Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fun with the little people.

Workout- 4 mile run (10.04 pace)
              20 min strength session

I have a couple extra days off this week, so I'm spending them with my sister and her family. I love spending time with my nephews and nieces. They grow so fast and I want to savor every moment of their lives!!

This morning when I woke up for my run it was just 28 was the hardest thing to do to crawl out of my warm bed and hit the sand highway, but it was worth it. 4 miles was a great way to start the day. It really warmed up beautifully- it was 63 when we took a walk mid-afternoon!

They say Kansas is flat...........Nebraska's definitely got one up on us!

The boys walked through a cornfield and collected ears of corn that the combine missed. They played dodge the corncob for a little while and their laughter was super contagious.

We found a hole.............

but after much inspection it was decided that it was just a harmless mouse hole. No foul, no bruise, let's keep going!! :) 

Marcus got a blister, so he got a piggy-back-ride on the way home.

Watch out! William's at the wheel! He was very excited to help push Sarah on the way home. His steering abilities aren't super awesome but who can blame the guy when the stroller is every bit as big as him! :)

One last day and I'm headed home tomorrow to work through the weekend!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

9 miler.

Last week was crazy. I know I over-use some words, but this time it's just applicable. :)
My 9 miler was supposed to happen Saturday, but we spent almost every hour of daylight in the car, so I couldn't make it happen. I was paranoid that the entire weekend was going to get away from me without accomplishing my run, so I even flirted with the idea of making it happen on the treadmill, but I couldn't bring myself to. I want to continue loving running, and treadmills are a definite deal-breaker.

It was cold Sunday but it warmed up just perfectly for my run after work. It was bright and sunny, a bit breezy and there was no traffic on my route.

It was a perfect run. The first 5 miles flew by and I felt great. It was hands down the best run I've had all month. I kept a 10.03 minute pace, and at the end all 9 miles were within 6 seconds of each other. Pacing Queen at your service. 
I had never tried shot blocks before, but I'm officially hooked. I've always been a sucker for gummy fruity candy. I tried the black cherry flavor and it was fantastic. I took the shot block at mile 7 and the last two miles were a breeze. I was nervous that my stomach would feel weird because my stomach is extremely sensitive when I am running, but it was fine. Double win!

I saved a tire. Hopefully mine. No flat tires, please and thank you.

9 miler is in the books!!

Anyone have a successful long run this week end??

Friday, October 26, 2012

Run like a Deer.

Today before work I decided to get a good scout-out of my local walk-in-hunting grounds. Every year before the hunting season begins I do a walk around to make sure I am sure of the boundaries and also aware of any new building, houses, farm implements. Safe hunting requires properly knowledge and education!! I decided to just run the route around the property and kill two birds with one stone.

Walk-in hunting is very common in our area. They are not always the most productive spots because they tend to be hunted pretty aggressively, but you never really know.

I had a fabulous run! About 1/2 way into my 3rd mile I almost had to stop and just cry for minute. I have had nothing but horrible runs this month and they have been so draining. Finally having a run where I felt strong, hit my groove and absolutely loved every minute of it was overwhelmingly awesome. It was a much needed attitude booster and just in time for my long run this weekend- a 9 miler, which will be my longest run to date and I'm going to have to squeeze into a really long weekend!  

Tree line in a cornfield. If you are not a hunter- this is a good thing. :)

My earbuds. And me.

The sun came out for the last mile of my run! Hello shadow girl!!  

Post-run fuel- whole wheat crepes, cottage cheese and a banana. Absolutely delicious and filling!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Back to the Basics.

I'm not going to lie- it hasn't been the best week for me.
 I over booked my schedule, which meant working a night shift followed by a day packed with activities, work at another job, church, family, working out and trying to squeeze in a 3 or 4 hours nap before going back for another night shift and repeating for 4 or 5 days. I'm the queen of making up excuses not to go to social events, so to find myself with a outrageously full schedule is unusual. I love my life and the crazy ups and downs, but this week it kind of got the best of me. To top it all off, I had an extremely horrible run that made me cry and cry and entertain thoughts of throwing in the towel on the 1/2 Marathon.

After two days of missing workouts because I simply couldn't summon the will power to sacrifice any of the 4 hours I had to sleep, to workout, I felt like a complete failure.
By nature, I either push myself like a maniac, or sit back and watch myself win a world record for laziness. I'm trying to learn the positives from both of these extremes but also be aware of the negatives and try and achieve a balanced approach.

This week I am reminding myself of two very important things, two basic truths that I build my health and fitness lifestyle around.

1. Perfection isn't the goal.
It's okay to miss a workout. It's okay to look back and say shoulda would coulda done that differently. If I can't love me today, that won't change when I reach my goals. I'll still feel inadquate. Life is not about the desination, it's about the journey. It's okay to have bad days (or bad weeks, just don't let the whole month go south on you.) and wish that you could just start over.

2. It's about Health.
I love running and lifting weights. I am thrilled to be within 20 pounds of my goal weight. I love eating foods that God created to fuel my body. I love blogging and the networking with other runners, foodies and fellow crazies. But, at the end of the day, it's about health. If I look back over a day where I had a killer workout and ate right, but I only slept for 4 hours--- I'm still missing it. It's not about size 2 jeans, a deadlift PR, or getting that mile under 6 minutes. It's about taking care of my body- this temple of the Holy Spirit- and living life for the journey, not the destination.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Totally Talkable Thursday.

1. I think it's the week of spiders. Monica had a spider incident that freaked me out but it was nothing compared to what happened when I saw this bad boy. 

2. Walking through the parking lot today I was minding my own business until this guy threw open his truck door right in my face. I ran into him, he ran into his door, we both awkwardly stumbled to catch our balance, the eggs in my grocery sack broke and the brunette in her car watching the whole thing almost swallowed her cigarette laughing. Good times. Why am I such a clutz?
3. So far my pinterest boards have 289 recipes (involving either chocolate or pumpkin) and 213 outfits and 4 workouts. Oops.
4. Did you read about the guy who ran a marathon in flip flops? Yes, he did. Did I mention he ran the whole thing in 2:46? What a beast. My feet hurt just THINKING about it!! Read about it here.

Perfect Thursday Morning.

What a perfectly wonderful fall day. 

This morning I met up with my friend Kimberly for a 5 mile run. The miles really flew by chatting with this girl! I don't think I have ever met a more beautiful person inside and out!!  

Love this girl! Thanks for making the miles fly by!!

This photo looks like I just rolled out of bed because I did just literally, roll out of bed. We were supposed to meet at 7:30 and I set my alarm for 7:20. So much gorgeousness, shield your eyes people.

Post run  I devoured  ate a banana on my way to the hospital. There's pretty much no safe way to take a picture of yourself eating a banana, so here is the banana minus me.

I was both starving and freezing when I got back from my run (they were not lying when they said it was supposed to be windy today.. brrrr) and this bowl of oatmeal was the perfect warm-and-fill-me-up!! Oats, protein power, peaches, pecans and cinnamon.  

My sister and I have the most hilarious text messages pass between us. It's not uncommon for over 1/2 of the messages to be composed entirely of movie/tv quotes. Thanks MADtv for making our boring conversations super rad.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Smoozday.

I'm spending the week out of town at one of my part time jobs which means: running in new places!! I love lacing up my shoes and exploring new locations!!

This morning I went out for a 4 mile run. I layered on the clothes while I got ready but thankfully checked my phone to see the temperature-- 55! That's unseasonably warm for October, and way too warm for long sleeves and capris!!

My route was perfectly beautiful! There was a light breeze and so many birds out singing in the trees, leaves swirling down around me and the tiniest bit of pink still in the sky from the sunrise.
I forgot my earbuds at home, so I ran without music which I never do. I missed my music, especially on the hills, but it was nice to have a quiet, peaceful run, just me and the road. And the cows and a cobweb.

It's National Boss's Day!!
I am blessed with an exceptional boss! I am really blessed because I have always had great bosses where ever I have worked. My boss is getting an apple pie when I get back in town- don't judge- it's his favorite. :)

What did you do for your boss today??

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Week I Hated Running.

Monday- 4 mile run- GPS quit after 3/4's of a mile. Tripped on a curb.
Wednesday - 4 mile run - GPS quit after 2.25 miles. Saw three snakes. Severe abdominal cramping.

Somedays are just looong. I worked day shift on Saturday, which meant my long run for the week - 8 miles - needed to happen mid-afternoon. I planned to be all springy and ready for action after my shift. Ha.
More like tired enough to kill a baby turtle, nauseous AND well on the way to loosing my voice. (I swear I didn't yell at any of my co-workers.)
On my way home I made the decision to post-pone my run until tomorrow and take a nap instead. I deserve a nap. It's been a sucky day and I just wanna be done with it. Haha.
I'm the most indecisive person on the face of the earth because I hadn't been home 3 minutes before I changed my shoes and went looking for my earbuds.


It was definitely a beautiful day for a run, but the weather was weird. It was 74 degrees and we had a very high chance for severe storms/tornadoes. It was extremely humid, which is not at all typical weather for October in Kansas.

For my city-dwelling friends, this is an underwater crossing. It functions as a road 2 months out of the year and is impassible during the rest of the year due to rain or snow.  

This is afore-mentioned under-water crossing after I ran through it.  

These are my shoes, which stayed muddy and collected rocks like a magnet for the next 6 miles. 

This is my poor-runner's attempt of keeping my phone dry. With the rain on the horizon, I didn't want to ruin my phone so I brought a zip-lock baggy to put it in should the rain catch me. I'm pretty sure if I bedazzled and personalized these, I would have lines on every street corner trying to buy one. Or maybe just waiting to take a picture of me running in the rain with an ziplock baggy shedding sparkles on my route.

 Told ya it was humid- I've got a halo!!

It was not the best run ever. I was tired, ran slow and my GPS flaked out 3 times until I finally just shut it off. I have no idea what pace I was keeping (or not keeping), exact mileage or my splits.

I've only been running for about 10 months, and it's hard. I'm not a natural born runner. It takes every ounce and inch of my strength and courage to even try, let alone do. It's been an uphill climb to get to where I am today- running distances I never thought I would even walk- and I'm not done yet. There's more where this came from, let me tell you!
I didn't love running this week. It's always tough, but this week had an ungodly amount of blood, sweat and tears. I wasn't out there running because it was an amazing high, because I finished each run on a low. I finished, but it wasn't happy.
I was out there running because I'm committed to me. I'm committed to my family. I'm committed to pushing myself to be the very best that I can be. I'm committed to embracing the tough things in life.

Why did you run this week?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Get Clickin'.

One of my favorite bloggers is sponsoring a CLICK giveaway this week. Even if you don't like CLICK, run over and check out her blog. She's awesome. Like--ultra awesome. But, enough said-- go get yourself entered to win!! 

Any CLICK lovers out there?? 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Totally Talkable Thursday.

1. Yesterday when I was pumping fuel, a spider crawled on my hand from the nozzle and 30 minutes later a black beetle flew down my shirt when I walked out of the grocery store. BUGS- things I don't love about fall!!

2. Fall Baking Rocks. So far I've done more baking this month than the entire rest of the year combined. I've also had extra time off this month, but it's all good. This recipe for apple yogurt cake is fantastic. I made a couple alterations to lower the butter & sugar content, but it's really terrific just the way it is.

3. My favorite all-natural peanut butter got recalled for salmonella. Thankfully I hadn't opened it yet--back it goes!!

4. I have been meditating on these 2 verses everyday this week. I am so grateful for my precious Jesus and the difference He has made in my life.
"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength." Isaiah 40: 28 & 29

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cookie Maiden.

Yesterday was my day off and I took full advantage of it. I thrive on an active schedule, so I pack my days as full as I can. Some people love to save projects for the weekend, but I bookend my work days with projects.....workout in the morning before leaving and come home to do laundry, make meals to freeze, yard work, etc... Because my work schedule is wildly unpredictable,  I can't afford to put things off for the weekend. If I'm gonna get stuff done, I have to make time for it mid week because I usually work on the weekends which makes them crazy.
By keeping my days full, my days off are like mini vacations. I don't have stacks of work and catch-up to do because I'm already mostly on top of it. I can have a day off and really just relax, make plans with a friend, get in an extra long run, or even be available for last-minute shifts at work.

My brother texted me mid-morning and told me he was working about 4 miles from the house, so I offered to hook him up with lunch, but I also had time to make a batch of cookies to deliver to the jobsite.

My rock-star brother Noah created this recipe when he was about 14 years old. He's now the top-of-his-class at Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts. If I were you I would use this recipe now before he's famous and can't divulge his secrets. 
(Which is actually happening already, so hurry before I have to take it down for copyright violation.)

Cookie making isn't exactly my forte, but this recipe is pretty much fool-proof.
And even if you DO mess it up, I'm pretty sure your recipients of cookies, botched or not, are going to love you forever.
This recipe makes a big batch. There was plenty for the crew, plus my other two brothers were working their after school job and were happy to take a couple with them.

Ta-da!! These cookies are a hit. Make 'em.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Life on the bad days.

Workout-  4 miles @ 9:47 pace.

On the off day that I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, it's un uphill climb to be master of my own attitude. Waking up with a sore throat and ringing ears is not fun.

Tea always helps. I would also recommend taking a work-from-home day, wearing your bathrobe over your clothes all day and some Sara Evans on the radio, but these are just things that work for me.

Throughout today, I've begun to feel physically better, but my attitude is still off-roading. And I don't mean that I hit the rumble bars, I mean 3 of 4 wheels are in the ditch. For some reason, when I am sick, I also get heart sick and emotionally sick as well.

Mental crossroads are the only thing that stands between us and the life we were destined to live.
I made the decision to love life. I made the decision to be grateful for today. Today, with a runny nose and achy joints and a bruised up heart is the material that makes tomorrow's sunrise beautiful.
Tomorrow will come, with good and precious things. I will only appreciate them if I have learned to appreciate the down days. Learned to be grateful even on the tough days.

Post-run smiles.

Choose to love life. It's worth it.
(And garlic works wonders for head colds.)