Thursday, June 18, 2015

Deep Thoughts

A little back story before I get into the deep thoughts. I've been dating someone new for a few months now, and it's going really well! (if you're wondering what happened with the other guy I was dating in the fall - no drama, he's a super nice guy and we are still friends, we are just in 2 different places in our lives and things weren't really going anywhere)

This guy, Dan, is pretty amazing. For the first month, everything was amazing - he is funny and interesting and crazy and not at all what I expected myself to be falling for. But then, about a month into things - his autoimmune condition flares up. He has ulcerative colitis, and was only diagnosed with it about a year and a half ago. This was his first really bad flare of the disease, and landed him in the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks. He had lost about 50 pounds in a month! I was the one who drove him to the hospital and checked him in, and the whole time I was praying and taking deep breaths because the last time I was in the hospital here in York was the last time Isaac was in the hospital.

So, here I was again - the hospital girlfriend. It's a routine I know far too well, and while I am pretty good at it - it's not a role I wanted again.  I fell back into being the caregiver version of myself again. It was not a place I wanted to be. The caregiver doesn't care for herself well. She eats crummy food and cuts workouts short and doesn't get enough sleep. The 10 pounds I gained? They were because of her. But I am not her.

I am redeemed.

I can't tell you how many nights I drove home from the hospital and spent the drive talking to God and asking Him why. Why this again? Why do I have to be the caregiver again? When does someone take care of me for a change?

But here's the thing - I was totally prepared to deal with Dan's illness. Being the nutrition nerd that I am, I know a ton of information about the effects nutrition has on autoimmune disease. I always wondered why I found that stuff so fascinating when it's not something I struggle with in my own health.Also, the sickness and the hospitalization and the messy stuff - well, after 2 1/2 years with Isaac - this was not a huge deal for me. Sure, it was unpleasant - but it wasn't unfamiliar. It didn't freak me out. And, I knew that it was temporary. Colitis is not cancer. Colitis is manageable.

Anyway, I've rambled a lot here. Dan is now doing better. He's back to work (and kicking butt at it, by the way), has gained 30 pounds back, and is easing his way back into exercising regularly.

That whole "When does someone take care of me for a change?" thing - well, that was a silly worry. In my last blog, I shared how well he took care of me with my car accident. He's a good one.

It's been amazing to look back at my journey and be able to see so many clear places where God has prepared me for things. It's beautiful to watch Him unveil things piece by piece, and watch the puzzle all come together and start to make a little more sense. I feel like I've spent 5 years wandering the desert, and now I'm entering the Promised Land. And it's a GOOD land!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Car Accident and a Sweet Surprise

Last Friday, I had my first car accident. The car (a black 2007 Honda CR-V EX) looks a lot worse than I ended up - thank goodness! It happened around 5:15pm, as I was leaving the gym. I was traveling in the right hand land of a 2 lane road. The left hand lane is a turn lane and was backed up with traffic. A car traveling in the opposite direction snuck between two of the stopped cars to make a turn - and didn't see me traveling down the right hand lane. I didn't see them until I was running into them and my airbag was deploying in my face.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. I didn't even wake up the next morning with so much as a sore muscle. And, thankfully, my boyfriend works right down the street from where it happened, so he was able to come over and pick me up!

I can't tell you how grateful I am to have had this guy by my side through the aftermath of the accident. I HATE making phone calls and dealing with things like insurance companies. He, however, loves making phone calls and deals with that stuff really well. So while I just kept crying, and getting frustrated, he calmly made arrangements for a rental car for me and got a lot of things take care of.

After they determined my car was a total loss and issued me a check (for $3,000 more than I was expecting!),  the BF and I went car shopping. I did purchase my old CR-V all by myself, so I while I was capable of car shopping alone, I wanted to take him along as a 2nd opinion and because he works in the mortgage business so he knows things about finances and what not.

We test drove the 2015 versions of the Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV-4, and the CR-V. I'd never purchased a brand new car before, but with a decent down payment and great financing offers - it made sense this time.

As I suspected, I ended up with what basically amounts to the 2015 version of my old car. A black, Honda CR-V EX. I was expecting to pick it up on Wednesday, but on Tuesday, my guy came to my house with flowers and said "Do you want to go pick up your car today?" - He surprised me by calling the dealership and arranging to have the car ready a day early for me. {insert collective "AWWW" here}

Naturally, the first thing I did was put my 26.2 magnet on the car!

 I love this car!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What's Next?

Isn't this such a great thought???? One of the trainers in my life, Mindy, shared this on the Facebook page for her gym and I immediately thought "THAT IS SO ME!" I feel like I've been chasing results for a few months, and I need to get back to what works for me -- focusing on health and letting the results come anyway.

Last week, I worked out 3 times and that's it. I did a strength workout on Tuesday and Friday. On Thursday, my friend Steph came for a run -- after 1 mile, we decided to just walk. We had lots of life stuff to talk about and it was easier to power walk and chat.

I'm not gonna lie - it felt great to workout so little last week!! I needed the break, both physically and mentally. I knew it the moment I crossed the finish line at Ocean City.

Yesterday, I did my first run since my half marathon. It was 85, humid, and the pollen count was really high. But I felt pretty good for my easy 3 miles!

I was just re-reading my "Hey Remember Me?" blog from 2 weeks ago and thought I'd update some progress for you! I'm sure you've all been on the edge of your seats waiting for updates from me - okay, maybe that's just my mom. (Hi Mom!)

1. Goal #1: Whole30 Round #2 - I started this on May 5th. I was PERFECT for the first 4.75 days. Then on Friday, I got in my first car accident. I am totally fine and I'll blog about it this week! But, suffice it to say, I needed (and I mean NEEDED) a margarita (or 2) that night!! Actually, I'm not being completely Whole30 anymore but I finally feel like "myself" when it comes to my eating again. "Myself" being the me that I've been for the past 3 years losing weight - making smart choices, eating clean, and just not eating junk. It's been a crazy past few months and I was feeling out of whack with everything - oh and I'll blog about all of that this week too!!

2. Goal #2: Blog Accountability - well, I'm writing this, aren't I? Oh, and I lost 2.4 pounds this week!

So, what's next? I have some races on my schedule that I'm really, really excited about!

Memorial Day 5k (a small local race)
Baltimore 10-miler (running this mostly because I love the course and it has a great premium!)
Double Creek 5k (another local race)
Savage Race
Save the River 10k (at my grandma's house in Northern New York)

I'm looking forward to some shorter races. My next half marathon is not until October in Baltimore - and I have my eyes on the prize for that - so I want to give myself time to do some other types of races this summer.

Coming this week on the blog -- car accident recap and deep thoughts about the past 3 months of my life...and possibly deep thoughts about the future. See you soon! :-)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ocean City Half Marathon Race Recap

Question #1 - Did I crush my goal this weekend? Yes. But also no.

Suffice it to say - Saturday was not my day. The short story is...I felt horrible and my goal time of 1:58 went out the window before mile 1...and I finished at 2:18:03. If you want the long story, keep reading -- or just enjoy the pictures!

The day began bright and early. The 5 girls I was staying with all crammed into a Mazda Tribute with my friend Dawn and her husband. We were staying just a few miles from the start, so it was a short trip! We unloaded, hit the bathroom (and by bathroom, I actually mean squatting behind a building), took some selfies, and waited to start.

My GPS watch, which was fully charged when I left Pennsylvania, beeped "low battery" as soon as I turned it on. It didn't even last 1 mile. So, for the first time ever in a race - I was running with no idea of my time or my pace. I figured I would just stay with the 2:00 pace group and some of my friends, but my body had other plans.

Shortly into the race, I let my friends go and made peace with the fact that it was not my day. I felt dreadful. I needed to use the bathroom, I was sweating, and I just felt physically sick. I watched almost every single person I knew pass me. My BF was down with me for the weekend, and I almost just sat down on the side of the road and called him to come get me. Finally, at about mile 4 - I spotted the port a potties. I swear there was a choir of angels singing.

(this picture was about mile 3 maybe, and I'm feeling AWFUL and trying to point to my friend Heidi so that our cheer section would cheer for her too - I fake smiled.)

After a few minutes in line there, I hopped back into the race and felt like a different person. I focused on enjoying the run. I picked off person by person, eventually passing the 2:20 pace group. The whole time, I was searching for my friend Dawn. I knew that she would be somewhere around 2:15.

At mile 10, I started to feel pain in my leg. I've had a nagging hip/hamstring thing since marathon training. It got really bad about 2 weeks ago and I was nervous about it for this race. I stopped several times for the rest of the race to just stretch out my leg. Also - I hadn't found Dawn yet. 

But, about mile 12.9ish - I rounded a corner, and there was Dawn. She was walking, and I yelled her name. She turned around and was rather surprised to see me - she figured I would've finished about 20 minutes ago. Heck, I thought that too. We ran in the rest of the way together.  

My friends all did awesome!!! For 2 of these girls, it was their first half. They were amazing!

So Saturday was not my day. It was a fairly humbling experience to be walking along watching so many people pass you by, while you're thinking you might not even finish the race. All in all, the weather was perfect, my friends all had awesome races, and I don't have to run 13 miles again until the fall!!

Things I learned from this experience:
1. For the love of Pete - make sure your darn watch is charged.
2. Foam rolling is not optional.
3. Strength training is important. Not only did I feel stronger last year, when I was doing consistent strength work, but my body shape was different too. 
4. You can't out run a bad diet. Seriously - why am I still learning this lesson???
5. Being a "goal crusher" doesn't have anything to do with time. Sure, I wanted to set a new PR Saturday. Instead, I ended up with my 3rd slowest time ever. But, on Saturday - being a goal crusher meant not quitting. It meant being able to re-evaluate my goals on the fly and work to accomplish them mid-race.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Goal Crusher.

My current half marathon PR (personal record) is 1:59:45, which I earned last year at the Ocean City, Maryland Half Marathon.

When I started training, I had 2 goals in mind. My first goal was to finally crack an 8 minute mile at some point in training - and I did that on my first speed run in February! My second goal is to get a new PR. This course is flat and fast, making it definitely PR worthy.

But, to be honest...I'm not going into this race with a great deal of confidence for a few reasons.

I actually typed a whole post listing the excuses reasons I wasn't feeling confident but I deleted it.

When I started training, I bought myself this "goal crusher" tank from Fellow Flowers. I imagined myself going into this race with perfect training and feeling totally badass. For the past week, I debated even wearing the tank in the race because I don't feel badass.

But then I realized this -- I may not crush the goal I have for this race, but I have crushed a hell of a lot of other goals. In fact, just the fact that I kept going through training when it wasn't going the way I wanted to is a goal crushed. The fact that running 13.1 miles isn't even the slightest bit intimidating to me anymore is a goal crushed. Losing 70+ pounds is a goal crushed. Showing up when you don't feel confident is a goal crushed.

I used to weigh 250 pounds. I couldn't run one whole lap around the track at a 12:00 mile pace. I'm now heading into my NINTH half-marathon, I weigh 179 pounds, and I plan on running somewhere around 9:00 miles tomorrow.

Am I a goal crusher?


"The odds are against me. Too slow. Too old. Self-doubt. Having a baby. Just had a baby. No time. No training partner. The kids need me. It's dark out. It's too early. I'm tired. I have to work. It hurts. I'm scared they'll laugh. Doctor said I shouldn't. Can't find a sitter. Life is too busy. I look in the mirror and don't see a runner. What if I fail? 
NO MORE EXCUSES...I'm doing this anyway."
{quote from the Fellow Flowers purple line}

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Charlottesville Half Marathon Race Recap

During my 2 month blogging hiatus, I ran the Charlottesville Half Marathon! Let me begin by saying, this was one of my favorite race courses! I've now run half marathons in Baltimore, D.C., Brooklyn, San Diego, and Ocean City. This one goes on the top of the list as far as overall course awesomeness.

I love the city of Charlottesville. If you're within a few hours of it, and are looking for a great long weekend destination - put Charlottesville, VA on your list! It's home to the University of Virginia, Monticello, a host of great wineries and breweries, lots of fun restaurants, and beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains!

One of my running pals, Lauren, is a UVA graduate and fellow Charlottesville lover, so we signed up for this race together. Kudos to Lauren for smashing the course and earning herself an unexpected PR!! She's super awesome and speedy!

I fell in love with Charlottesville when I went there to visit my college roommate, Kellie. She and her family were so awesome during the race! They scoped out the course, got up bright and early, and were at a few points along the way to cheer me on and take pictures. It was so fun seeing them along the way!!
(support crew selfie!)

(mile 2!)

(one of my favorite parts of the course - running past UVA!)

(mile 8 and a nice, long DOWNhill!)

This was my least favorite part of the course - a 2-mile stretch from miles 9-11 that was a path along the river. It was flat, which was a nice break from the hilly course, but it was really boring. Miles 9-11 are typically my toughest miles so this was not a place for boredom!

Since this course was really hilly, and I was treating this as a training run for the Ocean City Half (this Saturday), I wanted to come in around 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Goal met!

Of course I had to sport my Nuun hat and my Blind Spot Nutbutters racing shirt!

Gotta love a bottle opener medal!!

I really enjoyed this course because of the variety. I had heard nightmare stories about the hills, but coming from Southern York County, I didn't find the hills to be any more difficult than the ones I encountered on training runs. The course wound through the city of Charlottesville so there was constantly new scenery. I actually appreciated the hills because there was a lot of variety in the elevation, which helps my legs keep from getting too heavy. 

If you're looking for a fun destination race, definitely add Charlottesville to your bucket list! They offer this half marathon, which also has a full 26.2 option and an 8k option. There's also the Charlottesville Fall Classic, which has half-marathon and 10k options.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hey - Remember me?

I'm still here! In fact, I have a few blogs saved up that I've been starting and then not finishing in the past 2 months. I can't believe it's been 2 months since I blogged last!! There's been a lot going on in life, and God's been teaching me lots of things - it's just not yet time to share them. But I will!

So anyway, allow me to sum up the past 2 months in one simple meme:

Ugh. So I haven't gained "all" the weight - but I have gained 10 pounds. Which didn't seem like a lot until I tried on my capris yesterday and felt like a stuffed sausage. Ugh again.

I have a theory about why I've been eating all the food and gaining all the weight, and it has to do with some life things and stress. I'm totally an emotional/stress eater!!

My first thought as I stood in my bedroom with tears in my eyes last night was - I can't tell anyone about this. I mean - I post pictures all the time of my runs and my healthy food. I can't admit the 10 pound gain.

But then I remembered what helped me to be so successful in the first place - blogging. I shared every detail of my journey. So, here I am admitting it to you. My scale currently says 179 pounds. The lowest it has been is 165, but I really settled happily at 169 pounds.

I feel the effects of the 10 pounds. I feel sluggish. My clothes don't fit well. I'm cranky. My runs haven't been awesome. Really, my meals have been on point. It's just the in between meals that have been getting me - pretty much if there's frosting on it, I've eaten it daily for the past month. SUGAR OVERLOAD.

So what's a girl to do? 

First - I stood in front of my mirror and reminded myself how far I've come and how hard I've worked and that I'm no longer someone who fails at this.

Second - I fessed up to some of my girlfriends and asked for their help.

Third - I picked a start date for Whole30 round #2! (May 4)

Fourth - I'm committing to blog about it. Good, bad, and stuffed sausage ugly. I will check in here on Mondays. I will finish the unfinished blogs! And I will share some of the stuff that's on my heart and causing me stress - sharing helps me.

So there you have it. Me, 10 pounds heavier and not loving it. But doing something about it!!