Inauguration Day

In light of this historic day, I started to write a blog. The blog was going to be about the Christian church and how I feel that loving one another comes FIRST and politics second. I wrote it all out. I wrote how I felt that by listening to one another GENUINELY and having in person conversations, we would be able to help people to see our side better than with heightened emotion.

I said lots of things, and then I read it over and thought, "I can't do this."

For some reason, in such a huge historic event, we feel we all have the right words to say. We feel that OUR WAY is the right way and I felt that even writing a blog felt like me saying that I felt that way as well.

The truth is, I don't have the words. I also don't have the tough skin that some do to fight. I like to discuss PASSIVELY but inevitably that's never what happens. I write this blog in the sight of only what I personally can do.

I do not accept this man's behavior, and neither do you no matter what side you are on. We can ALL agree on that. You aren't happy with the things that he's said and done even if you voted for him and supported him, but we block those things out because for some reason politics make us get around those things. If you can fight me and tell me that you agree with him saying he's going to grab a woman by the p**** then this might not be the blog for you! LOL! But, I don't think ANY of us agree with that. Some just work around it.

The only thing that I will write on my blog is that for me, I will try my best to listen to everyone. I will know how I feel but I will try to let the words that they say sink in, realize their upbringing, their geographical location and their experiences that formulated those opinions and try my hardest not to judge them or condemn them because of it. I want good for this country and good for this man because there is no longer a choice. There are many that will say that they do not accept it and never will. He will never be their president, and that's okay. There are many that will say that he is proudly their president.

If I have found deep underlying things about people that I once thought I knew that no longer aligns with what I believe, then I can avoid them for now but also continue to show compassion to them so that one day maybe they will see the grace that I extended and see that it's worth it to be on "my side."

Please take note of this friends: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.
— James 1:19

Listen with open ears, hopeful hearts, and discerning tongues. LOVE LIKE CRAZY!!!

I can assure you that an aggressive (even if it's knowledgeable) facebook status will do NOTHING but make your pride bigger and your ego stronger. The likes will pump you up. The arguments will get you heated, and the shares will make you feel alive. YOU got this figured out!! But it's REALLY not about you.

It's so much bigger than that, and maybe just maybe if you are gentle, loving, and kind, the cracks will begin to break and we will be able to come together.

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Personal Best or Race Chaser?

Because it's hard to be both...

And I try to be both! haha!

Let me explain. Are you someone that loves to go to races or are you someone that loves a new shiny PR. Typically, when you start out, you are just doing races to be able to finish them. That's how I was of course, all the way up until the past year really. When I look at a marathon now, it's hard not to look at it and say "Okay what is going to be my A race and the one that I shoot for a PR?"

We all have potential to shoot for a PR but sometimes, that is just not what people are interested in. I know PLENTY of people that would rather just run all the races vs really sitting down to think what could be their PR race and shooting for it. Sometimes I feel myself getting sucked into the vortex of shooting for PR's because I do feel like I have speed that I haven't had the chance to tap into due to little tweaks that come up and things such as the ironman that take me down an entirely different path.

If you are wanting to shoot for a PR, then the stars have to align really. You can't be planning tons of things around it. You can't do a race before it that you are running fast. You want to try for it to be a flat(ter) course. You want to make sure that you have had the chance to build miles, then add tempo workouts, then add speed workouts. If you throw too many races into the mix then it's just the back and forth between recovering and then you don't have adequate time to let your body build up to the next training cycle. Realistically, if you want to PR, you should only do 2 marathons per year in my opinion.

But if I'm being honest, that's not my kind of thing. I'm someone that would much rather run races vs always getting PR's. I like for my goals to be further or to be the specific race but not necessarily that my time has to beat the time that I had on a marathon before, but there's a pressure and a stigma behind that. If you do some race that you are just doing for fun but your time is not good then people might question if you are training appropriately, but for me, I'm just kind of like "No, PR wasn't my goal. PRing is HARD!" I have 5 marathons planned for this year, and to some, that might seem excessive and to other ultra runners, it's childs play. haha! I feel this weird pressure like I'm only allowed to run the races that I have the chance to PR and if I'm not perfectly on my game, then why do them? I can see that mindset, but it's just not one that I have. I just simply love to go to races, and run them no matter my time.

So, with the thought of Myrtle Beach Marathon, I wanted to PR. It's a flat course. I had a good base and I had a solid 12 weeks to add in speed work and ALL the miles. I was ready. I was going to peak at 60-65 miles/week which I've never done but was going to push myself and see what happened. Literally, the second week, I got the hamstring thing, and it's been off and on for one month which means, I have to make decisions.

Should I do Myrtle Beach Marathon at all? For some, with PRing being the most important thing to them-they would forgo the marathon, but I just genuinely WANT to run this race. I want to be at this race with all of my friends from my hometown so just not going is just not an option for me.

Should I go down to the half? I mean I could, but honestly, I just don't think that a half is as fun when I expected to do the full. I do a half marathon basically every weekend on my long runs or longer, so it just doesn't sound like the challenge I was wanting.

Should I race the half? That would be challenging, I could shoot to qualify for NYC in 2018 (1:32 needed for the half which I think I'm capable of) and maybe this is the smartest option but if I'm being honest, it's again not what I had planned or what I want to do. It does however allow me to be there with all the people that I care about!

Should I just aim for Boston qualification for 2018? I don't have a race yet that I've qualified, and my PR is a 3:15 with the qualifying time being 3:35 (3:30 to be safe) and I think I'm capable of that without hurting myself or anything of that nature.

Should I pace someone that I know is doing their first marathon? This is actually what I WANT to do at this point, but I'm not sure if she would want me to do that as I haven't asked.

When you are looking at whether you want to just run the race or chase a PR, you just have to be realistic. If I'm going to do an ironman, I can't expect to have a marathon PR in the same year. If I'm going to run 5 marathons, then I have to treat some of them as long runs, and I can't be pushing so hard on all of them, or you won't PR at any of them. It's just like with gaining muscle while endurance training. You can't expect to gain tons of muscle with running 50 miles/week. The body responds to a stimulus and it's pretty straight forward. We want to buck the rules a lot of times, and you can ABSOULTELYYYY maintain muscle while endurance training as I've talked about MANY times, but you just have to be realistic. So, with that, I'm going to be realistic about Myrtle beach. I've had to eat my pride and say that the PR I wanted is not going to happen, so how can I go to this race and make it the best time ever?

My family is going to be there as we have a second home at the beach and my entire family has not been to one of my marathons at the same time, so I'm absolutely thrilled. The time is irrelevant when I look at that! :)

 

 

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Guest Post-How to Love Your Body

Today, I get to share with you guys someone really special to me and to just about anyone that meets her. She is one of a kind and carries herself with confidence yet gentleness, grace and beauty all at the same time. She's one of my favorite humans! And you're going to love what she has to say on this topic. We know each other because way back when I hired her to do my photography for my wedding. She has since moved into other ventures and I love watching her grow and change! <3 Her name is Sarajane Case, and you can find her empowering blog HERE.

I used to think that being fit was a skinny persons privilege; that a fat person desiring a balanced approach to health was trying to live in a skinny person’s world. Pushing their way into a party they were never invited to.

That the only parties I had reservations to were yo-yo dieting and deprivation. That asking myself what felt good to my body was foolish, lazy and quite frankly only OK for someone who was already thin.

I would go to the gym with my head down knowing that everyone there assumed it was my first time or that it was some phase I was going through. Like everyone was watching me thinking, “wow, good for her for trying.” I’d daydream of t-shirts saying things like, “I come here all the time.” Or “I actually really like salad.” Or “I could probably beat you at tennis.”

I wore clothes that covered my skin and pants that never pushed into my hips in the wrong place. Tank tops were for skinny people, shorts were for skinny people, and bathing suits well you get the point.

As a thick-bodied person you are often told to cover yourself up. Maybe it’s not directly and sometimes it is. But, it’s in the way you hear people talk about others and what they’re wearing, it’s in the “Who wore it best” columns and the whispered critiques of a stranger saying, “that shirt is just not flattering on her.”

The day came when I grew indifferent to the gazes of others. Their opinions of my body became less relevant because I was enjoying my life so much. I surrounded myself with supportive people and I chased after joy first and foremost.

I decided then that I would choose how much of my body to show, what to wear and how I chose to interact with my health based off of my own desires and nothing else. I guess part of that is an act of rebellion. A belief that the more you look at my body the more normal it will be to see women with dimpled thighs and stomachs that aren’t flat. The more you will look at your own stomach changing shape and think that it’s just not that big of a deal.

You deserve to feel attractive. To walk around looking people in the eye while you feel the air on your skin.

Forget the rules: wear stripes, wear color, enjoy your workout, play the sport even if your thighs clap together when you run and for goodness sake just buy the shorts.

 

Let me be the first to say that I want to see you.

 

Don’t make yourself smaller for me.

Make yourself healthier.

Ask what your body needs that day and allow it to happen.

Chances are if you ask your body enough it’s probably going to say it wants greenery, water and a nice bit of movement.

I promise that you deserve to feel healthy no matter what size you are.

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InsideTracker-A New Way to Look at Your Blood Work

I talked a little bit on Wednesday about the work that I had done by a PT to determine about the imbalances that I had. Another thing that I did to help with my training was to get a full total blood work up. Yall, I'm not playing around with all of these tweeks. I was going to be proactive, figure out what was wrong and train like a normal human being! haha! I knew that something had to be wrong somewhere, and I think I'm able to piece together the puzzle pieces.

If you aren't familiar with Inside Tracker, and you may have heard some other bloggers talking about it, it's really an ingenious business model where they are taking something that you can get in a doctors office to the next level that you would never get in that setting. Admitably, as a pharmacist, my first question was: How is this different?

The biggest difference that is worth it's weight in cold is the in-depth analysis that they do and how they correlate this to things that you can change, fix, and learn from. They TEACH you. At the doctor's office, if you had a total blood panel done, they would most likely not even call you back if you had everything pretty much within normal limits. If you had something that might need to be tweeked then they might would mention it to you. Inside tracker went through every single biomarker with a range from high to low with parameters that show you whether you are high or low and explanations of why this is important. For example, this is what it looks like for Magnesium on my blood testing.

OR CALCIUM..

So, what about if you aren't optimized. For most of my levels, I was optimized which is definitely not a bad problem to have. It makes me feel really great about the changes that I've made in my diet throughout the years and the way that I'm taking care of myself however, there are ALWAYS areas for improvement. If I was to look at someone's ferritin levels and they were between 11-307 as a woman, then I would say that they are fine, however the cool thing about Inside Tracker is that they are going to give you a range and how even though you may be "good", you can also work on things. For some reason, when I looked at this the first time, I missed that my ferritin was a little lower than optimal.

When you sign up for Inside Tracker, it allows you to put what kind of sports that you play and the diet that you typically are doing. So if you'll notice, it talks about running and cycling because those are the things that I said that I do and gives feedback on why it's a normal occurrence for someone that is doing these things to have lower iron. There is a little bit more information after this but I could not fit it in the top picture so here is that! As an endurance athlete, I want to be utilizing oxygen in the BEST way that I possibly can and not just the lower end of normal.

There are different options in your dashboard and one of them is nutrition. So, we know now that my ferritin levels could use just a little work, so how can I fix that with my diet. They populate things that would be good for your diet and give you ideas of food for the day based on the things that you could optimize. If you have something wrong with any other level then you are able to click on both at once, so for example if you had 5 areas that needed work, you could click all five and it would give you options of things to eat that would address all of those issues at once. I heard someone say once that we should be adding things to our diet and not removing them, and I think that is SO true for overall health. There are so many micronutrients in each one of the choices that we make every day and I used to be such a little turd about that. I really didn't care at all, and that shows how I was way too focused on just image. This is about HEALTH. So, it's really awesome to be able to see each food and what that can provide and keep ADDING foods not taking away.

This is JUST for ferritin and also populated because I put that I'm dairy free, pork free, poultry free, beef free, and fish free. You can not check any of things and it will give you other options. You can choose that you are paleo or vegan (I actually did not put vegan because I felt that I have egg whites often enough that I'd be lying haha). You can choose vegetarian as well. You can choose what foods that you strongly like and strongly dislike. It is going to populate meals and options for you to be able to optimize your blood work.

The beautiful thing about this is that you can also choose what parameters you want Inside Tracker to look at and there are different levels. I did the mack daddy and had everything tested to knock everything out and make sure there were NO areas that I could utilize optimization in. Here is what part of my table looks like for inflammation for example. 

If you look at the bottom, you see Strength and Endurance, and those bio markers are testosterone, cortisol, creatine kinase, and SHBG which stands for "sex hormone binding globulin." All of these MATTER. Every single level in your body MATTERS for your health and your performance and so I really do recommend that even if you think that you are healthy, there are always ways that you can optimize.

If you go to the about section: https://www.insidetracker.com/about/ , you'll see that they have a really credible staff that has put together all of this clinical knowledge into a format that can be easily and readily available to people that haven't been to 10+ years of schooling for this. They are bringing the knowledge of health to a totally different level and especially for athletes.

The process is really simple. When you sign up, you will have to fill out some paperwork and you just take that to a local lab testing center and everything is set at that point. You will give the paperwork to the testing center, they take your blood, and then after that, you will be sent the results in the format that I have shown above with the recommendations for you personally. If you use the code KATIESFITSCRIPT, you get a great discount as well. 

While I was there, a cool thing happened and I've realized, if we let ourselves, we can find amazing triumph stories every single day. When I went in to get my blood tested, the lady at the counter was honestly kind of rude to me. I can't say that I wasn't annoyed. It was right before Christmas so I assumed that she was ill that she had to work. When she took me back to take my blood, she started asking about my life and my Christmas holiday and I found out that her husband had died one month ago and she said she found it really hard to function this Christmas. I had judged this lady, to be honest, and it was such a good lesson that we have NO idea what others are going through. So moral of the story: Be nice to the person taking your blood! ;) haha!

Let me know if you have any questions about Inside Tracker if you are considering it. Email me at katiesfitscript@gmail.com I think it would be really beneficial for anyone.

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One of the coolest moments of my life

On Monday night, the best thing happened to me and I couldn’t not share this story with you guys so this blog might be short but it’s very sweet. I went to the YMCA in Shelby to run 6 miles on the treadmill. I’m sticking to the treadmill right now during my recovery period (my hamstring thing is gone) just to make sure that it is most definitely gone and not returning.  I don’t want to get out on the roads and something to happen so I’ve just been playing it safe.

Side note before the story begins. Last night I went to a PT in my hometown that is a good friend of ours. I posted a status asking if anyone would be willing to look at my gait while running to assess. He texted Tanner and said he wanted to have me come in and do a full assessment. We did a Y balance test, functional mobility assessment and tons of other things. We have a college close by and he said that it’s all the testing that they put all the athletes through to make sure that there are no asymmetries, instability, and mobility or strength issues. Obviously, as I’m sure everyone knows, if there is an underlying issue then there are compensations that will happen. It was the SMARTEST thing I think I’ve done in my athletic career and I HIGHLY recommend it if you can find someone to do it for you.

He found that I have major weaknesses in one of my hips which may not show up immediately on a gait analysis while running but as time progresses in my run, I probably am doing some anterior pelvic rotation, not utilizing my hips and core correctly and that’s what hurt my hamstring but it can lead to every issue that I’ve ever had. It also is causing some pronation on my right foot. When we looked at the slow mo video of me running, I was cringing at my pronation on the right side. It looks like my ankle is about to break and here I am running 16 miles on this thing having no clue.

I also found out I have a weak core. Um, what? I seriously would have never guessed but this is also probably due to weak hips. He basically explained that these are things at my age that take 2 weeks tops to fix and then you’re good. If you wait until you are older, it can be harder and so I’m so so thankful that I had someone do this. I told him when I started one test that I had bad balance on one leg (always did stunts on the opposite) and he explained that it’s not my balance, it’s my hip stability.. Seriously, how crazy that I could have fixed this years ago?

On to my story but I felt that was important! I was on the treadmill running and I saw this guy that I’m friends with in the gym looking at me (aka a guy that I see in the gym and we don’t really know each other but we say gym things to one another HA). I kinda did the half smile/wave thing but was also like “Why you staring brah?” He walks over to me and says “I really think you were meant to be in my life for a reason.”

Yall, I almost fell out on the floor. I was dying laughing in my head thinking this guy was trying to flirt with me.  Doesn’t he know I’m married? But, my ego was a little big there. He wasn’t flirting, but my first thought was “OH GOOD LORD HERE WE GO!”

He starts with his story while I’m running. This was it:

“When I moved to Shelby when I was younger, I started going to James Love Elementary and I didn’t know anyone. I was a really shy black guy who really wanted to do well. I had this teacher and she told me that she knew I had potential and she pushed me to be the best that I could be. She told me that I could do anything. I kept working hard and she moved me up to be with all of the smart, white kids (I’m quoting here) and I didn’t want to go. I was shy, but she told me that it was going to be okay and that I was going to do awesome. I kept working hard. That teacher had a lasting impact on me and I think about her all the time.”

At this point, I’m still thinking this guy is flirting, and had no idea where this story was going but this is worth it y’all, I promise. Hang tight. HAHA!

He said he started seeing me in the gym and heard about me (my town is small) and so he started following me on Instagram and my journey. He said he thought I was really inspiring (and this guy is like SUPER fit so that was such a compliment) and pushed him to be better. He said I couldn’t help but think that this girl reminds me so much of that third grade teacher that I had. They both push me to be better.

He went on to say that he saw one day that I was on the front page of the newspaper. It was the story about how my grandmother had made the folders for all of the grandchildren in my family and that I was dedicating my ironman to her. It clicked. THE TEACHER IS THIS GIRLS GRANDMOTHER!!! HER NAME WAS MRS DAVES. JELMA DAVES. That’s your grandmother, right?

….

….

Now, I’m sobbing on the treadmill. haha!

He said, “I just wanted you to know that you carry her spirit so much that I felt the emotion that you guys reminded me of each other. You are inspiring so many just like she did. It’s in your blood. I see it in your family on facebook, and you all have it in your blood. I’ve wanted to tell you for weeks. I was trying to build up the courage to come talk to you.”

I will probably remember that story for the rest of my life. This guy didn’t have to even tell me this but he felt compelled to and even though my grandmother has been gone now for 5 months, I’m still able to have glimpse of her in these moments. What a blessed morning it was!

On Friday, check back because I’m going to talk about my assessment that I had with Inside Tracker with all of my blood work. It was seriously an awesome thing that I had done so I can’t wait to share with you all.

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Eating Healthy-For body image or health?

About a month ago, I asked everyone on my facebook if the motivation for them to eat healthy came from those that want to improve their body or to improve their health.

The results weren't THAT shocking, but I did ask people to be honest with themselves. I think that there are many different reasons across the board and paths that people have taken that have landed them where they are, and it's very interesting. Once someone makes a habit of something, it becomes much more natural for them to be able to do and while I'm sure they enjoy that it keeps their body in check and that it keeps them healthy, it really might not even be something that they actively think about. That's honestly probably me at this point. It's just the life that I live and the things that make me feel good, so that's what I do.

I loved the honesty of some women who said, "YEP! Totally 100% because of my body!" I find that mostly in my home town to be honest. Health is not really a priority here and most of the time when I hold seminars, I will ask the group if people are interested in learning about how to get healthier or about weight loss because they are not the same, and most of the time people openly state, "weight loss". Sometimes, as I'm sure everyone knows, some women have to go to extremes to get their body's to respond to much of anything and I wouldn't say this is healthy, but it would get weight loss which people would equate to healthy. It's an interesting world that we live in...

Throwing it back to my first photoshoot-ha!

Throwing it back to my first photoshoot-ha!

I think if you were to ask anyone which one is "better", people would tell you that if someone is focused on their health and not their body then they are going to be more successful long term and they are going to be happier while doing it. I think that is true to a degree but I think that because of culture, we have associated changing our body's with this loathsome thing. You can want change for yourself while not hating yourself. I'm hopeful that more HEALTHY minded fitness individuals will continue to preach that message. There's 47 sides to every story. It is however interesting that the women (there was ONE man that said he did it for body image) that say that they do it for their image are ashamed to say so. They say things like "I hate to admit it but..." I think that IMMEDIATELY sets someone up to have an unhealthy mindset. I think that we have created an atmosphere that if anyone no matter if they need to lose weight or not, we have created it to be a taboo thing that you aren't allowed to do. If you are ashamed to be doing something, you are going to keep it in the dark and do unhealthy habits. I don't like that. I think that we need to encourage people in their positive life changes no matter the reasoning. If they have a negative or unhealthy way that they are going about this, then of course we need to lovingly speak truth to them the best that we can that this is NOT the way that you should do things.

I also think that it's pretty interesting/obvious that it matters with age. You become less concerned with your image as you age and more concerned about your health. I saw a meme once that describes this so well. It says...

At age 20, I worried so much about what everyone thought of me. At age 40, I stopped caring what they thought. At age 60, I realized they weren’t even looking at me to begin with.

HOW TRUE IS THAT? If we could just harness that at age 20, then we would have a much happier life I believe. It IS OKAY to change yourself but it's not okay to loathe yourself, be concerned about what everyone around you thinks of you, and not care at all about your health as long as you are getting the desired reward of whatever you want your body to look like. That's the grey line that we don't talk about in fitness enough or maybe so much now that the pendulum has swung.

I think the most interesting group is the group that didn't really respond on my facebook status just because I'm well aware that status didn't reach THAT many people across all backgrounds. It just happens to be the people that are active on facebook and that are mostly interested in my stuff that facebook puts my status as something of importance on their newsfeed with their algorithm. I wish I could get a more comprehensive view from the world. I believe the most interesting group is the ones in their late 40's to early 50's. I'm not saying this is all inclusive either and that if you are in this age group, you are going to tell me this isn't you. LOL. But.... they talk about weight loss like it's going out of style and they do THE MOST EXTREME things to get to the result that they want, but they legit don't have a mentally unstable mindset about it.

Not to pick on here, but my aunt will be like.... "I've only had a protein shake this morning" and it will be like 6pm. I'm over there like WTH WHY HAVE YOU NOT ATE? THAT IS NOT OKAY!!! If someone in the fitness world were to post that to instagram that they were just slashing their calories to lose some quick weight, people would lose.their.minds. hahaha! But in that time, it was just what was normal. I've seen women in this age group tell me of programs that they have done that make them have diarrhea, eat only 500 calories per day and do some injections or something and they are telling me this as in "THIS PROGRAM WORKS! I LOST FIFTY POUNDS!" It cracks me up. I'm like OF COURSE YOU DID YOU LOONEY TUNE!! lol!

My age group is obsessed with image, but we aren't just obsessed with body image. We are obsessed with telling everyone how we got to our desired goal while eating SO MUCH. People all over talk about how they eat 2000, 3000, 3500 calories. We have eating challenges to eat 10,000 calories in a day and it's ALWAYS fitness people that do those challenges. ALWAYS. People in my mom's age group don't do that. Like, literally not at all. When my grandmother was alive, I remember telling her one night about this in my age group (she ate very little her whole life). I would tell her how some girls ate like 3000-4000 calories per day, and they were still in shape. She would scowl her nose. She was feisty but I find it so interesting. She said that it was wasteful and she couldn't understand and fathom why anyone would need to/want to do something like that. She was born in a different time and went through the Great Depression. Trying to eat as much as possible or doing some 10,000 calorie challenge was something that offended her. CRAZY RIGHT?

I got off on a tangent, but I think that the focus of your decision to lose weight depends on a variety of factors. It depends on how you were raised, the relationships that you had with people, whether you are emotionally connected to food, what generation you were born in, what internet access that you have, and so many other things. I think that the biggest lesson and take away from this tiny little survey that I did and thinking through all of this is just simply that we are all different. You cannot put someone in a box and tell them that THIS is the way that they should do things for their physical and mental health. They aren't going to do it. They have to find what makes THEM click and what makes them happy. There are some women who no matter how much I try to convince them otherwise, they would rather eat NOTHING for like 2 weeks, lose weight SUPER fast (even if it's muscle and water) and then not eat healthy anymore. The cycle will continue their whole lives, but THAT'S THEIR CHOICE. We can't make others choices for them just like my grandmother can't for all these "younguns" she thought were gluttonous. haha!

So, why do you eat healthy? I think it's okay to be a mixture of both or maybe even start out for looks but get interested in the healthy side of things. We need a healthier world so whatever works for you is what you should do! :)

 

 

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Life & Training Updates + New Blogging Schedule

Hey guys! I think 2016 could be called the year of change. There were so many things that changed in my life, and some were good and some were bad, but either way, I grew from every single thing. That's what life is all about right? Changing and growing and loving and learning!

If you know anything about being a blogger, it's actually a lot more work than people assume. Writing articles every single day has been my routine for the past 2-3 years and taking most weekends off. I missed weeks here and there and days during the week here and there, but for the most part I have been consistent. I think that if you are wanting to be a blogger and for the traffic that you generate to make you an income, then you have to be consistent. The more consistent that you are, the more page views, the more that you can promote to companies. My income has always come almost 100% from my coaching, and then I'll land an opportunity here and there for my blogging. Most of the time, when I tell them I have 85,000 monthly viewers, they tell me that's not enough for much of any compensation (like $50 or something and so I'm like PASS-I'm trying to make a living here).

You guys know that I'll always be upfront and honest with you, so with the way that things have changed in my life and the new business ventures that I'm doing, I have felt that inconsistency has been more and more. I feel the topics that I'm writing aren't resonating with people as I'm not hearing feedback, getting likes, comments, etc that I used to. It's not about likes and comments, I promise, but when I do this for a living, I have to consider those things, and what I'm doing and if my time would be better spent in other areas. For the past 3 years, I've felt that the blog allows people to get to know me, learn what I know, and then hire me, and I still VERY much believe that. However, I also have HUNDREDS of articles that I've written that I feel people can reference. With all of that said, I wanted to let you know of a schedule so you can know when to check for posts. I'm going to be blogging on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays instead of every day now!! :)

As far as my life, it's truly really wonderful. Someone asked me the other day if I feel like Shelby is home and if I fit in. I would have to say that I don't fit in. I'm very different than a lot of people around here, but I also have tons of friends so it's really not a big deal. I think people think I'm a little too intense here (lol) but it absolutely feels like home now. It didn't for a while. We were so excited when we came back but then once we settled in, we kind of had second thoughts like "Why didn't we go somewhere like out west for adventure for a little longer?" We are bad about "grass is greener" and we even VERY seriously contemplated moving. The move wouldn't have been not to come back but just that we are still so young and there is still so much out there.

However, we decided that we were not growing where we were planted and that was our own fault. We could say that about anywhere. There are TONS of adventures within 40min-1 hour from here, and we haven't done any of them. Uh...that's our own fault. So that's why we cancelled (well we hadn't bought anything) our trip to the UK this summer. First, that's super expensive and we wanted to save some money to pay down debt and second, we wanted to do a staycation and really fall in love with all that western North Carolina has to offer. We are 1.5 hours from Asheville. We have Linville Gorge and South Mountain and Crowders Mountain and Boone/Banner. We even though about going to spend a week where Tanner grew up and fast packing all over the mountains where he is from. We wanted to stop spending money on flights and expensive new cities and just spend more time in nature! :)

So, we are really loving the season that we are in. This weekend we are headed to Seven Devils (near Boone) with our best friends to go skiing at Beech. Fortunately, it's supposed to snow. Unfortunately, it's supposed to feel like -3 in the morning. Lord help us. haha!

As far as my training, it's sub par with the hamstring issue that I had/have going on. It only hurts for a little bit after my runs, but I'm cautious to jump head first back in doing long runs. I'm planning on trying to get in 12 miles next weekend, and if that doesn't happen then I'm dropping to the half for Myrtle Beach which is like the LAST thing that I want to do but I think it will be the smartest. You just have to roll with the punches, and I have the rest of my life to run races. I'd rather just enjoy life without worrying about missing one race even if I really wanted to PR! :)

I think that's all for now. I hope all of you are well and will enjoy coming back on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays! 

 

 

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What does success look like to you?

Yesterday, the Forbes 30 under 30 was released. There were people from musicians to social entrepreneurs to techies to a food business. It's always one of my favorite articles to read as someone who is under 30. These people are making such a huge impact on the world and at such a young age, it's really inspiring. They put all of their fears to the side and got to work on things that they were passionate about, and now they are all millionaires. On a poll asking them if it was for fame and fortune, 4% of them said yes. That's hardly anyone, and that's even more inspiring. These people genuinely love what they do and the impact that they are making.

But these are 30 people out of the entire population of 20 somethings and we can't all have success that looks like that of course. So how can we define our success reasonably and what drives it? I think it's important and some people might not and that's not a big deal. I think that deep down however, even if someone is not actively focused on success is doing things in their life so that they can have some form of success whether that be that they are successful at doing well at their job or those that don't get as much recognition for their success like stay at home moms. I'm sure they want to be successful at raising tiny humans to be decent members of society!! I'm sure that the jobs that we wouldn't deem as "successful", if someone moves up in the company, they are proud of their success.

Point is: It's so individual.

For me, it points back to my faith a good bit. Is what I'm doing in favor of the Lord's will for my life? If the answer is no, then I need to find a way to fix that. I have felt that very deeply in many situations where I almost felt shame for the things that I was doing to reach a certain level of success. The fitness industry will do that to ya! ;) But like I said, it's so individual and the calling that I feel is not something that others may feel even in my same sectors so that doesn't mean wrong, that just means different.

I have come to the realization that success is a big driver for me. It's never been about money to me. I really don't mind having second hand clothes or old shoes. My biggest expenses for myself are plane tickets and adventure opportunities. I love to lay my head down at night and be so proud of who I am becoming each and every day. I love to wake up in the morning refreshed, ready to tackle another day working towards my own version of success. I genuinely think it's fun.

I'm a huge fan of introspection. What are you doing RIGHT now that you could change that could make a huge impact on your life? Like I was saying earlier, success does not have to be your next job promotion. It can be success in being more loving to your husband or it could be success in remembering to take your multivitamin or success in giving to the community more. There are active steps that we can take every day and decisions that we can make that are actively progressing us more towards success and positive life change.

Here are some areas that I really like to look at and find new ways that I can improve.

FINANCIALLY

Financially, at the grocery store, we can get lazy. I start doing daily trips to Ingles vs weekly trips to Aldi. I start wasting because I think I'm going to cook with something new, but yet never use it. We start to want to eat out more. I start to buy tons of 20oz diet sundrops because I'm ridiculous LOL! As many 20oz sodas as I drink, I could save $50-60/month probably. That's another bill! We have realized we REALLY don't watch cable, so we are cancelling. There are small tweeks that you can make to cut back.

HEALTH AND FITNESS

Unless you are a raw vegan, I'm certain that we could all do a better job of getting in some more veggies. We can work towards getting in just one more workout this week. If you are someone that struggles in the opposite direction, then it might be that you are eating a little more and exercising a little less. What can you do to ACTUALLY take care of your health for your lifetime?

FAMILY

How are you serving your family every day? Are you mad when your husband doesn't clean the kitchen after you cooked? Try asking him nicely or try doing it with a genuinely kind heart. I love to clean but had realized I was cleaning the house EVERY single time. I just nicely asked and for the past two nights, Tanner has cleaned the kitchen after dinner. This wasn't an argument. It was just a request. He asks that I find systems to keep up with my keys and so then we create systems for that! No fighting necessary! Sometimes it just takes being nice and not accusing. We don't have it all figured out of course, but we used to fight a lot more about stuff and we just don't anymore. We have learned one another and each do our part.

Are you going to see your grandparents? Uh guilty. I need to go see my grandmother as I missed the Christmas party at her house. I need to go see her more in general as she's my last grandparent left.

Are you spending time with them? Family is so important and family equals success as much as career. 

CAREER

Moving into careers, what is something that you can do to be a better steward of your job today? Can you even so much as make a better relationship with you and co-workers by killing them with kindness? Can you try harder on the little things that annoy you? Can you go into work with a positive attitude that extends all day even if it's forced. Someone once told Tanner that we aren't all going to be living out our passions every day at work. You hear people saying all the time that you must be in the wrong field if you don't wake up excited. Well, I think that's false. I think that we can all start to get bored/annoyed/frustrated at work and sometimes it's not our passion, but that doesn't mean that we can't control our attitudes towards it. We don't always control our circumstance, but we ALWAYS choose our attitudes.

BAD HABITS

Are you smoking? Drinking too much? Yelling at your spouse/kids too much? Make ACTIVE steps towards change. You CAN do it.

ORGANIZATION!! Yall know I love that one, and you've probably seen THIS blog about that.

There are a million things that you can be successful in. There is no rules set on this nor is there any reason that it should stress you out. Success doesn't have to stress you out. It can be fun, and there is a mental shift that happens when you decide that you ENJOY moving towards positive change in your life. I hope that you'll choose that today! I know I'm excited to do so!

 

 

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Why Work So Hard For a Hobby?

Ever wake up with a fire in your soul and you just want to bottle it up and save it for all the time. That’s how I feel this morning. I was woke up by something early, and I just couldn’t go back to sleep because although yesterday was the first day of the year, today really feels like the fresh start.

Last night I asked my husband if he would sit down with me and write out our goals for the year. He laughed because it’s just so “me” but agreed and as I knew that we would, we had so much fun once we got going. We have dedicated 2017 to be the year that we don’t travel as much but rather stay where we are and adventure in our close surroundings. As much as we love to go new places, and we know that we will, we know that the area that we live in is FULL of adventures and mountains to peak so we want all of them to be focused on being outdoors as much as we can.

I know what it feels like to go through the motions of workouts and to not have the fire in my soul. I did a lot of that in grad school. I worked out and I even ran a half marathon but the motivation the entire time was mostly about body image. While my passion is endurance sports, this can be applied across the board for whatever your passion may be.

For some reason, having a passion for something can be looked at in a negative light, but the beautiful thing sister is that this journey is not for them, and it’s about you so don’t let anyone look down on your dreams and tell you that they are too big or not big enough. This is YOUR journey and we have the next 364 days to make it our own. Every single day, we have the opportunity to go on a new adventure. If you’re making money doing your passion, people are more okay with it. How silly is that right? We all have to make a living, sure, but sometimes distancing yourself from any sort of monetary compensation and just doing something that sets your soul alive is the best medicine you can give to yourself.

What is going to be the thing that gets you up in the morning before work? What is going to be the thing that makes you go on the runs on a Friday night when you just want to go to dinner and lay on your couch? Is it actually worth it all for just a few seconds of crossing a fine line?

I think that you know that I’ll tell you that it is.

It’s so much more than a finish line but about the character that you build while you’re on the journey. It’s so much more than the adventure of that day as it is the adventure of every single day. Even so much as this year, I have let some in my life tell me that I’m being a little “too intense”.  When I explained that ironman training was at least 2+ hours of training every single day and 5+ hours on the weekends, people thought I had literally lost it. Thankfully, I had the community on the internet to let me know that there are SO many out there that have this passion that I have. I say that to say, you AREN’T ALONE IN YOUR DREAMS!! Go after them, because there is NOTHING that can take it away from you.

Where does the motivation come from though? You’ll hear people talk about internal motivation and that it’s the most important piece of the puzzle to make sure that you get it all done, but I believe it’s a combination of external and internal that is going to make it happen. Sometimes with huge goals, you have to have a variety of reasons to make it all come together and I’m going to assure that a desire for a certain “body” is about the last on the list that’s going to help you get there in a positive way.

There is not one goal on anyone’s New Years resolution list that is not difficult and requires sacrifice, but I would venture to say that there is also not one person that put it on the list for it to sit there for the next year. We all joke about never doing our resolutions, and how everything fades into the background come February, but why? Why does your fire not keep burning? I think that it’s worth looking into to figure out what is motivating you for change and start there.

How about you resolve to not let your body be something that you change this year but your mindset? Why can’t it be an attitude of adventure vs an attack on your physique at the gym? Why can’t we be grateful for what we can do every day vs hating the skin that we are in? Why don’t we eat well because it’s good for our long term health and makes us feel good? Why don’t we try new recipes that are full of abundance in natural foods from the Earth because it’s fun?

I grew up as southern as it gets, and my diet consisted (I’m not kidding) on McDonalds, Chickfila, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Bojangles and hamburger helper. I’m not being a prude because LORD KNOWS I love my fast food, but my point is that at some point, we all have the decisions no matter how we are used to eating to change that. I genuinely wish that my cravings for fast food weren’t so big but it’s because it’s comfort to me and what I was raised on. We decide our days. ((Please don’t take this out of context as me telling you to restrict yourself-we all know fast food isn’t a superfood lol))

I’m huge on visualizing and writing out goals and getting it out of your head and onto the paper. What would we have done if J.K. Rowling hadn’t put it on the paper and just left it in her head?  Write it down or type it out even if you don’t hit every single goal.

The biggest thing is wanting it yourself when the doors are closed, and when no one cares what you’re doing. You aren’t posting on social media about your workouts, and you are just in your zone. That’s when it gets hard, but that’s when you’re finished that it’s all worth it because you know that the motivation that you pulled was from deep inside of you and not from some validation from others. However, like I said, mixing the two is not a bad thing. If it motivates you (which it does for everyone) to post about your workouts and for people to encourage you on your journey then by all means, post about it. You have no idea who you’ll help and change by being the little light that never burns out that they can look to for positive inspiration for their goals.

So why would you work so hard for your hobby? I think the real question is why wouldn’t you? If your life only revolves around what makes you money then you aren’t going to be as fulfilled as you could be, and I truly believe we ALL have this fire in our spirits for our specific passions and it’s just a matter of opening up your heart to be able to experience what true love and passion feels like.

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A Beautiful Email from a client & friend

A few months back, I made a post about anxiety and being transparent in that. I got so much beautiful feedback, and I happened upon one of the emails from a client this morning by searching for something else for her in my inbox. I have a folder on my computer that is called "When Clients make me happy" that I save emails like this, and I wanted to share with you guys as I thought that it might really make you smile because of how much truth she speaks in it. She is seriously such a joy in my life to coach!

Here goes: 

Dear Katie,

I had so much I wanted to say to you after reading this mornings blog post and it just felt a bit too long to post of fb.  I wish we could sit down for a cup of coffee or go for a long run and chat in person.  First I want to tell you that it takes courage to share our struggles publicly and so good for you for having the courage to be honest and to share those.  I'm a little older than you, with a few more years of experience, but not too much ;)  Becoming a mother though has taught me a lot and forced me to view things from a slightly different angle and so I wanted to share some of that with you.  

Today's world is so much different than what even you or I grew up in.  I didn't have the pressure of social media when I was growing up, attending school, getting married, or starting our new little family.  There wasn't a need to keep up with people or feel like I wasn't doing enough or being judged by snippets of my life.  They say comparison is the thief of joy and I truly believe it. But that is the world we live in now and it's almost possible to avoid.  Of course there are wonderful aspects of it too.  Reconnecting with old friends, making new friends that you would ever have met otherwise, and being able to stay connected to family worldwide. But one of my biggest challenges as a parent is teaching my children (and learning myself) how to be in the world, but not of the world.  How do we stay connected and reach people but stay grounded in Christ?

I think the answer lies in the Cross.  Everything Jesus did in his life here on earth revolved around what HE would sacrifice on the cross.  His ministry, His character, His attitude...it was all about the cross.  His life on earth was focused on revealing WHO God is and rescuing us.  He didn't care if he was the most popular, the most liked, the favorite.  Can you imagine if His ministry was taking place today with an aspect of social media??  He would definitely not have the most likes or followers or be the most handsome.  But He was always genuine, honest, and treated people with love because he is love.  We tell our kids the same thing.  I don't care if you are the most popular, the most liked, the prettiest, the funniest, or the best at anything.  In fact you will probably drive yourself crazy because there will almost always be someone just a little bit better.  BUT we do care if you are kind.  And we DO care that you always do YOUR best.  Not because of selfish ambition but because God is THAT GOOD.  We should always do our best.  And find our self worth, and our joy in the cross.  He loved me that much, that he gave his life for me.  When you continually turn your eyes to the cross, everything else pales in comparison and tends to fall into place respectively.  It doesn't make life easier, but boy can it change our perspective.

We have a book we read to our kids called "God gave us Christmas".  It's an adorable book about a family of polar bears and in the story the mama bear is taking her little cub through a trek in the northern wilderness to show her God in our world.  At one point in the story mama bear tells her that "God would have come even just for you."  Little cub asks "even just for me?"  and mama bear replies "even just for you."  It always gives me goosebumps when we read it to our kids because how powerful is that?  God would have sent Jesus even if it was just for you.  He sees us individually and loves us so much that he sacrificed His only Son so that we would have a way to Him.  

It doesn't make it easy everyday but when you use that as your compass for your self worth and joy, it sure steers us in the right direction.  I am sorry that you have been dealing with this anxiety in your life and again am just so thankful for you and for your willingness to share.  You have an individual skill with a unique vision and I think that is what draws people to you.  Sure people may go, or unfollow but that is in God's hands.  You will reach the people that He intends for you to as long as you keep putting Him first.  I appreciate the way that you took time to seek Him first.  That shows maturity, thoughtfulness, and wisdom.  I will continue to pray for you as I have been doing today, but just wanted to share a bit more of what I was thinking about.  Thanks again for sharing yourself with this community.

Love in Christ, 

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The best posts of 2016

Let's just get rolling. As I was doing my year in review yesterday I realized there are a lot of really helpful posts that I need to archive for you guys better! 

I'm going to go through month by month! Let's go! :) If you click on them, each one will open in a new window so you can keep referencing back! Maybe bookmark this one for later! <3

January-

February - 

March -

April - 

May - 

 

June - 

July - 

August-

September- 

October-

November

December - (Finally I have carpal tunnel now LOL)

I really do hope that this helps you, encourages you, inspires you and teaches you something!

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2016 in Review

I keep hearing all over that 2016 was an awful year for like...everyone. I'm sure there are a lot of reasons behind that but I hate to look so negatively on a year. My year was full of adventure, change, and love but if I had to do it over, I would. I learned so much about myself and got to see so many amazing places, and I just love being able to look back on the past couple of years and see all that's happened.

The one thing that I will just go ahead and get out of the way is how much things changed in a weird way in 2016 but have since rebounded back. For some reason, it started around February of just being insecure and not knowing if the path that I was on was the one I was supposed to be on, anxiety ridden days, and lots of tears. It honestly was a really weird period of time and while I was doing all of these things, I was SO happy, but then in these moments I would have these waves of anxiety and sadness and I could just work up something to be upset at over NOTHING. I mean I know I'm female, but it's something that I had not struggled with before so it was new and scary and something that I had to figure out. This lasted until about October where I feel as if I'm finally on the other side.

I feel direction, purpose, and happiness without the waves. I just think that it was important enough of a thing behind the scenes to mention because as I look at 2016 in review, I'm in AWE of all that happened that was so wonderful but I also don't want it to sound like life was perfect because I know social media can always make us think that. The TRUE thing is though that every day I had a decision about whether I was going to let the emotions I was going through negatively impact my life, and I just refused. I knew that I created my own happiness, and so that is what I did.

In January, we went to Nashville and decided that I was going to see what it was like to become plant based.

In February, we went on a family vacation in the mountains with my side of the family and a marriage retreat at Lake Lure with our church.

In March, I started my first day as a pharmacist and am still of course working that job one day per week to this day, and we built a mudroom. This was a HUGE project so worth mentioning. haha! You can find the blog that shows the start of it HERE.

In April, I RAN THE BOSTON MARATHON FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! AH! It was so amazing being there!

In May, I ran an ultramarathon for the first time (Gamelands Ultra 50K) and I took home first place (that was a crazy day lol). Tanner's mamaw passed away at the age of 91 and was born in the year 1925! SO amazing! For the past 20 years, she pretty much sat in front of the same TV, wearing the same clothes, the same hair rollers, and ate the same food every.single.day. It was amazing that she lived that long.

In June, we traveled to Colorado for the first time, and I say first time because there will be MANY more. We went to Fraser, CO to a young life camp as leaders and seriously, my heart sang every day I got to look out at those mountains and spend time with those kids. It was a life changing week. I also got closer to my best friend Rachel, who I can't imagine doing life without now.

In July, I went to Utah and fell in love with the mountains there as well. I went there to become an RRCA certified run coach and I got to meet two of my favorite people, Kenzie and Tommy Barlow.

In August, we had officially been in our home for one year, and we couldn't be happier to be staying in a place and NOT moving as we had moved every year of our marriage. This is when heavy ironman training began. I put my head down, basically quit all other responsibilities and made it happen. It was stressful and it was hard, and I think it only intensified that anxiety that I was having because I was alone constantly training and having to tell everyone that I couldn't participate in whatever they were doing. But I was also loving what I was accomplishing, so it all balanced out.

My grandmother (aka Mawmaw) also passed away. It's hard to believe that it was August (although at the very end). I can't believe that we have lived 4 months without her now, and it makes me emotional to type that. I know life just happens that way, but she was a huge part of our family and we saw her and talked to her all the time, so it's just ... hard. This is a blog I wrote about her in the past and I still love reading it! :)

In September, I turned 27 and I genuinely FINALLY felt like I became an adult. Is that weird that I had to get to 27 to feel that way? But I like it. I like how people take you more seriously and that like I pay my own bills (I've been doing that since like 18 though lol) and that I own a house. It's just a cool stage of life that I'm loving.

At the beginning of October, we felt like we might move. Please see above in August. WHY? Lol! Tanner had two really great job opportunities in big cities that just popped up out of nowhere (I should write a full blog on this) but after MUCH consideration, constant deliberation on what to do, we decided that staying in our home and in our hometown was absolutely 100% the plan that God had for our life. Once the decision was made to stay, it was like I could breathe easy again. We realized that we have SUCH an amazing life here, and I'm SO glad that we went through all of that because it really made us look at our life and realize how incredible it is. We really started to appreciate the little things and recognize that even if we were going to move, the grass is not always greener and we need to grow where we are planted, and that's Shelby.

In the middle of October, I went to Chicago for the marathon and it was such an amazing weekend.

At the end of October, I did an ironman (minus a few miles)!! You can read all about my experience HERE and how incredible of a day that was. Seriously, top 10 days of my life. I loved every second of it and knew that I had accomplished something that so many would do.

In November, we went to the Dominican Republic (right after the ironman). I was supposed to come back and fly directly out to New York for the marathon, but decided that it really wasn't the best idea as I had traveled so much and just really needed some routine at home time.

At the beginning of December, we went to San Fransisco and as was typical, I fell in love. I genuinely end up loving just about every place that I go because they all have something new to offer, different people and cultures that I love to learn about, different foods to try, different attractions to go see. I ran the North Face 50K but didn't finish the entire thing. Read about that HERE.

At the end of December as of last week, we hosted the first Christmas in my home since my grandmother passed. We have been doing Christmas at her house since I was born, so it was a really different but good Christmas for the family. My house makes the most sense but I know that it didn't feel as good to everyone because it just wasn't Mawmaws.

In the midst of all the big things, there were the little things. There were the long conversations and laughs with best friends. There was a lot of really late nights and hard work. There were runs I'll never forget, and runs I didn't want to do. There were bike crashes, and date nights with the love of my life. There was small get togethers and church potlucks. There was devotions in the mornings, and cookouts with family on summer nights in the evenings. There were so many smiles, so many tears, and a renewed sense of self. There was deep passion and deep love. I wouldn't trade in 2016 for anything.

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Goals for 2017

It is so unbelievable to me that we are going into 2017! Time is such a crazy thing. I remember thinking that this year was so far off, it was unthinkable. Can you imagine when it's 2030?! That's really only 13 years away which is a long time but not really THAT long. I tell Tanner all the time that life is so interesting in how it's really long but also really short, and goals and dreams are always what keep me on my toes, wanting and hoping to do more. I'm SO thrilled for 2017.

2016 was such an amazing year while also being an interesting year (I'm going to do a 2016 in review tomorrow). My goals were so large that I feel like I just put my head down and did them and when I looked up, it was Christmas and then now here we are! haha! One of my friends at church was like "You didn't throw any parties this year? Why not?!" I genuinely think it's because I just had so much else going on that I didn't even think about doing it, but I love parties, so we just decided that moment that I was going to do a Galentines at my house! haha! :) Let's get to the goals for this coming year! I can't wait!

RUNNING GOALS

My goal is 5 marathons/ultras, but I'm honestly not sure that is going to happen and going to be dependent on how my body holds up. That is a large goal, and I'm okay with that as I'll do less if needed. I also don't plan to PR at those races because that would just be impossible. I only had plans to PR at one of them which I was shooting for Myrtle Beach but upon the hamstring issue and being out for this entire last week, who knows what will happen? I still have plenty of time and my body might surprise me! ;)

The other marathons are:

April - Boston Marathon (I don't plan on being able to run with friends for too long because I know that some of them are going to be going for PR's and like I said, I just want to take Boston nice and easy and enjoy it this time) 

June-Hatfield McCoy Marathon (This is a small race that TONS of people in my community are doing so I couldn't miss out and I love the idea of a summer marathon as those are hard to find. I did Grandfather Mountain Marathon in July of 2015, and that was an amazing race for the summer too!)

Nov-Savannah Marathon (this will be a fast one as well)

Savannah is a funny story because Savannah is the first marathon that I ever signed up for in 2013, and when it came time to train I got so scared that I backed out. I could NOT stop thinking about doing a marathon though for the next year. I worked on my metabolism because I wasn't eating much at the time, gained a lot of muscle, and then I started really running in August of 2014 doing my first marathon in Nov 2014 which was Philly.

North Face Endurance Series San Fran 50K is on my radar for 2017 to go back and get redemption but at the same time I always struggle going back to the same location to do the same type race. It's not because I didn't think that it was wonderful because it really was but just because there are SO many cool races that I sometimes get afraid to box myself in.

I do want to continue doing trail ultras in the future. This is like the year of the marathon even though I thought it was going to be the year of theultra. I just felt that I hadn't given myself a fair shot at being ONLY a marathon runner and I wanted to do that this year and see how I liked it. Next year, I do plan on doing another ironman (seriously-I know I'm crazy lol) but I didn't ACTUALLY get my 140.6 in and now that I've had over two full months to process things, I know that it's something that I have to do. I just hate there isn't more time in the day as I also want to have a year that I focus on trail ultras. 

The 5th addition is up in the air as to what races. I honestly want to do Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in May, but I was thinking and holding out that maybe one day my husband would become an ultra runner and we could do that together. I also would most definitely want to do that with a group and I don't know of anyone doing it. I would LOVE to do the Wasatch 100 but I know that's also something that I've never ventured into before, and I don't think my mind is there just yet. That's just a bucket list thing because Wasatch is where I was running when I went to Utah and fell absolutely 100000% in love.
Regardless, like I said the 5th is up in the air but that's my goal.

It's POSSIBLE that I could get into Chicago (long story haha) but either way, I'll be traveling to be in Chicago on that weekend. I'm hoping to travel to New York for NYC again, and then hopefully running it in 2018!!! That's my big dream!!!

My lifting goals are that I regain the strength that I lost during ironman and get back up to where I can deadlift 200+ while also running high mileage. This was the case right before ironman, and it kinda sucks to have lost that, but at the same time that's the beauty in fitness is that you can ALWAYS gain it back! My body doesn't look the same which I'm genuinely not THAT concerned about (or I probably would have done something #yolo #holidayfood) but at the same time, I know what it's capable of and it just takes a little work to feel like myself again in that area. Like I joke with Tanner about, I stopped lifting, went vegan, and did an ironman and I'm like "WHERE DID ALL MY MUSCLE GO?!" LOLOL! I always tell clients to BE realistic and you can't do all that and expect to look the same. Ha!

NUTRITION GOALS

At this point, I'm pretty much cruising with what works for me, but I would like to continue to experiment more in the plant based world. There are so many fun meals to make, and I am the worst about experimenting, but I want to get better at that as it can really make things yummy and interesting!

FAITH BASED GOALS

I am beginning Utmost for His Highest that is a devotion that you read every day. It's not a lot at all, and for some reason I've been in this season of seeking truth on a lot of things. That sounds so "Christianese" but genuinely 2016 provided the US with a lot of topics that were really TOUGH and I feel that Christians were made to look really bad in many circumstances. I, myself struggled with how many things were handled and people I looked up to doing things I didn't agree with and so I want to know how I feel. This coincides with the reading goals that I have because I do want some of those books to be ones that I'm seeking knowledge of His word, and sink into his grace in my imperfections with all of this. I want to have a deeper connection and relationship with the Lord and that's something that year after year I strive towards, but it's something that you can never be close enough! :)

READING GOALS

My goal is to read at least one book per month which is really slow reading but we all know how life happens and then reading gets pushed to the side. I genuinely love to read so I like to take 10-15 minutes in the evening and sink into a book. I got a library card, and it's been so fun to just go some evenings and go through the shelves. It just is this calming atmosphere, and reminds me so much of my childhood.

BUSINESS GOALS

This is a HUGE one, and another reason that I most likely will stick with marathons instead of ultras or tri this year! My husband and I are launching a new company, and it's something that we are super passionate about, and I'll keep dropping hints until the launch because I'm so excited to share, but also feel I can't yet. It does however have to do with international and local missions and will be heavily focused on charity. While fitness is always going to be HUGE in my life, I just genuinely kept feeling this pull over and over again. It was something that was super hard for me to listen to because to be honest, when you are doing well in one thing, why would you think about doing something else? That's how this is. I bought the domain and got the instagram handle for the name of this company at the end of 2015, and I've been sitting on it for a YEAR without moving forward because I was so busy with my current business and it just didn't make sense to not be able to pour my heart and soul into it.

I decided a few months ago that I was not going to be doing nutrition coaching anymore, and solely focus on run coaching as well as this new venture. Tanner started to see my passion every day for this, and he said that there is just no way that he couldn't be an integral part of it as I am so it will be something that we do TOGETHER. Run coaching is also something that I'm obviously SUPER passionate about and one of my favorite things to do so I knew that was not going ANYWHERE and it had to be something that I could balance (while also working one day per week at the pharmacy-lol at my life). I promise I'm not hyping it up (or I hope not) and our goal is to be able to launch at the beginning of March AT THE LATEST! But the MOST important thing to us is that it's ready. We want to do NOTHING that is halfway and we want people to know that we are serious from the get go. We have a really huge vision for this, and like I said, it's something that I could see myself doing for the rest of my life and that I feel like God has called me to do if I'm being 100% transparent.

I know I've been more absent on social media, but I also have been working a lot behind the scenes so nothing at all is wrong I promise, but just how life has kind of happened. It's also insane to think that I've been blogging consistently now for over 2.5 years! WOW! It feels like I just started this thing while at the same time, NOT AT ALL! lol! It's amazing to be able to look back though and have all these race recaps and fun travel adventures and goals that I set each year to see if I've hit. I just love blogging, so I don't want you to think that's going anywhere either.

My other goals include consistently reshaping myself to be a better wife, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. I really love the people in my life so much, and I want them to know it!! Our goals for 2017 do not include children even though if you had told me that I would turn 28 without having a child, I would have thought you were INSANE. For right now, we have decided that's what is best for our family, and we just REALLY love life together and want to wait a while longer, and that may mean that I don't have them until 30. Maybe I'll only adopt (although currently we do want to have our own as well). I don't know, and I'm just going to seek what the Lord has for me, and right now, I feel it's not having our own just yet! :)

I can't wait to hear what your goals are for 2017! Let me know and we can work on ours together.

 

 

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Visualizing Joy in Imperfect Circumstance

Okay, so this is something that my husband and I talk about frequently because honestly, sometimes we feel like the weakest link. I get asked all the time how I stay injury free, and I've had a good ride, but I just KNEW that as soon as I started doing speed, I'd get something. I took every precaution possible. Here are the things that I did differently starting out this training cycle: sleep more, eat better (more plant based foods), I actually weigh more so I feel I'm more sturdy and durable, dynamic stretching before, static stretching after, and making it a primary importance in my life therefore there is no stress around the workouts. I felt that stress and sleep have made a huge difference in my past. But lo and behold, a hamstring pain after my long run. My long run was FAST this week (16 miles @ 7:22) so I'm sure that's what made it painful.

I know it's not serious (neither the small niggle or situation). I know that if I stay off of it that it will heal (as I have done since the long run so 4th day not running or biking or swimming-only lifting). I reasonably know how this works, and that if I just back off then those things that aren't things won't turn into things. haha! As I have talked about before, I don't really get upset about missed workouts because inevitably something always happens. I will say I get SO frustrated at the fact that I feel my body doesn't withstand well with the level at which I like to do things. Tanner feels the EXACT same way about his.

Tanner has been dealing with some form of injury off and on since literally 3 years ago. It's always something, and when I say always, I mean always, to the point that I feel really bad for him. And as I've mentioned before, he does EVERYTHING the way that he should in terms of injury prevention. Currently, he has a torn hamstring. This came from just one young life night where he was chasing a kid and who even knows what happened...but that was 6 months ago and he's still dealing with the pain even though he's rested it many many times. He finally got an MRI and saw the tear and is on rest from anything leg related for 6-8 weeks. Yesterday, he literally wanted to toss his hands in the air and just say WHAT GIVES!? Poor guy. I just wanted to give him a hug. I know the feeling all too well.

So, we discussed the things that we WISH we could do even if we couldn't do them in that moment and visualize what we love and weirdly enough it helps to soothe the pain of what your body sometimes won't allow. We watched youtube videos on the Salomon channel which I'll link up because it's a super cool channel. We talked about how we wish that we lived at the base of a mountain in the snowyest (is that a word?) parts of the US (we literally get zero snow where we are lol), and how we wish we could be in nature and the mountains all the time doing extreme events.

We wish that we could be training at high levels all the time while also spending the weekends back country skiing and spending vacation in the Alps or the mountains of Norway. Seriously, this is our DREAM. We talk about it all the time, but time and again, our body's seem to say NOPE...THINK AGAIN KIDDOS. I know that all the people who haven't experienced this will think "Oh well just try XYZ". I'm gonna bet we have. We KNOW that when you are doing extreme stuff, you might end up hurt, and that's okay with us. I know that sounds weird, but I think every athlete knows that there are going to be times where something is off, and that is something that you just learn to deal with. What is not fun is when it keeps you from what you love, and in Tanner's case feeling like it will really always be something.

So, we dream. We plan what we can. We do what we can. We give our body's the rest that they are asking for with two injury prone capacities and we work around it. It would be SO easy for Tanner and I to sit back and just say "Forget it", and I even think that people wouldn't blame us. Well, naturally, you know how most people are in most communities. Even those reading this will probably say, "That Katie and Tanner-they just don't listen to their body's and are just TOO extreme." HA! I wish you knew how NOT extreme we are on a day to day basis. We see others and we CRAVE to be able to do what they do without something happening. We feel it's very odd that at our age, we both are so injury prone.

{{I keep saying injury, but I can't say that mine is ever really "injury". It's never anything serious, but enough that every few weeks, I'll have something keep me out for a week and then every half year, I'll have something put me out for like 6 weeks. You can't consistently make progress when that happens. It's literally maddening.}}

But we visualize, and we won't give up. We will treat our body's with respect while also knowing that the pain we feel is worth it for those moments that we get to experience. We know that even if the things that we want to do can only be done in our minds and our dreams because our location, job situations, and our body's aren't ideal, then that's okay. We know that the joy from visualization will manifest in seeing others do these things as well as leading us to keep on the path of pursuit never giving up and know that there will be those windows where we get lucky and the stars align.

I was half injured all the way to Boston last year, but I made it to the finish and that counts for something! ;)

I was half injured all the way to Boston last year, but I made it to the finish and that counts for something! ;)

I feel it's similar to watching the pros in whatever sport that you love. It's so inspiring to see youtube videos of those athletes and maybe it's just me but I think it's because this video gives this small window into the life of what it would be like. In those moments, you are allowed to visualize what gives you so much joy and passion and be able to make it your own by living it through someone else. I know you guys see the training plans and the finish lines. I don't share the aches and pains a lot because who really wants to see that. I also don't share them because inevitably the comments pop up:

"It's because she doesn't eat." (which is hilarious because I eat SO much) 

"It's because she overtrains." (I legit have done a 50 mile week maybe 3 times in my life and otherwise, it's much lower. I WISH I could do 100 mile weeks and I would if my body allowed.)

"It's because she won't rest." (I take one full sit on my butt day every single week and this week I actually have done one lifting day and it's thursday soooooo LOL)

I know you're thinking this isn't normal and that it HAS to be something that Tanner and I are doing. Believe me, I know, and I've been through all the things, talked with the doctors, etc etc. I just think at the end of the day sometimes people are more injury prone than others. And also just simply chance. I think that by chance Tanner got a hamstring tear directly after he had a long road dealing with a shoulder issue which was directly after a hernia surgery which was directly after the time he got a herniated disc while we were moving (crazy right?). You take the good with the bad and enjoy every moment that this beautiful life gives you!

But the thing is, we wake up EVERY single morning with choices to make. We decide how we are going to run the day and not how the day runs us. That is OUR choice, and no one can take that away from us. We can decide that we will put a positive spin on our situations, and we will do all the rehab and prehab for those small glimpses of bliss that we get when we are at the top of the ski slopes. I will live for the moments like when I was in Utah and we reached the summit and I just screamed out because of the pure joy that I felt that I couldn't keep inside.

I will live for the moments when we were traveling to Norway and we got caught in a blizzard and we made our way to the top of that mountain in the snow to a little cafe. It was a coffee and dessert in a cafe and I literally think that we will remember it for the rest of our lives because with the blizzard and being in Norway, it's just things you don't forget.

In the mundane day to day life, you have to CHOOSE joy and visualization of your dreams or you'll never get there. In the bad and the good, choose to recognize that you'll make it through to the other side. Know that if you are smart then you will turn the corner of whatever it is that you're dealing with and get to manifest all those things that you've been visualizing.

So if you've wondered why I haven't posted on insta this week (I know you probably haven't HA), I've been sitting on my butt and just working! ;) lol!

I ALSO KNOW THAT I KEEP TALKING ABOUT AN ANNOUNCEMENT ... that I keep not making... and I will I promise. We are working A LOT behind the scenes and just really want things to be right so it might be a while, but just hang around or keep your eyes peeled in February or March and I think you'll really love what it's all about. I promise I'm not just hyping up something that isn't super meaningful to me/us/gonna be my full time gig/pouring my life into it so much/gonna keep blogging and running so no worries! haha! :)

 

 

 

 

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Should You Become a Pharmacist?

I surprisingly get this question a lot. I get emails of people that want to go into the field and asking my opinion or "why I left" and then I'm teaching a pharmacy technician certification course, and they ask me how I knew that pharmacy was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Let's dive into this shall we? Should you be a pharmacist or not and what is the process? That's quite the loaded question.

For most, I think you have to ask yourself are you okay with long hours on your feet? Like sometimes 10-12 hours without sitting down. Are you okay with never taking a bathroom break or a lunch break because have you ever walked into a pharmacy and been told the pharmacist is on lunch? If so, you were probably raging mad you had to wait even one second longer right? Are you going to be okay with people yelling/fussing at you for things that aren't your fault? Can you multitask to the nth degree? Do you enjoy being REALLY busy for hours at a time? Are you okay with getting very little vacation time and having to have that time approved a year in advance? Are you okay with working every other weekend and varying shifts?

My grandmother that just recently passed at my graduation <3

My grandmother that just recently passed at my graduation <3

Because here's the truth...these are not questions that most people ask themselves before they go into pharmacy school but THIS is the reality that 90% of pharmacists will live in for 30+ years. I know that we can all find flaws in our careers, so I promise that's not what I'm here to do but to genuinely have you THINK it through instead of the romanticized pharmacy that I feel is the misconception going in. If thisis not you, then there are other routes in pharmacy and you need to be proactive from the beginning about going after them because they aren't as easy to obtain.

I also want to say that it was totally my plan to be a retail pharmacist. The path that the Lord had for me was outside of anything I could have ever imagined, but isn't it always? ;) I will say that I was terrified of it, but also excited for it. But my story isn't necessarily what I'm here for today.

Getting into pharmacy school was tough and pharmacy school was even tougher, but that's a small part of your life compared to what you will do in your career, so I think that's the most important thing to consider. There are four routes that people typically go on if they become a pharmacist, and those are

  • Retail pharmacy (Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Target, etc)
  • Independent pharmacy (local drug store-which is actually what I work)
  • Hospital pharmacy (dispensing and what is referred to as "the basement pharmacy")
  • Specialized hospital pharmacy (second year residency, working with a clinical team)

Want to know the craziest part of those choices? You probably saw specialized pharmacy and thought "Oh that sounds cool" and it is. It's amazing, and the people that do those jobs have worked their BUTTS off, but for some reason, those will make the least. Sometimes going from retail pharmacy to hospital pharmacy, people will take a 15-30k annual pay cut, and I know people who have done it just to be able to get out of the world of retail. Retail is HARDDDDD and for the strong at heart, and so from what I can gather, you are paid better because you are their work horse. Pay does matter. We all have massive (MASSIVE) loans to pay back.

Quick side note about loans as paying back loans is as much a part of pharmacy as anything. I'm going to be real with the numbers here so that anyone considering can have the full picture. Depending on what state you are in, you may have the option to go to public, but the only public pharmacy school in North Carolina is UNC Chapel Hill which is the #2 pharmacy school in the nation. If you can get in, that's wonderful but I knew that wasn't an option for me. The other two are private schools, and while I love Campbell, there is a price tag of $35K/year. That's 4 years at $35,000 which totals $140,000. This isn't something you can't look up online but I know money is weird to talk about. If you go to a public school then most likely it'll be about half of that so $70,000. You CAN get in after 2 years of undergrad, but that's rare and typically would be if you went to the college you are trying to get into. My husband did, but that's another $30K/year, so $60K plus that $140K=$200K. For me, it took 3 years, but I went to a public undergrad, so therefore it was a little less (I don't remember the figures). I do know that I came out of school owing $220,000 and so did my husband. We owed $400,000 together with a whopping interest rate of 7%!!!!! That means that each year, it will grow about $30,000 combined (they aren't combined). I won't go into any more detail, but I feel this is SO important and it's not talked about enough when making the consideration to go into pharmacy school. Maybe you have parents that can afford your schooling, and that's great but I would say more likely than not, that's not the case (plus I would never want my mom to pay that-that's insane lol). If you are going into hospital, there is a loan forgiveness program which is where they take a percentage of your income and formulate a payment based off of that, and after 10 years it's forgiven. That's what Tanner is doing and it will save us around $100K. Some will pay their loans for the rest of their lives, and it's payments around $1500/month at the minimum.

If you want to go into hospital pharmacy, it is harder to get into but it can pay off and be worth it in the end but just wanting you to know that you should know from the get go that this is what you want to do so that you can pursue it. Not everyone in pharmacy gets a residency and so the spots are limited, therefore you need to kick butt in school and be involved with all the things to get you to those spots. It's tough, but it's possible. Typically people just do a first year general residency but it's getting more common to do a second year residency of specialty as well. It depends on where you live, but it can be VERY hard (sometimes impossible) to get into a hospital pharmacy job without a residency, so you will end up working retail (whether commercial or independent). There ARE some that love retail, and I'm so thankful for those pharmacists. They work SO hard, and here is a blog I wrote about that.

Now, let's talk about getting into school. You have to have all of the prereqs and if you have that, then you do not have to graduate with an undergrad degree to get in. My husband and I both do not have undergrad degrees but we have doctorates. It's interesting. But, it's becoming more and more difficult so of course if you do have an undergrad degree, you have a better chance of getting in. Once you are in, you have 4 years of school with 3 of them being didactic and the last one is a year of rotations where you get to visit different pharmacy sites and decide which you think would be right for you. I really enjoyed that year for the most part.

I will take this time to say that there are a lot of different ways that you can become a pharmacist. It's NOT just the ways that I listed above, but it just needs to be something that you are actively pursuing or you will end up on that route because it's just the natural progression of things. There is long term care pharmacy (nursing homes) which is more chart work behind the scenes not actually working with the patients, or consultant pharmacy which sometimes provides work from home opportunities (score if you have those jobs lol), nuclear pharmacy, industry (big pharma companies-super hard to get in but really high paying great jobs from what I understand), being a professor, and I'm sure SO many other things. For example, my husband works 7-4 Monday through Friday, no weekends, no holidays in an outpatient clinic for chemo patients at our local hospital that is 1 mile from our house. He has worked INCREDIBLY hard to get where he is, and he's very smart, but he has one of those 1% of jobs that everyone would love. He also knows it and talks about it all the time how thankful he is for his job.

I also don't want to sound like this entire blog was negative, but rather realistic and practical because I feel that you NEED to know what you're up against before you start down the path. With all of that being said, since I'm dogging pharmacy today (ha), I'm literally SO thankful that I did it. SO SO THANKFUL! As tough of a career that it is, it's a stable and good career. If you read all the things above and still think this is the career for you but some of the things scare you then that's the perfect opportunity to pursue some of those paths that aren't as common.

I hope this helps those that have asked! ha!

 

 

 

 

 

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Habits of a Healthy Relationship with Exercise

Last week when I made the post about having a healthy relationship with food, there were a couple of people that asked about what it looked like to have a healthy relationship with exercise. While this is not something that I struggled with, I know that it's something that many do struggle with. The biggest thing with any of these topics to determine if you are mentally sound about it or not is just how you feel and approach the topic. I think it's appropriate to ask yourself some questions for this topic.

1. ARE YOU ENJOYING YOUR FORM OF EXERCISE?

I feel as if I'm a pretty good example of this. Do I think that my sport of choice is going to give me my desired body shape? Actually no. When I was training for the ironman, I had to stop lifting, and then I went vegan so I have lost a substantial amount of muscle. As of last week actually, I felt that it was something that I need to really focus on during an off season because I want to be strong for my sport, but I choose my sport of running because I LOVE IT. I love to run and I love to lift, but I basically love to do both and there's nothing that is going to change that. For a while, I only lifted and I did gain muscle during that time, but I always had this longing to get back to running, so I did.

I also want to add in here that it really is possible to maintain muscle mass while running and training for marathons, and I have written many blog articles about it, but I literally stopped lifting AT ALL and I stopped eating protein AT ALL soooooo...you can't expect any different. haha!!

2. DO YOU DO YOUR PARTICULAR WORKOUTS JUST TO CHANGE YOUR BODY? 

I think this can go hand in hand with #1! Are you just doing these exercises and hating them the entire time? That would be miserable. I was thinking about how if you don't actually LOVE the sport that you're doing, then you can easily form a hatred for the gym if you do morning workouts. If your soul purpose is to change your body then how miserable to wake up at 5am to work out. I don't know about you but I'm a different human at 5am, and I'm not very enthused about what's going on. haha! However, I have huge goals in marathon running, so I'm able to pop out of the bed knowing that these huge dreams that I've set for myself are not going to be accomplished if I don't get up and get moving.

I know that it's unrealistic for everyone to have a sport that speaks to their soul the way that I feel about running, but I do think that it's possible to find what you love and not what you hate and dread in exercise. Did you play soccer growing up? Well find a local indoor soccer team! Tennis? Your local YMCA probably has tons that you could get involved with.

3. DO YOU FEEL GUILTY IF YOU MISS?

I think this is probably the biggest one. It's one thing to have a little bit of guilt if you miss a workout, but I have been a "fit girl" for about 4 years now, and I cannot tell you how many workouts that I have missed and skipped. LIFE.HAPPENS. It actually bothers me when girls get uptight about 1-2 workouts missed in a week. It really is okay, and with consistency in your training and your gym routine for whatever your goals may be, a missed workout is NOT going to hurt you!!! I repeat... jk I won't repeat. haha!

I'm a weird mix and sometimes wonder how I ever make it to the gym and workouts completed because I'm a little too chill when it comes to workouts. I literally feel zero guilt when I miss. haha! The beautiful thing about the first couple of missed workouts though is that you start to trust yourself more and more. You realize that it really isn't a big deal. If you are someone that has tied yourself to that for years and years and never missed, then I actually encourage you to have a season of missing. It helps you to learn and see that 1) your training will be fine and 2) your body will not change. Because that's just not how it works. Our training and our body changes due to diet and exercise are always on a continuum. The workout that you do today is additive of all of the other ones that you've done as well.

I know though that sometimes this is something that many really struggle with and have for years and place a lot of guilt on themselves if they miss, and I'm not trying to belittle that. Just because it's not something that I struggle with does not mean that it's not very real and harms quality of life. The two tips that I have for this are what I said above about giving yourself a few missed workouts and seeing that you are fine (or even thinking back to missed workouts and remembering that you are in fact fine now) and then the other would be to write it all out. Write out those emotions and how it made you feel. After that, write out worst case scenario. Think about what it is that you are feeling and what you believe will happen if you miss? Where does that land you? Is that place REALLY that bad.

Story time however to let you know you aren't alone if this is something you really struggle with. Sometimes I'm in a room full of people (it should be noted that I LOVE being in a room full of people and parties and Christmas and yayay), I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach like "Something is wrong. I need to leave this space." I have felt this so strongly since I was a kid, and it wasn't until probably the last year that I realized that DUH it's anxiety. Once I'm out of the particular space and home, I'm fine again. I felt it last night and Tanner said "Okay, well take a moment and realize that those emotions are irrational." For some reason, because I'm a woman, that hit me wrong. He was trying to be helpful but I was like DUDE LIKE I DON'T KNOW IT'S IRRATIONAL!!! haha! Point being: You might even know that the feelings that you have towards a missed workout are irrational but sometimes that doesn't stop you from feeling them, and that's okay, but I think it's important to rationalize with yourself and realize that it all will be okay.

4. DO YOU SKIP WORKOUTS YOU ENJOY BECAUSE THEY WON'T CHANGE YOUR BODY THE WAY YOU WANT?

This might not be as common, but I know that for a while, I kept putting running on the back burner because of what everyone always told me. I couldn't have my muscle mass and my running. WRONG-O. But, it is something that I have to work hard for, and sometimes people just stay away from running because of it. They also just might genuinely hate running which that's cool too but I just would never want someone to just do something strictly for their body image versus what they love.

5. DO YOU FEEL GOOD WHEN YOU DO THIS EXERCISE?

EXERCISE TO FEEL GOOD. EXERCISE TO FEEL GOOD. DO NOT EXERCISE TO LOOK GOOD! You can ask literally EVERY single person, I think at least, if they are able to keep a consistent gym//run//tri schedule because it makes them look good or because it makes them feel good. If they have a healthy relationship with exercise, the answer will always be that it makes them feel good. Yes, my 16 miler was hard yesterday morning and I got out of bed like "what in the world am I doing?" hahaha! But, once it was done, I remember every single time why I do this. Because it feels good. It feels good literally until I go to bed and wake up and do it again! It feels good right when you finish and if you are sore then it feels good knowing that you are doing something good for yourself. Maybe that's just me but I love when I'm sore. I'm like YES I WORKED HARD! :) ALWAYS do it to feel good not look good.

6. DO YOU DREAD GOING TO THE GYM?

My personal opinion is that you can be a healthy individual and not step foot in the gym. If you don't like the gym, and you have tried to create habits there and every time you end up defeated and hating it, then I say skip it. If you find something at home that you like it or you just simply enjoy walking outside your house sometimes, then that is fine. I get a lot of people in my hometown that say "Oh I can't look like you because you run all the time." First, I looked like this before I ran marathons. haha! And second, it really is possible to get all of the results that you want (for the most part if you aren't super picky and just want to lose a little weight) with diet alone. You NEED to be happy and the things that you do every day should bring you joy.

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Tips to make it through the Long Run

When someone begins training for their first half or full marathon, the long run is always that thing that is looming and they are afraid to conquer. It is something that you know that you have to do but you just don't know how you are going to do it. You think that you might actually die. You get butterflies before you go out the door. I will never forget my first 16 mile run. It was quite literally horrible. It was through Manhattan so I think back and how I would give just about anything to be able to run those beautiful streets again, but at the time I was taking that for granted and it was the most painful experience of my life.

I thought that there was no way in hedes that I was going to be able to add 10 miles to that for a full marathon. I just couldn't. At mile 11, I hit a wall and I just forced myself to continue. The will to take one step and put it in front of the other was intense for that run thankfully, so I did finish when I was hurting and didn't want to. The truth is though: that was just a fluke. I was just having a bad day. I did an 18 miler after that and I was fine.

1. THE FIRST FEW LONG RUNS WILL SUCK

So, the first piece of advice that I have is that every long run is not going to be good. In fact, the first couple that you do might be bad because you haven't figured out your pacing, nutrition, and just your general groove yet. So, be patient and give yourself time to get used to it.

2. PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER

Know that your body WILL get you through it if your mind is there. If you continue to put one foot in front of the other, you are GOING to finish. There is no doubt in my mind and there is no doubt in the way this whole running thing works that if you put one foot in front of the other, you'll get to the other side and you'll finish. The butterflies that you feel are natural, but they shouldn't be in fear of finishing.

3. THINK ABOUT PEOPLE DOING MORE EXTREME THINGS

When I first started and was needing to convince myself to go the extra mile, I used to look for the ultra runner hashtag so that I could find some people that were more extreme than me that I could think about on my long runs. "If so and so can go this far, then I can at least do this much." I have had tons of people email me and say that they have done this tactic for things that I am doing, so heck, use me even when I'm using others. I'm doing a 16 miler tomorrow at 6am. Maybe that will help you to feel like yours isn't as intense, and I'll look to the people that I know are doing 50K races in the snow.

4. STOP THINKING ABOUT IT

This is the same tactic that I use for race days. I know that a certain amount of nerves is a good thing but I don't like feeling nervous. It's not a good feeling so I make myself not think about it. I just push it out of my mind. I busy myself with other things similarly the way that I did (unsuccessfully) when I've been through heartbreak. haha! Sometimes we can't control our emotions, but sometimes we really can. I talk about this a lot because it genuinely works.

5. PLAN FOR IT

While not thinking about it, you also have to plan for it. If you don't plan for it, it actually might not happen and you may end up bailing on that run. Don't go out partying the night before. Actually, for the first ones, don't even have a glass of wine the night before. Have a great hearty dinner, and then go to bed early so that you are feeling good and refreshed. Block out more time than just the time that it takes to do the run because you do NOT want to feel rushed. If you had it planned for a Saturday but have more time on a Sunday afternoon then change the run to that time. If you have a coach that has it planned for a day that doesn't work for you then let them know as that is important. Have some water and gus ready. The last thing that you want to do is to get out there and run out of gas or to feel super dehydrated. The long runs are hard enough without having to deal with those parameters so you want to have planned for those. I plan my long runs around places that I know I can stop to go to the bathroom as well. I know which businesses have public restrooms just in case of emergency. 

6. MAKE A PLAYLIST / LOOK UP PODCAST / BUY AUDIO BOOK

You should never be going out for your first long runs with nothing to do. I can do that now that I've done enough of them that it doesn't bother me and I know how to mentally prepare myself for it, but you need to have something that you are going to listen to while you are running to take your mind off of it. I like to listen to murder podcasts because the stories keep me really intrigued. hahaha! Call me crazy buttttt, I love it. I didn't realize I wasn't the only person that loved murder stories until I found the podcast "My Favorite Murder" and it's respectable humor about murder stories. You have to listen to understand.

I'm not one to make a playlist just because like who has time for that? My husband is a playlist kind of guy though and is always Mr. Organized with everything even down to his phone and his specific playlists. If playlists are your thing, then a long run playlist is an awesome idea. It can be all the epic music that gets you pumped up.

7. ENJOY IT

You are doing this marathon as a thing for enjoyment I'm sure. It might be something that you are testing your limits or running for someone you love or lost, but at the end of the day, this is a life changing experience. It should be something that you adore, and something that you love, and so make sure to look at the scenery around you. I always try to take a second during my long runs to think about what I'm thankful for. It always is so apparent in those moments and long runs become like a spiritual experience because you realize that you really are so lucky to be able to get out there and have the health to be able to complete something so awesome. I cried at the end of that first 16 miler, and it's something that I will never forget. It was a beautiful and painful experience.

I hope this helps you and inspires you to get out there and get those long runs done this weekend! :)

 

 

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Genuinely Loving The Christmas Season

Did anyone else look at the date today and think "How in the world is Christmas in 10 days?" It's December 15th and that is just crazy! I know that I feel like if I just blink then the next 10 days are going to be here and gone and then we move on into 2017! Holy cow! Life is such a fun and crazy whirlwind.

If you are like me, then you LOVE this time of year. I think that most people love Christmas, but also feel the stress that Christmas brings. You might not be one of those people and you might hate it. Who knows? haha! This year was a little different for me because we went to San Fran at the beginning of December for 5 days. I know that shouldn't matter but San Fran wasn't really decorated anywhere like NYC is, and I'm one that likes to celebrate ALL MONTH LONG so I felt like I was missing out a little bit. We weren't able to decorate until that following weekend which was last weekend (which now I'm just in love with my house and may leave up this decor until the end of January haha).

I think that as much as we love it, we are all also overwhelmed by Christmas. It's hard not to be with all of the decor, gifts, wrapping, cooking, parties, volunteering, and that just scratches the surface. We all have all of our normal obligations and to do lists but have to add a lot more time and money into that. We want the ones that we love to be happy when they open their gifts, but also most don't have the money really so it's just most of the time very stressful.

I think that we all are like "Remember the reason for the season" but we don't actually sit down to ACTUALLY enjoy it. For some reason, for Thanksgiving and Christmas this year I just made the conscious decision not to stress. It's funny how you can do that and it just happens. I always have to remind myself of that little piece of advice in other areas. Last year, I didn't feel that way. I posted this blog post about Feeling Inadequate. It was a crazy popular blog because I think that so many can relate. I'm typically one to always be transparent about my anxieties and stress and luckily, I am not feeling as crazy so I get to write about this season in a more positive light #thankyajesus. 

I typically throw parties, but it just wasn't on the to do list this year therefore it didn't happen. I could be upset about that and of course I missed having my family and friends in my home, but at the end of the day, no one remembers the parties that I've had in the past or cares that I didn't have them this year, and I'll probably have them next. Are you a parent? Maybe you just simply don't have time for elf on the shelf? Who cares? That did not exist when I was a kid, and I loved Christmas regardless. Please don't feel the pressure to do that. It's another created thing for consumerism.

I know that we know it but when we stop and think about it, this holiday has been made into one big spending affair. Don't fall into the traps that they want you to fall into just to make all of these stores money. As I always say, experiences > material items. This year our family finally decided that we weren't going to do elaborate gifts for one another (it seriously got CRAZY up in there), but that we were going to shop for some needy families instead. We all agreed that all of the girls would go shopping to pick out the things so that we could spend time together. I LOVE THAT SO MUCH MORE!

I know that I'll be one of those "weird" parents (and I know I'm doing the thing where I'm speaking of things I'll do before I actually have children) but I just don't see the need to get them 487 gifts. I think that a few is wonderful and it allows you to really think about them, get to know them and what they love, and then get them something they will adore. How special! I want to DO things with my kids. I want to take them to see lights, and I want to take them camping in the mountains while we talk about the true meaning of the season and how Jesus was born and what a celebration that is. I want to have an overabundance of joy different than usual, but I think that we don't allow ourselves to sink into that.

We worry about the family drama that's going on. We worry about how we are going to get to all sides of the family and make everyone happy. We worry that our cookies will be the ones that people want to eat at the cookie party and if no one touches ours then we leave disappointed. We put SO MUCH PRESSURE on ourselves when if we think about what Jesus would want, he would look at us and say "Children, please REST! Celebrate my birth but not in this way. Think of me. Talk about me. Why are you buying gifts for your 2nd cousin twice removed and it's a Starbucks gift card because you can't think of anything else but turns out 2nd cousin doesn't even like coffee?" WHY OH WHY DO WE DO THIS?! haha! We spend SO much of our money just built on these expectations of what Christmas should look like when in reality we ALL have it wrong. We ALL were conditioned into all of this because stores wanted to make money and that has snowballed through the years.

Garland is expensive so we went in our backyard and made our own. The garland around the light fixture is home made and we have it up and down our banisters! I LOVE IT!! We have holly bushes too so that's in there!

Garland is expensive so we went in our backyard and made our own. The garland around the light fixture is home made and we have it up and down our banisters! I LOVE IT!! We have holly bushes too so that's in there!

I think that it takes a conscious decision from each person and each family to decide what is right for them. I think that it takes effort because the natural thing to do is to stress and worry and spend spend spend, but when we allow ourselves to truly relax, and we make the decision to not let it get to us, everything changes. That's what has happened to me this year and I just adore it, and never want it to end. I come in the door, and I plug my tree in and I'm just like "AH!" I honestly have bought a lot of gift cards this year and that's totally not my style. I stress myself out to find the perfect gift for each person because it BOTHERS ME that if I'm spending money on someone, I better know them enough that I know what to get them, and if I don't, then why am I spending this money? So, I let that stress me out. I WANT to be thoughtful for my children to only have a few gifts and get to know them, but there are some people that I just am expected to purchase for and I'll not fight that and just give them a gift card because #aintnobodygottimeforthat. It's just not worth the stress.

So while last year I was stressing and feeling inadequate, this year I'm feeling on top of the world and very jubilee. haha! Stick with me for a few more years as I start having kids and we can tally up what my emotions are each year. I told Tanner at work yesterday how I was in the BEST MOOD but that my emotions were like the winds and he never knew what he'd get by the time I got home! ;) hahaha! What a time to be a woman right!?

Okay, now quit your stressing and go love on your tribe. That's all we really actually want. 

 

 

 

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Life Organization Update + Tips to Improve Yours

So a while back in August, I made a post about "How I organized my life" and it was actually extremely successful and continues to be one of my most popular posts to this day. Sometimes it's funny how a topic hits and you have no clue that people are going to be interested but then they are. I think that organization is one of those things that everyone finds difficult so when we are able to make it "click", it really makes a difference in our every day lives so we all try to harness that energy.

Since August, I really did make this habit stick. There are some habits that I work towards that are complete failures (like not constantly eating out of the peanut butter jar with a fork-HA-I'm not kidding it's ridiculous lol). There are some habits that stick (reading the Bible in one year) and this was one of those. The one tip that I heard from someone that said that there are no excuses in each moment and that you genuinely just have to do it THAT second. You can't let things back up. It has changed my life, honestly.

The house stays clean. The dishes stay done. The laundry is always done. I know that I sound like this perfect house wife, and that is so far from the truth. I SUCK at making dinner. Like, I really worry about that and having children. I'm always like "Ah Tanner just make a sandwich or something" BUT BOY THAT LAUNDRY IS DONE. lol! Point is: I'm not trying to make this about being perfect. It's about the stress eliminated through organization.

When I walk into my house, I want to BREATHE EASY. When I was coming into my house, I was feeling anxiety which is why I had that moment in August where I asked my team, "WHAT IN THE WORLD CAN I DO?!" They gave me so many helpful tips and I have put so many into action. But, just like getting a workout routine started, or healthy eating, or reading your Bible, you just simply have to do it.

I make to do lists every day and I stick to them. The dishes go DIRECTLY into the dishwasher. If the washer is empty, the clothes go directly in. The second the buzzer goes off, they go in the dryer. (It is also of note that I don't have kids so I'm not trying to play like I understand that life-I really think with the way kids are it's kind of impossible so I get that).

When you decide you are going to have a chill day, how do you feel at the end of the day? For me, I feel lethargic and I don't want to do anything. When I wake up with my game face on, then I take on the day with my game face. I've realized recently that one of the things that has made me feel the most organized and productive is a morning workout. It sets the tone for the entire day. Tanner has started the same. Out of bed at 445am, bed immediately made, coffee chugging, cars cranked to warm up, and sip coffee and chat like zombies until we leave to go do our individual workouts (we go to different gyms-different goals). I come home and I'm like a machine before I start work. I get ready, do laundry and dishes and write lists and plan phone calls. I feel like a freakin BOSS, and it's such a lovely way to start the day!

This is not a call to perfection. PLEASE don't mistake that for this blog, but it is a call to make simple changes that can change your stress levels! I think one of the biggest things that doesn't allow for us to be organized is because we aren't present!!! We simply aren't paying attention. We are scrolling through instagram, facebook, etc and not truly just getting junk done. My instagram never grows anymore really so I guess it's a trade off. I used to be on my phone all the time helping with that, but I just stopped. It's been bad for business, for sure, so I can't say i feel rosy inside about that, but I also know that I have huge projects in the works, and that's what this thing is all about! :)

When you start your NIGHTS organized, your mornings become organized. For example, I have started blogging the night before (I'm writing this at 9:30pm) and after this, I'm going to pack my lunch for work at the pharmacy tomorrow. I'm going to go to bed after that, wake up at 445am and do the whole deal again. I have a coffee date at 8am for discussing a proposal plan with the city for starting a marathon in Shelby (WHAT WHAT SO PUMPED), then I have to be at work by 9. I'll post my blog post at 745 before I leave my house. POINT: I have all of this PLANNED. I used to just go with the flow and I was just always a hot mess express forgetting everything. I think just about everyone could vouch for that as I was constantly disorganized, double booking, etc etc. I still am classic double booker because I tell everyone SUREEEE in the moment then go home to then see I have other plans (eek- I hate when I do that).

I will be at work by 9 and be feeling like "wow-I just did all that and I can just rest into the day" and that's what I'll do. I try to work an 11 hour shift one day per week because I want to do a really good job at my job there, but I also have LOTSS going on with katiesfitscript that I'm constantly doing (most of which goes unseen I know and people must wonder what I do all day-I promise I'm not over reading books all the time-I WISH. lol)

{{Side Note-speaking of books-I've been reading Bridge to Haven by Francene Rivers on the treadmill in the mornings and I'm truly enjoying it! I had agreed with myself that if I was going to do workouts in the morning then I was to read my devotion or a Christian novel-this is just Christian fiction so it doesn't really count but I'm going to count it this time hehe}}

So here are my tips:

BE PRESENT.

MAKE LISTS.

DO EVERYTHING IN THE MOMENT, THAT MOMENT, IT CANNOT WAIT.

Pick up the sock, don't EVER leave trash in your car (that's a hard rule for me-Am I crazy? Maybe a little), have the handheld vacuum in easily accessible location, have a routine, get up early and do something that breathes life into you first thing that gets you moving, and you're going to feel brand new? Had anyone started this last time I posted about it? How's it going for you?

If you do these three things, you'll walk into clean spaces, clean clothes folded in drawers and you'll fully be able to sit down with your husband on a Friday night and be able to say "No really, everything is done!!!" (because you're a boss and did it in the moment)

 

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Habits of a Healthy Relationship with Food

As I've talked about a lot, it seems to be the trend that 9 out of 10 women have some form of relationship with food. Sometimes it's actually a very GOOD one, but there are very few that don't think about it at all in some capacity. I remember when I was going through the recovery stages to get to where I am now, I would think to myself and wonder if the habits that I was exhibiting were actually those that any woman would feel or if they were unhealthy voices in my head.

One thing to remember is that everyone is VERY different in what they find healthy. The biggest thing is that it works for YOU and keeps you mentally at peace. I used to get VERY frustrated when people would act as if macro counting was unhealthy while I was doing it because I felt 10000% at peace with food in every way but now that I'm on to the next stage, counting for me wouldn't be right just because it became more of a job. However, there are TONS of people that count calories/macros that are fine. It's inherently a GOOD thing to help you reach your goals. Jillian Micheals counts calories. Heidi Powell counts macros. They are both just fine. haha!

However, there are basic things that must be there to determine whether you should check yourself on your relationship with food and maybe work on it.

1. You are NOT thinking about food all the time

I know there are jokes about when you eat one meal, you are thinking about when you are having the next however if you are genuinely doing this then that means that you are not eating enough at that particular meal. Our brains tell us a lot more than we realize about what we should eat, and sometimes we try to restrict and when we do, we start thinking about food more and more.

It's also okay to recognize that if you are in a cut, you won't have as many calories and therefore you might be thinking about food more. As long as you know this phase is temporary then that's fine but if you are just in this never ending phase of restriction of food but yet thinking about it all the time then that's not a good thing.

2. You aren't practicing any "off" behaviors

This kind of goes without saying I think, but I thought it was necessary to add in that if you are finding yourself binge eating at any time or intentionally restricting without clear evidence of a goal that is a healthy weight loss goal then it might be time to look into how you can fix this.

3. You are able to eat out with friends no problem

No matter on what end of the spectrum of an unhealthy relationship with food, typically, it presents itself in wanting to eat alone or at home. You have control over what you are eating OR in other cases you know that if you go out with friends then you might end up going overboard. In either case, you should be able to go to dinner (even on week nights) with friends and not get anxious about it.

4. You can have a cookie or cupcake

There's a difference between having goals and being restricted. When you truly form a good relationship with food, you can pass by the bake sale and have one cookie and it not wreck your day. You can eat it, enjoy it, not feel guilty about it and move on. It's a beautiful thing.

5. You trust your body when things aren't perfect

You are GOING to overeat. There might be times that you under eat because you ordered food at a restaurant and it didn't fill you up (although this is the more rare option). If you overeat, you should NOT feel instant anxiety over this. You should be able to trust your body that in the past, you have over ate and things have become normal again as they will with this situation. You SHOULD enjoy family and friends during the holidays. I feel that we are all trying to desperately figure out how to not gain weight during the holidays when the truth is, most people with a healthy relationship with food, gain weight during the holidays. It might only be a few pounds but there is that trust there that your body will bounce right back because that's what they are designed to do.

6. You eat an adequate amount of calories to support your well being

I feel as if this again goes without saying however there are some that will intentionally restrict but because it keeps them smaller, they are mentally at peace. That was only a very small time in my life but my freshmen year to junior year of college, this was me. I knew that I was intentionally restricting but I told myself that if I ate the way a normal human ate that I'd get all kinds of anxiety so I just didn't. So while I say that everyone is different in what gives them mental peace, this is not a situation where that is useful. Mentally, you may not be in a position presently that you are able to decide for yourself and therefore it might help to ask a dear friend that you know would have your best interest at heart.

Also, if you are an athlete, are you eating to support your training? If not, then it might be time to really look at things and see if you can make some changes to help this.

7. You look forward to gatherings, meal times, etc

For whatever reason it may be, if you are dreading meal times and going out to eat with people then it might be a sign of something deeper. Again, there are going to be times that you are going to say "Uh I ate pizza for lunch and I really just would rather eat a green smoothie for dinner instead of going out" but it's not something that happens all of the time. This goes back to what I was saying earlier about going out with friends, but not just going out, but meals in general. You should look forward to meal times with your family each night and the conversations around the dinner table and the fellowship together. Of course, that's if you eat together which I hope you do! :)

There are so many spectrums and so many things that I could go over, but for the most part I think this covers the board basics. It's also crucial to realize that just because you aren't to these stages now does not mean that something is wrong with you and this does not mean that you cannot get there. I think that as mental health becomes more and more acceptable, we are able to see that these things are not BAD things but they are things that we need help with. When I've read blogs like this, I feel it's a very judge-y topic like "Uh you have a problem and you need help" and I feel it really cultivates an atmosphere of something that you should be ashamed of. It's not that it's not something that you need to change, but I just want to be a gentle voice in the crazy.

If you are working your way there, then you go girlfriend. It takes time. It takes consistent effort. My friend and I were talking yesterday about how we wish that good habits were just natural. We kind of depend on them to be then we get to this place where we are like "Oh shoot, why isn't this happening?" That goes with everything-reading the Bible for example. I have gotten out of the habit. It's not going to just happen if I don't START. You have to start, and then eventually these things become natural.

If, of course, things are serious, you should ALWAYS ALWAYS reach out to a professional! I'm off to my day, and right now currently, my dog just came and laid down on my arm while I'm typing because he wants attention. I can't make this up and it's so cute I have to share.

HAPPY TUESDAY!

 

 

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