.

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(The above photo was taken on day FOUR of eating out at restaurants for every meal. If only I had been able to take photos at the beginning of the trip!)

1.) I amped up my workouts. I was doing bootcamp 3-4 times a week and running 1-2 times a week while resting 1-2 days. It just wasn’t giving me results as fast as I would like, so I moved up to bootcamp 5 days a week and running once a week, sometimes twice. I also started running stadiums on Wednesday mornings before class. Some weeks I do take off two days, but I aim for only one day of full rest. My current schedule looks something like this:

Sunday: OFF

Monday: Boot camp

Tuesday: Boot camp

Wednesday: Stadiums and sprints at the track, HEAT class (like Orange theory)

Thursday: Boot Camp

Friday: Boot Camp

Saturday: Long run

As much as I enjoy racing and will continue to do so, it just isn’t working for me right now to run tons and tons of miles to get faster for longer distances. I would much rather be strong than fast, so it is what it is.

2.) I cleaned up my eating. I seriously loathe counting calories, but knew I at least needed an “idea” of how many calories I was eating in a day, so I counted calories for a week or so (as well as macros) just to get a good starting point. What I realized is I don’t get enough protein, and I was eating too many carbs and fats, as well as overall calories. Lots of snacking folks! After counting on My Fitness Pal, I felt like I had a firm grasp on my hunger cues, and about how much I needed to eat a day to still be able to workout hard and not feel weak.

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So what happened? I started eating foods that filled me up more to fuel my tough workouts instead of empty calories. I stopped eating late at night, and I was just more mindful in general. Do I still eat candy and drink alcohol? Heck yes! But for example…if I know I’m going out with friends that night, I am more careful during the day and the day before. It’s seriously all about planning ahead and meal prep these days, and it really does pay off (I talk about meal prep more in my book!)

After a couple of weeks, I started noticing that I could SEE my muscle more in my arms, abs, and legs. It was under there the whole time, it was just hidden. Smile

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I have been able to go up in weight when doing a lot of exercises, and I don’t tire out near as easily. It’s such a good feeling to be able to add that 25 pound plate at the squat rack, or use heavier dumbbells for bicep curls or kickbacks.

The beginning of November marks one year of boot camp, and if you look back and read my 12 month body after baby post, you will see I was just about to start boot camp and had a “we’ll see what happens” attitude towards it. Never did I think I would end up falling in love with it and making great friends at my gym.

I started really PUSHING myself at boot camp this summer, in spite of having been going since the end of 2015. I began not just doing the bare minimum, but really pushing myself to my limits and taking it seriously. I work out way too hard to ruin it with a bad diet or injury, so I am more careful with everything I do now. I have lost fat, gained muscle, and still managed to lose weight in the process. I honestly am not as concerned about the number on the scale though. I just want to feel good in my clothes, and have energy and confidence.

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I want to be a good role model for my now two year old daughter, and teach her to work hard for the things in life she really wants. I want her to learn discipline, self love, and respect for her body. I want to run races with her, teach her how to lift, and help her find her passions.

To all the new mamas out there or mamas about to have babies, I know, I KNOW, it’s so much easier said than done, but you can get to where you want to be. Don’t get bogged down in a timeframe. Enjoy your baby, and get back to working out when YOU feel ready. It may take you two years, it may not. Don’t let the amount of time it took me scare you. But just know if it does take two years, that’s ok. Do the best that you can, making small changes one at a time. Make your health a priority, and please don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can’t do it all on your own. We are all in this together, and other moms understand the best just how stressful it can be, so lean on each other. If you don’t have someone who supports you wanting to get healthy, FIND SOMEONE. In real life, online, at the gym, at church, etc. Find your people. You can do this. Be BRAVE! You can have a great body after baby!

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So what’s next for me? Sadly, this round of my beloved boot camp ends November 4th, and then I move to Tampa. I’m sure things will be up in the air for awhile until I find a new gym home. I hope I can find a new boot camp class as awesome as the one I have here, but it’s highly doubtful any group can compare. Smile I look forward to having more racing opportunities in Florida, and making new workout friends. Who knows what’s next? It will be a fun ride to find out.

QOTD: How long did it take you to get your body where you wanted it after having a baby? What worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you?

Tips for Running on Vacation

Jeff Galloway has been around the block a few times (pun intended) and has some great tips for running while on vacation, no matter what your destination may be!

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The best, more efficient workout when you’re at the beach…
Running into the dawn: In Summer, it’s best to run before the sun rises above the horizon.  Since it’s common for family members to sleep a bit longer on vacation, get up early and hit the beach.    Set a total time you wish to run, and turn around at the halfway point.  Or, run 1-2 minutes longer going out and try to run faster on the return.
When you’re camping and near a lake and/or mountains.  Drive around the campground area to find suitable running/trail areas.  Plan a group hike each day.  Appoint yourself the “lookout”.  Walk ahead of the group for a few minutes and then run ahead for a minute or two, and run back.  Repeat this routine throughout the hike.  Even short segments of running, during a 1-2 hour hike, will maintain your running adaptations very well.
On a road trip, taking frequent “pit stops”.  Wear your running gear on the trip.  If it is safe to run or walk at your rest area, walk for 1-2 minutes as a warmup and then run for 5-10 minutes.  Repeat this pattern until the group is ready to load up.  If it is a food stop, get your meal “to go” and spend the time running.
When you’re on a trip that’s based around a theme park.  Many of the hotels in areas like Disneyworld, have designated areas for running.  In some cases you can run to the parks.  Ask the hotel staff for recommended routes.  Each evening, gather the family and plan your park visit for the next day.  This allows for you to find a timeslot to squeeze in a run.  As you mention how you are planning your run, you’ll teach the kids how important your exercise is, for you.

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When you’re on a sightseeing city tour.  Time is limited during most sightseeing tours but you can usually squeeze in a few minutes here and there.  Wear running clothes or very comfortable apparel with running shoes.  When the bus stops, keep walking around while looking at the sights or listening to the guide.  If time allows before reboarding, jog for a minute or two.
A home-based vacation.  If possible, arrange with another family member to watch the kids while you run.  Then, offer that person a chance to get away for a while while you stay with kids.  Early morning is often a great time to get in your runs.  Plan trips to local parks (that you seldom visit) where you can run and walk with the family.
Note: Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached hundreds of thousands of runners to their goals.  For more information, see his books GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS and MARATHON—you can do it!  Ask Jeff a question at www.JeffGalloway.com

QOTD: What is your best tip for running on vacation?

May 2016 Goals

Why hello May, when did you get here? I saw Justin Timberlake meme’s all weekend, so…tis the season I guess! I’m super excited about May now that I have my fitness tracking and goal setting printables to give me a tangible reminder of my goals. (You can get yours HERE or clicking the button below).

Free fitness and goal tracking printables

Anyway, before we dive into my May goals, let’s take a peek at how I did in April.

1.) Continue PT exercises: C- The first half of the month I didn’t do any, and then my hip started acting up (go figure) so I started them again.

2.) Read one book: B+ I am about 3/4 of the way through a book, so I am giving myself some credit here!

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3.) Give away or sell items: B+ I gave a few clothing items and DVD’s to my mom, but didn’t do any selling like I wanted to.

4.) Keep a running base of 6 miles: C- I ran four miles once and several 3 milers, but I’m determined to do 6 next weekend!

Looking back on these, I see see exactly why I failed on some of them. I had yet to print out my printables because I wanted to wait to start a new month fresh, and I totally see how if I would have taken a few action steps to ensure I met my goals, it would have been way more likely to happen. My pages are now printed, and I am filling them out today so that I can have success this month!

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May goals:

1.) Sell items in the garage: We have a neighborhood garage sale next weekend, I may participate. if not, I’m either giving away or selling what’s left in the garage.

2.) Clean up my closet: Now that it’s officially pretty much summer here, I need to take my sweaters and relocate them to give myself more room, as well as get rid of things I don’t wear anymore.

3.) Boot camp 4 times a week: I got a little off track the past couple of weeks with classes (Missed one this past week and two the week before), so I am ready to get back in the swing of things with a more set schedule.

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4.) Keep a running base of 6 miles: Putting this one back on there again. Determined to get my six miles in! It’s getting hot out and I know my pace will be slower, but I want to keep a decent base for when fall comes back around.

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QOTD: What is one of your goals for May? Don’t forget to take action steps to help you reach your goals!

5 Reasons You are Failing at Weight loss

Losing weight can be tricky business. We are bombarded with ads promising fast results and that you can lose a dress size in a week. The truth is, lasting weight loss is done slowly for most people. However, there are a few things that you may be unintentionally doing that could be sabotaging your efforts. Instead of getting frustrated, let’s take a look at 5 reasons you could be failing at weight loss. Maybe one or two will strike a cord with you, and help you to get to your goal weight. You can do it!

Failing at Weight Loss

1.) Water Consumption: One of the reasons a lot of people (myself included) struggle with losing those last few pounds is we aren’t drinking enough water. I finally had to just force myself to sip water all day long and not only can I feel a difference in not feeling bloated, but my skin is more clear as well, bonus! Tip: Sip out of a pretty cup with a straw, it helps me! I shoot for eight glasses a day, and except on special occasions have cut out soda all together.

I really like this fruit infused water bottle to give your drink a little flavor.

 

2.) Rewarding Workouts With Treats: This is a major trap that creates a vicious cycle. Should you celebrate your weight loss? Heck yes! But you shouldn’t celebrate with a food related reward. Otherwise, you are eating back all the calories you just burned from your workout! Other good options are a manicure, new workout clothes, or some time to yourself to go to the movies.

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3.) Snacking all day, Oh, it’s just a handful!: As someone who works from home, this is another trap that I fall into if I’m not careful. One handful of M&M’s isn’t a big deal, but when it turns into three or seven spread out throughout the day, then I’m in trouble. Little bites add up quickly, so beware! This is why I prefer things that come in snack sized portions like string cheese or a cup of Greek yogurt.

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4.) Portion sizes: Living in the south, this is a biggie. I was taught to eat everything on my plate, whether I liked it or not. Stores sell monster sized dinner plates, which compounds the problem. Check the back of your food labels and find out what an actual serving size is and measure it out. You me be surprised to find out that you are eating multiple servings of your favorite cereal!

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5.) Not working out enough: I love my activity tracker, but there has been a lot of controversy as of late about the accuracy of them. Did I REALLY walk 10,000 steps? Was that my actual heart rate for for my exercise class? It’s hard to know for sure, but I would much rather err on the side of doing more work than the minimum as opposed to not doing enough. I have found that when I just enter age and weight into a treadmill or stationary bike, the calories are WAY overestimated, and this can lead to a big problem if you think you are burning more than you are. Shoot for 45 minutes a day, 4 days a week, or 30 minutes a day five days a week to have a healthy heart, and improve your fitness.

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PS: Sign up for my FREE set of printables to help you track your daily fitness routine, as well as make goals related to fitness and every day life.

QOTD: Did any of these resonate with you? What other reasons can you think of that cause people to fail at weight loss?

*Please note that I am not a doctor, and these are just things I have observed in my personal life and journey with weight loss.

Family Weekend

We had a blast this weekend and I was so sad for it to be over! On top of gorgeous weather, my parents came up for a visit on Thursday morning and stayed until Saturday.

They met us up at the shop and we went out to lunch (Emma Kate was at daycare). Then My mom, dad and I went back to the house and sat on our screened porch and chatted, which was so nice. Not having to chase around a little person was relaxing and we got to catch up and give each other our full attention, which rarely happens when my hyper little bug is around. We picked her up from school and Bobby came home to BBQ.

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Again, the weather was perfect and we even ate outside.

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Emma Kate was hilarious, she saw us dipping our chips in the guacamole and wanted to do it, too.

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We watched the movie Courageous after EK went to bed, and on Friday morning, my dad and I went to Lowe’s while Bobby went to work and my mom watched little bit. We got some new flowers for my pots out front, and then all five of us went out to get Mexican for lunch.

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Bobby had to work Friday afternoon and evening, so the rest of us hung out at home. Saturday morning Bobby wet to go run a 5k with some friends, while I stayed back with the family and got to go run three miles of my own while grammy and grandpa watched Emma Kate.

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Bobby came home from his race, I went out and grabbed some groceries, and then sadly my parents had to go home.

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We had a really great visit, and I’m glad they came up to see us (it was nice not having to make the drive to go see them!)

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The rest of Saturday we hung out at home and I got a little work done yesterday afternoon out on the screened porch, because…again with the beautiful weather.

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Sunday morning we went to church, and Sunday afternoon we spent some time outside with Emma Kate and got ready for the week ahead.

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I have been working on some ways to better organize the house and my time, and I can’t wait to share some of my ideas with you later!

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I hope you all had an amazing weekend, and have a great Monday. You can handle whatever is thrown at you, one step at a time.

My Spring Workouts

As the weather changes, I feel like my workouts change as well. Not only that, but honestly, I get bored really easily. While I have continuously professed my love for boot camp as of late, I know I need to mix it up as well, so I wanted to share with you all what I plan to (loosely) be doing this spring as far as workouts go.

1.) Boot camp 3-4 x’s a week: Boot camp is held on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. I always plan to go Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and try to make it Thursday every other week. This ill give me the opportunity to get an extra run in every other week, or a second rest day if I feel like I need it.

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2.) Run 2-3 times a week: After a near PR at Rock ‘N’ Roll NOLA after only running once, occasionally twice a week, I decided I want to ramp up my running to 2-3 times a week, but since we are getting out of half marathon season, they will be shorter runs (but I would like to keep a 7 or so mile base through the summer). So I will run on Wednesday and Saturday, occasionally throwing in Thursday as well.

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3.) Rest 1-2 times a week: I always take one weekend day off to rest (preferably Sunday), and on weeks I run twice instead of three times, I will use that second day as a rest day. I just think every other week my body responds best to two days off. Let’s face it, life happens, and sometimes we have doctor’s appointments, extra work, or are out of town. I don’t want to get so strict that I am beating myself up over a missed workout.

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Now that the weather is nicer, I plan to be outside a lot with the family, too. We love going on walks, and Emma Kate is now old enough to go to the playground, so I will do some “active rest” as well. I mean, let’s face it….with a toddler do you ever REALLY get a full rest day?

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QOTD: What will your spring workouts look like?

Things You May Have Missed

Happy Monday guys! I hope everyone had a great weekend. It wasn’t as warm and beautiful outside as it was last weekend, but everything is turning green and the pollen is out! Our whole family has been suffering from seasonal allergies, so that’s when I know it’s officially spring. Today I just wanted to chat about a few things that don’t really warrant a whole blog post, but were worth mentioning, and have nothing to do with “stuff”/items. Here we go!

1.) Rock ‘N’ Blogger: I was asked to be on the Rock ‘N’ Roll blogger team again this year, which I love! So far I have run RnR New Orleans, and would love to make it to Nashville next month. Just trying to find a place to stay, anyone up for a road trip?!?

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2.) I heart boot camp…but time for a break: The way my gym does their boot camp classes are in 2-3 month cycles. This one started in January and it ends this week. We will take a two week break and then get going again. I think it’s good to take these short breaks so I don’t get tired of it, but now I need to figure out what to do besides run for the next two weeks!

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3.) Busy froyo season: Spring and Summer are obviously the busiest times of year at the frozen yogurt shop Bobby and I own. We are so thankful for the warm weather, because winter is tough in the frozen treats business! This means working more shifts and helping out more, but I don’t mind. This also means my blogging may get a little inconsistent depending on hours at work, so hang in there with me!

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4.) It’s Getting’ Hot in Here: As I mentioned above, spring has definitely sprung in central Mississippi. We had an 87 degree day last week! This means the wind-down of half marathon season and into 10k/5k season. I am running a 10k next weekend and hope to run at least two 5k’s before it gets TOO hot outside.

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5.) Half birthday: Emma Kate will me ONE AND A HALF on the 24th. How crazy is that? It seems like we just had her first birthday party. We go for her checkout Wednesday, so be looking for her 18 month recap on the blog later this week. I haven’t done a recap since 15 months so there is a lot to say!

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March 2016 Goals

Why hello March, when did you sneak over here? Even with an extra day in February, it feels like February flew by. Most likely because I was out of town for some of it, but still. Anyway, let’s take a look at my February goals and see how I did.

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1.) Foam roll after long runs: B. I foam rolled after half of my long runs, out of necessity. I hurt my hip pretty badly during the Princess half, and so I foam rolled after like it was my job. I am going to start doing my PT exercises again and hopefully that helps, too.

2.) Daily devotions: C. There is no excuse. I have to do better.

3.) Walk the dog more: A We have had some cold weather, but we have also lucked up with some warm days sprinkled in so we have gone on quite a few walks. Bella really needs it because she is eating way more now that Emma Kate insists on “sharing” all her food with her.

4.) Limit night time snacking: C. Eh. It depends on the night. I have gotten better, but there is still room for improvement. Easter candy is not helping this.

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Now for my March goals. Time to get crackin’!

1.) PT exercises ever night: Now that my hip is officially not doing great, I am going back to my PT exercises and stretches I did last year hoping they will help me. I was so close to my PR and know I would have gotten a new one last weekend if I was healthy.

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2.) PR at the Crescent City Classic: Another motivator for getting my hip healthy is the Crescent City Classic 10k that I run every year. When I ran the half last weekend, my 10k split was ALMOST a PR, so I am gunning for one that weekend! It would lessen the blow of not getting a half PR for sure.

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3.) Daily devotions: I am moving my Bible from the living room to my nightstand so when I get in bed to watch TV I will see it. No excuses.

4.) Finish boot camp strong: This session of boot camp ends on March 25th, so I have three weeks left and I want to finish strong and gain more muscle mass than I started with. I missed over a week of it when I was traveling, so Tuesday was a hard first day back to reality.

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QOTD: Do you have a goal for March?