The Number Means Nothing

scale

During stressful times, like a break-up, some people lose weight.  Not me.  I gain.

In 2007 after my ex-douchebag-boyfriend got another girl pregnant behind my back, I fell into a spiral of drinking way too much, smoking way too much and working out not at all.  Ultimately, it was this break-up that was the catalyst for getting into running and triathlon.  It had been a few years since I had been to the gym; my work-outs consisted mostly of out-drinking my friends and eating as much as I wanted.  I was always athletic and had a high metabolism so even though I ate, drank and didn’t work out, I also rarely gained weight.  Until this time.  During the course of my unhealthy relationship and the subsequent break-up, I had put on quite a few pounds.

Fast forward to last year.

I once again put on weight during the over-the-top-drawn-out-for-too-long-dramatic breakup with R2.  The difference between 2007 and 2012 is that although I had let myself go between the broken foot and broken heart, was that I luckily had not lost all my fitness.  Oddly enough, when I decided to get my butt back in gear this past December, I weighed the same amount as I did when I started my journey in 2007.   The same exact weight.

compare

                                                                                           2007                                                                      2012

Although I hate both of these photos, I posted so you can see how in both of these photos that I am heavier, but it is also noticeable that even just looking at my face, that I look fitter in 2012.  The scale read the same number but you can easily see how different I looked.  And that is just judging on my face.  (Trust me, it was hard enough to post these photos…no full body shots!)

Now, I am going to post a photo of me currently.  I have been working my tail off since December to get back in shape.  I have been on a nutrition plan and in addition to running and swimming, I have been taking barre and ballet classes.  I knew that I wanted to lose weight and get fit before Mexico, so I really buckled down.

thin

In this photo, taken only a few weeks ago, I am only six pounds less than in both of those photos above.

All my hard work and I have lost only six pounds.  But look at the difference in my face. (I really tried to pick three photos with the same head tilt.)  I am clearly more fit in this current photo.  And that is great, but the biggest difference of all?  In the two photos above,  I was not happy.  In the recent photo, I am.   That is a happy girl.  I am two sizes smaller than 2007 and a size smaller than just 3 months ago.  So while the number on the scale doesn’t reflect necessarily where I want to be weight wise, I know the number doesn’t matter.  When I look in the mirror, I see muscle.  I see toned abs.  I see a body that is being worked hard for.  I see confidence.  I see all the things a scale cannot show me.

scale

More important than all the superficial aspects, is that the scale does not measure my health.  The number tells me little to nothing about what is going on with my relationship with food or my digestive health.  The scale is also no indication of my recovery from activity, my stress level or my sleeping patterns.  If I don’t get enough sleep, it is not reflected on the scale but rather, I know by the way I feel.  These are the factors that impact my health far more directly than my body weight.   Individual weight is personalized and unique.  There is not a one sized fits all number that people should weigh.

With all that said, I will admit, I still weigh myself.  Currently, once a week and only on my own scale.  I do not weigh myself on any other scale, ever.  At the doctor, I get weighed backward.  By weighing only on my own scale, I do not have to question or obsess.  My scale is consistent to what I know my weight to be.  And sometimes, the number does frustrate me.  I am still a work in progress.  There will be confident days and not confident days.  Of course, there will be days I look at myself and say “you go girl!” and days where I think “what am I doing wrong?” but it will be based on how I feel when I look in the mirror, not based on how I feel when I step on the scale.  I will not let the number on the scale determine whether I have a good day or  bad day.  I will continue to weigh myself as a way to monitor my weight in general.  Not as a way to determine my worth.

Do you weigh yourself? 

Do you hyper-focus on the number or are you able to see past it?

Finding Time, Making Decisions & Staying Motivated

If there is one question I get asked more than any other, it is, “how do you have/find time for everything?”

notime

The truth is, I don’t have time.  Honestly, I really don’t have the time. And I certainly don’t find time! (If you ever find a way to “find time” please let me know!) So what is my secret?  Sounds crazy, but like most of us that make health and fitness a part of our daily lives,  I make time.  (And I don’t even have kids! It amazes me how working moms/dads keep up with everything…but I know it really is just the same as me.  You make the time!)

So what does making time look like?  For me, it means sometimes having to give up the opportunity to go out with friends, watch a TV program I like or sleep in on a weekend morning.  I know what needs to be done and I do it.   That doesn’t leave me with much time, especially on the days/nights I work both jobs.  In fact, on those days/nights, I get up at 5am and work straight through (with exception of my commute) to anywhere between 9-11pm.  Since that leaves no time to work out and barely time to shower and sleep, I have to fit my workouts in on days and nights I don’t work.

Rest days?  I’m sorry…what are those?

I don’t think it would be possible for me to hold a schedule like I do if I didn’t want what I get out of it.  I want to be healthy and fit.  I want to look good in a bikini.  I want to get a PR on race day.  It doesn’t mean I love every work-out.  I just really like the results.  That is what makes it worth it.

Being dedicated to something takes motivation.  Motivating myself is not always easy.  In fact, it is rarely easy.  I know that the decisions I have to make every day.  I know these decisions will serve to assist or hinder my  long-term goals.  On days when I really don’t want to work-out, get to the gym or even get out of bed, I remind myself that it is so worth it when it is over.  I am faced with choices and challenges every day.  I am only accountable to myself.  I know the only person I am letting down if I skip a workout, is myself.  One of the ways I keep myself motivated from day-to-day is to have a schedule.  I know what days I have to work, which nights I take ballet and barre and what days I have to run.  For me, it helps to know what each day is going to bring.  I keep a schedule on my calendar at work and on my fridge at home.  More importantly for me, I think about my schedule for the next day each night before I go to bed.  This helps me both get ready mentally for what is ahead and serves as way to remember my goals on a nightly basis.

Here are some of my additional tips for motivating oneself:

  • Set small goals that lead towards bigger goals.  I find that if all I am focused on is the big goal, I get lost and lose patience.  One way I do this is by focusing on the day-to-day and week to week workouts.  I allow myself to get through one run before I think about the next run.  Same with my swims and most recently my barre and ballet classes.
  • I keep in mind that I train for reasons other than just the end result.  For me,  training also builds my confidence.   There is a direct relationship between how fit I am and how good I feel.  When I don’t want to workout, I remind myself of how good I feel when I am done.  When I am exercising on a regular basis, I don’t feel guilty about dessert with dinner or worry about the extra glass of wine.  When I don’t want to work out, I don’t allow myself to talk myself out of it.  Same with racing.  Even when I feel like I am not at my best or when I have anxiety over a race and I am questioning my ability.  I remember that if I’ve trained well, I’ll do well.  I know I can do the distance, so even on a bad day, it’s just a matter of doing nothing more than keeping myself moving forward for a given period of time.
  • I keep it fresh.  I do a variety of work-outs.  I run, use the elliptical, lift weights, swim, take spin classes, dance ballet and take barre classes.  I also do a variety of each workout.  I take different instructors for barre classes and spin classes.  I have my favorite instructors, but they all have something to offer and mixing it up keeps it fun.  While I prefer to free swim, I will also take in my fins or kick-board just for a change of pace in the pool.  I change locations for my runs and do different workouts.  Sometimes I run alone and sometimes with others.  Sometimes with music and sometimes not.  There are days I lift with heavier weights and do less reps and other days where I lift with lighter weights and do more reps.  Whatever it take to keep it from feeling boring.  Different is good!
  • I look in the mirror more than I look at the scale.  I won’t elaborate too much because I am working on a separate post that goes into more detail, but I will say that this was probably the smartest thing I have done when it comes to staying fit.  I force myself to look at myself.  While the number on the scale might not change, I know by the fit of my clothes and I can tell just by looking in the mirror that my body is changing for the better.
  • I just do it.  I don’t skip scheduled workouts (except in case of emergencies or if I am sick) and I put aside distractions.

What it ultimately comes down to is this:  I know I need to make better decisions more often than I make not-so-good ones.  (Skipping my barre class because of a bachelorette party the night before was perfectly acceptable to me.  Using being tired as an excuse to not work out on a regular basis is not acceptable.)  Making good decisions is what will lead to success.  I mean, it is simple.  We begin learning this lesson as babies.  Keep trying until you get it right.  Don’t quit.  Fight for what you want.  Work hard and see results.

I find that the more you put in the effort and hard work, the more easily you will choose wisely when it comes to making decisions.

6

How do you make time for you?  How do you motivate yourself?

Marathon- Almost There!

Two more sleeps.  Or should I say, one more sleep and one try to sleep!

Honestly, I am having a hard time putting my thoughts together.  I cannot believe this weekend is finally here.  I know I have prepared- it hasn’t been the most ideal training cycle, but it was my training cycle.  The long runs are done, taper is in full force…now, all I have to do is get to Sunday.  In 48 hours from now I will have already started my marathon. 

A lot of people have asked me what my goals are…what my plan is…how my race looks when I visualize it.  I do have goals, but they are simple.  I definitely have a plan but it’s mostly logistics so that I can see my family and friends.   And I have been visualizing this run for weeks now every night before I go to bed, and sometimes randomly throughout the day.   Yet, I still find it tough to verbalize how I am feeling when it comes to all of this.

But, I’ll do my best.

The pre-race plan: My routine every night this week has been to eat a good dinner, take an Epsom salt bath, elevate/ice legs while drinking tea and try to sleep as well as possible.  I still haven’t managed enough hours a night, but I have gotten in more than usual and have slept great all week.  Tonight, I am hoping for 10 hours.   Tomorrow morning my parents will meet up with R2 and I at my house and after a good breakfast we will head into Philly.  After we park at the hotel, we will all head on down to the expo.  It’ll be kind of fun to see my dad and R2 at the expo since neither have ever been to one.  After what is likely to be an obscene amount of photos, I’ll pick up my bib and make it officially official!  We will head back to the hotel to relax (and watch Notre Dame for R2) and then have some dinner.  There is a pizza/pasta place around the corner from the hotel which is great- my parents and R2 can have whatever they want and I can be content with my pre-race pasta!  My hope is to be in bed early- which I don’t anticipate sleeping much, I at least want to be resting.

Race-Day Plan– The more I think about having gotten this hotel room, the better I feel about it.  I am less than a mile from the start.  I can stay in the comfort of my room, stay warm (high of 62 [!!!] but it’ll still be a chilly morning) and best of all, I will have my own toilet.  This makes me happy in way only athletes can understand!!!!  Before I know it, it’s going to be start time.  My plan is very simple: start out slow…stay on pace as best as possible, make sure to look for family/friends at planned check points and finish.  One foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles.

Goals– I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a time goal.  Of course I do.  I have a pace group I plan to stay with for as long as possible and I definitely know when I want to cross the line.  However- and I am dead serious- time goals come last to everything else.  The first goal is to finish.  Second to that is the finish happy and knowing that I did the best I could, no matter how long it takes me to do so.  Therefore, if in the end, I don’t make my time goals…that will be okay.  It doesn’t take away from the fact that I will have become a marathoner.  And at the end of the day, it is an automatic PR 🙂

When it comes to visualizing the race, I always picture myself happy and running.  If the stars align and I can just feel good at the start, and throughout the race, I will be happy.   I am not worried about the first half- I have done seven of those.  I know to take it slower and pace myself and I a ready for that- it’s the whole pass-the-finish-line-at-the-half-mark that makes me most nervous.  I have never had to go left to Mile 14!  I have my mom and R2 stationed to see me about half way through mile 14- it will give me incentive to breeze through the half mark like I own it!  I visualize the second half being a lot slower, with walking…but I still picture myself as happy.  I know there will be pain- pain like I have never felt- I know I am in for some hurting.  But I am committed to being focused on the positive.  I am committed to saying “I can” when I want to say “I can’t” and I am committed to saying “Keep going” when my body says “stop” because I know it is temporary.  I am know I am stronger than I ever imagined.  I just want to take the whole race in- take note of the spectators, thank the police staff and volunteers and smile a lot!  And finish.  And when I picture the finish line, I always see myself crossing it- happy.  And crying.  I have a feeling there will be tears!  And photos.  Tears and photos galore!

Let’s do this!!!!!

 

Thoughts On The Marathon- One Week Till Go Time

Here I am, one week away from marathon day.  This time next week, I will be recovering with the biggest margarita ever and a lot of ice cream! Maybe at the same time, who knows 🙂

And now for my favorite kind of post- list post!  Here are some of my thoughts with one week to go:

  • Taper sucks! I never felt this way with half-marathon or triathlon training, but I feel it now.  I am going out of my mind!  For one, everything hurts.  Bones and muscles I didnt even know I had are hurting.  I am having nightmares of the most ridiculous nature; showing up naked being the most popular, I constantly think I am sick if I so much as sneeze and all I want to do is eat and sleep!!!  I am totally over taper!
  • My 20 mile run was easier than my last long run yesterday.  I was completely beat before I even started the run and I struggled through the whole thing.  I was downright exhilarated when the run was over!
  • I am so excited for this week- I know it is going to crawl by but I don’t even care.  I am just happy to only be working two nights.  I have plenty of time to rest, elevate my legs and sleep, sleep and sleep!
  • I have officially become obsessed with the weather.  I check it one or two or ten times a day.  Yesterday it said 57 and raining and I was angry.  Today, it says cloudy and 54 and I am all about it.  I know God is busy with things like the Superbowl, NBA lockout and the Oscars, but if he is listening, I would like it to be in the low 40’s at the start with it getting no higher than mid-50’s by the finish.  And if I can be really picky, partly sunny.  Whatever the weather, please please please NO RAIN, please!
  • I have three outfits picked out.  I will probably pack a weeks worth of stuff for one night.  Possibly more.  And I bet you, I will still forget something.
  • I am staying overnight in a hotel.  I live less than 20 minutes from the start line. I don’t care.  I know I will feel so much better if I am there when I wake up.  Not only will I not have to leave until 15 minutes before the start but I will have my own toilet to poop in; there really is no better reason!
  • I am starting to get very emotional when I think about the race.  Anxious, nervous and emotional. I’ll probably cry like a baby when I cross that line.
  • When I start to feel worried about race day, I go back and read past race reports.  Especially, Philly half from last year.  It helps immensely.
  • I am looking insanely forward to my massage this week. Ridiculously. Like, I cannot describe.  I am looking even more forward to my post marathon massage.
  • I have worn Brooks Adrenalines since 2007.  I hated the new ones that came out and needed new shoes.  I have officially been running in Saucony’s for the last 5 weeks.  Still, there is a part of me that wants to run in my Brooks on race day.  I am sure they have 26.2 miles left in them 🙂   Let’s face it, I’ll probably pack both!
  • So many people are so excited for me, that I am getting so excited.  I know that no matter when I cross that line, my family and friends will make me feel like a winner.  And I am, because I have them in my life.
  • I have taken more Airborne and more vitamins in the last 8 weeks than ever before.  Next to getting injured, getting sick has been fear #2…I have 6 days to go, so lets hope my body stays with me on this one!!!
  • I have gained weight and quite a bit of it.  Gaining weight while marathon training…of could I would! 
  • This is hands down the hardest thing I have ever done.  I can honestly say, without a doubt, this has never been fun.  I have been thrown so many curve balls- having first planned for run a marathon two years ago.  When I am training for half-marathons and tris, I actually have fun.  But these last 15 weeks have tested in me in many ways.  I have sacrificed a lot to get here- and I have worked so hard.  I didn’t always get my work outs in, and I went three weeks in a boot hardly working out at all…a lot of people told me I should bag the race…but I kept at it.  I decided as long as I had my doctors blessing, I was only going to listen to myself.  I worked hard to get healed and picked back up my training.  I trained in rain, I trained on boring courses without music, I did long runs on the treadmill (seriously, there is nothing fun about 16 miles on a treadmill!!!) and I trained alone most of the time.  I did all of this while working a full time job and a part time job.  I did this while changing full time jobs.  I did this with some personal stuff happening.  I did this with still maintaining a social life as much as possible.  But it should be noted, I could not have done this without the unending support I have received from my parents, R2, my friends and my amazing support group here.  My parents and R2 have definitely felt the hit of my training personally- my time with them is much more limited, they deal with my nerves, self-doubt and anxiety and they have changed their schedules to work around my long runs when needed.  No, marathon training has not been fun for me…but it has taught me so much and I know that all the hard work will pay off when I cross that finish line.  And I cannot wait!!!
  • And last but not least…the most important thing I must always remember…my mantra for race day…

What has been your greatest lesson while training for an important event?  What is your favorite mantra during tough parts of the race?

Music For My Ears

I have roughly 4 half-written marathon type posts.  If I wasn’t so busy eating, running, working, icing, running, sleeping, working, running, rolling, working, eating, sleeping, rolling, running and eating, I might have time to finish them!  Seriousy, how do you people do it?????  I feel like all I do is eat and sleep whenever I am not working or running!

One of the things I have really concentrated on during training, is my mental health.  I know how important it is to stay physically healthy through the training but for me, I know come race day, I am going to need to be mentally with the program!  I have been posting photos to my facebook as daily motivations, I have photos on my mirror at home and desk at work and I spend time visualizing the marathon almost every night.  But the one thing I am doing that I think will help me the most is also the craziest- I have done every single long run without music.  Every single one.  I used to refuse running more than two miles unless I had my IPOD and now I am running almost 20 miles, music-less. 

To be honest, I like being without the music.  It forces me to focus on my body; how I am feeling, what I am feeling and moreover, my thoughts.  When you are out there that long, going as slow as I do, self-reflection is unavoidable.  I would be remiss if I did not say that this training has taught me more about myself and what I am capable of, then I ever thought possible. 

And yet, the notion that I am going to complete 26.2 miles in less than five week, blows my mind completely.  It leaves me wondering if I am ever going to be able to wrap my head around it until I actually do it. 

I know that come race day there will be ups…and downs…and ups.  I know I will be challenged in crazy ways.  I am trying to be preapred…so even though I am not training with music, you better believe I am going to run with it!

That said, here is my playlist thus far. 

Bachman Turner Overdrive You aint seen nothing yet
Black Eyed Peas Pump It
Black Eyed Peas I got a feeling
Bon Jovi Who says you cant go home
Bon Jovi It’s my life
Bruce Springsteen Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen Hungry Heart
Bruce Springsteen Glory Days
Chris Brown w/Lil Wayne Transform Ya
Christina A. Fighter
Dierks Bently Free and Easy
Don Henley Boys of Summer
Drake Forever
Eminem Lose Yourself
Eminem/Lil Wayne No love
Estelle American Boy
Fleetwood Mac Go your own way
Garbage Only happy when it rains
Jay Sean Down
Jay-Z Run this town
Jets Crush on you
Journey Don’t stop believing
Justin Timberlake Sexyback
Katy Perry Waking up in vegas
Kayne West Stronger
Kayne West Jesus Walks
Kenny Chesney Big Star
Kesha Tik tok
Killers Mr. Brightside
Lil Kim The jump off
Lil Wayne Mr. Carter
Lil Wayne with Jay-Z Mr. Carter
Lil Wayne/Chris Brown Look at me now
Michael Jackson Don’t stop till you get enough
Michael Jackson Man in the mirror
Michael Jackson The way you make me feel
Midnight Oil Beds are burning
Miley Cirus Party in the USA
Miley Cirus The Climb
Natasha Bedingfield Unwritten
Nikki Minaj Super Bass
No doubt Spiderwebs
No doubt Just a girl
Pink  Raise your glass
Pink  Just like a pill
Pink  So What
Queen/David Bowie Under Pressure
Rick Ross Boss
Rick Springfield Jesse’s girl
Rob Base It takes two
Rob Base Joy and Pain
Rolling Stones Start me up
Rusted Root Send me on my way
Sheryl Crow Soak up the sun
Sugarland Settlin
Taylor Swift Love Story
Tina Turner Proud Mary
Tom Petty Running down a dream
Tom Petty I Won’t back down
U2 Beautiful Day
Van Halen Running with the devil
Young the Giant My Body

 With very few exceptions, most of this music is geared towards the paces I feel like I will be running throughout the marathon.  And when I say running, I should note: running/jogging/walking. 

What are you favorite songs to run/jog/walk to?  I am looking to add another 30 songs…I like pretty much all music, so let me know what you recommend!!!!!

 

Updates, Updates, Updates…I’m BACK!!!!!!

Anyone still here…anyone?? Anyone??

It has been almost a full month since I have written!  So much to get caught up on!

Unless you are on my Facebook (and if you aren’t, why not?) you might have thought I died. Or was kidnapped. Or that I hate blogging.  Don’t believe the rumors- none of the above are true.  The truth is, I was so overwhelmingly busy that I could not sit long enough to finish a post.  But now things are calmed down a little and I am ready to give you the updates.  And there are some major updates!

  1. I turned 30- That’s right folks, I am officially in the 30 club!  And honestly, I feel great!  I am so happy to be out of my 20’s I cannot even tell you!  Plus, turning 30 has been so much fun…I had a surprise party back in May and then over my birthday weekend I went to Boilermaker to celebrate with 9.3 miles with two of my closest friends.  Last weekend topped off the birthday festivities with a trip to Baltimore with R2.  We stayed Friday-Sunday and had so much fun.  Yeah…hello 30, I think I love you!
  2. I GOT A NEW JOB!!!!- I did it!  I finally left my old school and got a new job!  This is the best news and best thing to happen to me in a long time.  I feel emotionally more stable and so much less stressed out.  I have been sleeping through the night again, not freaking out over dumb stuff and can enjoy my weekends more because I am not thinking about work.  I feel like my prayers have been answered!  I start in two weeks and I cannot wait!!!!!!
  3. I am still racing- Since I last wrote I raced the Boilermaker, Splash and Dash and NJ State Triathlon.  See below for race reports- they were all good ones!
  4. R2 and I are still amazing- I am not the mushy mushy type and I certainly dont talk much about my relationship publicly, but seriously…how lucky am I to have such a great guy.  R2 has been there for me every step of the way while I searched for a new job and is ridiculously supportive of my racing.  We have so much fun, we are almost always laughing and we genuinely like each other so much.  It has been a great six months!
  5. Marathon Training is underway- That’s right…the official training has begun.  I don’t want to rush summer or wish time away,  but I will be glad when the race itself is finally here.  This training is daunting!!!  I have to be honest, I don’t see myself ever doing a second marathon!

Three Race Reports!

     Splash and Dash- Splash and Dash is a local swim/run race held in memory of a local boy who was killed in a car accident.  It is held at night and super fun.  I had a pretty good swim and used the run as a training run so it was so-so.  I was happy with it overall and can’t wait to do this race again!

     Boilermaker 15K- Hello automatic PR 🙂  This race totally lives up to its hype.  While I wanted to kill myself up the first 3.5 miles of hill that seemed endless (hi, I train in SJ!!) I love love loved all the course support.  I am not even kidding, there was support every single step of the race!  People everywhere- more music than anything 1/2 marathon I ever raced and water/aid stations everywhere!  I went into this race with some shin pain and random back pain so I wasn’t sure what to expect out of myself; in the end, I was really happy with my time.  15K- 1:48:23.  Slow, steady and recovered well from it- stuck with the plan and it worked!

     NJ State- This race was last weekend…you know, in the 92387 degree heat.  Which honestly, was still better than last years weather.  This was my first full tri this year- up to this point I had been doing only relays.  I went in thinking I would see how I felt and take it from there.  Listen- I KILLED the swim.  As in…20th out of 103 in my age group and 375th out of 1362 overall.  KILLED THE SWIM.  I felt like superwoman coming out of the water and was rearing to go!  I zoomed in and out of transition and started the bike.  Ugh…the bike.  My disdain for the bike runs deep and my goal was to do the same or better than last year, although my lack of bike training had me thinking I might not make it.  However, I did…beat my time last year by a few seconds 🙂  Hey, I’ll take it!  Once again, I zoomed in and out of transition and was ready to run.  I should clairfy…I was ready…my legs, notsomuch!  Took me a solid mile to get my legs back, but I knew I was doing so well overall that I kept pushing and smiling.  I crossed the line with a THREE MINUTE PR.  And I couldn’t have been happier!!!

What’s next?

Racing- This weekend I have Belmar tri, one of my favorites.  After that, my concentration is really on running.  Getting through this marathon training without injury and feeling good and confident.  I have a few 5k’s in August where I hope to work on my speed and then the WildWood half-marathon at the end of the month.  The WildWood half is going to be a good indicator of where I stand in my training.  They will have pacers and I plan to use one; my hope is I can keep the pace for 13.1 and reach a solid PR, which will give me confidence for the full marathon.  In September, I am running the Jersey-Liberty Half Marathon.  This is purely a training run with no PR expectations.  In Oct, I am running the LBI 18-miler (falls right into my schedule perfectly) and then November is the marathon!!!!

Life- I have a little over a week of in between jobs ending and beginning and then I start the new school year.  I am not the least bit sad to leave my current job (although I will miss most of the people, most families and the students) but I am scared/nervous/excited for the new job!  In September I will be heading downtheshore for my yearly, much anticipated, vacation.  Other than that, I am just feeling really blessed right now in my life.  Lucky, and blessed.

Pictures

You know I wouldn’t leave you without photos!!!  Here’s a hodgepodge of race photos from the S&D and NJ State…

PS-It goes without saying that my Reader was out of control, so I deleted everything and I am starting over today.  Please update me on anything awesome I may have missed!

A Real Post- With Updates & Everything!

I have been a little MIA but really, just my usual busy self.

Today we have a snow day.  It is completely unnecessary.  A few weeks ago, after a blizzard, we had school.  Every single other school in the county was closed.  Today, we have a few inches. All schools had a two-hour delay. We are closed.  We can never just be like everyone else.  The upside is, since I had off yesterday for Presidents Day and today for snow, I only have to work 2.5 days this week.  I am taking a half-day Friday to head to Florida!

Speaking of Florida.  This time last year, I was on my way home from Florida.  I had spent the weekend with Morgan in Orlando and Jacksonville.  Looking back to that time, I see truly how much has changed in my life.  I had a blast in Florida, but that was not a good time in my life in general.  I had just lost my grandfather, I was unhappy at work, living at home with my parents, feeling lonely much of the time and only days away from a major injury.  These days, while I am still unhappy at my day job, I have so much good in my life.  It really is amazing how when you allow yourself to live a good life, life becomes good.  It isn’t that bad things aren’t happening or that I don’t have bad days, it’s more like I am choosing to focus on the good.  Life is so much easier this way and I only wish I had begun living like this a lot earlier!

February is flying as fast as January did; when I get back from Florida it will be March already!  February started off with a Hip Hop Thrown Back Party that my friends Victoria and Jason threw- it was a blast!  I haven’t partied liked that in years but it was so worth it!  I have been dating someone since late January (first mention of it in this blog, right now) and things with us are going really well.  Last weekend was my Tri Teams winter party which was also super fun.  Of course, it is always a good time with my teammates.  And of course, this weekend is Florida.  We take off Friday night around 6pm and we are there until Tuesday afternoon.  I cannot wait!  We really don’t have much planned, which is the idea- all we really want to do is bask in the 80* weather, spend time on the beach and hit up the bars for some dancing at night!  Our hotel is right on the beach and I cannot wait to run down A1A and swim in the ocean!

As for my training, that is also going really well.  It seems I have settled into somewhat of a schedule- consistently hitting workouts four days a week and pulling at least one two-a-day a week.  I am running, biking, lifting and doing a little P90X.  I have been sticking to the 10% rule like a psycho- I refuse to get injured again this year!  So while my mileage is still quite low, my runs are all quality and I feel great!  I have also been riding my trainer a few days a week and I can feel my bike skills getting better.  I am actually looking forward to getting my bike on the road again!  And the best part of my winter training has been my strength- I have been lifting solidly since the beginning of the year and it is showing.  I not only feel strong but I am looking stronger.  I don’t think I have been this lean in a long time- I am really feeling good about the way I look!  I still have a lot I want to work on, but by summer, I plan to rock my bikini’s!

Starting in March, I will be back in the water swimming a few mornings a week.  I always look most forward to the water as I truly love to swim.  On March 2nd, I will (along with many others) be trying to get a spot in the B.A.A 5k!  I want to run that race so bad- I am going to cross my fingers and toes and hope for the best!  March is also Shamrock time- I am still bummed out about missing out of the half-marathon but I think it was for the best.  I would have had to push my training more than I would have wanted so if probably worked out the way it should have.  The weekend is sure to be a blast- I am heading down with my friend Nicole and we have a house on the beach to stay the weekend and we are running the 8K.  I am still looking forward to catching a tan on the boardwalk while watching the big races on Sunday 🙂  I’ll begin my half-marathon training plan when I get back from VA; I am still going to train as if I am doing Frederick in May, although I still have not made a final decision.  I am pretty sure March is going to fly by as fast as January and February, which I am totally okay with because then Spring will be here 🙂

I’ll leave you all with some photos from the Hip Hop Party-

How was your February?