Wednesday, July 31, 2013

So you're gonna run a relay...........

If you are a runner- go find a relay to run. NOW. And, when you realize that you are 1 runner short of a full crew of crazy; call me. I will be your 3rd wheel, chatty cousin, last call, stumpy-short-legs, last ditch resort.
In all seriousness, relays are not exactly child's play- but they are so much stinking (ha to the ha-ha, please someone laugh at my pun!) fun!! Can I get an AMEN?!? You have to participate in one to fully appreciate them, but yeah- go get yourself some relay action.

Relay Must-Haves.

1). Game plan. This includes a training plan, a packing plan and a how-to-not-be-hated-by-your-team-mates plan. Make it and break it, but have a rule of thumb to keep you focused.

2). Sense of adventure/flexibility gene. Relay conditions can be less than ideal. Think; peeing in ditches, sleeping on a concrete gym floor surrounded by snoring runners, eating off the hood of your car (5 second rule becomes 5 MINUTE rule) and finding out you're up to run the next leg 12 minutes after you carbed-up. Do yourself a favor and decide to have fun no matter what, and be prepared to follow through!

3). Proper Gear & Fuel. Don't wait until the day of the relay to find out that your earrings don't match your running skirt. Don't be a pack-rat. Your team will have limited space for gear, so don't bring the kitchen sink  or the family photo albums- stick with the fine china and family silver and just the basics that you'll need.

4). If at all possible; leave your nose at home. Running + infrequent showers + a 15 passenger van housing your stankiness in 95 degree weather. Ya'll may or may not smell like a garbage bin on wheels. The good news is, your running mates likely won't notice your smell because of their own odor.

5). Peanut Butter and Jelly. I'm not sure if there is a situation in life in which pb&j is not a good idea, but I digress. Pb&j is terrific fuel, smells goods and makes you happy. Bring it, eat it; thank me later.

6). Awesome teammates that you like and that like you. It gets hot. You loose count of your mosquito bites. You spill chocolate milk. You leave your blinking tail light on while attempting to discreetly use the facility ditch it, so yeah- the whole van gets to see your business. It's super fun, but it's also still work, HARD work, and it can get tough. Your teammates are what will get you through. Laugh a little, laugh a lot.

7). An excellent team captain. Someone has to be in charge, and end up being the bad guy sometimes. Distributing legs, planning for fuel stops, navigating the check-points, staying on track, handling the paperwork, money work and getting you to run your legs off work........not just anyone can handle it. Be kind to your team captain, follow orders and be grateful. Remember, he holds the keys to your leg- do you want hills or flat.............

8). Recovery. Hello- it's the name of the game. Relays are amazing, and you will be astounded at what your body is capable of, but you must take recovery seriously. Get some supplements, stretch and foam roll like it's your JOB.

9). Pack the food you need. There is nothing worse than bonking out because you're not properly fueled & getting enough calories. You cannot count on the availability of a convenience store or restaurant or grocery store. If there is one available, you may not have time to stop, or you may not be there during their hours of operation. Bring what you need. It's no big deal if you bring food home or feed the L.O.'s to the birds, but you don't want to start gnawing on oak leaves because you don't have any grub at 3 am.

Also worth noting;

--there is no such thing as too many pairs of socks.

--take too many (pointless) pictures. you'll be glad you did.

--white shorts + impending rain is an absolutely perfect recipe for the fastest leg you will run over the course of the relay.

--it's perfectly normal to consume an entire gallon of chocolate milk over the course of your relay.

--on your last leg of the relay, your legs are going to be spent and you will be convinced you can run no faster. that German Shepherd the size of a golf cart hurling down the hillside towards you will prove that yes, you indeed CAN run faster.

--sleep IS overrated, and you don't need it to run capably. you may start loosing some fine motor skills, but no-biggie.

--smart phones are a relay runner's best friend, until you loose 3G or all 8 of your iphone chargers get lost in the van in the inky blackness of night.

--people will give you strange looks. get used to it.

--your toothbrush is your best friend. you may not be able to shower, but you can have clean pearlies.

-- running a relay is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you're a runner, go find a relay.

Anything I missed? 
What is your #1 MUST-HAVE when running a relay?

Monday, July 29, 2013


The whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

I've sat at my laptop everyday this month trying to put together a post. I have a handful of drafts. A number of pieced together mumble jumbo posts that I very nearly almost posted. 
July hasn't been a good month, but I didn't want to admit it. I didn't want to own the truth and say, 'hey; I just got bit by a shark and I need to get out of the water for a few minutes'. 
I kept trying to compose these posts that excluded the basic element of my life right now; difficulty. No, no; nothing horrendous or horrific, but sometimes it's the little things that stack together to create a towering mountain that is  seemingly impossible to overcome. 
I'm the queen of okay, the master of "I'm fine" and I never once remember in my entire life saying "I'm having a bad day."
So, let's be honest.

Running away from your problems is a race you will never win.
Honestly, July has been a crappy month. It wasn't just a couple of upside down days sprinkled through the weeks; it was a scraping the bottom of the barrel, forcing yourself out of bed every morning, fighting tooth and nail and wondering how the heck you are going to find a smile. 

I Need...Jesus.#Bible  #BibleVerses  #Christianity  #Christian  #EncouragingWord  #Jesus  #InspirationalQuotes #SpiritualQuotes #Scriptures
Honestly, I really love it when I get to share my faith with someone. Nothing is more central to my life than my relationship with Christ. I never want to push my convictions or beliefs upon anyone, but there is nothing more fulfilling than when I get the chance to tell someone about the wonder of what my Jesus did for me, and you, on the cross.

Honestly, sometimes I just want to be sad. I'm not a huge fan of emotions and feelings, but I have an odd attachment to sadness. When I'm sad, I'm reminded of all the happy things in my life. The soulful tug of sorrow gives me a perspective on the happy things in my life that I don't experience any other way. 

Honestly, I ran fewer miles in July than any other month this year so far. This bothers me, and I'm pretty sure if I would have run a little bit more, July wouldn't have been such an overwhelming month. 

If only I cld get this thru my head!
Honestly, I spend at least 10 minutes an hour worrying. Worrying gets you nowhere, and I know this, yet it's a habit I can't seem to curb. 

Honestly, 1/2 of my problems this month happened because I was trying my hardest to NOT deal with the problems I had. Two wrongs do NOT make a right. 

Honestly, I'm still learning new things about myself. Some of these things I do not like. Some of these things I never knew I was capable of. 

Walk with my darling friend Nicole in the rain.
Honestly, I worry that I am not a good friend. I worry that I don't give enough, that I talk about myself too much, that I won't be able to be there for my friends when they need me the most. 

-Just Give Me a Reason by P!nk
Honestly, I just really love this song by Pink &. Nate Ruess. It's so applicable to any relationship or friendship. 

Be honest with people #true #dailytherapy #Padgram
Honestly,  no one needs to read this post. This post isn't about my readers; this post is about the Curly Pink Runner looking in the mirror and calling it like it is. Because the last thing I want to do is a live a life that's not true, and being true starts with YOU. 

Life is beautiful quote via
Honestly, my life is beautiful. Each and every sticky, messy, unbearable part.
Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Independence Day 5k.

Back in January when I was assembling my mental running goals for the year, I set my sights on setting a new PR for my 5k distance on the 4th of July. Let's face is; getting a PR on one of the hottest days of the year just makes the PR that much sweatier, I mean sweeter. 

The 5k is organized and run by my friends and neighbors, and the start is less than a mile from my house. It's a great event for our community. It's a little bit different than your typical race because I run the route, with a couple variations on a weekly basis. Most races you don't have the advantage of knowing the course like the back of your hand. 

I ran this 5k last year intending to PR and ended up having a horrible race-- finishing at around 31 minutes. The course is pavement, with a 1/2 mile stretch of gravel and at the 1.5 mile mark, there's a gradual-appearing-but-actually-butt-kicking-incline. Last year I crashed and burned on the incline, and this year I was looking for revenge!

I had been so excited about this race all spring, so when I was shocked to wake up on the 4th with zero desire to run, let alone race. I woke up and wasn't feeling the greatest and completely unmotivated. I decided not to run, but at last minute talked myself into going because I knew I'd regret it if I didn't. I immediately chucked my idea of PRing, I was going to be happy just to get my butt to the finish line.

The race started and I still wasn't particularly feeling it, but I started to find my pace and just enjoy myself. It's amazing though, because it didn't take long for my inner race monster to wake up and shake the decks. Hey, if we're gonna race........let's RACE! 

I set an slightly uncomfortable pace and just hung on. It was warm, but there was a good breeze- not strong enough to be difficult to run into; just enough to keep you cool. The end was tough, but you when you finish smiling and on empty- that's a win in my book!

In the end I finished with a brand new of PR; 25:37 which demolished my previous PR of 28:27! I was elated to meet my goal, despite not feeling the best! 
My current training plan is geared towards longer distances, but I'm looking forward to another 5k sometime this fall, and this time the goal is to sub-25!

Post-race text out to my sister, who was also racing that morning, just in a different state. She set a new 2 mile record, like a boss. Last year we raced together, and I definitely missed having her race with me.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, Rebecca!!

If there is anything I love in life more than's my family. I sit here today absolutely amazed with the family I have been blessed with and so grateful to celebrate the life of my eldest sister.

Dear Rebecca,

 Sometimes the word 'family' means nothing more than a string of people tied together by genetics and similar DNA.  Life is tough, and at times it has looked like the problems and trials would consume us until our family was no more than the above definition. But; you have refused to settle for that. I have watched you fight, sometimes single-handedly, so that our family can be whole. So that each one feels loved and valued and most importantly- precious to God.

God knew that one day I would be 20, and like the whole wide world was crashing down around me, and you would be there, and you would hold me and tell me that it was OKAY to hurt, and that it WOULD get better. You were right. It got better.

You love each of us crazy siblings, despite our differences, mistakes and the times we have hurt you. You keep on giving, keeping working and fighting for each relationship.

God knew that our family would have a storm greater than none other hit our family and that when our parents fought for their marriage, you would be the strong rock of the family and faithfully reach out to each sibling to make sure they were alright.

You have modeled what it means to be a faithful wife. You have blessed your husband and added life to his years. Thanks to you, your husband has become the best version of himself that he could ever be; and vise-versa. Andrew is an amazing brother, and I will love him always for how tenderly he loves you.

God knew that one day I would be 21, and I would think I knew what it took to be wise and handle relationships. And He knew I'd need you to tap me on the shoulder and say "don't play with boys, wait and work with a man". You were right. I'm done with the boys and I'm waiting for that man that will work with me.

You have used your creativity, your zest for color and beauty to create a haven in your home.

God knew that despite my best efforts, I wasn't going to be perfect, and when that realization finally hit me, I would need you to laugh with me. That as I realized that instead of being perfect, I was a perfect MESS, you would be there to tell me it was a beautiful mess, and you still believed in me.

You have experienced pain in life, and you have overcome. You're choosing to be better, not bitter, even though it's tough. You haven't settled for okay, you work for amazing.

God knew this world needed more beauty, so he created your face. :)

You taught me how to take care of this head of wicked curly hair that we were both blessed with, and how to rock it even on the less than stellar hair days. I'd still be brushing and crying and who-knows-whatting with it to this day if it wasn't for your assistance early on.

God knew I'd need another person who over-thinks, fuels late-night projects with coffee, buys way too many shoes and packs too many clothes for a 2-day trip because life without options is just blah.

I cannot imagine my life without you, and I'm grateful for you, each and every day!!
Happy Birthday!!
I love you!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Five Things Friday.

My top 5 from the week! 

1. Certified Personal Trainer Certification.
For the past 3 months I've been studying for my CPT certification through ISSA. I tested last week and am elated to have received notification that I passed! I am excited for the doors that this will be opening for me and look forward to using the knowledge and training I have gained to make a difference not only in my own life, but in the lives of others. I'm looking forward to using the certification in a variety of ways, including training clients locally and online. 
Personal Trainer Certification

2. Fall Racing Schedule 
I made one. I had been tossing around plans for racing this fall, but hadn't fully committed to any races. After racing (and PRing and a story for another post) on the 4th; the bug had bitten and I did some surfing, stole some money for entry fees and started designing my color-coded training schedule. Super yay. 
Been there, done that. Only for the half marathon distance.

3. Despicable Me 2
 I'm legitimately unable to stay awake for an entire movie- theater or home theater. But Despicable Me 2 stole the show and kept my peepers open for all 98 minutes PLUS commercials. What's not to love about minions and big old tough-as-nails-acting heroes who are really like a symphony-bar-left-in-a-hot-car-in-July?!?


4. Oreos. 
If you're building a food pyramid, be advised that oreos comprise at least 2/3rds of the pyramid. I'm not sure where this oreo love came from, especially considering I don't even eat them, but it's intense. Oreos added to anything multiply the deliciousness factor by about 85%. May or may not be making these to bless my co-workers and make their oreo cookie bar dreams come true. 

Chocolate chip OREO cookie bars on ...These are incredible! Seriously, you need to make these to see for yourself!

5. Eric Church
His music, not his face. 
Eric Church-Springsteen

6. Visits from friends
(I know, I said 5, but someone wise once said; never waste a good audience and since you're all still reading, you get a bonus! Woot- to the Woo-hoo.) 
Bryant & myself circa 2009 (#flashbackfriday much?!?) 
A dear friend of mine was in the area this past week and I was delighted to have her spend the night. We had so much to catch up on, and it was wonderful to share a snippet of time together! 

Tell me one thing, two things; anything about your week, and most importantly- how much you love oreos!! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lessons from a Broken Pancake.

When I was in 8th grade part of my curriculum included the studies of analogies. I fell in love with the concept of using analogies in communication. I may or may not over-use them in my day to day life, you be the judge.

Last night I knew exactly what I was going to have for breakfast- an apple/cinnamon protein pancake. When I got up this morning I started throwing it together like I had all the time in the world. I didn't realize I was moseying until my 10-minute-until-you-need-to-be-out-the-door alarm on my phone rang. Standing in my pajamas with a half-assembled pancake in my hands, I did a minor freak out. I kept half an eye on the stove between grabbing the necessary paper work for today's projects & coats of mascara. It bubbled and steamed away like every other protein pancake I've made in the past. Time to flip it. I immediately realized something was wrong because the flipper (spatula, turner, thing-a-ma-bob) didn't slide under the pancake: it broke the edge right off the pancake. Burnt. It wasn't just a little bit black either. It was that scratchy, several fiber layers thick , won't-separate-from-the-pan burnt. 

My first thoughts weren't too happy. A little scraping, some prying and we've got some partially cooked, some salvageable and  some completely singed pancake pieces to sort through. 

I drove to work with my dilapidated pancake in a red solo cup beside me; it's normal to eat pancakes with a spoon, right? As I was eating what I'd managed to salvage, the wheels were turning in my mind.
 My life is like this pancake. Full of delicious ingredients, fragrant, healthy, and appears to be cooking perfectly. But- one small moment and the seeming perfection buckles into shards of dark black crispiness. What's supposed to be a fluffy, slightly-sweet, apple-studded disc of heaven is a pile of who-let-the-two- year-old- fix- breakfast.
My life feels wonderful and beautiful and amazing one minute and the very next I'm feeling like all I need is popcorn and I'd have all the ingredients for my own 3-ring circus.

Chaos, heartache, confusion, depression. These are words I wish I could eliminate from my vocabulary- much less the descriptors I use when friends ask how my life is going. It's not easy. It's messy. It's complicated. It's frustrating. It's full of painfully humorous irony.

You hear a lot of things every day- and the mantra 'perfection isn't possible' hits us all. Do we really hear it? I don't. The words slip in on ear and out the other- I'm too busy trying, attempting, striving, seeking and working to let those words sink in. But, it's 100% true. Perfection isn't possible. It's not attainable.
We make mistakes. We break hearts. We suffer. We over-commit. We feel ashamed. We feel regret.
 People let us down. The world isn't fair. Questions go unanswered.

Real life isn't always glamorous. We have bad hair days. Apologies. Unrequited love. Miscommunications. Disappointments. Unanswered prayers. Too much work. Not enough money. Injuries - physically and emotionally. Messy Pieces.

And it's okay.
I ate my pancake pieces.
They were delicious.
It was still an apple-cinnamon pancake. There were soft chunks of sweet-tart apple. Flakes of coconut. Little slivers of pecans. And lots of cinnamon. It didn't look like much, but it was still the best thing I ate that day.

For Forrest Gump; life is like a box of chocolates.
For me; life is like a broken pancake.

Life is like a broken pancake- there are messy pieces. Some pieces get fed to the cat. There are gooey under-cooked parts. But when you let it go, accept the chaos and embrace the unknown-- it's a pretty amazing thing. We say the wrong thing, accept the wrong job, eat the wrong food, move to the wrong State, leave the right person, get the right degree but can't find the right job-- there are lots of messy, confusing 'wish I would've-could've-should've moments'.
It doesn't have to be perfect to be perfectly wonderful. Just like a pancake.

If you fell asleep in the middle of this post, here's the skittles;
life is messy.
love it anyway.
eat more pancakes. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Relay Iowa (Part 3)

Part 1 & Part 2
So here we are- 0900 am on Sunday morning, closing in on the finish line!! The night shift runners ran their final legs- and they were tough. The hills at the end of our route were brutal!!! I didn't get a picture of them, but they were intense! Everyone was tired and ready to be done.
 The last couple of miles of the relay followed a bike trail, wound through a residential neighborhood and ended with a steep hill as you enter the park and arrive at the finish line.

Our team decided that it would be fun to finish is true relay style- run super short legs of .2 or .3 miles. We weren't entirely sure how much ground we had left to cover, so we just started rotating our runners, dropping a runner every .2 or .3.

Rotating our so fast made the last bit of the relay fly by. The entire team was totally psyched to be so close to the finish! There was so much energy, but also so much fatigue!!
The route flew by as we sped through our 'mini-legs'. We were trying to keep the entire team together so that we could finish together!! We pulled into the park, vehicles parked and everyone piled out to finish together!!!

We climbed the last bit of hill, and there was the finish line!! VICTORY!!!

Our team set a goal to run the relay in under 48 hours and maintain an 8:30/mile pace. We finished in 47 hours and 4 minutes, and our average pace was 8:19.

In celebration of our accomplishment, we made sure to properly thank our Team Captain!! We managed to catch him completely off guard for a good dunking!

Now comes the fun part- sorting, repacking and a million pairs of running socks missing their sole-mate. :)

At the finish line we were able to Skype with the founders of Restoring Hope International and several of the children from the orphanage. It was amazing to see the little faces that we had run all those miles for.

My celebration burger!! :) After two days of mostly carbs and limited protein, this girl was ready for some meat!  

The park was beautiful! It was such a perfect day- very sunny and super lovely out! There were so many trees, and the river was right there on the edge of the park.  
 Team Bfanana Banana! Finished; 47 hours, 4 minutes!!!

The relay was an amazing, fantastic experience! There are just not enough words to explain how awesome it was. Our team was amazing and each person played a significant role- running, encouraging, giving advice, sacrificing sleep etc... Having never met most of the team prior to the relay, I was so glad to see how well we all meshed together and worked together so well.
We all had an amazing time and are already planning a Reunion for Relay Iowa 2014...........Bfanana Banana RUNS AGAIN! :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

June Goals RECAP and July Goals

This morning I was opening a file for the attorney at work and I dated it April 2013. Backspace; June 2013. Backspace, JULY 2013. How in the world did that happen?!

Goals, goals, goals. I love them. Goals are a two edged sword--  elation when you achieve one, stinging disappointment when you fall short. I'm always quick to share when I've set a goal, the journey to meet it, and when I achieve it. When I don't quite make the grade, it's never my favorite thing to share; "hey look guys, I failed!" But I'm not perfect, I don't always achieve what I set out to do, and I want to be honest. There's no victory in denying the truth, and I will only improve on the goals I missed by analyzing and refocusing. 
My June goals were nothing lofty or amazing, but I'm struggling with how I managed them. Let's recap.

1. Make a meal plan for suppers each week. FAIL. My month was nothing short of crazy, but I'd say I planned ahead for a meal maybe ONE day per week. I did a better job of not just eating the first thing that came to mind- choosing foods that were nutrient/macro oriented, but I'd still like to see improvement in planning ahead.

2. Run my first RelayMAJOR CHECK! I definitely loved this goal and was absolutely thrilled to accomplish the relay with my team. 

3. Blog 3x a  week. ISH. I did blog more consistently last month, but I didn't meet my 3x a week goal. There were days when I could have blogged, but had nothing to say, thus didn't. I'm not a blog-just-to-blog person, but that's an issue for an entirely different post. 

4. Perform 5 consecutive handstand push ups. FAIL. I set this goal and promptly forgot it. I honestly didn't even remember that I'd set 4 goals for the month of June. Oops. I'm probably most disappointed with myself for this one, because I didn't even try. 

As you can see, it wasn't a stellar month for me. While I frustrated, I'm not beating myself up about it. Goals are for personal growth, and if I can't handle failure, I won't handle success either. As a look back over the month of June, my planning and preparation were really non-existent, and I believe that is the major culprit for why I didn't stay focused and meet some of these goals. 
I'm sad to share that I fell short of my goals, but I'm also glad for the opportunity to learn humility and honesty.
I'm excited for a new month, new goals and the new opportunities that lie ahead! It's going to be a killer busy month and I've set some pretty killer goals to go along with it!! 


1. Eat Clean.
That only has 115 billion different meanings, so here's the skittles of what it means for me; no processed sugars, no wheat or gluten, limited dairy, no artificial sweeteners and NO treats/cheats. I made heaps of poor choices in my nutrition over the month of June and I saw many negative changes in my energy, skin, workout performance etc......I usually eat 80/20, but June was more like 30/70. I'm looking forward to refocusing and eating smart in July!! 

2. Speed Work 1x per week.
Speed training is my worst enemy, yet I know it's crucial for improving as a runner. I always intend to have a speed session each week, but it rarely ever happens. During the month of July I'll be incorporating at least one speed work training day per week. Yay track time!

3. Perform 5 Handstand Push-ups.
Yes, I'm bringing this one back for July. #getafterit

4. Celebrate life from a non health/fitness aspect. 
There's a lot more to my life then the food I eat, the miles I run, the weights I lift and how hard I train. Our bodies, our health- while central in our lives - they are just an itty bitty part of the big picture. I don't want to have tunnel vision. So often I measure my days by the performance I have physically, and that's just lame. Let's celebrate LIFE- and the big picture.

Why do you set goals?

What do you do when you DON'T meet a goal you've set?

Setting goals for July?? Link up in the comments!!