Friday, August 31, 2012

Another Mother Runner

If you watch carefully, you'll catch a glimpse of me (around 2:02)!

This totally inspired me to get going again! I love being part of the tribe...such a supportive, amazing community of mother runners. Happy running!

September Goals

I can't believe it's the end of August. Summer just flew by, and we're already a week into the school year. I haven't quite gotten my bearings on our new schedule/routines, but it will come.

I wasn't completely consistent with August's blog challenge from Fitness Cheerleader, but I definitely wrote more than normal. And today's topic has us looking at goals for September. I like the idea of setting monthly will save me from getting to the end of the month wondering what in the world happened to my plans.

So, here are my goals for this month:
1. Blog at least three times a week. To keep me on track, I'm going to make out a tentative schedule with topic ideas.

2. Stay on track with my fitness. Again, I'm going to make out a training plan to get me back on track for my half marathon in October. Part of this training will be running the Shortgrass Scamper Quarter Marathon Sept. 22.

3. Teach the kids a Bible verse each week. I've got a plan for this one too. Stay tuned :)

4. Tackle one house project I didn't do this summer. Maybe we'll get the walls painted!

5. Treat myself to a pedicure.

And that's it. I'm not going to get myself bogged down with an impossible list. I'm printing this list out and adding it to my calendar/planner.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A little more craftiness

A few posters I made recently for one of my nearest and dearest friends...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to School

It's that time of year again. We went back to school on Monday :)

Sarah Beth started second grade and is in Mrs. Buckley's class. She is really excited because that is who she wanted to have.

My little buddy started kindergarten this year. I can't believe it. He's having a little bit of a hard time adjusting to not going to Grammy's every other day like he did last year, but he seems to be doing well in school. He's been proud to stay on green for two days this week after getting moved to yellow the first day.

I'm so thankful I work in a school that will let me come in a little late one day in order to see my babies start school. I only get to do that for when they start kindergarten, but I'm glad I can.

Chad has picked up the slack for me this week. I am flat out exhausted, and my feet hate me. He has cooked dinner and bathed the kids. I am a lucky girl :)

***Just a side note...I made the kids' signs by using Storybook, uploading the pages to my SkyDrive account, and then pulling them up on my iPad for them to hold. No wasted ink :)

Working out

Today's blog challenge from Fitness Cheerleader asks "Do you work out at home or at the gym?"

I have a membership to the Y. When one of the kids is taking a class, I'll go take a class or run on a treadmill there. Chad and I have walked on the track together when SB was in gymnastics. I like the idea of it and hope to start taking Body Combat next month while SB has class.

However, I work out at home...because all I really do is run. I either run on the treadmill in the garage (it's hot and miserable right now though) or run outside on the weekends.

Our plan is to convert the garage into a family fitness/fun room. Besides the treadmill, we'd have room for a punching bag, something I've wanted for a long time. Plus, we could have the Bosu ball out, the yoga ball, and room to workout to DVD's. The kids think this would be really cool. It's been a slow process though. The garage space just comes in so handy for storage.

Eventually, I'd love to have stained concrete floors with a separate padded "gym" floor area. I'd like to have a small sofa (maybe a sofa bed so it can double as a guest room), a TV (for movie nights and workout videos), mirrors on a section of the wall, nice paint on the walls, encouraging quotes as art, a punching bag in the corner, and a kids' area for crafts and playtime. I can picture it pretty well, but getting it done is another matter. The biggest obstacle is running a vent out there for heat and air.

Monday, August 27, 2012

When I retire...

I've never thought much about retiriting. I don't know a lot of retired people that aren't busy still working. The teachers I know that have retired have continued to work in education in some form or fashion. I just assumed I'd teach until I died. Maybe I will.

Chad and I have joked for a while now that once the kids move out, we are getting an apartment downtown for just us. It would be a heckuva lot easier to take care of than a big house and yard.

However, after getting our camper this summer, Chad and I have talked about maybe full-timing. I'm not sure we wouldn't drive each other crazy, but the idea of it is nice. I absolutely love drinking a cup of coffee while watching the sun come up. I love being outdoors. I love the simplicity of an RV...not a lot of extra clutter can be carried around.

It's still a long ways off, but it's nice to think about it every once in a while.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I know I do this every year, but this week right before school is so stressful. I had grand ideas for making freezer meals and having everything in tip-top shape before Monday so I could maybe, for once, relax a little that first week. However, life has other plans.

I am up at 6 on a Saturday morning, and have actually been up since 5/awake since 4...but this early rising isn't for a run, sadly. I'll be headed up to school in a little while, but for now, I'm working on cleaning this house...yet another thing I had hoped to have done before now. My hubby had to go to work early this morning, so I figured if he was up and working, I could be too.

I did dream about running. But even in my dreams, I couldn't get that much needed release running gives me from my stress. It was a very realistic dream where I could feel how hard the run was, like my feet were in quicksand. I was moving so slowly and my feet hurt so much. Sad that I can't even have a good run in my dreams.

I am hoping to attempt a run tomorrow. I've been without a run for two weeks now...and just when I need one most. The half marathon is now two months away. I have decided that I'm going to get the BondiBand (my mom, sister and I are selling them for a Team World Vision fundraiser) that says "Run, Walk, Crawl, Finish!" because that is exactly my plan for this half. I'm going to do it, but it might not be pretty.

I always hit a point in the year, ususally now and many times over, when I have to come face-to-face with my shortcomings. I just can't get it all together. Some days I feel like I might be close to finding balance for all the roles I have, but others, like today, I realize that I drop the ball more often than not. It's frustrating to find that I haven't prioritized the things that are most important to me and have wasted time on the unimportant, leaving me being unable to do or not having done the things that truly mattered.

Which sort of leads me to today's blog writing challenge from Fitness Cheerleader. Why is my blog named Home.Heart.Health.? Well, that's just why. I try to write about the balance between these three things...between mind, body and soul...because I'm trying to find that elusive balance.

This past weekend,  my pastor used an illustration that has always been one of my favorites. The story goes that a teacher sets out sand, gravel, small rocks and larger rocks and has his students try to place everything in a jar. When they can't seem to make it fit, he shows them how by adding the large rocks first, then the small rocks, the gravel and finally the sand. He points out that this is like our priorities. Get the big ones in first and the rest will fall into place (and I'd add...or they won't matter).

So, I'm going to be working on my priorities. I have been spending each morning (when I'd normally be running) reading my Bible and a short devotion over a cup of coffee. I've really enjoyed this time and will have to really make it a priority to get it done once actual school starts Monday.

And of course, I want my family to be a top priority. I've spent way too much time just being here and not really being present. I want to focus on them and us and what will make us stronger and closer as a family. With my daughter in second grade and my son starting kindergarten, I'm realizing how quickly they grow up, and I want to make each day count.

My health is also important to me, and I haven't been careful of what I've put into my body for the past few weeks. I've been stress eating a lot more than I'd want anyone to know, and I can feel the impact it has had on the way I feel. That, in combination with not running, has had more of an impact on my mood and state of mind than I'd care to admit. So, even though running may be on the back burner, I need to make what I eat and what I do a priority.

And while some argue that a clean house doesn't have to be a priority or "it's not that bad," to me, a clean and organized house allows me to relax and enjoy being here. It's a reflection of my internal order.

If there was a magic tool that would just help you get it all together, that would be so much easier. But I guess that's just part of the process.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dear Me,

Dear Me at 23,
Look at you, you newlywed! Here I am 10 years from now, and I want to let you in on a few secrets. You'll learn them as you go, but this might make things a little easier.

1. Enjoy what you have now. Someday you will miss that tiny waist; appreciate it now. Someday you will miss that little house; make the most of it. Someday you will forget what a clean house and a few hours to yourself are like; enjoy them now.

2. What feels like big things at the time will work out. For you, it will come in terms of infertility and the stress it brings. Don't worry. Everything will happen in God's time and in God's way.

3. Quit stressing the small stuff...and it really is all small stuff. Your teaching will improve with each year. You'll learn to let go of what doesn't really matter. You'll develop your own ways of handling the day to day things.

4. Appreciate your friends. They won't stay the same or in the same place for long. Enjoy them while you have them, stay connected, and learn to love on others when they aren't there.

5. Go ahead and build a routine of working out now. That won't always be the case. And it's much harder to start over than it is to just keep on going.

Ok, so maybe none of this is earth shattering, but maybe it is helpful in some way. Smile. It really does make things better.
With love,
Your older, wiser Self

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Why I Blog

You know, I'm not really sure what made me start a blog. I used to have one called One Scrap Away because I always felt about a scrap away from insanity with two little ones and a crazy life. I blogged mainly stuff about my kids and my craftiness there. It was a way to vent and think and try to keep track of things. Then somewhere in there, I started one called Another Mile Down because I felt like I was ticking away miles in my fitness efforts. And it really was just about logging more miles.

But a little over a year ago, I felt the need to combine these two. I run for balance and yet my blogs were separate. My new title Home.Heart.Health. shows this balance I'm always seeking in my life. The three things are connected, just like mind/body/soul. I post recipes and organization attempts and planning as  part of the Home area; I post my random thoughts and fun activities for the Heart; I post my running and racing and nutrition things as part of Health. I can't separate these things...they are all part of my crazy life and me.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A typical day

Fitness Cheerleader's blog challenge has us looking at a typical day.

A typical day for me, starting again tomorrow, is my typical teacher's day. It has been very different for the past couple of months since it has been summer. I actually started back to work this past Thursday, but they were relatively easy days. Tomorrow starts a very long week of inservice, meetings and planning.

A typical day for the school year looks like this:

4:15 am (2-3 days a week)--up and running, literally, on the treadmill in my garage. It's hot, but it gets the job done.
5:15 am--shower time
6 am--start waking my will take many, many tries.
6:30 am--get the kids up, dressed and fed
7 am--out the door to school
7:10--get ready for the day before the kids arrive
7:35 am--the first kids arrive
7:45 to 3 pm--teach, talk, listen, dedirect, plan, organize, intervene, instruct, model
3-4 pm--this is my time to copy papers, grade papers, plan ahead and have a few minutes of quiet
4 pm--I pick up the kids from my mother-in-law's house.
4-5:30 pm--Homework time, chores, prep dinner, laundry, dishes...whatever needs to be done.
5:30-8:30 pm-Hubby gets home. We usually have a little downtime before dinner. Dinner. Baths. Get ready for bedtime. Bedtime routines. This is also where practices, games, classes, etc. happen.
8:30 pm--Kids go to bed. Chad and I catch up on shows, put up laundry, etc. I pack lunches for the kids and me and get my clothes, including workout gear, ready for the next day.
10 pm--I head to bed, usually reading for about half an hour before going to sleep.

The early morning runs will be changing though. My foot is still hurting. I iced it every night this past week, took it easy, wore "real" shoes as much as possible, stretched it, rested...all to no avail. I tried to run this morning, and I couldn't make it to the corner. My half is now in real jeopardy, as is the quarter marathon in a month. I was able to hop on the bike this morning and get 5 miles in; however, that is just not possible before school. I don't do dark. And I know that if I wait until after school, it won't get done. I'm so frustrated. I'm still going to get up early and try to figure out some workout I can do without killing my foot. It's just not the same as a run :(

Friday, August 17, 2012

My favorite workout

Considering I can't ever stick with a strength training plan or cross training regimen for longer than, oh, a week, my favorite workout is running.

A nice, long run is far and away my favorite way of working where my thoughts turn peaceful and my stress melts away. One where my body works hard enough to shake out the cobwebs. One where my body is tired but my mind is rejuvenated.

However, if I have to pick a "workout," I'll go with negative splits on the treadmill. I run in the hot garage before school two or three days a week once school starts back up. Wednesdays are for speed work. One of the most satisfying workouts out there is to kick up the speed every half mile until the end. Sometimes I give myself a recovery in between...but most of the time I don't. I think this workout has been part of the reason why I can finish runs strong, even if I struggle for the first two miles. My mom and sister joke that I'm like Shorty, an old Shetland pony we had once. That horse would see the barn and head for home, even if he'd only been out for a little while. Like me. When I know the run is almost done, I pick up the pace and head for home.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Favorite thing to cook

I love my crockpot. Once school really gets up and going, I'll be using that thing quite often. So it's no surprise that a lot of  my favorite meals are made in the crockpot.

Here's one of my easiest and yummiest recipes:

Pulled Pork
1 boneless pork roast, rinsed and dried
1 onion, sliced
1-2 cups of apple juice
Seasoning (I use an applewood pork rub)
Favorite bbq sauce (I use Kraft original)

Place sliced onion in the bottom of the crockpot. Place roast on top, fat side up. Season with rub or other seasonings (brown sugar, garlic powder, etc.). Pour in enough apple juice to go about half way up the side. Cook on low all day. Drain off the fat and liquids and shred the pork, removing any visible fat. Add bbq sauce and let it warm up.

I serve this on buns with coleslaw (often broccoli slaw). I like the coleslaw on my sandwich, but most people don't.

Nothing "healthy" about it, but it's really good. Sometimes I save back some of the pork before adding the bbq sauce, and we turn it into another meal like quesadillas or burritos.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I recently read a post by Kristin Armstrong on Mile Markers where she took the time she needed to run alone to refill her "red solo cup." I liked the post then, but after this weekend, I really feel like my own cup has been filled...and even better, it gave me the opportunity to talk to my kids about our "cups" and how we can fill each others and our own.

This weekend, we decided, a little later than this type A person would have liked, to go camping. Chad had mentioned it late last week, but then we never decided anything for sure. Then Sunday, we went to church (which was a good lesson on loving each other), had lunch, swam...and then decided to go camping. That. Night. And we did.

We quickly packed up the camper, stopped at the store on the way out of town, and drove an hour to a nearby state park that I used to frequent with my family camping growing up. We got there after hours so we were able to drive around and pick out our own campsite. Luckily, they did have some pull through much easier for these newbie campers! As we were setting up, the sun was starting to go down and we had the surprise of seeing a doe and its fawn walk by. How cool is that?!

We didn't eat until about 8:30, switching from what I had planned to make to easy sandwiches. We all enjoyed sleeping in a little the next morning and had a breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs before going to explore the old fort buildings in this state park. That afternoon we went into town to get a few things and have some ice cream. That evening, we made a hearty dinner of sausage, potatoes, onion, zucchini, and peppers, which we enjoyed out under the camper awning. There we were joined by more than a dozen deer traipsing through our campsite. The kids loved it...with SB giggling when her daddy joked that the deer were surrounding us. It really was an amazing experience to have as a family.

We played a couple of games of ladderball, one of which was interrupted by a giant tarantula. The kids laughed and laughed (from the trailer windows) as Daddy swept the spider away.

We did have one of those "That which does not kill you..." experiences after that though. We realized we hadn't been careful with water conservation and had filled our holding tank (luckily, just the gray water). Nothing could be done but to go dump the disconnecting everything, hooking it up the trailer, and heading to the dump station...and then reconnecting everything when we were done. We can laugh about it now, but it wasn't fun then. However, we handled it well and continued with our night after that.

But this morning...that was what really topped off my own cup. Chad and I got up before the kids and sat outside talking, with me drinking my coffee. The weather was beautiful. I had taken my running stuff and would have loved to enjoy a run in that weather...but my foot has been killing me. But if I'd gone for a run, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy that time with my husband and later with all of us. It really did my soul good to have that time outside with my family.

And that brought me to talking to the kids today about how we all have cups that are filled by good times and kind words and nice actions, but are easily spilled by negativity. We were able to discuss ways to fill each others' cups and how to take care of our own cups.

I am so glad that I stepped outside myself and what I would have liked in the way of time to plan and organize this trip and just enjoyed the time we had together in all its little ways. And now, with reference to Psalm 23:5, my cup overflows...

What if?

(This is part of Fitness Cheerleader's blog challenge.)

Life is filled with "What if?" moments. What if I were born in a different time period? What if I hadn't done this or had done that? But I don't live with regrets and choose not to dwell in the what if's. That being said, the one and only "What if?" I have thought about is "What if I hadn't gone away to college?"

The reason I have pondered that one is because my life would be so much different if I hadn't. If I hadn't left home for college, I wouldn't have met Chandra, my sole sis. I wouldn't have had so many experiences that shaped and defined me. I wouldn't have decided to move back home when I did, where I found a job that ultimately led me to my husband. Not going to Angelo State would have altered the course of my life...and I wouldn't want it any other way than what I have now.

I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I could have saved myself some homesickness and heartache (not to mention time and money) had I stayed home. However, I wouldn't trade that decision for the world because of where it led me.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Quotable Quotes

This is part of Fitness Cheerleader's blog challenge.

When it comes to quotes, Pinterest is a never-ending supply of motivational sayings and posters. But when I think of quotes that have stuck with me, I have just a few.

The first few come from my family growing up. We often said, "That which does not kill you will make you stronger," "This too shall pass," and "If it can go wrong, it will" far too often to count. These were used when we camped, when we went through rough situations, or when something went wrong around the house (and in an almost-100-year-old house, that was often).

The one I've liked here lately is "The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step." I had this in my classroom last year (until it got painted over at the beginning of summer), and I think it applies to so many for a half marathon, a life path, a weight loss journey, raising children, changing finances...and the list goes on.

What saying motivates you?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Junk food

(This is part of Fitness Cheerleader's blog challenge.)

I eat pretty well most of the time...really, I do. But I love junk food. We don't keep snack cakes or cookies in the house (although I really do like Oatmeal Creme Pies and Star Crunches). I don't eat a lot of candy (although a Twix sometimes really does hit the spot). I'm not crazy about chips.

For me, when I'm really wanting something "junk," I love cheese in all forms...with my faves being these huge fried cheese sticks and baked potato fries complete with bacon and tons of ooey, gooey melted cheese from a local diner called Parkway Grill. That's my ultimate junk food fix.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My workout crew

(This is part of Fitness Cheerleader's blog challenge.)

If I could put together a group run of some famous people, I'd love for these people to join me...

1. Dimity and SBS from Another Mother Runner and authors of Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother. I read their first book two years ago, and it made me feel like such a part of the tribe. I met them in Vegas and would love to run with them.

2. Kristin Armstrong. I follow her blog and love that she is Godly and inspirational, plus I've really enjoyed reading Mile Markers. Her understanding of the ups and downs of a running mom have really been insightful.

Ok, so I don't really keep up with names and famous people, so those three are who I would pick. There are tons of fitness bloggers and friends I would include the group as well. Wouldn't that be some run?!

But today? Today, it was just me. And it felt great. Today was my first long run of the training plan for my third half marathon in October. It was also my first long run post-op after surgery last month. I walked a quarter mile, ran a mile, walked a quarter, ran a mile, walked a quarter, ran a mile and then walked home. It felt really good to be out there, and I enjoyed slightly cooler weather this morning.

This week: 10.85 miles
YTD: 384 miles

Friday, August 10, 2012

Just a little odd

(This is part of Fitness Cheerleader's blog challenge.)

Five Weird Things I Like
1. Dill pickles and ketchup. Don't know why or even how I figured this out, but I really do like it.
2. Tuna fish sandwiches with sour cream and onion chips on it.
3. This one goes with #2...but I like sour cream and onion chips with pork 'n' beans, which I like to eat with tuan fish sandwiches.
4. Mayo and saltines...that's from my Mom. She used to eat Miracle Whip and Saltines, and I can remember eating them with her at the dining room table.
5. Ok, here's the oddest...I like a piece of bread, a slice of American cheese and a cold hotdog. Yes, I know that's bad for me. I don't really care. I've eaten it since I was little.

I'm sure there's a lot more about me that's odd, and I sure I like more than just odd foods...but that's what I have for today :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lazy days of summer

Yesterday, the kids and I made our own sidewalk chalk (1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup cornstarch and a few drops of food coloring for each color). It was overcast outside, so it wasn't too bad of an afternoon to play outside. The ants decided to join us, and the kids had fun seeing if the ants would cross lines of their sidewalk paint.

My sidewalk chalk fun (I think I'll make this into a poster)

When the little craft paintbrushes weren't working well, I had to create these for the kids...easy peasy...cut up a regular sponge and clipped them with clothespins. How's that for quick thinking?!

The kids were ready for a lazy day today (not that we have done a lot here lately, but we have had to get up and go the past few days). We watched a Tinkerbell movie this morning, complete with this popcorn I found on Pinterest. I didn't use all of the butter mixture, and the kids loved it.

Then we painted rocks...a simple project, but they had so much fun! Ryan made dinosaur snakes (or something like that) and SB is still working on making a hamster and a worry stone. Such fun for a lazy day!

And I've got some crafty things of my own in the works :) More about those later...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Out for the count

I tend to forget my injuries...not while I have them, of course, but in retrospect I can't think of them.

I know after I'd only been running a few months, my IT bands were so bad that I stopped running for a while. Once I got them healthy and strengthened, I was good to go...although I still have to baby them with the foam roller pretty frequently.

I've had the normal aches and pains...shin splints (love compression sleeves for those), a weird pain in my left big toe (my dad has the same pain), a weird pain in my right heel (current problem...worrisome because my mom has battled PF for nine months now and hers ruptured...but it seems to be doing better)...and that's all I can really recall.

On a similar note...I am so sore! It's like starting all over. It's been 3 weeks since surgery, and I had to take most of last week off from walking or running because of my heel. I walked 1.75 and ran 1.75 Monday (broken up into walking/running intervals...longest run was 1 mile). It felt pretty good then...but I'm pretty sore now. I've already used the foam roller today and taken ibuprofen. I think I'll continue with that and hope for the best :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Break on through to the other side

(This is part of Fitness Cheereleader's blog challenge.)

When you hit a plateau, what do you do? I think it depends on the circumstances. And depending on the situation, the solution is different.

There are times it makes sense to take a break (I tried failed. But there are times it would be necessary and helpful.)

There are times it makes sense to just keep going through the motions (injuries aren't included here).

There are times it makes sense to mix it up and try something different.

I think that last one is what I do more often. It can be as simple as adding speedwork or trying a new cross-training activity.

The important thing here is to not give up...ever.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The ups and downs of a year

(This is part of Fitness Cheerleader's blog challenge.)

This past year has held its share of highs and lows...and looking back makes me realize that the highs definitely outweigh the lows.

The highs
-rode 25 miles with my husband last August in the Hotter N Hell
-Ryan started preschool
-ran more than 1100k in 2011 (my goal)...actually running more than 800 miles
-ran RnR Vegas with my best friend (and renewed my vows with my hubby while we were there)
-my husband did C25K and we ran two 5k's together
-met my sub-60 10k goal right at the end of 2011
-ran with my husband and kids and other family (sister, brother, parents) many times

The lows
-my father-in-law had brain surgery...a very scary time for our family
-I had a nasty bout with strep in the spring (not too bad for a low, I know)
-I had a horrible 15k race in the spring, forcing a self-imposed break for a few weeks
-I had my gallbladder removed...yet another setback

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fave Five

(This another post in Fitness Cheerleader's blog challenge.)

While thinking about five foods I couldn't live without, I really had a hard time...which just cements the fact that I really love food.

But, if I had to narrow my list down to five foods I just had to have, here's what I'd have:
1. Milk, especially chocolate after a run
2. Eggs
3. Yogurt
4. Bananas
5. Coffee

I eat (or drink) those pretty regularly. There are a lot of other foods I wouldn't want to be without...cheese (I'm seeing a dairy trend here)...fruit in any form...veggies of all kinds...oatmeal...potatoes. And that's far from my absolute favorite foods...because let's face it, that's a category where "healthy" might not be the best description. But, these are the foods I couldn't live without.

Good morning!

Just needed the reminder :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Looking Back

Two years ago on the first day of school

(This is another post in Fitness Cheerleader's challenge.)

Two years ago doesn't seem like that long ago. Or maybe it seems like forever ago. Depends on how you look at it.

Two years ago, my kids had just turned 5 and 3. My daughter was getting ready to start kindergarten, and my son was getting glasses for the first time.

Two years ago, I was starting an 8-week training plan to run my second 10K, where my goal was to not walk.

Two years ago, I was suprised that I got up on a Saturday morning at 6:30 to run 4 miles, and was impressed with myself when I didn't walk.

Two years ago, we were getting ready to ride a 10K in the Hotter N Hell as a family.

Two years ago, I was fundraising for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure that fall in honor of my mother-in-law.

A lot has happened in two years.

My kids are now 7 and 5, and my son will be starting kindergarten this year. They both wear glasses now.

I've run lots of races in the past two years...and I finally ran a sub-60 10K. I've broken 30 in a 5K. I've run with my husband and kids. I've run with my best friend. I've run with my siblings. I've run alone.

I've run two half marathons since then. I've gotten up countless weekend mornings early to run. I've worked up to running about 5 miles comfortably on a regular basis (although I'm not sure how things will go...I haven't been able to run since surgery because of my foot hurting).

I've even ridden 25 miles with my hubby in the HHH.

So how have I changed? I think I'm stronger, emotionally and physically. I'd like to think I've relaxed a little and learned to go with the flow more often. I make time for me when I need it. I listen to my body instead of pushing it beyond what it needs at that moment. I eat better and have learned to love a lot of new healthy foods.

It's nice to reflect every once in a while. So many times we think about where we'd like to be and feel we don't measure up to our goals or ideals instead of focusing on where we've come from and the journey that has gotten us to where we are. That's part of why I blog. I need that reminder that 4 miles used to be the goal, not the norm or that I've been through injuries or slumps and made it through them just fine.


needed to see this


Friday, August 3, 2012

For a friend

A friend of mine is going through a rough spell, and I wanted to cheer her up. When she told me a quote a friend of hers had given her a helpful tool, I knew what I could do. I used my Creative Memories StoryBook Creator to make her this print.

I love the sentiment of the quote. This works with getting kids to cooperate, with our view of an unpleasant task (cleaning house, anyone?), with our fitness, with our jobs, with giving, with just about anything.

10 years from now...

(This is Day 3 of Fitness Cheerleader's blogging challenge.)

So much of the time, I'm so busy just surviving the week or the day that I don't have time to think about next week or next month, much less next year or 10 years from now.

To think that far, I'll have to put it in perspective. My daughter will be 17 and entering her senior year of high school. My son will be 15 and a sophomore. I'm sure our days will be spent watching them involved in whatever sports or activities they've chosen. I'll be 43 and my husband and I will have been married 20 years. I'll have been teaching 20 years as well, still a ways from retiring.

So where do I see me in all this?

I hope I'm a supportive mom that has encouraged my kids to be just who they are meant to be. I hope I will have instilled strong values in them to be kind, compassionate, independent, and Godly.

I hope I'm still active and running. I hope I'll be able to say I've completed a full marathon and ridden with my husband in many more bike races. I hope I will have inspired others to be active and healthy.

More than that, I hope I'll be confident in who I am, self-assured and someone others can lean on. I hope I will be surrounded by good friends and my loving family. I hope to be a better me than I am now...stronger emotionally and physically, well-balanced, fun-loving, and happy.

Sent from my Samsung Epic™ 4G Touch

Thursday, August 2, 2012

When do you workout?

(This is part of August's blog challenge hosted by Fitness Cheerleader.)

Day 2 is pretty easy...Do you workout morning or night? Why?

I am most definitely a morning runner (although late nights are making for some difficult mornings this summer). During the school year, I get up and run on the treadmill in my garage at 4 or 4:30 in the morning, just to get the run in before the day begins. If I don't do that, the run won't happen. At all. Ever.

I love starting my day with a run. It just sets the tone for the rest of my day. The hard part is done, in a way. It gives me more energy. It gives me some mental clarity. It gives me time later to do what I want with my kids or hubby. If I wait until the end of the day, I have to take time away from them to get the run done. Or it doesn't happen at all because I'm out of energy and other things take precedence (like laundry or sleep). So, by running first thing in the morning, I'm guaranteeing my "me" time and putting myself first, at least for a few minutes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Workout Music

I've decided to try a new challenge for August, one I saw on Fancy Nancy's blog yesterday issued by Fitness Cheerleader...she's challenge bloggers to write every day and even gives a list of topics for each day. I figured as a language arts teacher, I should be writing often, and this is just one way to do that. I can almost guarantee I won't write every day, and I'm pretty sure I'll change up some of the topics to fit in some of my "heart" and "home" things.

Today's 5 workout songs...only one problem. I don't listen to music when I run outside.

When I run outside, it's just me and my feet pounding the pavement. My run is my time to think or not think, depending on the day. A lot of people listen to music when they run. I tried it...and it didn't go well. In fact, I ended up turning it off mid-race because it was such a distraction. It was like I couldn't get my breathing and body in sync because my mind was in the music instead.

Now, I know some people couldn't run if they didn't have music. For them, that's great. There are plenty of times I'd like the distraction from the workout. However, it's what works for me. And that's what being healthy is really all about...doing what works for you to be the best you.

I will say, when I run on the treadmill at way-too-early-in-the-morning before school, my iPod keeps my mind off the monotony of the run. I don't listen to a lot of music in general, so finding workout music isn't easy for me. I tend to listen to one of three Christian stations, and while I love the music, the songs aren't exactly "pump it up, get moving" kind of songs. My mom once gave me a bunch of songs she runs too...let's just say I was shocked. She says she doesn't hear the words, just the beats...I'm the's like I only hear the words. Different strokes for different folks...right?

So, in the spirit of today's challenge, the top 5 sounds I enjoy hearing on a summer's outdoor run instead of music:
1. The sound of my breathing, arms, and feet working in sync (on the rare occasion it happens)
2. Birds chirping
3. Sprinklers
4. A breeze rustling the leaves
5. The swish of my ponytail across my back

***I wanted to add that another reason I don't listen to music when I run outside is pure safety. I'm a chicken. I like to know what is going on around me. While people and cars are an obvious concern, I'm just as concerned about not hearing a dog chasing me (true story).