January 2017: What if you simply devoted a year to loving yourself more?

I start things with great intention and life happens as it does to most; my personal testimonials and promises are quickly the thing I have to let go of. The end of 2016 was rough. From finding out I screwed up our taxes 3 years ago and now we are paying  back, Scott losing his job, among the other struggles we already felt (to each his own,its all relative to the life we live) we had a nice bag of shit to tote into the new year; a year so many hoped would be better than 2016.

Honestly  2016 isn’t  one I will look back with fondness but with the wide eyes of life education. 

I attended 14 funerals, 4 family and 10 from work. This alone was so mentally and emotionally painful it shut me down. 

I didn’t meet any goal I set for myself, in fact I shut that train of thought down in February after being told there wasn’t anything wrong with my ankle but there was also no hope of a marathon in my 2016. 

I witnessed families grieve, for a multitude of reasons and more than once I had an itty, bitty, pity party for poooorrrr me…oh and there ws me turning 40. 

Now one month into this new 2017 I look back and I feel the relief of 2016 being over. I have so many positives in front of me, maybe that struggle was for some greater purpose. I have a happiness in me I haven’t felt for a very long time; when hiccups arise I don’t feel like my world is at the brink of extinction. I wake up most mornings ready to kick some ass and live life to the fullest. I’m getting to experience my children daily, their laughter and tears (girls cry a lot who knew?!) their success and their struggles….

Caution Parental Honesty Ahead:

My Ailey whom gets the raves at school for straight A’s and exemplary behavior, my bookworm who reads like its going out of style, loves science, Star Wars, a good snuggle and oh my the creativity – she may look like her daddy but that child is me reborn…until faced with her sister and then watch out!

My Piper…oh that little girl. As hilarious as she is rotten, a very average student, a moderate behavior problem (honest parenting observation) spunky, independant and my word teenage years will be a challenge. At home she is loving, helpful, snuggly and everybit my baby. Her demeanor much like her daddy, “….don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright…” the victim of her sister’s agression, why we have no idea.  

I enjoy every moment, I felt like I had been missing that, I had really been feeling like being a parent wasn’t my calling. I make being mommy a priority now, as much as taking care of myself. We are all better for it.

Ready to run?!

 Heck yes I am. It is a slow, slow journey but I re-joined weight watchers at the end of December and gave myself one month to get practical eating under me, down 8.8#. Month two-  I am now adding in a running/walking/yoga plan. Excited that I have created a little yoga space at home with a heater (since I ūüíú hot yoga) my mat and I will meet before work and prepare me from the inside out for my day ahead. A personal challenge of a 5k a day for the next 30 days and perhaps the Heart Mini 15K if I can score a free entry. Mentally I am in the best state I have been in longer than I can remember. I am on the lowest dose of antidepressants,every-other-day in fact than I have  been in 6 years, this goes to show when you free yourself of the things you really cannot control and the toxic people in your life, the change that can manifest is liberating. 

Life for now 1/12 of the way through 2017 is good. It feels full and right, for me. There are challenges that exist, but I feel confident that I am equipped to face them and endure.

Running plan for 2017:

March: Heart Mini 15k (9ish miles)

May: Flying Pig Half 

July: 4th of July 5k – goal of a 34 min finish

September: Air Force Marathon 

October: Queen Bee half (long shot to squeeze this one in)

November: Honorrun Half 

Weight loss goal for 2017: 60#

What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more?


Body Beast: Week 3 and Making Grown-up Decisions

BODY BEAST

Three weeks in and I have to admit, I hate it. I guess I should have done more research, this was the wrong program for me. I love the cardio and abs day but the rest, meh. The leader is incredibly annoying, and there is so much down time I spend more of the workout waiting for the next set to begin that I feel guilty counting it as exercise. That being said I will complete the program because a quitter I am not. Thanks, Dad.

The husband loves it and says he feels like it’s a good workout for him, and I can tell there is a difference. The first time we did the cardio he couldn’t finish it and now he’s right there with me.

I am suffering through the cold streak and haven’t been running because it is so cold, if the sun would just come out! I want to go so badly and then I open the door and say hells no. (yes it’s an excuse) I was given a week where it was warm and went out three of the days at lunch and got in three miles on each of them, and the next few days it’s supposed to be above 20.

MAKING GROWN-UP DECISIONS

The biggest decision I have had to make¬†right now is that I will not be doing any paid events this year, with exception to the Fourth of July 5K. After looking at our budget and the reality that we will not be able to afford to send our children to the school we want to, because the aftercare is SO expensive that we are going to have to move to a school district that I do find acceptable; I rethought my race schedule and how selfish it is of me to take money from our budget for racing. Mentally and emotionally this is extremely difficult for me; this one thing, running timed events has been the motivator for me pushing myself the last two years, and now I have lost that as well. I have 5 passes left for yoga that I paid for last fall and then I will lose that as well. I know there is sidewalk everywhere and yoga on you-tube but it’s not the same. There is no run I can do alone that gives me the same satisfaction as an official time (crazy I know for someone who will never win anything); there is no online video that is the same as sharing space with people doing their practice, have you ever tried trying to do yoga in a full house with no space and a dog who must be up your rear all the time? It’s not calming at all.

Wow, what a poor-me post. Can’t help it, it’s where I am right now. No sugar-coating, no hiding. I want to feel like it’s going to turn around, that we will find a way to make it all work, but right now in this moment, the cloud is hanging awfully low.

I will post 4 week BB pics and stats, maybe it is working and I just don’t feel it.

Running, Body Beast & Yoga

New years bring zillions of resolutions, which I don’t believe in because statistics tell us no one keeps them; I set goals. When I set a goal it drives me to meet the goal, I love accountability. My big 2015 goals are to drop this last 25# and run the Columbus Marathon in October (foreshadowing of what I will be talking about most of the year). We have really tried to make an effort to adhere to our clean eating initiative and I think we are roughly 85% successful in that. Evidence? There is zero crap food in our house. Nowwww it’s no secret that I will run anywhere and usually in any condition, except freezing cold, this week I have been blessed with two warm sunny days, warm being a relative term since 35 isnt really warm but the sun makes all the difference. Donning my brand new Omni’s

2015/01/img_5103-0.jpg aren’t they pretty? Three mile runs twice this week invigorated me and reignited my love for footfall on pavement and I am itching to sign up for the Heart Mini in March but my funds for entry fees are limited to two events only this year, The Pig Half and the afore mentioned full in October, at least one more pair of shoes and pants, unless I find a generous sponsor which is unlikely. Cross training is important to running because strength and flexibility aid in endurance, how on a limited budget can I do that? Body Beast was a Christmas gift to us and we are in week one and loving every minute of it. I have to admit I didn’t think Scott would make it through the first workout, we shall see how abs and cardio are on him. I have had zero soreness, thank you yoga after the workout and knowing what poses stretch out those muscles who worked hard for 40-60 minutes. Here we are (a cold for Scott set us back a week). I will post 30, 60 and 90 day progress shots! Super excited to see how we approach spring with bodies that are actually ready for bathing soups! (Piperism)

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2015: Goals

The end of 2014 was a success, I survived another holiday, and this year I did not gain but lost 3# back to my lowest of the year, best present ever. My mileage topped out at 405 miles, less than my goal but I grew so much this past 12 months I am satisfied with it. The month of December was lacking as a horrid cold and a cough that wouldn’t stop prevented me from running more days than not, as January has now arrived I am still battling the cough, the temps have dropped so impatiently I wait knowing that everyday I don’t run I lose stamina and strength. So how do I combat some of that? Yoga and Body Beast it
arrived today and I cannot wait to get started!

My plan is to document my transformation over the 90 days via pictures and posts. The bestest (yes I said bestest) part is the husband has agreed to do it with me and fingers crossed he will let me do pictures of him as well!

2015 Goals:
1) Complete the Body Beast 90 day plan (no supplements)
2) Run 600 miles
3) Run the Flying Pig half, finally – a goal set 2 years ago
4) Run the Columbus Marathon
5) Encourage my husband to do a 5k with me
6) Meet my goal weight – 175#
7) Emotionally – keep myself in check
8) Plan and eat a 90% clean diet
9) Wear short for the first time in 6 years outside of the house
10) Keep in mind that life is about progress not perfection.

Honor Half Marathon Y’all 11/15/2014

It’s been a long 5 weeks in my world.

24d

I changed jobs, and had a huge emotional shift regarding that upheaval. Great news is that I love, love, love my new job.

I have kept up with running and yoga classes and on Saturday morning I started the day with my traditional breakfast of chocolate milk and zingers (I know super healthy right?) Sitting in the car freezing, I only turned the heat up enough to defrost, not wanting to warm myself too much. Yahoo weather was kind enough to tell me that it was 16 degrees – I don’t care where you live that’s freaking cold. I told my parents and husband to stay home, had I not paid for this I would have still be at home in bed. However anyone who knows me knows that the word “quit” does not exist in my vocabulary.

The beginning of the event was under the water tower at the Florence Mall, the sun just barely¬†making its¬†presence known. The principal of Cooper High School sang the National Anthem and the mayor of Florence shared a few words of thanks and encouragement. All 1,100 participants lined up, “Survivor” from the Rocky movie was their choice for a starting song, ironically it was the same song I had selected, after that it was up to the ipod shuffle gods. Mile one looped around the mall, it was strange to run so many miles in an area that I have called home all my life. The third song “Here Comes The Sun” once again started just as the sun came up 7:21 I was .75 miles in,¬†ironic? Kismet?¬†It was from that point on that I knew I was going to run a good event. The course was much harder than the Queen Bee, that event the hills were out-of-the-way in the first 4 miles, this event the hills were constants.¬† It was a steady challenge and this time I made it 8 miles before I took a little walk break, I didn’t drop my first 13+ mile until mile 10 and the second one was mile 11 but I really had to make a pit stop. Mile 12 was tough and mostly uphill before a slight slope down and circling back to where we started. I finished less than one minute slower than previously, all things considered I was really pleased.

At the finish line I wrapped up and walked to get a drink, water wasn’t appealing on the course so my intake was very little, however I was parched once I stopped. Pulling my phone from my pocket I had wishes of luck from my parents, my sister, my husband and children, I smiled and then read the text from my mom that she along with my niece and nephew were at the finish! Finding them made the day complete. Hugs and support, nothing better when one has met a goal.

What’s up next?

Well I am not a cold weather fan, I have the Thanksgiving Day 10K next week and that’s it for formal events, my wallet and shoes are worn out. I have an appointment to have my right foot finally taken care of and after 4-6 weeks of recovery I will begin training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon in May, and maybe just maybe we will talk Columbus full for my 39th birthday instead of my 40th. I will continue to run up until surgery day and as soon as I am medically cleared I will slowly get back up to speed, in the mean time I am absolutely in love with hot yoga and there is a new cycling bar in town that I am eager to give a try.

On the agenda for 2015:

May: Flying Pig Half Marathon, Cincinnati Reds 10K, Run & Slug 8 miler

July: Fourth of July 5K

August: Friendship City 5K (I am going to win my age division)

September: Hudy 14K

October: Columbus Marathon or Queen Bee Half Marathon

November: Honor Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 10K

 

 

 

12 miles and Sliding into Om

Saturday 4 am, pull self from warm cozy bed.

12 miles planned, a daunting thought to me. I have done 10 several times this year, but 12 seems like so much more. I decided on this early run time because the humidity has been so thick, I can handle the heat, I love to feel “hot” but hot and damp is just brutal. It was cool as I deposited water at my two-mile markers and started out the first lap of 3. The first 4 miles I felt really slow but when I made it back to the beginning I was very pleased with just a touch over 44 minutes, as much as I’d like it to be closer to 40 I know if I push it too hard I will injure myself or leave nothing for the last few miles; I felt good. The second 4 miles I did two out and two back just to make it a little different and add in more hills, a pit stop at the Speedway and I hit a wall. 8 miles in and I wanted to be done. I knew at that point I had two choices, run the opposite direction of my car forcing myself to finish or toward my car and potentially giving up when I got to it in lieu of going one more lap. Opposite it was. I headed down HWY 18 following what I know will be part of the Honor half marathon in November, taking a couple of loops around the mall and then heading back, my watch died so I had to use Runkeeper on my phone for the last bit but I know I was within .1 of the 12 miles. Feeling accomplished and proud that I didn’t give up, my reward was heading down to Great American Ballpark where I participated in their “Sliding into Om” promotional event.

It’s no secret that I love baseball, it’s a very special part of my life and my relationship with my father so when I learned photo 1of this oppophoto 2rtunity I had to do it! Admittedly it was a little emotional, I have been on the field before but only the warning track and in the dugout. The view from the field is almost as amazing as from the stands. I unrolled my mat and slipped off my shoes, my feet so tired. Clenching the grass with my toes I could feel the dampness that still clung to the thick, sturdy blades and the ¬†clean smell I associate with grass. People trailed in up until the last moment and then we spread out and the class began. ¬†A new instructor brings a new perspective on my practice. There was music in the background and I felt the benefit of this post-run. My hamstring tenderness was eased as did the tension I have been having in my right shoulder. I got a glimpse of myself on the big screen; before I knew it the hour was up. Next year I will take the girls with me, there were several littles in attendance and I think they would have really enjoyed it.

 

Rocky Mountain High

Last week I went to Colorado. It was an amazing trip! Upon landing I was awestruck by the landscape, it was raining but the mountains were breathtaking. My sister picked my up from the airport and as we talked and headed to her home, we witnessed not one but two double rainbows!

photoFriday morning we took a hike up Mt. Cuttler, ¬†I’ve never been hiking before and everyone warned me about the altitude; the one mile trek up was challenging but I really enjoyed it. When we caphoto 1me to the summit all I could think of was a yoga class being held there, so why not have a few poses! The trail run down was also an entirely new experience, but was something I want to look into back home.

 

Saturday morning we decided to attend a local yoga studio where I took my first hot fusion class. An hour-long sweat fest. I impressed myself by being able to keep up with the fast paced instructor and proudly landed my first crow.  At class end I was saturated to say the least and eager to attend a similar class again!

In thephoto (1) evening we ran the Color Fest 5K. We were all sorts of color crazy! This was a more family focused event, so it was a struggle to actually run, and the course was short, all-in-all it was a fun time!

 

The last day of my mommy get-a-way I took a 4 mile run solo. I just took off and went until Garmin told me 2 miles had passed. I was able to take in parts of Colorado Springs, see the people on the streets in the early morning, breath in the dry air. It felt good to get out and go.

It was the first time in forever I can remember not toeing a scale for 3 days in a row, and I wasn’t upset with a 3# gain – I did indulge in some seriously amazing food.

Now that I am back home I am focused ahead to the events that I have signed up for:

8/24:Friendship City 5K (10th annual)     2013: 36:31

10/11: Queen Bee Half Marathon (1st ever)

11/15: Honor Half Marathon (1st ever)

11/27: Thanksgiving Day 10K (105th annual) 2013:1:13:37

After that I will focus on maintenance through the winter, cross training, yoga, and healthy eating habits.

 

 

 

 

Just Breathe

On Wednesday nights at 7:45 I leave my house and I take my mommy time. ¬†I take a slow flow yoga class (I also take one on Sunday mornings), I really love both instructors, each has her own unique teaching method, which I appreciate. ¬†The evening class comes at a good point for me in the week, it’s a running rest day on my current plan, the kids will be asleep when I get home, after a hot shower it’s usually the best night of sleep I get. ¬†Last night I unrolled my mat in the corner where no one would be to my right. I sat and massaged my feet and thought about the events of the week…the stress load has lightened slightly. The instructor welcomed the class and I set my intention for my practice, the same one I set every week, I somehow hope the person that is in my thoughts feels my love. ¬†The music selection usually involves something very beachy, soft and light, as we moved from pose to pose, one song faded out and the next starts in, last night as the music transitioned I heard a mellow guitar melody I knew in those first notes of the song that I was going to cry,¬†Just Breathe¬†~ ¬†Pearl Jam. ¬†The first time I heard this song I fell in love with it, when my grandmother passed in 2012 I was blessed to be the person who created her video memory. This was the song I chose.

Downward facing dog, to plank, lower slowly, breathe, tears streaming down my face, trying not to audibly sob, pull through upward facing dog, eyes closed, breathe, roll over my toes and back to downward dog. Tears drop onto my mat, so warm, feeling the heat rise from within me, up my chest and to my face, struggling to breathe, I tried to fight the tears but I lost. Dripping onto my shirt, mascara leaving the tell tale sign of crying on my flush cheeks. Mountain pose, strong and stable, inside weak and so sad. ¬†Balance on the left foot, King Dancer , reaching, stretching, crying….finally making it to supported shoulder stand , gently back down, breathe, corpse….5, 10 , 15 minutes I have no idea. I lay there tears just flowed down my face, my neck, beneath me. Everything hurt, my back and legs, my head and heart.

I got in my car and headed home, I watched my littles sleep, kissed Scott on the forehead as he slept in the chair and went to bed myself. I was rather exhausted.

I set out with intentions to have a relaxing yoga class, to have a little time away from the stress of day to day life, to ease the ache that lingers in my body from all that I put it through, and what I did was emotionally empty myself.

http://youtu.be/kuq7RYQ8Wa0

Just Breathe

Yes, I understand that every life must end, uh-huh

As we sit alone, I know someday we must go, uh-huh

Oh I’m a lucky man, to count on both hands the ones I ¬†love

Some folks just have one, yeah, others, they’ve got non

 

Stay with me….

Let’s just breathe…

 

Practiced all my sins, never gonna let me wun, uh-huh

Under everything, just another human being, uh-huh

I don’t wanna hurt, there’s ¬†so much in this world to make me bleed

 

Stay with me…

You’re all I see…

 

Did I say that I need you?

Did I say that I want you?

Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see

No one knows this more than me

 

As I come clean….

I wonder everyday, as I look upon your face, uh-huh

Everything you gave

And nothing you would save, oh no

 

Nothing you would take

Everything you gave….

 

Did I say that I need you?

Oh, did I say that I want you?

Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see

No one knows that more than me

And I come clean, ah….

 

Nothing you would take

Everything you gave

Hold me till I die

There is A Pond, In the middle of the forest…

Monday afternoon came along and I was here reading some of the blogs I love and came across a post from¬†stuffmybrainthinks she posted a link to Oprah and Deepak’s Meditation Experience.

I have done meditation in the past, when I was in martial arts our Sensei at the end of the evening would have us sit Seiza, a calm would come over the room. His voice powerful, not loud, just strong….”There is a pond in the middle of the forest it is cool, calm, it has no ripples…” we would sit and over the minutes, some nights just a few some more than we knew our knees could handle; almost instantly I could feel my heart rate slow, my breathing light, the sweat dripping down the crease in my back, my knees soften, palms up, I could feel the heat radiating away from my body….”There is a pond in the middle of the forest it is cool, calm, it has no ripples…”

I decided to check it out, it’s free why not?? My mind could definitely use some structured relaxation, what an oxymoron that statement is.

Tuesday night, after a rather long day at work, I decided that  I was going to give this a try. I took a warm bath after getting everything ready for the next morning trying to let my mind be free of the things that were ahead of me, wanting this 20 minutes just for me.

 

¬†¬†Oprah gave a very short introduction, Deepak provided the mantra for the session LAM ¬†(http://ar-yoga.com/feel/chakras/root-chakra/)¬†I am security¬†the centering though: My security and peace are within. The light piano music allowed me to only focus on the mantra, LAM…LAM…LAM. Laying in my bed in Savasana, the kids breathing heavily in their beds, Scott not home from class just yet, the dog had taken up residence in the recliner.Before I knew it the bell went off and the time had passed. I was so very calm, I crawled under the covers and had the best night sleep I have had in a very long time. I repeated this process on Wednesday night and then Thursday as the email for the next day comes in at 3am; I realize now that I can’t do meditation in the morning, I just fall back to sleep, thankfully traffic was light and I wasn’t late.

This journey to a healthier me I sometimes forget isn’t just a physical and mental adventure, it’s spiritual and emotional. I have to reshape and exercise all aspects of “self”. I am eager to see how this 21 day plan for meditation impacts me as a whole.

 

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