Into the quiet

Have you ever had those moments where you know without a shadow of a doubt that something is meant to be in your path for your purpose and for the direction of the way that your life should go. There are few things like that, but there are those moments where you just KNOW. 

That's how I felt about stepping away from Katiesfitscript instagram/facebook page/only blogging when I feel led (which of course led me to today). I have never felt more strongly the calling of God to step into the unknown. 

Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders. 

You know when you step into the unknown, and it's exciting. You are like YES I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR, and you feel it to the core of who you are. But after a few weeks, things are silent, things are different, and the change has set in. 

The path of purpose is so evident when you are spewing your name all over the world. "Look at me. Look what I'm doing. Look how much I love Jesus, and my husband, and I run and I lift weights. Horray." It's so evident when a career is unfolding before me without even trying, and there are people that I am able to directly impact their life and cause positive change. OF COURSE THAT'S SPIRIT LED RIGHT? OF COURSE THAT'S GODS DIRECTION.

But what about the silence? Can I trust and can I believe that the purpose is still there when NOTHING is happening? 

I don't need my name in lights. I'm famous in my Father's eyes. Make no mistake. He knows my name. 

One of the very reasons that I stepped away was because of the intense desire of CONSTANTLY pleasing others and unfortunately never (EVER) reaching any possible place of satisfaction of who I felt others thought me to be. As time wore on, the only words I thought about myself were: 

inadequate, embarrassing (to be constantly be posting selfies at the age of 27), narcissistic (for it being all about my life), not enough (for companies and collaborations and clients to choose me as their coach)

Did I know how ridiculous this was? ABSOLUTELY. Did I think it was stupid and want it to stop? Every.single.day. But when the tears flowed down my face for the 500th time because of something someone said, a client who left me for another coach, and a company who went with someone else, the number of likes on my freakin picture were not enough, I was tired of ignoring it. Every word feels sensitive in this blog like I'm not allowed to say these things. No one...NO ONE is allowed to say these things because "Be confident. Be you. Who cares about these things?" I GET IT. BELIEVE ME I GET IT. 

Please do not mistake this for being the way that everyone feels. That is absolutely NOT the case. For two solid years, I never felt these things at all, but when I started to feel them, I fought it for as long as I could, but eventually it got to be ridiculous. 

I literally would go to other runner pages and look at the number of likes on their pictures, then look at the number of people that followed them, and would tell myself that people were literally scrolling past my picture, rolling their eyes at how much they hated me, because how else did I have X amount of followers with such low engagement on my photos? 

You can roll your eyes at me, or you can sit in the truth that unfortunately, this is our culture, and as a 27 year old female who is actually pretty dang confident in who she is, I was not able to fight these emotions and therefore I worry about the generation of teenagers who are so immersed in a culture of likes and followers. I know you've heard it so many times before this blog, so I know it's nothing new, but I want to be a direct voice of someone that it MATTERED. LIKES AND FOLLOWERS EQUAL ACCEPTANCE RIGHT? 

NO. 

I had to walk away. Who was this person who saw my friends and felt resentment in my heart because they were getting opportunities that I craved? Who was this person that cried because she felt she was giving her all to a culture who could literally care less about her? Who is this person that is straight up TERRIFIED to share her faith after 2016 and the elections because of how Christians were portrayed and who honestly, brutally honestly, started to question how she felt about her faith at all.

So, I walked into the silence into the arms of a God that I knew found every single hair on my head to be special. And then it got quieter...and quieter...and quieter. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm still on social media and I've never claimed to be off the grid. I just had to walk away from it being my only job and my focus. (I'll be working full time pharmacy for those curious actually with 2 part times soon so that's exciting.) I also am not trying to blog about not blogging or something weird. hahaha! I just felt like blogging soooo here I am.

I love to blog. I love to write. It's literally a place of solitude for me, and like that I can connect with others through it. It's always been that way, so I thought that as I felt led, I would continue to share the different points of why I made the decision that I did. Who even knows if this blog will be about fitness at all unless I want the topic of the day to be about that, but at this point, I just want nothing to be calculated because of the way things "should be done" on social media. I just want to be me again. And I know you'll tell me that's been enough all along, and I want to believe you. But for the past year, I was trudged through the muddy waters that no matter how desperately I wanted that to be good enough, it never was. 

My husband just saw me writing in this little blog box, and he said "Are you sure you want to do that? I get protective because with two words, people can make a judgement about you when I know the real you. Just be careful." I'm so thankful for such a sweet husband (it's his birthday-I love him so lol). But how sad that I feel I have to be so careful? Just as I'm hopeful that the only people that followed me over to my @_katieamelia Instagram will be the people that love me, therefore I'm hopeful that the only people that continue to read this blog will be those that love me as well (ha - good joke I know LOLOL). 

I am in the quietest season that I've ever been...the least busy...the least exciting. And I have never felt more present to who I truly am and who I'm designed to be. I have had to blindly trust that when I was called into this season, the season to give up this thing that I had worked years to create, that it was for my good. 

And we all know that in all things, God works for the good of those that love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I haven't ran since Boston yet, but man I'm so excited to get back out there, but just trying to be mindful and mature about recovery of course.

I hope you see my heart in this, and not my crazy. I love you all. 

 

 

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Boston Marathon 2017

Hey Guys! Long time no talk! Maybe one day I’ll get around to explaining my absence when I can put it into words better, but for now, let’s get to this post! It's hilarious reading this post in comparison to the marathon post before this one when things went the exact opposite direction!

So, THE BOSTON MARATHON!! It’s currently 4am and I always have the biggest trouble sleeping the day after a marathon for whatever reason. I’m going to talk about everything, but if you want just the race recap, you’ll see where I begin talking about Mile 1 forward! :) 

Last year, I shared all about the Boston experience so I’m going to link that up here, so that you are able to read all about what goes down as all of that was the same this year. I knew going into this race that I had just had my PR therefore I was treating this like a long run and just going to enjoy the day like I wasn’t able to do last year. If you are someone that already knows half of this story, I actually DID enjoy the day much more than last year crazy enough and I’m SO glad that I ran Boston this year. It gave me a new appreciation for Boston that I didn’t have before, and actually stepping out of the blogger/running world also gave me perspective for it. Some people at the gym in my hometown came up to tell me congrats before I left and said “We can’t lie that we aren’t envious but so excited for someone from Shelby to be going.” That hit home for me. Boston is a big BIG deal, and I’m going to go when I can!! Next year, I’ll have a red bib and be in the first corral because of my finishing time at Myrtle Beach so there’s no way I will miss that! :) Tanner will also be coming which he wasn’t able to this year, and I missed him so much. He also was DYING to be here but sometimes life happens! :) 

I had planned to stay with a friend/client who lives in Boston (who I will be staying with tonight) but last minute she decided to go home for Easter before she moves states. I texted Bethany and of course she immediately was like “Um come stay with me!” She’s the best. Seriously. So, I ended up having a slumber party for the past 3 nights with my best friend so that was freakin awesome, and I loved how it all worked out for the absolute best. 

You see how well that went! lololol! 

You see how well that went! lololol! 

We also are in the same hotel (Sheraton near the finish line) with another best friend of ours, Sarah. Fun story: Sarah found me through another blogger who she is real life friends with (powercakes) like 3 years ago. She liked all of my posts so I looked her up and we became friends. A year later I got close to Bethany. A year after that, I realized that Bethany and Sarah live in the same town and introduced them. Nowwww, Sarah and Bethany are best friends in Pittsburgh and run together all the time. Haha! I love how small the world can be. We met up with her yesterday morning to walk to the buses for the ride to Hopkinton. That ride takes approximately an hour. It’s 30 miles that they are driving you out and a bunch of yellow school buses so it takes forever, which is one of the reasons the start time is so late always and we have to run in the heat of the day. 

PRE-RACE

We got to Athlete’s Village, which is a few acres of grass that they set up tents, music, food, etc while we all wait until we walk to the start line. We had about 45 minutes until start at that point, so we all just rested and ate cliff bars and bagels. 

Walking to the start line is about another mile, so our start time was 10:25 but they had us begin walking at 9:45 just because it takes a while for 30,000 people to walk in the same direction and then they have a final stop for the porta-potty. If you’re thinking it’s a huge mission to even begin this race, you’d be right! ;) I walked 4.1 miles before the start! (which if we are all honest makes it extremely difficult to do well in this race which is why it will never be an A goal PR course for me-I think we know that from my previous two attempts haaa). 

My time yesterday was 4:05:30 which is almost exactly ONE HOUR from my PR 6 weeks earlier. That doesn’t happen. That’s a RIDICULOUS gap in times, but I am SO SO LUCKY I even finished this race and I literally walked the final 2 miles with run/walking the last 5. It was a hot mess express the second half, but I still loved what I could and I was pulling deep inside to do just that. 

There were 5 of us that started together (me, Sarah, Bethany, Mel and then Michelle who I didn't know until the start ) and it was seriously such a powerful run squad. We all talked about how we are so lucky that we have found close friends in the marathoning world as we used to all do this alone. 

Miles 1-4: 

The race is downhill at the start so this always feels pretty good for the most part. It’s always super difficult because you are trying to weave in and out of people and it’s a MAD HOUSE but we were keeping a really great pace and feeling strong through it. I always tell Tanner that I know the course of my day by the first 5K but yesterday was not that. I genuinely thought I’d keep the 7:35-7:45 for the entire race and be TOTALLY fine and was thinking how easy the pace felt with having done 7:10 for an entire marathon six weeks ago. I was excited to get around a 3:23ish time and had that as this semi time goal in my head. 

Miles 5-8: 

We were still running 4 deep with our run squad and we all commented on how that never happens and how it was helping us all so much to keep the pace nice and easy and we all agreed that we felt great!! No issues! The heat was there, the pavement was hot, the humidity was HIGH, we were sweating like crazy but at every single water aid station I took water (which I never do lets be real) and I would grab a second and pour it all over me. So every time I’d pour a cup of water all over me and would cool off.

Miles 9-10: 

I thought to myself “Eh I probably won’t make it with the run squad all day but it’s all good. I’ll let them do 7:45s and I’ll do 8’s. I also thought to myself for the first time, “I don’t think I handle heat well.” Ha! I run in the heat at home sometimes and I don’t feel awful. I ran awful last year at Boston but thought it was just a fluke, but this year kind of confirmed that I need to be careful in the heat. It’s also INSANE to me that 7:45’s can begin to feel hard as that’s not a hard pace for me to hold ever. Heat is a crazy thing. 

Miles 10-14: 

We all continued to stay together. It truly was amazing how well we all were doing running together. We weren’t chatting. We all were in our zones and running our races with the quiet reassurance that the other one was right beside us. I absolutely loved it. So much. 

From the start until the finish, there are ALWAYS people lining the sides of Boston. It’s simply unreal. There’s never anything else like it, and people are screaming for you the entire way.

At mile 13, I dropped back a little but eventually caught back up to the girls. I felt a wave of nausea but it subsided. Up to this point, I’m still honestly pretty good. 

Miles 14-16:

At mile 14, I decided to officially leave the run squad. Mel went out ahead and then Bethany and Sarah continued to run together while I dropped back. It pretty much went down SUPER fast from there. 

I want to interject here that I knowwwww that sometimes these stories can look like excuses and just plain annoying. I want to just simply share my story and not some big conjured up story of why my time was not my best. I’m NOT NOT NOT a time/PR focused girl. It’s always freakin amazing when it happens, but we all know there are good days and bad days, so I’m just sharing one of my bad days so that you have a mixture of this sprinkled in. I’ve actually had loving people in my life tell me to just not share stories like this because people judge. Can I just say HOW SILLY?! So, then all we see are the PR’s and then when people don’t PR, they are terrified to even tell the story so then it is the constant comparison trap of thinking everything is perfect in everyone else’s lives. And it’s not and we all need to not be ridiculous and know that THAT’S OKAY TOO. 

At mile 14ish, from what I’m remembering, there is the screaming “Kiss me” girls section in which girls make these signs that say things like “Kiss me. I won’t tell your wife.” Or “Kiss me. I’m lesbian.” Or just simply “Kiss Me” and there are people that legit go over there and kiss them. I know this sounds hella awkward and I don’t partake (ha) but it’s tradition and we can’t break that! ;)

I pulled back to an 8:10 minute pace which quickly dropped to an 8:40-9 pace going into mile 16. Miles 15-16 is when all of the hills began and I just wanted to be able to go by effort and not even look at my watch, so that’s what I did and when I would look down, the pace that felt REALLY hard was 8:40 and then 9:30’s started to feel labored. OH.BOY. I always know that when I’m struggling to hit an 8minute pace then something is seriously wrong with me. But I didn’t think too much of it and just readjusted my goal to go 9’s for the rest of the marathon and still get like a 3:35.

Nope. 

Miles 17-20: 

I don’t really remember mile 17 and then at mile 18, I had to pull to the side and started dry heaving. I had been taking water and energy/electrolyte chews, but I knew if I was dry heaving then I didn’t have anything in me, so I asked someone for water and chugged. Mistake. Haha! 

Right when I started back up, which I basically like dry heaved then quickly started back, I knew that water wasn’t going to stay down. I can’t remember exactly but I want to say I threw up 5-6 times on the course. Fantastic I know. Haha! I kept trying to get in Gatorade and water, but it wasn’t happening. I knew I had to keep trying though.

At mile 19, the cramping began. It started like in my quads (left to be exact), which I’ve never had a Charlie horse in my quad. Supppppper weird feeling. It makes your leg straighten out completely, so I was trying to run with a straight leg. I had to pull over. I worked out the soreness and began on my way again (at like the slowest that I could be considered running at this point).

At mile 20, the cramping began to fully be the biggest issue. Both of my quads seized up and I was trying to run with two straight legs. I just wanted to keep moving forward. I would be danged if I was going to walk 6 freakin miles. Yuck. I would stretch them, ask for Gatorade, throw up Gatorade, try to walk with straight legs, try to jog with straight legs, new cramp. This was on repeat for the next 6 miles. I actually would take Gatorade at the aid stations but then ask the people cheering if they had anything and this one girl handed me a Snickers. HA!! I was like BARF no thanks! 

Miles 21-24: 

Mile 21 was probably my longest mile although not sure of the split. My splits are crazy. I could not stop the cramping. It moved into my back (yes my back which was bizarre and unexpected) so I would have to stop, calm the muscle spasms down in my back and quads, and try to shuffle step forward. I realized at this point of course that any time goals were absolutely 100% out the window and I wasn’t sure I would finish. Every time I’d throw up, they’d ask me to go to the med tent, but like seriously I have a “few” miles left, and I didn’t go through this sufferfest to stop now before I get my medal. 

At mile 23, I had a missed call from Bethany so I called her back and she asked where I was thinking that I was finished. I was crying and blubbering hearing her voice and explained I was not doing well and just going to have to walk/hobble the rest of the way. So, that’s what I continued to do for what felt like forever. I also was truly not being reckless out there. Like, I was walking. It's not like I was trying to push pace or do anything crazy. I just wanted my medal. ha! 

Miles 24-26: 

This is when the crowd gets insane. My head was throbbing and the screams were deafening, but it was just what I needed to get me through. My body would go into cramping (calves, back, quads) and when I would slowly work them out and continue forward, the people would go nuts for me. Then I’m like crying as they cheer. 

At mile 25, you see the Citgo sign, and I knew I was almost there. I remembered on last year when Tanner and my mom and best friend Brandy were sitting at the top of the bridge and I was able to see them. I envisioned them waving and I was pretty delusional at this point so the hallucination was pretty real and gave me strength. Hahaha! 

At mile 25.5, Bethany calls me again to see if I’m okay. I thought she had seen me doing the death straight leg march so I answered. I don’t just like take calls on the course normally FYI. Haha! She was like “YOU ARE NOT OKAY! MED TENT!” and I was of course, through slurred speech, telling her that she was crazy if she thought I wasn’t going to walk the rest of it. She said later she knew she would have done the same exact thing, so she of course understood. 

I could finally see the right on Hereford and thought AND THEN JUST A LEFT ON BOYLSTON AND I’M THERE! So, that’s what I did. I was able to straight leg run (my legs just would NOT bend). Right about at the finish line, the full out cramping happened again and I wanted to yell “SON OF A BISCUIT JUST LET ME GO TWO MORE STEPS BODY!! GOODNESS GRACIOUS!!!!” 

I look in front of me and I see the ex marine carrying the American flag and with a prosthetic from stepping on an IED in Afghanistan. I start crying. I thought if he can do it, I can do it. I put my hand on his shoulder just like runner lingo of YOU INSPIRE ME SO MUCH!!!

This is literally seconds after my finish 

This is literally seconds after my finish 

 

Of course, I began again and the crowd went crazyy. This made me super emotional, and a lady came up and did what you see on those viral videos. She put her hand on me and I told her to run her race and she refused. She helped me hobble to the finish which of course then I start crying. 

POST RACE DRAMA DIVA FESTIVAL 2017

I lean down (head between legs) because I felt dizzy and when I stood back up my chest started hurting really bad. I zombie stiff leg walked forward, and they watch for you so a guy immediately grabs my arm and says “Maam are you okay?” I didn’t speak and then I felt my chest and couldn’t breathe. I started hyperventilating. They asked if I had asthma as I’m gasping for air. Two people grab me and start coaching me “IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE OUT THROUGH YOUR MOUTH” and I was able to calm down. They put me in a wheelchair (but I couldn’t bend my legs so they had to hold them as I went into the med tent.)

They took vitals (super high heart rate but I had just got done hyperventilating post marathon so it was 200) and my BP was like 90/60 at this point. They asked me questions and I laid down for a bit. I couldn’t take Gatorade as I knew I’d throw it up but a banana sounded good so I ate one and a bag of chips. I started to feel better and they let me walk/hobble. After I got a little way, I started feeling super light headed, nauseous and asked for a banana. I laid down like on the floor while they got me back on the bed because I knew if not I was going to pass out. That’s when my BP dropped to 80/60 but my HR had come down at that point. They let me lay there some more (still confused why everyone around me is getting IV’s and I’m like “uh I’m fairly certain I qualify but whatevs.” After a bit, I was okay/not okay but wanted to leave. I felt awful because I knew everyone was waiting on me. I was alone at this point. 

I had to walk maybe like 0.5 mile to them and it felt so awful. I don’t know how to explain it, but just everything was off. I knew I wasn’t okay, but I thought it was carbs, so I ate another banana. I couldn’t find Starbucks then I finally do. I walk inside, they aren’t there, and things are getting really blurry. I called Bethany, then went outside to find them. I ask to sit down. 

Robby comes over and asks how I’m doing. And that’s when my entire body went into full out cramping like I’ve never felt in my entire life. I can’t even explain my calf on the right that moved into my groin. I tensed up so much as they are yelling to get me a wheelchair. They tried to grab my legs/bend them to put them in the chair and I screamed DO NOT TOUCH MY LEGS!!! I can’t explain groin cramping. It’s unreal. Everything went black. I told them “I’m going to pass out” and I don’t remember the ride to the med tent. They said they were yelling clearing people, and asking me questions that I did in fact answer. I came to more once in the med tent, and I honestly don’t remember getting on the bed, but I was in it. My back cramps so I’m like in this weird contorted position. 

Not even gonna lie folks, and I’m totally not dogging the volunteer care but they basically did nothing but give me a bed to lie on. They called PT over to massage my legs and just had me lay there. They asked me if I wanted liquids..NOPE. But they got me water to sip through a straw that Bethany held there for me. I kept it down for maybe 15 minutes then threw it all up with the bananas. Still no one is concerned or asking me questions or saying anything. Sarah is a nurse and was finally like “Um, what does she need to do for an IV? She clearly needs one.” 

The doctor comes over and like asks me if I want an IV. It was super awkward. I was like “Well if it will make me feel better???” I’m still so confused how they determine the need because blacking out, low BP, full out body cramps, and throwing up seems to be enough cause, and so finally Sarah was my mediator and was like YES YES SHE DOES PLEASE.

They took vitals and did the IV and within 10 minutes of the IV, I started feeling better. It was like I could feel the cold liquid going into me and I immediately came out of this fog. I could speak normal again, my cramping was there but manageable and all was okay again. I finished up the bag of fluids (like could we not have done that an hour before and saved the drama, I mean really?). We were on our way!!! 

We get outside and of course my calf is still cramping so Sarah and Bethany were like SCREW THIS PIGGY BACK RIDE TO THE HOTEL AND ROOM SERVICE. So they switch and carry me. That gets hard because it was a mile back so then they both like double carry me. Eventually, I’m finally able to walk on my own. 

Wow. What a day!!!! It will be a memory that I never forget, but one that I’m taking very seriously. I’m going to really look into what happened, and avoid it all costs because I wasn’t reckless. I took plenty of fluids before, early on in the race and ate well (probably my best ever pre race food) and so I don’t know what happened. I know you can’t help the heat, but if my body does that bad then I will have to reconsider summer marathons. I have decided that a marathon that I was going to do in July just for fun with Shelby people, I’m going to simply cheer for them. I can’t be doing this again in the heat. This is the kind of day that makes you question running marathons in general, but that won’t happen for me. I’ll continue, but just smarter. My next marathon will be Chicago in October. I’m taking two weeks (maybe more depending on how I feel) completely 100% off. There’s no reason at all that I need to be running anytime soon. But for today, I’m going to try to enjoy it the best that I can with friends that are still in the city (which I'm not posting this a day later and I did have a wonderful day in Boston yesterday with friends)

I’m so thankful for the Boston experience once again, and for the memories that I’ll hold dear in my heart forever. 

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Myrtle Beach Marathon 2017

ISN'T LIFE SURREAL Y'ALL!? Man oh man. I kind of can't believe that I have sat down to write this post. I genuinely just keep asking Tanner if that was me and my body that crossed the finish line in 3 hours and 5 minutes and 59 seconds, and while we are talking about this time, can we discuss something? When someone asks me what my PR is, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY? I mean CLEARLY my PR is a 3:06 now, but it's in that 3:05 window and who likes to round up??! 

HAHAHA! 

Okay, I know I know it's 3:06! ;) Also, who asks people what their PR's are? That's right. No one. MOVING ON! 

I will say, if you're prepared for all the antics that Katiesfitscript normally brings on race day, you might be disappointed. There's one detail that's typical me, but I think I'm finally maturing in this racing business, and not acting like an idiot. After yesterday, in all seriousness, I'm feeling very motivated for my eventual goal that I've shared of a sub 3 and ready to really take things to the next level with training and documentation. I skip too many runs, I don't track data enough, I know y'all will think I'm lying but I eat SO SO bad sometimes that I then feel really crappy on runs, and I literally didn't do any speed work for this training cycle, and that's embarrassing but I was scared with my hamstring issue.

So, I am hoping and praying and praying some more that I can keep miles steady, slow, and build up a heavy heavy base (using Boston as simply a slow easy long run) to go into Chicago this year and going to push higher mileage than I've ever done before with MOSTLY slow easy miles and then to add in those tempos and speed work. I DO NOT want to be one of "those people" that doesn't do the training and then gets the times on race day. I want to do the work. There are 3 take aways from yesterday. 

1 - YOU ARE CAPABLE OF FAR MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE 

2- MAYBE A SUB 3 IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE

3- I QUALIFIED FOR NYC MARATHON AND THAT MEANT THE WORLD TO ME!!!! 

If you've followed my journey, you know that qualifying for NYC was my A goal and has been for a long time, and I love New York City with my entire full heart, so being able to qualify for the race is just one of my biggest dreams, and if I'm being honest, probably more than Boston. EEK, I said that out loud. I feel that's blasphemous. 

Let's get to this recap before things get too long!!! :) 

This is for good measure to show what this PR really looked like HAHA! 

This is for good measure to show what this PR really looked like HAHA! 

Okay, so if y'all will remember last Thursday, there was the tornado-ish thing that happened in North Carolina, and it cooled the air from all the heat we have been having #byewinter #iloveyou #seeyounext year. The start of Myrtle Beach Marathon (which I will now abbreviate as MBM for the rest of this blog) was supposed to be 35 degrees. Y'all know I love cold, but I absolutely HATE freezing while I'm standing in a starting line corral pondering life like "Why do I do this to myself again?" hahaha! So, I wasn't thrilled about the change, but as usual, it was a good thing and I take it back and I'm thankful it happened. 

The start time was 6:30am but I don't like to wake up and immediately run, so I woke up at 4am to make sure that I was WIDE awake by start. I ate my typical bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter, and I was still hungry so I made a peanut butter sandwich and then had some chocolate. I realized I had no gloves or a head wrap and just knew I was going to freeze. I am SO thankful for what we did next. We left the house at 5am and stopped at Walmart. I went in and looked all around finding NO winter stuff. SHOOT. I asked the workers and they said they had just put the gloves up and handed me a pair of kids gloves that were on sale for 25 cents and I'm so so thankful I had them. My hands FROZE even with them on. I don't generate heat well, and so I stayed cold the entire marathon to be honest, but I run well in cold so it's okay. 

I got to the start super early so we got a parking spot close, and just sat in the car (and ate a cliff bar). When I see Facebook groups and people talk about what they eat on race morning, I am shocked at the answers people say. I eat A LOT on race mornings, much more than normal, but everyone finds what works for them. I took 4 Gus with me, only used 2 and savagely ate a banana on the course. I'll explain later why I only took two. 

I like to get out of the car RIGHT before start, but I judged that wrong, so I ended up in the corral about 15 minutes early. I had asked a friend (Brad Mckee) the Thursday before to run with me, and we live 4.5 hours away from MBM so I didn't expect him. I did know there were tons of runners from Shelby there, and I looked EVERYWHERE for them, and could not find one single runner. I know my friend George will read this (Hi George) and I knew he was running the half. I wanted to run with him, but just couldn't find him, so I just accepted that I'd be doing this one solo. Right about that moment, Brad walks up and I gave him a big hug like THANK GOODNESS someone to pace me. I told him my plan which was to do 7:30 for the first two miles then settle into 7:15 pace. Yeaaaaa, I basically never did either one of those paces. Oopsies. 

Miles 1-6

There's was a 3:10 pacer, and I thought I'd keep my sites on her, but race how I felt. I took off and felt great and kept looking down at my watch and kept slowing myself down. My first mile was 7:05. I honestly was mad at myself like KATIE SERIOUSLY DO NOT DO THE STUPID RUN TOO FAST THING! But I majorly believe in going by feel. So I kept running by feel. At about mile 2, Brad was like "Do you want me to slow you down because I can?" And I said yes. And then we hit 6:59 for the second mile (again totally my fault as I roll my eyes at myself lol). I really thought I would never be able to hold that. Brad was chatting, and I caught a cramp. Yes, at mile 2-3, I had a side stitch and thought how I could have probably done without the PB sandwich. So, I just ran by feel and started taking deep breaths. 

Let me stop right there for a second. I talk about PR's, and I go for them. I show up on race day with my mind focused. HOWEVER, I really really am not emotionally invested, and never have been with PR's. If I had not got the time that I had, I would NOT have cared, and I mean that. I love to run. Period. Stressing over PR's DOES NOT AND WILL NEVER wake me up in the morning to run. Stressing over PR's will never get me to the finish line. Enjoying running and pushing myself to the best that I CAN BE in those moments is what does it. Bottom line. I seriously mean that or I wouldn't say it. That also doesn't mean that PR's can't motivate you, but I've realized that having that pressure on me actually makes me dislike it, so I try to really not focus on it.

When I got the cramp, I told Brad that I was just going to do whatever and that if I have a cramp that early, it would probably be a bad day. He told me to hush (in a nicer way hehe), to breathe in through my nose and out of my mouth and that it would go away. He kept talking, and the side stitch was there until about mile 5-6. I was so focused on my cramp and breathing that I just didn't look at my watch and kept running. At the end of mile 6, I took my first gu (salted caramel is my one and only choice of gu). My splits for Mile 3-6 were: 

3- 7:04:55                  4-7:07:33                    5-7:10:29                     6-7:07:89

Miles 7-11

At mile 7-8, Brad and I were still talking and I told him that I thought that I should probably just go into quiet mode to focus. I really wanted to see what I was capable of without playing around. I told him that I wanted to hold the 7:10 pace and that I felt perfectly content there. Right about this time, we ran into a pack of guys who said that their goal was 3:05-3:10. I was EASILY hanging with them, so I thought to myself that I would hang until I couldn't and then I'd let them trail out ahead. {Spoiler: we finished within one minute of one another}

Brad talked to them. I just stayed behind them and let them chat while I listened to their conversation and just kept my breathing. I never focus on breathing. Details are not my forte, but I was scared of another cramp. I started chatting with this guy beside me and YEP INSTANT CRAMP AGAIN. UH. 

At mile 8, I stopped talking pretty much for good. 

Let me remind you guys of my previous PR (3:15 at Thunder Road which was 1.5 years ago) where I was being a ham the entire race shouting things like I LOVE RUNNING while dancing. Don't get me wrong. In my mind, I felt these things on Saturday but I just felt much more in a zone of solitude if you will. 

At mile 11, I spotted people from Shelby on the side walk. The reason I saw them is because they had made signs of a sweet lady in our town named Lisa who was doing her first marathon, and put her face on the sign. hahaha!! They had SO many made, and it just made my day to see this sign and be able to laugh and they cheered for me, so that gave me a boost. I knew Tanner was in between miles 12-13 so I was excited to see him! 

My splits were: 

7- 7:09:06          8-6:58:69             9-7:10:50        10-7:11:92           11-7:04:97

You can see after mile 8, I got mad at myself and told myself to stop being reckless and slowed down. HAHA! 

Miles 12- 18

At mile 12.5, we passed someone that said "Wow, you go girls" and it's always an indicator of like "Wow, how are you up here with all of these guys?" haha! The girl behind me that ended up in 3rd place ended up being a friend of a friend of mine and went to the same church as me from NYC so that was a CRAZY CRAZY small world.

Right about that time, I spot Tanner, and he has the camera out. I smiled of course, but for whatever reason, again, this race I just felt laser focused, I asked him to stop taking pictures. LOL! Not rudely but just asked him not to. He said he was shocked when I said that. HAHA! Clearly, I always want the camera apparently! ;) He asked how I was, offered me Starbucks (haaa) and ran with me for a hot second, then we were on our way. Brad said "relationship goals" which he doesn't know made my day brighter, but it did. haha!! 

This is when I saw Tanner! ha!

This is when I saw Tanner! ha!

At the half marathon mark, it said 1:31, and I was just in complete shock. My half PR is a 1:32!! The guys with me talked about how we were on track for a 3:05 and I thought to myself how that was a cute plan for them, but that I would never make it that far. I knew that 20 mile wall would hit me like it always does...like it has EVERY single marathon before except one. I anticipated it. I was prepared for the mental and physical pain of it (which is something I had never done before-prep for the pain). [I took my second gu at this point. I had two Gus in each pocket of my vest. I realized that it was a little difficult to get into my right hand pocket and my hands were cold so whatever I got out of the left.]

I told myself to keep breathing like I was, keep focused, and just keep doing by effort the pace that I could. I know the exact feeling of my body's movement just from so much running where I know I'm right at the brink of a heart rate that I can sustain for long periods of time and I wanted to hang there. 

This was also where the head wind was of about 20mph. We knew that if we could just get to the turn around point then we would be fine, but it was a good 10 miles I want to say of just straight wind. I don't want to say it was brutal. Everyone kept mentioning it but I legit just kept thinking how I didn't think it was slowing my 7:05 average pace, so I was fine with it. 

At mile 15, Brad had decided that was where he would split off. He had planned a 15 mile long run, so that was perfect for him. At this point, two of the guys with us had dropped back, and it was just me and this guy who Brad had been talking to who was shooting for 3:05 and ended up with 3:04. YAY! I never even got his name, but we chatted for a little bit.

At mile 16, I started approaching the second place female which ended up being my sweet dear friend Rhea!!! (Let me just plug in here that Rhea's plan was 100000% what she planned and what she did but she's TOTALLY one BEAST of a runner and her PR is a 2:53. She's incredible, and wayyyyyy better runner than me. She has been coming back from injury as well.) When I was approaching her, the guy I was with said "I think second place female is slowing up" and I said "No! I don't want that! She's my friend!!!" And he was like "oh oops sorry!" LOL! Don't mess with my friends HAAA! I actually had never MET Rhea in person until that moment when I saw her side profile and was like "Is that her? I can't tell." And then she recognized me, and we did the whole OMG OMG HIII (But also it's mile 16 and we are running fast paces so let's talk later) kind of thing. HA! 

But at that point, I went into 2nd place. The third place girl was right behind me still. Reminder everyone that I actually KNOW the girl behind me. I just don't know that I know her, and she doesn't know that she knows me. HAHA!

RHEAAAA! FINISH LINE HUGS!

RHEAAAA! FINISH LINE HUGS!

At mile 18, the guy that I was with says "GIRL YOU ARE GONNA GET THAT 3:05. EIGHT MILES LEFT?!" And I literally said out loud, "Heck Yes. Let's do this!" 

I reach down to get a third gu from the right hand pocket and my hands were warmed up by this point. I come to realize (and this is the only hilarious OMG moment of the race) that when I had put the bib on, I had put the safety pin through the zipper of my vest so I had literally locked my Gus into my pocket and could not get to them. I start panicking a little, and start trying to un-do my bib. My hands were warm-ish but not warm enough to do that. I try to take off my glove, and still couldn't get it (all while I'm trying to run 7min/miles here). I just said "Forget it. I'll start taking Gatoraid at aid stations, not water and it'll have to do."

The splits for this segment were:

Mile 12- 7:05: 73     13-6:58:40.     14: 6:59:84    15-7:05:02 16-7:00:29    17-7:00:84   18-7:02:88

Miles 19-23

I think that my friend I had made on the course had his plan for mile 19, and that was for him to take off his top shirt, throw it into the bushes, and then take off. And that is exactly what he did. For a split second, I thought I had slowed up without realizing it, as the girl behind me took second and I went into third. I was like "Shoot! Am I slowing up because that SUCKS! I always hit this stupid wall!" And then I looked at my clock and for miles 19 and 20, I clocked in at 6:53 and 6:54! No no no. I was NOT slowing up. They had sped up, which was AWESOME for them, but I knew better for me. I slowed back down to what felt comfortable. That was when I texted Tanner at mile 20, "Send En" which the phone autocorrected to exactly what I wanted which was "Send Encouragement". YES I TEXTED WHILE RUNNING. CUE EVERYONE FREAKING OUT THAT I SHOULDN'T DO THAT! lol!! This is the result and my husband officially is the cutest ever. 

It was EXACTLY what I needed. He just kept blowing up my phone to the point where I was like "okay dude love ya but enough encouragement. My phone is gonna vibrate off my hand" but it distracted me with sweet texts while I kept running. I also got a text from Bethany "I know you have your phone"... she knows me so well and then she started sending encouragement too. It.Was.Great.

Yes, the dog saving one is the best! Glad you think so too! :P 

I could NOT believe my paces were still consistent going into mile 21-22. I stopped looking at my watch mid miles, and just would run at what I felt to be even consistent pacing with heart rates I could handle, and each time I would look down and it would STILL be on target. I was freaking out with excitement. It was right around mile 22, when we were running through this park, and we hit 22 and my watch read that I had done a 7:10:80 that I just knew. I knew I had a huge PR and I was so giddy inside. I had had this intuition that I rounded the corner and the clock read 3:09 and I sprinted to get under the 3:10 mark. I thought in that moment how awesome that would be (so clearly STILL completelyyyyy not expecting what I ended up with and happy as a clam regardless). 

Splits were: 

19-6:53:57          20-6:54:59              21-7:05:50           22-7:10:80

Miles 23-26.2

At mile 23, we went through this really fun aid station. I decided I wanted to dance with the volunteers as I couldn't believe how great I felt so late in the game. They, of course loved it and danced with me. I was able to grab a banana and I just sunk my teeth into the entire half (hard to explain in a blog) and ate it in one swift bite. YAY CARBS AND THE LOCKED IN VEST POCKET! 

I started to be able to see the second place female. Placing is really fun and cool, but me racing for me personally is all I care about. I've had so many people ask me about like sprinting down the girl to get second vs third and that is literally not what happened at all. I just kept running the same consistent pace I had been running, and it just happened. 100% truth right there. Also, the girl who got third is about the sweetest chick on the planet, who got the BIGGEST PR and I am so so excited for how awesome her day was as well. But either way, at mile 23-24, I went back into second place. 

At mile 24, I just was in shock and awe at how well my body felt and then my calf like grabbed. I joked with my family after that I like yelled at my calves like 'DON'T YOU EVEN THINK FOR ONE SECOND YOU WILL FAIL ME NOW. YOU BETTER HANG TIGHT!' and they did!!! YAY thanks calf muscles!!! However, I kept that pacing started to fall. I started looking at my clock every two seconds and it was falling into the 7:30 range. I thought to myself at that point how I had been keeping the 7:10-7:15 range and 3:05 was SO SO CLOSE, I just couldn't let it slip through my finger tips. I could do anything for 2 miles. So, I prepared my mind and went into that over drive, fight or flight mode. 

I went into the deepest place I had and started cranking my arms. Volunteers were yelling and holding out water and I was to the point where I can't smile at them. I can't tell them 'thank you' like I always do at every aid station. I just had to ignore them, and focus. I hit the brick wall...straight to the face. That's always how it comes but it wasn't awful like usual. It was just semi awful. I hit the end of mile 24 at 2:50:00. I thought to myself, "Could I make under 3?" Clearly, brain wasn't functioning at that moment because DUH, NO. LOL! But I COULD DO 3:05! I hit the end of mile 25 at 7:24. 

KEEP. MOVING. KATIE. PUMP ARMS AND KEEP MOVING. 

I was alone. I didn't have George yelling at me like my last PR. There were minimal people at this point on the sidelines as we went through this park. And my minimal, I mean literally zero. It was me. That was it. My clock hits 3:00 in the middle of my last full mile, and I almost start crying that moment. It was so surreal, and I'll never forget that moment. I'm in my FINAL mile and I just NOW hit 3 hours. How? How did I run this fast? OH.MY.GOSH.KATIE.

I gave it everything I had, and ended up finishing mile 26 at 7:23 as we rounded the corner into the crowd for the final 0.2 where everyone was yelling. 

I could see the clock. It read 3:05:20 (I think-my vision was blurry). I HAD TO MAKE UNDER 3:05. I started sprinting with everything in me. I could hear people who must have known me screaming on the sidelines. I heard Tanner's voice. I heard my mom's voice in the distance going absolutely insane yelling "GO KATIE GO!!!!" I hit the time chip at 3:05:59, and I went off to the side and did my usual "crying while I catch my breath and all volunteers ask if I need a med tent moment." 

I look over and can see my mom and Tanner and I start yelling and they have their arms in the air yelling "WOOOO!!!! YEAAA!!!" and I run/hobble over to them and give them the biggest hug. I knew Rhea would be coming through soon though so I told them I was going to stay in the corral for her to finish and give her a hug! She finished shortly after me and I got a cute video of her crossing the finish line and got to give her a big hug!!! YAY!! 

Splits were: 

23- 7:10:40            24-7:14:64         25-7:24:34             26-7:23:66     26.2 (sprint to finish)-6:15

This is what walking looks like post marathon HA! 

This is what walking looks like post marathon HA! 

WHAT A RACE. WHAT A MOMENT!

It has given me SO much confidence in myself, and as I tell Tanner I don't mean that arrogantly but objectively. As they say, we are our own worst critic and this just opened my eyes to what could happen if I could get all of the pieces to fall into place. I cannot WAIT to see what happens in the next year with running!

I love this sport.

Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if everyone ran! <3 

Maybe like this? ;) 

Maybe like this? ;) 

Here's some data for those interested, and obviously this marathon was FLAT AS CAN BE...JUST LIKE I LIKE IT!!! lol!

Avg heart rate: 172 Max Speed @ finish line: 5:22min/mile 

And this for good measure because who doesn't LOVE adorable teacup yorkies falling asleep on the ride home from exhaustion from mommy's marathon? Peyton, I'd sprint to that finish line to save you (context: Read texts from Tanner above). HEHE! ;) 

 

 

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The World Hunger Project

I launched on facebook and instagram on Saturday night, but I haven't officially announced tomy blog nor shared lots of details of what to expect and what's to come. And maybe you only follow my blog so this will be the first time that you are hearing about this.

If so, watch this video:

Video shot and edited by Market Street Studios, Concord NC

www.worldhungerproject.com

I have been hinting at and wanting to share about this for months now, but just wanted to make sure that everything was right before I did so. We have worked our little butts off to make it come together. We started getting passionate about this about a year ago, and it's only grown since as we looked more into it and started educating ourselves more. We have laughed at ourselves tremendously about how awkward we feel we were in the video and joked with friends and family about how you always hate hearing your own voice, but we are working on it! ;) Tanner's actually super private so I'm proud of him for doing this! <3

So what does this mean and what are we doing? Just to give a recap of the way the structure of things will work-

a) Anyone who buys anything will be given a choice at check out to which country that they choose to give their proceeds towards. You can read about the different organizations on the website under "Outreach".

b) At the end of each month, I will take all of those and give them out to their respective locations.

We currently are working with 4 different locations and hoping to add more in the future, but wanting to become stable with these right now and make sure that we could give to them sufficiently before adding more.

If you subscribe to our newsletter (which these will be very infrequent) then you will get 10% off your first purchase on www.worldhungerproject.com.

The different things that you can do to get involved is to hold a pop up shop which is where you make money as well as get to give the gift of food by letting me know when you'd like to have it and where, I come to your location, and we have a party and tell about the mission. If you have a fundraiser to do at your school, this is another way that will be modeled in the same way. Lastly, if you have a local retailer in your area, then we would send you apparel and goods to have in store! :) We plan to organize trips to the locations, but all of this is just going to take time so bear with me as Tanner works full time and I'm a one man show most of the time but want to do this really well and grow to help as much as we can.

The need is so huge but I feel that we can make an impact. I know that you have heard that by just giving money, you aren't actually helping the communities with hunger but rather just putting a band aid on the problem, and I want you to know that we are moving towards growth in that area. The organizations that we have partnered with are orphanages therefore they are children with no means to work so we are working with schools because this is the best way for the children to become educated so that they can provide for themselves in the future. Sometimes, also, the schools may be the only place that they receive food. However, sometimes school is not an option right now and these children are just on the streets and there HAS to be funding in those areas as well within those orphanages to get these children food. We feel that's what we have been called to as of right now, and so we will do what we can knowing that as the future unfolds, we will see how we can help with sustaining these children in the long term to be able to provide for themselves.

When looking for places to sponsor, we searched far and wide to find organizations that were actual people that needed actual funding, and that we weren't just giving our money to random charities that we didn't know where the money was given. These organization leaders of the homes aren't just sitting on their smart phones in Kenya, so communication was and is going to be difficult and slower than our generation is used to, but every email I get is SO meaningful and exciting. The people who have started these are also putting themselves on the line and dedicating their lives to the bettering of the lives of these children in their homes.

When discussing ways to bridge this gap, it immediately became apparent to us that we wanted to do it as an outdoor brand. We felt that this made us feel connected with the world more than anything and that's kind of where that came from. We are going to be rolling out new things as often as we can to provide many different designs. We also don't want to just stay with t shirts. We hope to have vests, coats, scarves, and even jewelry. All of our designs have been done by my friend, Blair at blairhenderson.org.

I've had a lot of people ask me how they can help. The things that help are obviously anything monetary that you feel led whether that be through donation or through buying something, or if you'd like to hold a pop-up shop! The other things that we would love is if you were share either our video, Facebook page or Instagram page and follow them yourselves for updates! :)

Our bags are on pre sale for the next 2 weeks and listed under the Shop tab on our website www.worldhungerproject.com

Our bags are on pre sale for the next 2 weeks and listed under the Shop tab on our website www.worldhungerproject.com

Here is the link for the social channels: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldhungerproject/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theworldhungerproject/

Lastly, we just ask for your prayers. It's challenging, rewarding, scary, exciting and crazy the vision that we have and the ways that we want to give and we know that it's made possible with help from everyone! As my church says, we are less without you but more because of you. 

 

 

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A Journey of Self Discovery

I feel like this is one of those blogs that I'm hopeful that many of you can relate to. 

Ever feel like you are in a constant search for who you are, what your purpose is, and how are you going to fulfill that? I want this blog to come across in the type of language that I want it to be so I'm going to say upfront that this is NOT meant to be negative. It's meant to let you know that it's a journey and I sometimes wonder if there is ever a landing spot, and that it can either be a fun discovery or a destructive one, whichever path you choose.

We think that if we can land at a certain point in time that we will be happy and we will have it all figured out. It's so funny how we truly believe that when we graduate from college and the dust finally settles from the 18-25 years of beating that we have had from school our entire lives, we are going to have it all figured out. Like, suddenly, poof! Sorry to break it to the college girls, but it doesn't work like that! ;) I know that a big part of me has an identity that is wrapped up in when I will have children and that THAT will finally complete me as a human, but I know that's not true either. 

I know that many that follow my blog know this about me, but also might not share this with me, and that's totally fine, but I personally believe that's because my hole is not being filled up with the only one that can totally give me purpose and that's Jesus. For the longest time, I kept striving and striving for this ultimate place of self discovery but it doesn't come. When is the "enough" button ever clicked? 

We get excited to make goals. We get excited to become better humans, make more money, become more successful, and the chase quite literally never ends. We wonder if we are doing what God has called us to do, and we struggle if we feel we aren't living that out. We become happy in those moments when we say "Okay this is it" but then it quickly fades the next day when someone has it better. 

I know for me, I'm super self aware of people, but in a way that I love to evaluate the things about them that make them awesome and try to pull from those things. I had dinner with two of my favorite girls in the whole world last night and they both are so inspirational on so many levels. I want to be more confident and genuinely happy in who I am like Valerie and I want to be more witty and hilarious like Molly, and we can take those pieces and be inspired by them to make the world a better place, but then at the end of the day, what are we resting in? Are we resting in that we weren't good enough or that we are aspiring to be better? Because there's a big difference. 

As someone who has grown up in her 20's sharing most of it online (started at age 23 and now I'm 27), I have felt self conscious in the change up of who I was not on a fundamental level but just small things, and that all changed a few months prior. I'm not sure when it finally became okay, but I also know that that's why I can share it now. Isn't that always how it works? When we are struggling, it's a bit hard to let others know about it, but when we kind of get through those rough patches, we hope to share them in hopes that maybe someone else is in the midst. And I think we are all in the midst of that self discovery but just being confident in the natural change that will occur in your early to late twenties. Heck, maybe it's something that continues our entire lives, but I can't speak on that because I'm not there yet personally! ;) 

I think about Taylor Swift and how many mistakes that she has made growing up, but she's growing up right in front of our eyes. Can't we give her some space of self discovery? I think about people who make mistakes and then change. I think that we need to allow others the same grace that we wish to be extended to us in our change. And most of all, I think that we need to rest in the fact that we are GOING to change. 

The thing that has helped me the most in all of my seasons of change and that I've honed in like crazy recently is the element of accepting the change as a good thing, and not a piece of yourself dying. For the past like 6 months, I've just felt that I didn't know what was happening. I was going through a midlife crisis when I'm way too young for that, but couldn't even place a finger on the reasons for what I was feeling. Then, of course, you convince yourself you have anxiety based on every article you read online, and I think that part of it is just growing up, and that we all have some kind of baseline anxiety.  It's just natural. (I know there is ACTUAL clinical anxiety that some people have). So, what can you do? 

Side Note: This guy below says that he learns more about women daily from being married to me (ha) but he is the epitome of grace in a husband. He loves me so so well.

Every day doesn't have to be a decision on your future, and every day doesn't have to be about all of those thoughts that fill our brains (as women I think most of the time lol). If we can just sit, rest, and let the change happen knowing that we are good people and that all of the other stuff is just details, then you know that you're okay. (Also therapists are cool too and I still think would be beneficial in my own life because who doesn't need an unbiased ear to listen to our junk, right?)

What if I woke up tomorrow and never wanted to run again? Well, we all know THAT won't happen but what if it did? Or what if (God forbid) something happened and I couldn't run anymore. Who am I at the root of my being? Am I a good person? Do I try to live a life that Christ would have me live striving for it the best that I can? Do I love my husband with all of me and am I a good sister/daughter/and friend? Am I loving sacrificially and wholly to those around me and giving thought to the pre conceived bias/prejudice/ or malice that might systematically be in place from a society that has taught those things? 

When you sit down and look at your root, are you a good person? I think that most of you reading this are very good people. I think that we all, by the nature of humans, want to be kind and loving, but all of those other "purpose" pieces can't seem to fall into place, but I don't think that they are meant to. I think that we are supposed to give those up. I think that when we are following the natural nature of just being kind and loving and good that the purpose will naturally shift and come into place. 

I think we think too much, but I think it's important to work through these emotions of self discovery to get to the other side where you can rest. Let your sweet mind rest, girlfriend. Because the other side is beautiful. It's a place that you can look at the woman that you are and you can say, you know what, she still has some learning and pruning to do and that's exciting, but she wants so much good. She desires it with her whole heart, and she wants to give it out like candy. 

I want to be a woman who when you look at me, you see the eyes of Jesus that is nothing of my own doing but simply him pouring out of me, but I could not (and cannot) become that with the self inflicted narcissism that our society tells us to have where we are always concerned for our next jump up the ladder. The ladder doesn't need to be climbed. We just need to rest on that first step knowing that at our core, if we are good, then that's all that matters. 

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Weekend Fun and Marathon Goals

So, this weekend was quite the relaxing one, and I'm not complaining one bit. We are having a launch party with our closest family and friends in Shelby on Saturday night, and so I spent time really cleaning the house and preparing for that. I'm super thankful for how supportive my friends are, and I woke up this morning with such a happy feeling in my heart. I think that it's partly because you can hear the birds chirping outside, and there is just nothing that can compare to the feelings of spring coming. I'm so thankful for being in a part of the US that we have season change. I have realized I love change. It brings about a new awakening and just a feeling of thankfulness for life. 

Saturday, I got to hang out with my mom some (who took this photo hehe) and went to dinner with our favorite couple where I also received the final edits to our promo video for our launch! EEK! Sunday, we went to church and then I did my long run! 

Thank Ya' Jesus is appropriate for heading into the taper! hahaha! @clothinginlove on Insta is where this is from!

Thank Ya' Jesus is appropriate for heading into the taper! hahaha! @clothinginlove on Insta is where this is from!

Last week, I had a moment where someone was mean to me online, and this has actually mean happening a lot more recently, and I ranted about it on my personal Facebook. I actually had had a glass of wine or that would have NEVER happened. Lord, help. haha!! I just know that it's all part of this game of blogging, and there is no reason that I should let it get to me so much. I started this because I wanted to share my journey, and that's what I continue to do. I'm a spaz and we all know that by this point, and no one is everyone's cup of tea and I really truly am fine with that. Referencing what I was saying above, I have the most supportive and loving people IN MY LIFE...like my REAL life...the one that has nothing to do with what people say when they are clearly showing a reflection of things that are wrong in theirs. That doesn't mean that I'm not human, but I can say with confidence that it has truly made me search the depths of who I am and whether I am okay with that person, and if I am, then there is no reason that things others say should touch me because I'm confident in that woman. I will always try to be self aware to take things that others say, take the parts of it that are truly constructive, and toss the rest. BUT I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THE GOOD ... THE ABUNDANT OVER FLOWING GOOD! And it's so silly to focus on the negative. I will NOT continue that. Attitude is everything, and these faces on these photos bring me so much joy. Last photo teaser before Sunday! haha! 

I got sick last week, and so on Saturday when I had planned for my long run, it just didn't happen. I planned on getting up early on Saturday morning and going with my running group, but I had to cancel, and I was really bummed. I knew I needed to get it in as this marathon training has been FAR from perfect, and so I tried again on Sunday. The second I made the first step, I thought "This is gonna be a good one!" and it most certainly totally was. I couldn't have asked for a better final long run going into Myrtle Beach in two weeks. I was so thankful. I hit 7:17 for 16 miles! :) These are uncharted times for me on long runs just being honest. I typically am in the 7:45-8min/mile range so I can finally feel the cumulative effects of years of training. It's been 2.5 years now since I began this journey and I wondered if it truly was possible for someone to get faster and I'm watching it happen in my own life. KEEP AT IT YALL!! 

So, moving into marathon goals. I do want to speak them out loud. This is considered taboo in me and Bethany's world (if you're new here-that's my best friend lol). We think that we will jinx ourselves, but for me this time, I'll admit that I'm playing with fire, and I almost need to speak it out loud to keep myself accountable. 

  • Goal 1: Qualify for NYC! 

The goal for my age group is either a 1:32 half (which if I don't get this qualification at this marathon then I'm going to schedule a half to try for that later in the year) OR 3:12:50 full marathon time. I thought that it might be best to aim for a time that was a weeeeee bit faster than that, so that I give myself some space to fizzle out at the end because that is alwaysssss going to happen, so my goal time is 3:11. EEEEK. 

This goal would mean that I had to do that 7:17 average for 26.2 miles. It's also my 7th marathon or above distance (this including my ironman and ultra) in 2017 so I felt it only appropriate to keep the lucky #7 going! I know now after this weekends long run that I can do 7:17 for 16 miles, so just 10 more miles right after a nice taper! 

I'm going to start out going slower than that of course to warm up. It's a flat course, so I haven't planned out variations in pace based on the course. I'm just simply going to try to stay consistent around 7:15. My PR as of right now, according to my data, I did an average of 7:15 for 27.2 miles, but I went too wide on the tangents, so therefore my official time was 3:15 (which is an average of 7:30). I KNOW RIGHT? ISN'T THAT ANNOYING!? If I had done the correct tangents, then my time technically should be 3:10. OH WELL. We all deal with that, so I'm not alone there.

I'm really focusing on nutrition. I finally feel like I've got myself figured out. I tend to eat CRAP the night before a marathon just because it's a good excuse to do so, and that annoys me at myself. There is no reason for it. I'm going to eat a large carb heavy plant based meal at lunch the day before so that it has time to digest, and then continue eating only carbs the rest of the evening. On the morning of, I plan to have 100g carb before the race starts (with long digesting carbs when I wake up) and then either a banana/bagel or gu at the start dependent on how hungry I feel for actual food (if I'm not hungry I'll do a gu). I'm going to use a gu every 5 miles starting at mile 5, and I'm going to FORCE MYSELF to not stop taking them at mile 18ish which is where I always start getting sick and stop!! lol! Okay moving on to goal 2! 

  • Goal 2: Qualify for Boston

I know that this training cycle didn't go as I planned, and just like I knew in the first steps of yesterday's long run that it was going to be a good run, I'll know the second I start at Myrtle Beach. I'll know if it's going to be a good day and forcing a 7:15 pace is NOT going to happen if I don't feel good, so I'm not going to cause myself that much pain and I'll probably just back down and make it an easy long run at the 8min/mile pacing to train for Boston 2017, but I still need qualification for 2018. I don't think that I'm actually going to run it in 2018, but I always say those things, so I want to at least have it. haha! 

  • Goal 3: Just finish 

The truth about marathons is that you just NEVER EVER know what can happen. You can train all you want and expect XYZ, but at the end of the day, you have to go in with just the expectation that things can happen and finishing is just as great of an accomplishment. I have been reading a lot about advanced marathon training, and how race day can be "playing with fire" with trying push yourself and possibly going into heart rate zones that you don't mean to venture into, completely bonking and then the whole train falls a part. It CAN happen, so I just always like to aware for these things. 

With all of that said, I also wanted to say that I'm super duper proud of my client Ashley. She CRUSHED her half marathon and got a 23 minute PR which is FREAKIN AMAZING! 

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Runner's Block

Like writer's block...but not. 

Ever had a period in time when you are just like NOPE NOPE NOPE. 

That was me this week. And I legit listened to that voice. For a hot second, after 2 weeks at 60 miles I was like "Maybe I just won't even run this marathon." HAHAHA! 

Like what is wrong with me? It was so out of the ordinary and there was literally no reason for me feeling this way. I just simply didn't feel like it. I texted Tanner yesterday and said "I think I have runner's block." 

This isn't actually a thing, but it got me thinking a lot because it was one of those things that even hopping into the "one foot in front of the other" on the road or the treadmill sounded like literally the worst thing that I would want to do. The weather has been perfect, I have no injuries, and yet I'm having a moment and this is a moment I've never had so it was shocking.

I sat down and wrote out my goals which is what I always tell my clients to do if they get into a rut (is that how you spell rut? lol). My small goals are: 

1. Run Myrtle Beach Marathon

  • Plan A-PR with 3:12:50 at least to qualify for NYC next year
  • Plan B-qualify for Boston 2018 as I don't have a qualification for that yet   

2. Run Boston Marathon 2017 

I don't plan on PRing this at all, but just hope to beat my course PR from last year which won't be hard to do considering I completely came unglued from heat exhaustion. 

That's all of my short term goals. Then, I listed my long term goals :

  • Continue working towards a sub 3 one day 
  • Get enough miles on my feet so that I can comfortably add speed work without my body doing something ridiculous to me ;) 
  • Do another ironman so that I can get the official 140.6 for my car ! It's 100% all about the decal-jk jk! 
  • Become a hybrid athlete again and get my muscle back 
  • Do another ultra 

Here's the method that I always use when looking at my short and long term goals to get over my runner's block. I think about how the task at hand for my short term is something that I'm very familiar with. I know about the ups and downs of marathon training. I know about what it takes to run a marathon, and I know that I'll run the race the day of no big deal because I've seen that territory before. I know it well. I also know that because I've honored myself in the past taking breaks when needed that my body bounces back SO quickly. I've had enough niggles along the way and small injuries to know that the body WILL bounce right back, so no reason to get all worked up about it. 

When I look at my long term goals, I think about how they are never going to happen if I don't continue forward with my short term goals, and that helps to motivate me for the long term gratification. 

I also take a second to rationalize why it is that I'm feeling this way. Did I run TOO many miles and get myself burnt out for those two weeks? It was a sharp increase so that answer is most likely yes. Do I have other things going on? Well yes. We are launching in T minus 10 days. So, that could be what it is that my mind is just in other places. I am one of those that if emotional, I cannot work out. Like literally, I feel as if my limbs don't work. haha!! That's not the case this time, but I'm not one that takes out all of my worries in the gym. That's not my style. I'd rather sit on the couch watching Grey's anatomy with a bag of Cheetos. 

So, what did I do instead of running the past couple of days? I wifed it up. It just so happens that it was Valentine's week, but that wasn't why. I just decided that was how I was going to spend the time that I would normally have been going to the gym. I cleaned the entire house top to bottom. I organized things within my business as well as my life, and I made essentially every meal home made for Tanner along with his coffee each morning. I literally just didn't go for 3 days of running that I had scheduled, and I should probably care more, but good news is I don't. LOL!!! 

Here's the thing. We all do this for fun, and I just refuse to ever be someone who forces myself to do something that's not fun for me. I know that this probably set me back on my PR (who even knows) and I know that most serious marathoners would have forced themselves especially this close to the race, and I kinda wish I had that kind of motivation that I know some of my friends do (like @babfitrunlife if you follow her on Insta who has literally not missed one run in 3 years). However, I have to honor myself PERSONALLY and that meant honoring my runner's block the past few days. 

I went to sleep in my clean house just thinking AH YES! I think it's gone. And just like that, I felt motivated again and I often wonder that if I had not taken the break, would I have hated every step or would I have been proud to have finished what I said I would do? I'm not sure. This marathon training cycle wasn't pretty or perfect, but that's life and I'll take it just to be able to be involved in endurance. We are 2 weeks out now!! YAY! :) I'm going to do a long run tomorrow then go into the taper! :) 

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Things to Know as a Beginner Runner

I was thinking the other day while I was on a run how there are so many things that when you come into the sport of running that you might not know. I think that people think it's super simple and it is to an extent, but there are so many things that I wish I had known from the get go that would have made the process of "becoming a runner" much easier. I would say that when I was in college, I didn't research enough therefore I was just running miles and knew very little. There is science to just about everything in life, and there's a lot of things that you should be doing as a runner. So, let's get to that list. 

1. Make sure that you buy the right shoes

The last thing that you want to do is buy neutral shoes that are for a pronating foot. You will end up getting yourself injured, so you want to make sure that whatever shoes that you chose are designed to fit the way that you run. You can go to any running store, and get assessed, but here is a blog that I wrote on that topic.  The rule of thumb is 300-500 miles on each shoe, but I'm horrible and getting my shoes switched out is about how I am with my oil change. I always wait too long. Oops. 

2. Educate yourself about the sport

What is a tempo run? Fartlek? Easy Run? What paces should you be going for all of those? See THIS link ! Buy books that educate you about the science behind it all and how you can be better. This might not be something that you like, but learn about pro runners within the sport. Follow their social medias because they will absolutely motivate you to want to be better. There are different methods to training, so you could go on amazon and search for books and read up on all of the different methods and why those coaches believe that to work best. There's the Daniel method, Hanson method, Galloway,  or 80/20 by Matt Fitzgerald. There are MANY different viewpoints and finding what will work best for you with your scheduling, life circumstances, and everything in between is SO important. 

This is the first training cycle where I think I'm finally coming into what works for me. I've tried many different methods, but it seems that my body is handling moderately high mileage but at slower paces without blasting speed work because speed work always ends up in some form of injury for me, but I had to test MANY routes over the past 2.5 years to figure that out. Of course, I'm not going to want to run this high of mileage all the time though so I'll have to figure out how I want to do training in the future! 

3. Find friends that want to do it with you

There have been studies that prove that having a friend with you in any sort of journey is always going to make you more successful. As humans, we are made to be social beings, and even though I'm a very introverted runner, I feel really energized when I go on group runs and I feel like people understand me within my friends that are actually runners. You don't want to annoy your friends that don't enjoy running with talking about it, and you want someone who can share in that passion with you. That also does NOT mean that you need only running friends. Duh. Most of mine aren't actually, but I just think it's important to have a few! :) 

4. Eat well

You want to eat enough but not too much. You really want to find that happy balance of what really fuels you but doesn't leave you feeling gross, gaining weight, and lethargic (unless of course you need to gain weight and then that's not who I'm talking about lol). You want to eat the majority of your foods as whole, plant based sources and I don't say that from the standpoint of my switch to plant based eating but rather, we all know that whole naturally based foods are going to make us feel better. The other basic rule is that you want to make sure that you have enough carbs to support what you are doing. You don't want to get out on your runs and to feel like your legs are lead because you didn't eat enough the night before the long run. You'll learn over time as you experience these things.

I personally believe that tracking your intake when you become a runner is SO SO valuable, and I know I've preached it into the ground, but it's not meant to be an obsessive thing but rather something that lets you know EXACTLY what you are doing and whether you need to make adjustments for your training. I feel like it's just another discipline just like stretching. 

5. NOT EVERY RUN IS A GOOD RUN!!! 

This is so so important. I've talked about my first 16 mile run a lot, but it was so awful. I don't think that I had eaten enough the night before or something, and I thought that's how runs had to be. I thought that's just what it felt like when you got that high in mileage and wondered how I would ever make it to a marathon. That's absolutely NOT what it should have felt like and I'm thankful I hung in there to figure that out. You need to know that there are going to be many bad days, and there will even be bad weeks. I've felt pretty awful this week even though last week was great. I also think I have a cold coming on, but I digress. The point is that you can't give running a solid chance if you don't do this. 

Last, but not least... 

6. Staying in the correct heart rate zone for your runs

This isn't technical like it sounds. I just simply mean that if you are going to be a runner, then you can't go out for a 10 mile run and do it in zone 4 heart rate (super fast for you). You will absolutely hate running and think how you don't understand why anyone would do it. You can't go sprint a 5K and wonder how anyone does a marathon. That's because you run those at ENTIRELY different speeds. You sprint a 5K. You settle into a marathon. If you are going outside of your zone 2 heart rate then you will never make it to the finish line, but if you do settle into an easy heart rate then you'll see what it's like to really fall in love with running. You'll understand how people are able to continue forward. This might be super slow at first, and you can improve that over time, so don't give up if you feel like you are just too slow. If you choose a friend to run with that's faster than you and you guys are running 9-10min/miles and you feel like you're dying and don't understand why your friend is not, that's because they have either the endurance or the natural speed and their heart rate is lower than yours currently was, and you just need to slow down. 

I really just hope to spread awareness about how great of a sport that it can be!!! <3 

 

 

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Updates + First Days as a Retail Pharmacist

Hey guyyyyys! I'm alive and well and back to normal scheduling. As I'm sure all of you know, Tanner and I did LOTS of traveling in 2016. We caught the bug and we took every single PTO day that he had. It was lovely. During this last trip when we were flying out to Colorado, the spark of travel was gone. We were frustrated that we were disrupting another week of routine, and by the end, just ready to be home with our puppies. It always gets things so out of order when you leave for a week, and catching back up feels impossible. I'm so so thankful for 2016 and all the places that I went, and I will be traveling for races the rest of 2017 but we aren't going to travel anymore for a long while. We want to be getting on a plane SO thrilled to be going like we were when we went to Dominican Republic. We don't want traveling to just become something that's like brushing our teeth, because it's so special. We always stay with friends and we find deals on flights but inevitably with having to eat out tons and rental cars, etc etc, it also ends up being REALLY expensive. We have some things we are saving up for!! ;) 

This week, I started as a retail pharmacist. I haven't done that in the past and have been in an office where I just review patient records and make sure that everything looks good and it sounds exciting but most of the time, the records are totally fine. Mostly my job consists of badgering people to remain adherent! ;) haha! So, this week was like I was back in my old home from years ago which is something that I wasn't sure I'd like, and I.LOVED.IT.SO.MUCH.

I'm working in the independent sector which means that I'll be working for a home owned pharmacy versus the retail chains (Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, etc). So, it's so lovely because it has that atmosphere of really getting to know your patients. It also is well known that you stay on your feet for 10-12 hour shifts, you get zero lunch break (so you have to eat like packaged things while no one is looking) and only a pee break if you can sneak off, so I was UBER unprepared on the food situation and thought I was going to pass out by the end. YIKES. I stuffed my face when I left. That's for sure. 

Quick aside to say that if you didn't know that about retail pharmacist, thank ya pharmacist the next time you visit ;)... and if they are gone for 2 seconds, RELAX AND COME BACK LATER!! Never ever go to a pharmacy to wait for a script in the 15 minute time frame. I mean you can, but it's so much better to just drop off and come back later! BUT I DIGRESS! 

You know some weeks where you hit your training perfectly. That was me this past week. I came home from Colorado and I knew that the one thing that I wanted to make sure that I did was my training, and so I woke up every single morning at 4:45am and made it happen before work. When we skied on Tuesday, I still went for 8 miles when we got home. I never ever am that kind of runner. I would always be one to say that I went skiing so that's enough, and it definitely is, but with being so close to my marathon, I wanted to make sure that I gave it my all. I've shown up to many marathons (and I know that I will this one as well) and think how I could have done my training better. I tend to get lazy as the weeks go on and always tell myself "Oh you know you'll finish race day, so you don't HAVE to do this workout." hahaha! That is true, but it feels SO good to hit the training. 

So, last week, I ran a lot. I'm going to be adding in some cross training soon also because I have realized how much I miss tri. 

Tuesday after skiing: 8 miles total: intervals on treadmill (1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down, 800 x 8 @ 6:45 with 3 minute jogging rest in between)

Wednesday when we got home: 6 miles naturally paced @ 8:15 outside 

Thursday morning before work @ 5- 10 mile tempo with average pace 7:49 for the total 

Friday morning before work - 8 miles "EZ" but I ran it too fast because I was in a rush to get to work @ 7:30 

Saturday after work (9-230 work)- 8 miles @ 9:00 

Sunday - 20 miles at whatever felt naturally paced (7:30) 

This was my second week of hitting 60 miles, and last week was a lot of hiking included so I would say this is my first week ever hitting 60 miles on my feet. My body is actually not trashed the way that you would expect, so I'm hopeful for another week around 60 then doing a two week taper into Myrtle Beach. 

I like to do two week tapers because it keeps me light on my feet. At 3 week tapers, I begin to wonder if I even know how to run by the time the race comes around. haha! 

After Myrtle Beach, I will be going directly into Boston training, and I'm hopeful that my training will carry over. Almost always, I just get some kind of niggle, but we will see if my body will hold up now that I've been doing the strengthening exercises as well as making sure that all of the ends and outs of marathon training are taken care of.

This week we finalize on our new house, and we close on March 14th and will be moving into a much smaller place. More than anything, it feels REALLY good. We do not like having tons of stuff, and so it feels good to really just focus on what exactly do we need and giving away the rest. I know it's such a movement right now, so I know I'm not the only one, but I love creating spaces that are very minimal and very organized, so that there isn't much to think about other than exactly what I need. 

I hope that everyone is having a great week, and I will be going back to my Monday/Wednesday/Friday blogging rotation now that I'm back from Colorado and routine will be this way for a long while! :) 

 

 

 

 

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Colorado Trip 2017

I had a friend once tell me that she doesn't read my blog for anything other than the travels that I do and the tips that go along with that because she's not interested in fitness. I thought that was wonderful! Lol! How fun that she still had a reason to make her way over here ;)

So, with that said, I'd love to tell you about our trip thus far. We already know what we are doing for our final two days here, so I'm sure I can give a pretty good picture of what that's going to be like, and help anyone out that think that they may want to find their way out to Colorado (specifically Denver/Boulder area). 

We actually flew out of Atlanta on Wednesday morning and stayed the night with our friend from NYC that moved to Atlanta on Tuesday night. As you all know, we have friends seriously everywhere across the US and love using these times to catch up! :) We have decided however that we don't think that we will fly out of ATL again just because we still live a good 3-4 hours from there depending on traffic and that makes for a really long, unnecessary travel day. But seeing Peter made it totally worth it. He's single ladies, and quite the catch! HAHA! (He would kill me if he ever read my blog and saw that sentence). 

When we landed in Colorado, I had no idea and thought that the friends that we are staying with in Colorado lived only 30 minutes from the airport, so we got our rental car and headed that way! My friend, Bridget, actually works from home so that was convenient and easy to arrange! :) 

The first night, we went back into Denver for dinner with a friend that was once a follower, but over time we just realized we had a lot in common and the last time that I went through Denver on the way to Utah, I had lunch with her, and so this time, we wanted our boyfriends/husbands to meet and do dinner so that was a lovely dinner at a place called Linger. They have vegan/vegetarian options which is great! As usual, when the option is presented to us, it's wonderful to have it, but we don't mind either way! :) However, people who follow me, know that we eat mostly plant based so they pick restaurants with options! ;) 

The thing I will say about Colorado is that they are SO GENUINELY friendly. When they say hello, they mean it. When they ask you how your day was, they want to know the details. If you want any sort of substitute for ANYTHING food wise, they do it with a smile on their face. I don't have Celiacs, but I know a lot of people want to have that option and they have it EVERYWHERE here. More than anything, I think it just says something about the character of the people, and I appreciate that. 

Before dinner, I went and ran on a single track trail for 9.5 miles. It was ridiculously freezing cold, hazy so you couldn't see the mountains but I had been stuck on an airplane so it felt good to move!! The second day, the ice had set in everywhere so I decided to keep the workout INDOORS on that day. I also fell on the ice, and ran straight into a pole because I had my hood up and now have a bruise on my eye lid, but no pain no gain right? LOL. NOT. It hurt. 

The next morning, we went for a hike in Boulder. To give perspective, my friends live in Louisville which is one of the towns surrounding Boulder. Boulder is CRAZY expensive to live in, and so many live in Eerie, Louisville, Longmount and some others to be able to afford the area but just not being in actually Boulder, but we are only 15-20 minutes away. It was super snowy, and when we got halfway up to the peak, it got super hazy and looked dangerous. We had Yactrax on our shoes, but just didn't feel safe (and I also was being lazy because it was a heck of a climb) so we turned around. We still got a beautiful day out in nature and the snow and had a ball. That afternoon, we went into downtown boulder for some coffee. It's ADORABLE! In North Carolina, the walking malls would include Ann Taylor and Banana Republic whereas Boulder has a walking mall of Patagonia, Newton Running, and all the other outdoor hippy shops! ;) I loved it! 

The second night we also were able to have dinner at the home of someone that I grew up with from Shelby. She made us dinner, and we got to meet her husband and precious little girl Madeline. It was SUCH a treat to see such a familiar face and she is someone who has done INCREDIBLE things. She's in politics, and has been on Fox News/some sort of TV probably around 300 times, and was named Forbes 30 under 30 in Law and Policy last year and this year, the 3rd most influential Republican female. She is SUCHHH a joy to be around, so I loved our evening with her. 

On Friday, we spent the day going to 5 breweries all over the area. I'm honestly not a beer drinker...like at all haha! But Tanner is and so that was fun for him to be able to try out a bunch of different places and we were with our friend Matt, so he was leading the way. Needless to say, I drove home at the end! ;) On Friday night, we visited a vegan restaurant and then out for drinks again! ha! 

On Saturday was altitude sickness day! I woke up so excited to get in 18 miles with my friend Bridget (which it turned out being better that we didn't because of Tanner and I's hike on Sunday). We started off and got in the first 6 and it was totally fine. When we turned the corner, there was an intense wind going back but then I started feeling REALLY bad. We started slowing up and going like 9:30 and I still couldn't hold it. I was for sure that I would pass out. We stopped and I took a break for like 5 minutes and ate some Honey Stinger Gummies, and even though I was super nauseous, we kept continuing our way back. I had to stop at least once per mile to breathe and genuinely felt I was for sure going to pass out. We were doing like 10 min/mile and I felt like we were doing 6. It was awful. I was sick the rest of the day with GI upset, headache, nausea, and lack of appetite. Yikes. 

The rest of the day we spent going to consignment gear shops around the city and I found a Prana vest for $20! Score! We also found a ski rack for our car that would save us like $150 but we have no way to get it back so we passed. BOOOO!! 

That night we went to their house to help them paint because they BOUGHT A HOUSE HERE! YAY!!! It's officially official that they are going to be here for a while, which is exciting for them (they just moved in April). I left early to go to bed because I felt so awful.

On Sunday, which was yesterday, was the epic hike. We found a hike that we thought would be "moderate." Tanner has what appears to be walking pneumonia (yea I know lol) and his hamstring issue and he's like REALLY untrained cardio wise right now, and we had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into. It ended up being 10 miles (5 miles of 3500 ft of gain mostly rock climbing in the final 2 miles). There was snow and ice and mud and rocks and falling and cussing and 5 hours worth of work but we made it up and back down and are glad we did. Tanner felt bad that he was "holding me back" because he's so sick but I just couldn't believe he was even doing that altitude while hacking up his lungs. He woke up this morning crazy sick so he is going to just study for his oncology board all day today in coffee shops. 

The hike was beautiful but challenging. It opened up once to where we could get some views and the rest of the time was just climbing. I genuinely thought it would never end, but it did and I'll never forget it. 

We did decide that we aren't as "badass" on the mountains as we try to think we are (I mean we knew this but just a slap of reality check). We also decided that we aren't even sure we enjoyed that kind of "push" as much. So, we decided we will leave the Everest climbs to other people, and I'll leave the 100 mile races for those that are a little more intense than I! ;) I'll stick with road running and triathlon for now! It's interesting the difference in the peaks of Utah and Colorado. Colorado is very pointy so you have to climb a lot to get to the peaks, but then you are like on the ledge looking out over the world. In Utah, it's like you can see more beauty quicker. I like that more! hahah!! 

I had a few ask me about this peak, and it was South Boulder Peak, and when you summit, the other side of the peak that you can't really see in the pictures is a complete drop off. As we were walking around in these pictures, we were holding on to that rock for dear life just because one motion and you're done. I had no idea that it would be so intense of a day but it's a memory of a lifetime. It also helped me to get 61 miles on my feet for the week which is exciting! 

Last night, for the Super Bowl, we headed to a local restaurant and bar and it was a relaxing good time. Today, we chill. Tomorrow, we are going to Winterpark and skiing all day so of course I'm more than thrilled to be doing that!!! Our epic Colorado outdoor adventure is slowly coming to a close, and it's crazy how many trips and memories Tanner and I have made together, and I can't wait for the next one. However, we have decided to not have anymore week long trips away from home for the remainder of 2017. We have some big goals that we are trying to accomplish, and I also feel bad always leaving my dogs with other people. So, this was our big trip of 2017 and it's been amazing! :) 

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Comfort in your personal crazy

So, I was talking with my best friend yesterday about how I appreciated her loving me through all of my crazy. I feel that I'm a little all over the place with ideas and emotions sometimes. I get really passionate about a lot of things, and tend to bounce. We travel a lot and love to stay busy but sometimes it feels very unfocused and definitely not simple. 

You know the life that I always thought I'd have where I just went to work, came home from work, made dinner, watched TV and went to kids ball games (because I certainly never envisioned being 27.5 and childless) and then waking up and doing it all over the next day? I went to college and for the entirety of it, that's what I thought I'd do. 

When I graduated from pharmacy school, I didn't go into pharmacy. I went into blogging/fitness world, and then as time has progressed, I've found that I would love to not throw away 7 years of constant work and that I'd love to do what I've always dreamed of which is working as a retail pharmacist. However, if I told any retail pharmacist that, they'd say that I was crazy and don't actually want that full time. And I know that. Tanner and I are starting another company (launching very soon) and I am SO passionate about it, and CANNOT wait. I'm also really passionate about running and nutrition and coaching people in that which is what I've done for the past 3 years. 

So I'm 27 with the potential for essentially 4 jobs (consultant pharmacy which is what I do now, retail pharmacy which is what I've been hired for part time [only 25 hours every 2 weeks so very few hours], new company, run coaching, blogging, and small amounts of nutrition coaching). I'm also starting a half and full marathon in my home town, and some how and some way, I don't feel busy. I feel like I have a lot of down time. I think because two of those haven't really kicked off yet.

Some people email me and say "I don't know how you do it all." And I always think "It really is just how I love to do life." I TRULY enjoy it. It gets a little crazy sometimes because I want to do WELL at everything that I do. There are days where I'm like "What am I doing right now? Why can't I just live simply doing ONE thing?" 

On top of all of this, Tanner and I travel a lot, and he is also studying for board certification in oncology pharmacy as I know I've mentioned and some other really huge things that I need to keep private for now with his career. The point of all of this is that this is how we live. This is how we thrive. This is what we love. 

But for some reason, I feel I have to hide that.  I had dinner with my dad last week and he jokingly said as he's driving off that "I've been telling you to slow down since you were 2 years old, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen so I've just learned that it's what you love." YES YES YES. THANK YOU. He's like the one person I never thought would say that either. 

My friend that I was discussing this with said that there was no reason for me to be ashamed because as long as we love our life and we love each other during it, then there's nothing wrong with it. It has always felt like that I needed to hide the fact that I don't really like "slowing down" because that's not seen as normal. There is a HUGE movement towards complacency in fitness and in life. ACCEPT YOURSELF. DON'T TRY HARD. DON'T DO TOO MUCH. IT'S TOO MUCH.

We make decisions and we move fast. We got engaged after 5 months and it was like the perfect precursor for the way our life would go. We decided in a 2 week span to officially move to New York City and it was the BEST. We decided to sell our house and we have an offer on the table and a contract with a new house like within 2 weeks (part of that being luck I know). Before church, I might run 16 miles while Tanner does laundry and cuts the grass and we joke on the way to church that most are just getting up and we are like WOOO WIRED READY TO GO! 

This is us. This is who we are. And there's nothing wrong with that. And I'm finally resting in THAT and not looking forward to the rest that I don't genuinely don't enjoy.

We kept saying that once we get to THIS part of our lives, we would slow down and then after that, we found a new deadline of slowing down...then a new one...then a new one. Just recently we had the talk of "WHY DO WE EVEN FEEL LIKE WE NEED TO?!" It's this notion that we are supposed to and then when we get to a spot where we can, we get anxious and don't enjoy it so then we move onto to the next thing. 

The point of sharing my personal stories with you guys and being super vulnerable about emotions that I have is not so that you think I'm crazy but so that you know that if you are one of these people, you aren't alone. And it's okay. And everyone will tell you that you need to chill out and calm down and loosen up when you were probably born this way and this is how you function.

We all have many passions and of course it's hard to fit it all in and there's a time and a place for everything. OF COURSE. We must be mature and vigilant to doing the things that we are doing WELL and to not space ourselves out too thin, but also recognizing that there are some people wired to need rest, and there are others that aren't and that's what makes this world go around-DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEOPLE! <3 

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Update on My Training, Injury, Life, and Jobs

So, if you have been following along, you know that I had the hamstring issue and let me just pause there to chat about the recovery of that. 

It took a good month + 1 week to completely get over it. I told Tanner last night that I've realized that life is just a continuation of this. We can't all be healthy all the time whether that be actual sickness or injury and the best thing that you can do is just to do the things that you love when you can, deal with the injuries and sickness when they come loving life through it all. Tanner has a terrible high hamstring injury and has been dealing with it for about a year now. He