Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Blogaversary to Me!

One year ago today I started this blog and vowed to change my life. 

I already wrote my year in review post, so this one is just to say thank you for reading, commenting, following, and supporting me in this journey. Hoping to be a more routine blogger in 2014 and give my little piece of the internet the attention she deserves! (Hense the new look & I actually managed adding pictures to recent posts, woo hoo!)

Happy birthday, baby blog! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Year of Change.

I've alluded to 2013 as my "year of change" several times before, not only on this blog but in everyday conversation when people have asked me about my journey and various parts of it over the year.  Truly, in every possible way, life changed for me this year.

Firstly, my small changes added up to big ones.  I cut out pop (soda, Coke, whatever you call it wherever you are) completely cold turkey on January 1st.  I went from a 32 oz fountain Pepsi for my lunch every day to water and tea.  I was always a tea drinker but I also saturate the stuff with Sweet-n-Low which I try to avoid.  I have drank more water in this year than I have previously in my lifetime, and that includes pool water and bathtub nonsense as a kid.  Just a few days left of this year and I will have been pop-free for 365 full days and that's pretty awesome.  Sure, there are days I could KILL for a fountain Diet Coke from McDonalds (you all know they taste better there and I'm not really sure why, but I digress), but I don't.  Baby step number 1 - accomplished.

Baby step 2 was tracking my food on MyFitnessPal throughout the year.  I had an almost 300 day streak going before the cruise and one day with my crazy back and forth, day and night shifts I happened to miss logging in at some point for that day and I threw my whole streak off!  I was angry about that one but I also knew I'd be on a cruise ship at the end of that month and I wouldn't have phone access and the streak would have ended anyway.  But really, tracking food and knowing exactly what you're putting in your mouth is another huge part of the battle.  I've heard so many times "you can't outwork a bad diet" and it's so true.  I try to remind myself of that when there are temptations around and *most* of the time it works.  I've also become a big fan of "everything in moderation"… and that includes moderation.  I was so strict on my diet, eating, counting calories and comparing my fats/carbs/protein ratios that at one point it was a little over the top.   I think I've found a healthy balance and am aware of what is good for me to eat, what certainly is not, and what I can have in moderation and still keep myself on track.  I've let loose a bit with my diet over the last few weeks with the holidays.  I'm human, I'm ever evolving and learning about myself and my body.  I can fix what I've done and I'm certainly a far cry from what I was at this time last year.

Christmas 2012 vs Christmas 2013

This year also included me being tired of being tired all the time.  I was incredibly unhealthy with a BMI (body mass index) of 42 and I am now at 32.8.  I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without trying to hide how winded I was and just accepted I was going to be a big girl all my life.  I was giving up without even trying.  

When I decided I was going to run a marathon I thought I could do it just because I figured if I had walked a half marathon with not much training that I could finish a marathon with *some* training.  While a marathon is quite literally two half marathons, it's so much  more.  The first half and the second half are two completely different beasts, I don't care if it's your first or tenth I'm sure you'd agree with me.  That second half took everything I had inside of me to not quit going and it was after 30 weeks of following my training plan and being 55 pounds lighter than I had started.  Not only have I gotten physically stronger this year, but mentally as well.  You can't finish a marathon just using your legs, I'll tell you that.  I don't know that I can accurately describe it unless you've done it, but it's way more than your legs being able to keep you moving and upright for 26.2 miles.

I began a new career as an ICU nurse this year on my way to going to Nurse Anesthesia school.  After being a surgical nurse in the OR for the first two years of my career I knew I wanted to go back to school but didn't know for what. I thought initially about a Family Nurse Practitioner program and applied to a few but didn't  get in.  Yes, the girl who was always on the honor roll and finished in the top 10% of her high school and college class got rejected from grad school.  Three of them to be exact. It was a punch in the gut by reality but I soon realized it was because it wasn't what I was supposed to be doing.  I found myself being more and more interested in what the anesthetists were doing and thinking how much I wanted to do critical care when I got out of school but at the time I couldn't get in anywhere.  I took a chance and applied for my current job in the cardiac intensive care unit at one of the country's best children's hospitals and was quickly rejected due to my lack of experience anywhere outside of the OR.  A short time later I was contacted by a nurse recruiter about the same position and I gladly accepted an interview.  I knew it was the perfect opportunity and I would have some amazing experiences (heart transplants, ECMO, lines and drips!) and I could learn so much!  It also is a path to going to anesthesia school so I took the opportunity and ran with it.  Fortunately I kept my other position in the OR and I work as often as I want to and help them out and help out my wedding fund in the mean time.

Speaking of wedding fund… the ENGAGEMENT!  Oh yes, the epic events of September 27th I won't ever forget.  It was legitimately the best day of my life - I had a massage, slept in, Starbucks, went out to lunch before and obviously not knowing what was coming.  My love got down on his knee with the most perfect ring and asked me to marry him.  I still remember everything about that day and I hope I'll never forget.  Wedding planning has been exciting and I can't wait to see our vision come to life!  I'm thinking of 12/13/14 and putting on my dress and imagining how I'll look.  How I'm so glad I've spent this year changing and that I'm determined to be in the best shape of my life for our day.  Don't worry, you all will be along for the ride :)

I know I talk about how much your support has meant to me over this year but I do mean it.  I don't just update to update and I don't post pictures on Instagram or the Facebook page just to show off.  I do it to keep myself accountable and I love hearing from you all that I've inspired YOU!  I was the girl browsing the pages, wondering where to start and how I was going to go from couch potato to marathoner but I did it.  I think that's the most important part is having the big goals but breaking it down into smaller ones.  The big picture can be scary and overwhelming.  The baby steps, the small goals, the day by day and meal by meal are things you can control in the moment.  You can make choices that will affect you in that moment but will also have profound meaning to the bigger picture.  It all adds up.  One step at a time, one meal at a time, one workout at a time.  So thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do, every encouragement and every follow, like, and comment do mean a lot to me and motivates me to keep going as well.  If I can do it, anyone can.  Even you.  Believe!

I listed goals in my "The Beginning of the End" very first post last December and they were:
"My official 2013 goals:
1. Finish the marathon.  Also, finish a half marathon at the appropriate point in my training schedule (if there is one within good distance from here and it falls in the schedule.  I don't want to try to do one of those again if I'm only built up to 5-6 miles and hurt myself or feel overwhelmed and want to quit).
2. Run/jog a 5K start to finish.  No walking.
3. Lose at least 50 pounds for the year.  Total goal for weight loss is 90 pounds (153).
4. Track my food.
5. Quit sneak eating.  
6. Quit drinking pop.
7. Learn new, healthy recipes that even Kyle will enjoy.  He's one of the pickiest eaters I know!
8. Take the time to cook.  Reduce the amount of times we eat out substantially.
9. Finish the whole 90 days of P90X.  Last time I did it I only got about 6 weeks in and I ended up brushing it off with a schedule/job change.  It was doing wonders and I could see results and that didn't even keep me going.
10. Keep only supportive people around me."

How did I do?  Check off numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8(ish), and 10. Pretty good!  I will still occasionally sneak eat.  I try to remember to put my purse in my trunk so I don't stop and pick something up on the way home and try to steer clear of the LaRosa's pizza in the cafeteria at work but I'm not always successful.  I've decreased my "sneak eating" by about 95% so I will call that a win I guess.  So we'll go with an 8/10 for goals.  I started doing meal prepping in July when I started working with my trainer, Sara, and that does wonders for accountability as well.  We still eat out a fair amount but I make better choices when we do a majority of the time.  I didn't finish P90X because I got too bored, same with Insanity.  I just couldn't get into it.   I did do exceptionally well keeping only supportive people around and I acquired a whole lot more via Instagram and my Facebook page that I'm so lucky to have!  I've made some of my closest friends through Instagram and the support I get from that outlet alone is more than I could have ever hoped for.  Don't knock it til you try it!  Putting yourself out in front of the world isn't easy but it is certainly motivating.  

Now onto the next year which I anticipate to be even bigger and better than 2013.  I don't know how but I just have a feeling going into the next year strong will bring me closer to my goals and 2014 will fly by just like 2013 did.  

Goals for 2014:
1. Lose another 30-40 pounds and get to goal weight. (161-151)
2.  Finish my second marathon May 4th, the Cincinnati Flying Pig - any time will be better than the first, I'm sure. PR! Training starts next week!
3.  Sub 30 minute 5K.
4. Finish my first sprint triathlon.  Shooting for June 28th in the town where I live (Mason Sprint Triathlon)
5. Get Zumba certified to be an instructor!
6. Be in the best shape of my life for my wedding. Knock everyone's socks off in my dress :)
7. Get applications in for CRNA school by fall due dates to University of Cincinnati, Texas Wesleyan and potentially Otterbein.
8.  Read at least 5 books for the year.  Not a lot for you big readers but I'm also banking overtime this whole year to pay for this blessed event so down time is precious!
9. Pay it forward throughout the year in small ways as often as possible.
10. Keep going, never look back, keep inspiring others.

What goals do you have for the year?  2014 is right around the corner and I'm planning on making it mine!  Here's to a healthy-happy-injury free-PR setting-best foot forward New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Driven, Fearless, Unstoppable - Meet Paige!

Hey you guys!

Christmas is coming and I logged 66 hours working this last week.  I finally got a day off and I paired up with one of my favorite bloggers (that I know in real life!  Imagine that!) to do a feature story on her and her ever growing business.  Meet Paige of PaigeyCakes Social, a native of Marion, Ohio and a former 9-5 girl who took a chance on herself and her gut feelings and started her own business this year! We sat by each other in Bio 2 my senior/her junior year of high school and she was a blast. We've kept in touch through Facebook and Instagram since high school and I've loved watching this girl take off! As a mid 20's girl myself, I can't imagine doing what she did, but it sure is paying off for her!  I got a quick interview with the lady of the hour and here's what she had to say on taking risks, building her business, and being an all around bad-ass.  Meet Paige!

Paige Moseley, founder of PaigeyCakes Social

What made you decide to start your own business?

Honestly, I always pictured owning my own business, or being in charge..I just didn't have any clarity on what I would be doing exactly! When other kids wanted to play "school", I was playing young executive.  I have a creative & rebellious personality so I HATED being told what to do and how to do leaves just one option, right? The thought of NOT doing something I absolutely loved was world shattering to me! I am also a firm believer in gut feelings. Something was just gnawing at my soul. I seriously called my boss at midnight and told her I was leaving to start my own business. I had what was in my bank account and a dream. 

Where did your idea for Paigey Cakes Social come from?

Well obviously I was blogging and people were really receptive to it. In the blogging process, I found myself using social media religiously to distribute the posts and connect with my followers/fans. It just kept snowballing from there. I saw what I could do with my little brand, basically just my name & my writing, and wanted to help small to medium sized businesses do the same. I saw a HUGE void and I am trying to fill it. I mean...if I have over 500 followers on Twitter, there is no excuse for a COLLEGE to only have 200. Someone is dropping the ball. 

Where do you see your business going?

I don't want to put a cap on it, lets put it this way..... I want to be a very very profitable small business. In a year ( 6 months if I keep this hustle up) I will be in an office setting, only it will be a creative space! Art on the walls, music playing, other creative things around me creating really amazing content & service for our clients. It will be a social media agency in essence, but I am also in the process of branding myself & my message. I just promise it will be something very different...not something you have seen in this town before. 

Do you feel supported by friends and family taking such a risk in starting your own business and leaving your 9-5 job?

Unbelievably supported. I couldn't ask for a more supportive family, fiance' & friends. Even people I barely know, just through my blog,  are my cheerleaders. Hell, even my old boss is a huge supporter. It's really moving and honestly, I owe 90% of it to them. The other 10% is just raw ambition. That is why I am always trying to give back. Give the universe back just a portion of what it has given to me in the form of family and friends.

What has been the hardest part in being a small business owner?

....I'm just going to be honest here because I know a lot of new business owners wont admit it. The HARDEST part is cash flow. How much you make & bring in each month is directly related to how hard you are willing to work. Which is the most brilliant part about being small business owner. Even when I am having a good month, bills are paid, money in savings, business tools are covered and I have money for extras..I can still make ONE more phone call & make more. There is no roof. I lean into the fear. I welcome it. One of my favorite quotes is  'Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't"..A lot of people aren't willing to go without. I have to take chances and KNOW it is going to work out. I'll use the last $20 in my "extra" account to go to a restaurant, knowing that I will meet the owner & close that deal. And I do. 

What words of advice would you give for starting your own business? 

Just f*&king do it. Do not tow the line. Do not follow protocol. If you love what you do, others will love it with you! I seriously believe in myself so much, it is irrational to some people. lol you have to. If you don't.. don't even think about starting a business. I am will fail.  Work on that first, then come back to the idea. 

How important is social media marketing for other businesses? What do you tell someone looking to get their names out there about what you do and why they need you? (because we know they do, even if they don't)

It is completely imperative. Social Media Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and that race started 5 years ago. Your fans/clients/potential clients are all on the sidelines cheering for you AND YOU AREN'T EVEN IN THE RACE!  You haven't even started warming up. I tell them they needed to start using social media seriously and effectively, yesterday. The huge & devastating misconception they have  is they think Social Media is just something their teenage daughter is on. They know they have to have it, but they don't know why. And if you don't know why, you aren't doing it right. In fact, stop right now..because no social media is better then bad social media.  If they don't get serious about it NOW, we will be having a completely different conversation a year from now. I would tell them to hire an agency to handle it for them. It doesn't have to be PaigeyCakes Social..but it should be. Take the money you are spending on radio & print ads, cut that in half and use the other half on social media, if not more. Marion is small, no one business is dominating the social media game yet, but in a few months...they will. And it will be my client. 

Tell us something we don't know!

Oh gosh! I am pretty much an open book. I guess it would be how sensitive I am. Seriously, I have cried twice today. I cry when I am mad, when I am happy, when I am sad.All of my emotions are tied to my damn tear ducts. You can be a strong women & still be an emotional woman. I think how deeply I feel things makes me great at what I do. I really care. A funny thing starts to happen when you care about people.....they start to care about you to. 

Thanks Paige and congrats on all of your success!  Not only is she kicking ass in her business, but in the gym as well.  (I couldn't leave that part out of this fitness blog!)  AND she just got ENGAGED this week so I'd say she's got it going on in all aspects of life right now.  I'm so proud of her and to call her a friend.

What do you think about the guest interview?  Want to see more of these? Let me know.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Year, New you.

Last December when I started this blog I went in with the motto of "new year, new you" to keep me motivated on a daily basis.  I knew things would change for me but not near to the extent I had planned.  I had no idea what I'd look like 50+ pounds down from my current weight and hoped I could cross the finish line of a marathon but couldn't imagine how it would feel and I still can't properly put it into words.

Along the way I've found Advocare, and it's been the basis of my giveaways, become part of my daily routine and something I'm excited about.  I'm going to Success School next month to find out how I can better help others with it and I'm excited to be hosting a New Year's 24 Day Challenge group!  I've got two amazing ladies in various parts of their journey to bettering themselves in already and I'm looking for 8 more!

We will have a private Facebook group to discuss the day to day of the Challenge, answer any questions you may have and share what you're doing to make the most of the first 24 days of the year!  You too could find yourself feeling like I have about this year and all it starts with is the choice to want to change.  YOU have to want to do it for yourself.  YOU have to put in the work.  YOU have to decide what you want.  For me, it was about not feeling like I was going to die walking up a flight of stairs, to be able to be healthy enough to one day have children, to be able to shop in a "normal" store.  This year I cut up my Lane Bryant card and opened a Victoria's Secret one in its place.  I shrank below my "goal" American Eagle jeans that had been sitting in my drawer.  Through the ups and downs I wore a size 14 bridesmaid dress when the previous one I had bought was a 20 or 22.  I pushed myself over the finish line after 26.2 grueling miles to celebrate my birthday and the gift of a new life full of opportunities.

Want in on the 24 Day Challenge?  Visit my Advocare site at and put your order in by 12/27 (with 2 day shipping if you wait til the last minute) to have your products in time for January 1st! Have questions?  E-mail me at  Once I see your order I'll invite you to the private Facebook page and we'll get this party started!

I believe in me and I believe in YOU.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sometimes things need a bit of tweaking.

My intention to complete the run streak prior to starting the next round of marathon training has come to a hault.

I did something to my knee this last week and it spent a couple days hurting and being swollen and it still isn't 100%.  I'm not having pain but it just feels strange, like it needs to pop and won't. We babysat my niece and nephew last night and I was on the floor with them and to get on my knees to play and change diapers made me glad to have taken the last few and next few days off.  I can't describe it any other way in that it just feels weird.

I have 3 weeks until Flying Pig training starts - 3 weeks!

I'm getting nervous and excited to begin this next round of training.  Nervous for the weather and cold mixed with more long runs than before but excited to mix in tempo runs and hill work (I say this now, will regret later).  I've certainly enjoyed my life without a structured training plan built in this last month and a half but it's go time again and I'm thinking the typical end of the year, resolution making time will get me the energy and excitement to get off the ground (or couch) and running that I need.

I was reading my friend Kim's 1 year blogaversary post over at Fabulous Fit Foodie ( - I also need to learn how to use HTML) and was thinking how my own 1 year blogaversary is coming up this December 30th.  This also happens to be day 1 of marathon training round 2 which I find ironic.  I was reading my first post on this blog that I wrote that day and going over the goals I had set for myself, most of which I have achieved over the last year.  I'll save the specifics for the year in review post I have planned, but on this lazy day I feel accomplished and proud of this year and the changes I have made.  Again, more on all of that to come.

Last night we had the privilege of babysitting for my nephew and niece for the first time since the night my niece was born last January.  It has been a trying year in their house with lots of food intolerance and one little lady who refused to take a bottle all year, but my sister and brother-in-law enjoyed their first night out in a very long time.  We decorated a gingerbread house, ate candy while doing so, made and enjoyed cookies, had pizza, watched Winnie the Pooh's Christmas story and Daniel Tiger.  I watched my 11 month old niece devour 3 pieces of pizza and a whole fruit cup and gave her a bath.  We walked around the house holding hands and getting puppy kisses.  We read bedtime stories and gave goodnight hugs and kisses.  I love those nights. We read the elf on the shelf book and all snuggled on the couch. One of the greatest joys I have in life is being an aunt.

We are having friends over today for our annual lasagna/Love Actually holiday party.  This is the 3rd year we've done this with our friend/my maid of honor Christina and it's one of my favorite days of the year.  We do something similar for Halloween with Hocus Pocus as well and we always have a fun time.  This year her boyfriend Brian will join us and we're happy to have him join our delicious party.

Enjoy the holiday season and I hope each one of you are able to spend time with your families and friends to celebrate together.  We have our first family Christmas this next weekend already and I'm excited to spend some time with our other niece and nephews as well.  This coming Friday will be one year until our wedding and we decided to go on a date to celebrate :)


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

24 day challenge results!

As promised, my Advocare 24 day challenge results post is here!

I reluctantly shared my photos showing the difference from day 1 to day 24 on my Facebook and Instagram pages.  I haven't ever posted shots like those myself publicly and it was pretty scary to hit that "post" button.  I was hesitant but know that it would be no different than posting a bathing suit shot and one day I'll be bikini ready and they will again make for nice progress shots.

As far as the challenge goes I lost all 8 pounds I gained from vacation despite being slightly off track in my eating and exercising.  I also lost 7.5 inches in total!  1/2 inch off each arm, 1 1/2 inch from my bust, 2 1/2 inches from my waist, 1 1/2 inch off my hips, 1/2 inch off each thigh, 1/4 inch off each calf. I was just super fluffy.  I woke up today feeling pretty lean and happy with my run and time at Zumba last night.  We've been killing it lately and I'm sweating up a storm each class.

I talked with my favorite instructor, Leah, last night about potentially becoming an instructor myself as my next sort of adventure after the triathlon this summer.  She was pumped to hear about it and I'm sure will be able to lead me in the right direction should I choose to pursue it.  I'm excited but nervous since I'm not the greatest dancer and not that creative with making up new things for people to do in class since doing the same ones over and over will get boring - she assured me there are plenty of youtube videos out there to learn from so I'm glad to hear there are resources and ideas out there for us non-creative people who just like to dance!

I've had some interest after this in doing a New Year's challenge group and I'm totally game for hosting one!  We'll have a private Facebook page to discuss and share how you're doing/feeling/meal ideas or whatever else comes up and hold each other accountable!  I'll put it out on the page again in a few weeks when it's time to order to have what you need in time to start the year but just putting the bug in your ears now in case you're interested or have questions about any of it.  Feel free to message me on my Facebook page or e-mail me at

I was excited to announce the winner of the giveaway and am excited for Rachel K to have her cleanse on the way!  I'm putting an order in this weekend and will have it to you ASAP once I receive it :) Thanks again everyone for entering and supporting me here and in other social media (and real life!) outlets.

I've been sucessful in the Run Streak so far and have run every day for the last week! I've PR'd my mile time (9:28!) and ran 2 miles in 20:48 the other night.  I'm getting faster every day and will be starting to work on getting 2-3 miles in more days than single miles to get a better base for marathon training that starts THIS MONTH.  Ahhh - December, where did you come from?!

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving with family and friends and look forward to the holiday season to come.  My nephew turns 3 next week and we have our first Christmas celebration with Kyle's family next weekend as well.  This weekend we're having my maid of honor Christina and her boyfriend Brian over for our 3rd annual lasagna and Love Actually watching party - here's to hoping I don't get called in!  I've got a work streak going too where I either work or am on call for a total of 14 days.  Weddings don't pay for themselves!  I'm almost halfway there :) Last two nights on night shift starts tonight then I'm back on day shift after this weekend of being on call. I finished my PALS and ACLS courses for work and now comes GRE studying to add to the mix so I can get my applications started for anesthesia school.

I'm sure a full 2013 recap post will be in order in the coming weeks but I have felt extraordinarily blessed this entire year and I don't know how 2014 will beat it, but I've got high hopes.  Just thinking of finishing marathon number 2, my first triathlon AND walking down the aisle gets me giddy and I know that somehow 2014 will be even greater than 2013.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I'm going streaking!

I've been seeing a lot of posts from Runner's World about their holiday running streak and people participating in this - some for the first time, some for several years in a row. I've been throwing it back and forth for the last few days about doing this and concurrently doing the Elf For Health holiday challenge concurrently.

I stumbled upon both holiday challenges via Instagram. Elf For Health (#elf4health) is a 4 week long challenge via social media outlets where you are paired with another "elf" for the first two weeks and another the last two weeks. I was paired with Julia from south Texas for my first few weeks and have had fun e-mailing with her. You are to be there for your elf for accountability, new ideas, and for the fun of meeting new people. The challenges range from going meat-less for a day to new circuit workouts, a day of 100 burpees (UGH) and days to unplug, de-clutter your inbox, and treating yourself. I think all of these things are awesome to focus outside of the craziness that the holidays can bring and of course the new workouts will be fun, today's unsubscribing blitz was like a weight off my shoulders, and I have my eye on a special little treat for myself for that specific day. I went meatless yesterday to kick off the challenge and it was a little difficult for me despite my almost year of vegetarianism back in high school. Then it meant eating whole cans of green beans and corn for meals and lots of bread. I did manage to go all day meat-free but I felt very hungry not having enough protein planned for the day. I did a lot of small meals through the day to get me through and was lucky I was home all day yesterday to eat when I felt like it.

I've been tossing around the Runner's World run-streak the last few days but was nervous about fitting in a run EVERY day for 35 days. Then I thought about how easy it is now to go a mile. One single mile even on the longest of days takes 10-12 minutes of my day and I feel like there is certainly time for that on a daily basis. Minutes of my day. Minutes. I have honestly only ran twice since my marathon and I chose a much more difficult training plan for this second time around than the first where I was only hoping to make it across the finish line. I know I have to train better to survive the hills and do pace, hill, and more distance/endurance training than before. The long runs start further from the get go and I need to get ready for this training. What better way than doing the streak with no real plan other than to just go at least a mile and see how I feel from there. My marathon training cycle starts the last week of December and I want to be ready.

Beyond all that, this is the first holiday season I've gone into worrying about. Everyone talks about holiday weight gain and quite honestly the way I'd eat during the holidays was no different than any other day in my previous life so I never worried about what I'd gain, doing extra workouts (ha!) or have any sort of plan to get through. This year is so different for so many reasons but I'm honestly a bit nervous. I'm lusting after some turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, and pie. I'll have all of these things - I will! BUT, I'm going in with a plan. A portion plan! One piece of one kind of pie. One plate of the things I want. No the plate will not be mounded high with 3 scoops of potatoes. Then, after all is said and done, I will run. I will stay moving and keep track of what I'm eating. You can do the same and walk away not feeling like a busted can of biscuits, happier with yourself, and still enjoy the day and season upon us. I for one am so excited to see my family, especially those who haven't seen me since the holidays last year and the progress I've made. I always dove straight into the rolls and we all have those family members that just ALWAYS have something to say about everything. I was no exception, and I can't count the number of times I heard those rolls were going straight on my hips and thighs. The sad part was that I was probably 9 or 10 when I first remember those comments being said out loud and it makes me sad that #1 I had a food problem even as a child and #2 my family decided rather than make supportive comments or healthier options available they chose to make negative comments to a young girl. I loved food more than I cared about what they said but it's no wonder people have so many body image issues.

Anywho, those are my plans to get me through the holidays and into the new year and new marathon training plan. What are your plans for surviving the holidays? What will you do each day to guarantee your success? 10 sit ups every day? Daily dog walks? Doing healthier versions of your favorite holiday foods? Let me know! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's giveaway time!

I announced on my Training Lindsay page recently that I'd be having a giveaway starting this weekend!  Woop woop!  I decided on a "choose your prize" type giveaway so whoever the winner is gets a choice of their prize.  Since I topped the 200 followers on Facebook and am just a few away from 700 on Instagram (holy moly!) I thought it was worth celebrating! That.. and I chose my training plan this week for marathon #2!

I'll be doing my Advocare 24 day challenge review after I finish this week but all the prizes you have to choose from are components of the challenge as well.  I'm planning on doing a group challenge in January to get the year started right so I figured it was a good way to get people excited about it as well with this giveaway!  Your choices in prizes are: A box of Spark in the flavor of your choosing, a bottle of Catalyst, or a 10 day cleanse package.

You can enter using the Rafflecopter here on this post or on my Training Lindsay page.  Winners will be contacted on 12/2 and the contest runs now through next Sunday, 12/1.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week and GOOD LUCK :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 18, 2013

Long time, no blog.

Hello all you wonderful, beautiful readers!  Long time, no blog!

The last you heard from me (in this fashion, anyway) I just finished my very first marathon and was looking forward to my Disney Cruise vacation.

Well, the cruise has come and gone, life has begun again, and wedding planning is in full swing!

Firstly, let me just say that I felt every bit a princess on our cruise and I would highly recommend sailing with Disney!  We had never been on a cruise before and although we did a short trip it was 1000% magical.  Before you ask, yes we went alone, with no kids, and yes there were other couples doing the same!  Disney is the top honeymoon destination in the WORLD and at our dining table alone there was another couple 6 months married (Hi Rachel and Resha!) and a newlywed couple who had done a few days at the park followed by the cruise.  There is SO MUCH to do, definitely adult only things as well.  We enjoyed a little bit of everything, a lot bit of the food, and of course came back with sunburns and happy.  When we docked beside two Carnival ships in Nassau our boat was towering the other two and there just really was no comparison.  Everything was spotless, the crew was fabulous, and our stateroom was spacious and the veranda view waking up in the morning was the best.

The morning we were leaving we officially booked our wedding ceremony and reception site!  We will be married at the Columbus Athenaeum on 12/13/14 with our reception in the ballroom - every one of my fairytale dreams come true!  We also booked our photographer - Erica Coffman of Erica Kay Photography.  You can check out her work at and I've been obsessed with her (in a non-weird way) since I saw her work on Instagram.  The power of social media!  We met the night before our cruise and I felt like we were old friends.  I can't wait for our engagement shoot!

So I left off after the last marathon post about how I wasn't sure if I'd ever do it again - well... I am.  9 days after Columbus I registered for the Cincinnati Flying Pig marathon on May 4th, 2014.  Yes, I'm a psycho.  I couldn't bring myself to ONLY do the half now that I've done a full.  I'm a glutton for punishment.  It's a hilly course and will be much more challenging than Columbus because it was so flat.  I'm utilizing a shorter training cycle this time and incorporating speed/tempo runs with hill drills.  We have a great Metro Park close by that has a giant hill that will be perfect for the torture I'm about to inflict on myself.  I also signed up for the Heart Mini half marathon in March as part of training.

After the Pig I'll immediately begin training for the Mason Sprint Triathlon that's June 29th and will be doing that with one of the sweetest people I've ever met - my girlfriend Laura that I met via Instagram.  She's going to travel down and we'll be first time triathletes together! She's got one of the biggest hearts of anyone I've ever met and we've been communicating for several months now.  I'm so excited to have a Tri buddy!  I found an 8 week training plan for that which will fit perfectly just after the marathon.  I'll be intermittently biking and swimming as cross training during this marathon training cycle so I won't be completely lost in those areas (hopefully!).  I'm so glad to have plans in place through the first 6 months of 2014.  I've been attempting Insanity since we got back from the cruise and I'm just not loving it.  I'll do it some days, others I won't.  It's not like I can't complete the workouts, I'm just not interested in them.  I did my first post-marathon run the other night where I just turned on my music with no set distance to go and just let my legs carry me.  My average pace was in the 10:40's and on the same route from back in April my average pace was 13:20's.  The improvement was mind blowing to me and I was so happy with it.  It was nice to just run and to genuinely WANT to be out there, not because a training plan told me that's what I needed to do that day.  It's crazy how much endurance I've lost but it will come back.  That and the colder weather on my lungs will take some getting used to but I'm excited to train in colder temperatures.  I probably won't say that in a few months :)

I also started the Advocare 24 day challenge the Monday after the cruise.  I've been on it for the last 16 days now and have lost over 6 of the 8 pounds I gained the week of vacation.  I've been about 80-90% on plan and have done well following the program and meal guide.  I haven't exercised as much as I had been but I worked or was on call for 10 days in a row so that put a damper on things because I was exhausted.  I did it to myself, but I also have a wedding dress to buy!  I'm excited to see my final results and my goal was to drop into the 180's by the end of the challenge and if all goes as it has been I should  hit that goal!  I remember being 175 pounds my sophomore year of high school then 220 the next thing I knew so it's exciting to hit the next mile stone.

Speaking of mile stones... my tattoo.  So I didn't expect that we were actually going to *finally* get engaged and start planning and paying for wedding things but that's obviously taking precedent right now. I'm still planning on getting it in the future but it's on hold at the moment.  Tattoos are expensive and I know you get what you pay for so I don't want to walk in the cheapest place just to get it done.

I think that's about all I've got for now without blabbing on too much.  I've got 8 days left of my 24 day challenge and I'll do a full recap and my results at the end of it.

Have a splendid week!

Monday, October 21, 2013

I am a marathoner! - 2013 Columbus Marathon recap

As I'm sure you all know by now from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or actually seeing me in person - I did it!  I crossed the finish line after 26.2 miles (or 26.6 as the Garmin said of the girl who finished beside us) of pain, exhaustion, questionable insanity, lots of sweat and a few tears.

Race weekend began Saturday when Kyle and I got up early to head to Columbus to go to the race expo, see a wedding venue (probably THE venue! eek!), go to his sister Carrie's halloween party in the afternoon followed by a dinner at Spaghetti Warehouse with my family and some friends in the evening.  I thought planning such a busy day would help keep my nerves at bay and make me tired enough to fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow that night.  Boy was I wrong about that last one, but it was a really fun day anyway.

The expo was fantastic!  Previously I felt the 2011 expo was very crowded, too many vendors stuffed in one place and a maze to get back to the actual packet pickup area.  This year I give nothing but praises for how organized the expo was, just enough vendors to find what you needed or wanted last minute, clear directions to packet pickup which was on the balcony level of the space and ease of parking.  The packets were all upstairs and we met up with our friends Christina and Brian who were there to pick up her race pack as well. (She did the half! Yay Christina!)  We did a little shopping together then I went up to pick my packet and race shirt. We went early Saturday morning around 10 so there wasn't too much of a crowd and I didn't have to wait for anything, just walked right up!  I noticed when I got my packet there was a "Happy Birthday!" sticker by my information sticker and thought that was nice.  I felt the packet had something else in there too but I thought it was just the timing device on the bib until I opened the envelope to find a "It's My Birthday!" button to wear for the race!  How cool!  I was tickled pink by this gesture and I immediately put on my button to wear around for the rest of the day.  Another race director at one of the booths saw it as we were walking out and took a picture to use for her own race and thought it was a great gesture as well.

We went to tour the wedding venue after that and we were both very pleased with what we saw and are going to check out one more place when we are up next week in Columbus before we leave for our cruise.  I'm excited to set a date and move forward with the planning process!

Carrie's halloween party was at 2 o'clock and although it was raining and cold we had a good time mostly inside since the weather wasn't cooperating.  I was Snow White and Kyle went as Ron Burgundy from Anchorman.  My costume is perfect for our cruise and my dream is for just one little girl to ask for my autograph!  After halloween fun we headed to dinner for carb loading and last minute well wishes from my family.  My good friend Bianca came all the way from Indianapolis to see me and catch a quick glimpse of me at the halfway point of the race before she had to head back but it was so nice of her to come and to see her!  She was with our other friend Laura who was there to see her dad and sister also participate in the half marathon.  Jenn and Nate came as well as my cousins Toby, David, his wife Jordan and their cute little girl Chloe, my Aunt Susan, Uncle Ron, step-dad Paul, brother Nick, and my Grandma Thompson.  Needless to say I felt very loved and special for so many people to want to come wish me well and have a great meal!

After dinner we went to our hotel and I specifically booked a nice place so I knew I'd have a very comfortable bed to sleep on pre-race.  Well, I was right about the comfy bed - probably the best bed I've ever attempted to sleep on in my life!  But the sleeping was pretty much non-existant.  I worked night shift Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights, got woken up earlier than I needed to be each of those days and only slept 9AM-1PM on Friday and had gotten up early Saturday to go to the expo. I thought the combination of these plus the busy day would guarantee a great nights sleep but I was so wrong.  My heart was pounding out of my chest, I couldn't shut my brain off and I was just plain nervous.  The last time I looked at the clock was 11:15 and I woke up in 45 minute increments until 4:45 and since my alarm was set for 5AM I just got up.  The night before with Kyle's help I wrote all the names of the families I would be running for on my forearms, one for each mile.  The only exception was my dad who got the first and last miles.  It was probably the most emotional part of the whole thing.  Thinking of these people who have made their way into my lives because of Huntington's disease or are associated in some way made me feel sad because I had so many that I was easily able to list but also because there are so many more that I ran out of miles to list names.  I kept saying their names over and over in my head to where they were memorized before the end.  In total I raised almost $1200 for the Central Ohio chapter of the Huntington's Disease Society of America and I'm very proud of that and thank everyone who donated for their support!

Race morning began at 4:45AM and I checked all my social media and woke to an array of birthday wishes and lots of luck from all over.  I showered and had my clothes and gear all ready to go the night before so I could just throw everything on.  I knew my Garmin battery would die before the end but I mostly just used it for a timer for eating my sport beans for some fuel after the first hour and every 45 minutes after.  I put my race shirt on, clipped my bib, ate my bagel and laced my shoes and off we went.  Kyle was my early morning chauffer and we picked up Kendra (@freckledfacedrunner) across the street at the mall parking lot to take her down so she could be close to the start line.  It was FREEZING!  The thermometer read 37 degrees in the car and I wished I had brought an old sweatshirt to wear to throw off at the start to use while we waited to get going.  We got to the starting area very quickly since we didn't have to worry about parking and so that left us in the cold longer than we'd planned but there were lots of other people, buildings, and port-a-potty's to hide in until it was time to get in our corrals.  I met a few people who recognized me from my Training Lindsay Facebook and Instagram accounts who said "hi!" to me and I was just thrilled!  I got a lot of "Happy birthday!"'s and was amped up from the get go despite my sleep situation.  I brought two of my Advocare Slam energy drinks that I usually drink one of before I start running and one after a few hours but didn't take one at the start because I was so hyped up.  I ate a vanilla Honey Stinger wafter and got in my spot in corral D.  I found the 5:30 pace group I was hoping to stay with through the race and put me at a 12:36 minute/mile.  The pace leader was running her 262nd marathon that day (HOLY CRAP) and was energetic and I felt good about keeping up for a long while with them.

Before I knew it 7:25 was showing on my clock and I heard the national anthem being sung.  There was a live band at the start so everyone was excited and dancing the in corrals while taking pictures.  Christina and I were both in that last corral and she was planning on walking the half marathon so she went to find the pace group she wanted to walk with and we separated just before the corrals started moving up.  The Columbus Marathon did a great job of keeping everyone excited and giving everyone a good start experience by having a countdown for each corral at the start line with fireworks for everyone as well!  I don't love fireworks but I knew they were coming so I was okay.  And just like that... I was running a marathon.

Kyle did a great job of organizing my "fans" around the city.  He and Christina's boyfriend Brian would be a mile 9, then we went around a park and came back north to hit mile 12 a block from where they had been standing so they  were there as well.  I knew I would see Bianca and Laura at the half way point, Carrie was going to meet me at 15 to finish with me, my step-mom Jody, Mamaw and brother Tyler would be at the 'Shoe (Ohio State's football stadium for those who aren't Columbus savvy!), and my friends Ashley and Amanda would be somewhere at the end and I knew they had signs which was awesome.  The first few miles were a breeze.  When I looked down at mile 2 I noticed my Garmin was 0.3 miles ahead of where it said I was by the mile marker but I didn't really care at that point (until later when I wanted those 0.3 to be OVER).  When I crossed the 10K mats I knew I was around my pace I wanted to be and was feeling great.  I lost the pace group less than half a mile in because she sped off with her stick of balloons and darted and weaved through the crowd.  I met up with another girl I saw at that pace group sign later at the end and she said that first mile her Garmin had them at like 10:42 so there was no way I was going to crash and burn that early on and I just did my thing.  I knew also that if I was only running the half that I could have run faster and been fine through the first 13.1 but I knew I needed to just keep a consistent pace and finish.  I was glad to see Kyle and Brian, got through to 12 and saw them again with a big smile on my face.

24 of the miles were dedicated to patients at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, home of the first nursing job I ever had.  Mile 19 was the mile for the patient champions of last year and mile 12 was the "Angel Mile" for those kids who had already finished their race.  I know I'm a pediatric nurse in an intensive care setting and we lose some patients but seeing those parents holding signs with pictures of their precious babies and cheering for ME, for all of us out there, just really got to me.  That was my first good cry of the race as I ran by and high fived all of those parents, grandparents, and siblings representing their angels.

I finished the slight up hill to mile 13 and it was there that I saw the finish line as the half marathoners made the turn and were done.  I so, so badly wanted to turn right there.  I was feeling very tired at that point and didn't know if I was going to be able to do what I had just done again.  I crossed the half point in 2:51:18 at a 13:26 minute/mile pace.  My PR for the half is 2:43 so knowing I had to take it a bit easier I felt okay with that time.  I had to keep going up High Street for another 3 miles before I turned to a new street and it just  seemed like forever.  I started run/walking after I crossed the half point and I was eating my sport beans as I was planning but I was just pooped.  I was SO glad to see Carrie at mile 15 and I felt better until about mile 18 shortly after we got through Ohio Stadium.  It was really cool to run down the tunnel and through the end zone but that also meant I had to run UP a ramp to get out of there.  Not my favorite thing at that moment.  I thought my family would be in the stadium but I didn't see them and was sad.  We came around the back side of the stadium to go back to the roadway to keep going and there they were! I got hugs and cheers and all was good for another half mile then I was completely exhausted again.  My pace kept slowing and my body was not used to walking so much and taking the long strides needed to maintain a somewhat decent walking pace. My hip flexors and quads today are KILLING me because of all the walking I wasn't used to.  Carrie suggested I eat some more and all I had was more beans and I  did not want more beans.  She offered to run up to Giant Eagle close by to get me some oranges and I told her not to, that at mile 23.5 I knew there was food.  She was furiously texting and I accused her of telling everyone how badly I was doing (not that the race tracker wasn't posting it for me or anything... haha) and my hunger/angry/low blood sugar was making me very short tempered and I was beyond ready to call it quits. I told her if she went to get oranges that she'd never find me and it was a lost cause. I probably would have sat down in someone's front yard and just quit.  I tried to get a guy with a bike to give me a ride and it wasn't successful.  We turned a corner around mile 22 and there was Kyle and his parents cheering for me and with oranges in hand - tricky Carrie!  Here came the water works again and I gave hugs and got kisses and kept on trucking with oranges furiously going down my throat. I felt IMMENSELY better after that and the pep in my walking step returned to get me through to the end.  At that point I knew there were still lots of people behind us that we saw as we were doubling back  from the stadium but I was not pleased when I got passed by the man who's shirt said he had just turned 70, the guy who's shirt said he finished second to last in the 2012 race and "look at me now" (good for him! I can't be mad at that), and then the 6 hour pace group and shortly before the end the 6:30 pace group too.  Ugh.  Oh well. I knew then I'd finish and really that's all I wanted was that giant, amazing medal.  We met up with a girl who was walking too that I saw with the 5:30 pace group and she had done the whole thing alone and had started walking around the same time I had.  I can't imagine doing it all alone, I wouldn't have made it.  We chatted a bit and were excited to see the "Half a mile to go!" sign after what seemed like eternity.  One girl around us said "did we miss the 24 mile marker... everything looks like a mirage in the desert" and it really did.  At mile 25 I saw Ashley and Amanda with awesome signs and I ran over to hug them and thank them for waiting for me!  I got a picture at the mile marker and I was getting excited to finish this thing.

We turned the corner and saw the finish line and gathered everything I had left inside me to run down that stretch and cross that finish line.  I finished my first marathon in 6 hours, 36 minutes and 43 seconds and my average pace per mile was 15:08.  Not the 12:36 minute/mile I was planning on or even in the 13 minute/mile range but hey.. I finished a MARATHON.  I'm not even mad about it.

I stared at my medal, met up with Kyle, his parents and Ashley and Amanda had made it to the finish as well.  Lots of hugs and pictures were taken and I got my goodie bag and we made the hike to the car.  I had NEVER been so happy to sit down in my life.  I took a quick shower at Carrie's and met up with my step-mom, Mamaw and brother for a steak late lunch/dinner at Longhorn.  So much to be celebrated and I was still in shock at actually having done it.

I don't know if I'll ever do it again but I'll say this - if you want your life to change in every possible way, train for a marathon.  It's more than the weight I've lost, the miles I've run, and the medal.  I know I can honestly do ANYTHING I set my mind to,  I can conquer even my biggest fears.  I can be rid of my insecurities and doubts.  We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit.  This started out as a crazy idea a year ago during a night out with my girlfriends drinking to celebrate my birthday.  Now I'm a whole different person, inside and out, and I've accomplished more in the last 10 months personally, professionally and physically than I ever thought possible.  I have the job I dreamed of, I'm on the path to the future career I want as a Nurse Anesthetist, I'm changing my body in every way possible, and I have put it to the test by completing a marathon.  26.2 miles on foot.  Every minute of all of those miles were moments I'll never forget.  The reasons for doing it on my arms, the money I was able to fundraise to donate to the cause most near and dear to my heart, and my own personal pride I will wear on my heart for the rest of my life.

I say it in every post, and I won't quit.  THANK YOU all so very, very much for allowing me to be a part of your lives, for caring about me and this journey of a lifetime that has only just begun, and for being the greatest support I could ever have hoped for.  I mean it.

I'm going to spend the next two weeks letting my body recover from 30 weeks of training, enjoy our vacation and come back and start November with Insanity and the new year will start sprint triathlon training.  I'm looking at training plans and am already getting excited for this next set of adventures.  I'm not done yet :)

Also, before all of that, I want to remind you all that on November 17th I'll be doing the Hot Chocolate 5K in Columbus as a race ambassador and I would love for you to join me!  Use the code "CBUSMUG10" when you register for extra goodies in your bag!  Come out and show me your stuff! I know you have it in you and I KNOW there are lots of you out there now that have been thinking of doing a 5K (or heck, sign up for the 15K and show me up!) and I'd love if you came out and did it with me!

Today I celebrated all of my victories and birthday with a 90 minute massage, Chipotle, and some of Kyle's mom's homemade chocolate cookies.  I think 26 is going to be even better than 25, if that is even possible.  Bring on love, marriage, honeymoons, wedding dresses, and the best version of myself that I've ever known!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

560 miles on these legs.

It's here, it's here... marathon week is here!

I'm as excited as I am nervous.  My last "long run" is behind me and this week its just a few miles here and there before the main event.  Happy week of carb loading to me!  I'm excited to begin my 26th year off the way I've pictured myself and my life - healthy and happy.  I've said it before, but 2013 has truly been a year of change for me.  I've maintained my weight loss even though I haven't been eating perfectly.  My body has "fluffed" up a bit but my weight is the same as a month ago.  That's the carbs showing up :)  I'm going to take after the marathon and through our cruise to rest and recoup from the 30 weeks of beating I've put on my body and come back rested, recharge and ready to not only do a round of Insanity but I'm going to be doing an Advocare 24 day challenge as well! I'll be posting more about that and hoping to get a group together as well who want support one another and see the fabulous results we will all have before the holidays roll around.  I'm determined to lose another 7 pounds for the year to bring my total up to 60 pounds lost in one years time.

Tonights run I simply just let my legs take me the pace they wanted to go.  I didn't want to push hard (nor did I really want to run tonight at all but I knew I couldn't miss another run.  Besides, if I can't finish a 10K willingly now, how will I finish 26.2 next week?! Just go run, Lindsay.  And just like that... I was out the door.) and I didn't want to stress about anything so I just put my headphones in, did NOT use RunKeeper and tried not to pay attention to my watch except for when it beeped at the mile marks so I knew when to turn around.  I ran at an average pace of 11:28 tonight.  It was my fastest 10K time to date and I just went with it.  I'm signed up for the 12:30 min/mile pace group (5 hours, 30 minutes marathon finish time) and hoping to keep up the whole time.  My ability to currently run 11 minute miles with little effort at this point makes me feel that may actually be attainable for me to do.  I was nervous and had that time as a pace goal for awhile now but in all honesty as long as I finish before they shut the streets down and I get moved to the sidewalk it will be a victory.  I will be a marathoner.  I will have done what only 10% of people in the world do.

Here's the part where I talk about mediocrity.  I used to live the day to day, going to work, coming home, eating dinner and going to bed.  Maybe catch a movie on date night on Friday's.  Nothing extraordinary or special or truly meaningful of my time was happening.  Then I get this crazy idea that I'm tired of living this way, I want to change and I'm going to run a marathon.  Why?  Why not?  You can go about your days living without meaning or purpose or you can decide to do something great with the time we have on this earth.  You can decide that you don't want to live a mediocre life.  Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with comfortable and mediocre.  But there is something wrong with not living your life fully.  I find myself consistently setting goals for myself whether they be physical goals, educational goals, or the like.  I know I want to finally be able to finish a round of Insanity.  Last time I "tried" I barely got through the 25 minute fit test in what took me 45 minutes to do so.  I want to do a sprint triathlon next spring.  I want to look my best in my wedding dress.  I want to have a body capable of carrying a healthy pregnancy one day.  I want to be able to play with my future children. I want to live a long, healthy life.  I want to be a nurse anesthetist.  I want to be the best at what I do.  I want to live fully.

I've put 560 miles on these legs since the end of March, 29 weeks ago. I was so proud today when Kyle and I were in the car and he had his hand on my thigh when I was driving and said "these are some runners legs".  He is so right.  My legs are strong.  My legs have carried me at my heaviest and in my worst of runs.  My legs have proven my brain wrong time and time again when I didn't know if I would be able to finish a run.  I am so proud of these legs.

Believe there will be a full race report soon after the marathon.  I'm sure there will be a lot of tears at the finish line but every single tear will have been worth it.  I have exceeded my fundraising goal but of course am still accepting donations in my dad's honor for the Huntington's Disease Society of America on my FirstGiving page.  ( )

As always, I am greatful beyond measure for the support I've gotten through this blog, my Training Lindsay Facebook and Instagram pages and from your donations.  I pray and hope for a cure for Huntington's Disease everyday, count my blessings twice in that I do not carry the gene, and think of my dad who lives and pushes on every single day defying the odds and battling the disease.  I'm proud to be a charity athlete and to be able to do my part to support the cause.

Next time you hear from me... I'll be a MARATHONER!


Monday, October 7, 2013

29 weeks later.

You remember that post back in March from week 1 of marathon training... that one where I said "goodbye to the next 30 weeks of my life"... yeah, that last week is rapidly approaching.  Hello week 29 of marathon training!

But, before that, lets just talk about how, since my last post, I got ENGAGED!  Yes, that's right.  Over 5 years with the same fabulous man and we are officially getting married.  You dream about the day you get engaged since you are a little girl and imagine all the ways it could happen, what the ring will look like and how you'll feel.  Kyle and I met working in a restaurant in college and it's only appropriate that he got down on his knee in one as well.  Though it was a MUCH nicer place than the Olive Garden we met working in, it fit us.  The ring... oh baby.  This ring I cannot take my eyes off of. I used to send him pictures of fancy rings all the time because of course it is the most important part of the whole idea of getting married to me.  It's a symbol of us and our commitment to each other and I'd rather have something I love and will cherish for the rest of my life since I'll be wearing it the rest of my life than some insane wedding costing more than I'm worth in life insurance.  Of course I want a crazy awesome David Tutera dream wedding but my ring is breathtaking and pictures don't do it justice.  The sparkle from all sides knocks me off my feet.  I absolutely adore it.  Anywho, I actually had sent him a picture of this insane ring a year ago to his e-mail and he still had it and went to the jeweler and said "I want this one".  Perfect.  It's a brilliant cut round diamond center stone and white gold Tacori.  I adore everything Tacori.

This last weekend I was honored to be in one of my girlfriend from nursing school's wedding with two other kick ass bridesmaids who also went to school with us.  It was a gorgeous Sunday evening wedding in a rustic barn with a beautiful arch and wreaths lit with white lights and candles everywhere.  Not a dry eye in the barn, that's for sure.  Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Starner :)

In 12 short days from now and 27 training miles behind me I'll be a marathoner.  This gets crazier and more surreal the more I say and think about it.  I ate pretty terribly being gone all this last weekend for wedding festivities and I missed a long-ish run but I'm trying not to stress about it.  I'm trying to enjoy this taper and just finish the rest of my training plan.  I'm back on night shift this week and that honestly is a better training time for me than when I'm on day shift.  I can do this. (I keep telling myself this over and over... and over.)

Nothing else much new on the home front.  Trying to keep this short and sweet because I'm off to Leah's Zumba class in a few minutes.  Just got a  4 mile training run in earlier with 2 of them being at a 10:42 average pace and I walk/ran the last two just to enjoy the fall weather.   Can marathon training be in fall weather all the time?  I'm loving it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Greatest Man who Ever Lived - or one of Them.

It was about a week and a half ago that I heard my Grandfather was sick.  Sure, he was 87, had some Parkinson's symptoms, but really was a relatively healthy 87 year old.  I was told (and I'm still not sure 100% of what ended up actually happening) that he had a bowel obstruction, a pseudo-typical older person problem that can usually be resolved without surgery.  I know from my experience as a nurse that worse case scenario you go in for surgery, have part of your bowel removed, and you recover and are on your way in most cases.  About a week later, he died.  He got really sick while in the hospital and the decision was made to move him out of the ICU and into another wing for hospice care last Wednesday morning.  Surgery was not an option. He passed Thursday night with much of the family around him.  He was loved, respected, and deeply admired as a man by those who knew him.

He and Grandma have lived in the same yellow house for a million years in SmallTown, USA.  They were often holding hands over the last 66 years they were married (and I'm sure before their Big Day too).  They walked around town, stayed active and were involved in their church.  He was a World War II veteran, one of the few remaining in our county where I'm from.  The only time anyone can remember him ever crying was when my brother Nick graduated from boot camp at Parris Island, SC and officially became a Marine.  He retired 3 different times and had a work ethic that you don't just find these days. As mentioned in his funeral service, "he would rather go to work sick and get paid than lay at home in bed sick and NOT get paid".  He instilled his values in his four children and the trait has been passed down through our family.  When I learned of his passing when I woke up Friday morning for work, and went, my co-workers told me I was crazy for being there. "You don't understand", I said, "I'd be told I was being silly and there is nothing I can do now.  I may as well be at work".  Those were my words and I shed some tears with people who did not even know him in my work unit that morning.

Grandma and Grandpa were simple people.  They didn't have fancy new cars, a big screen TV, or go out to dinner except when invited by others (or got a gift card for Christmas, Bob Evans was a big hit). They gave what they had and did what they could by giving of their time.  They delivered mobile meals to people younger than them and Grandma still quilts with the church.  They raised four wonderful children who have hearts of gold and are all caretakers in their own rights.  Glen cares for his wife, Shirley cares for everyone but also helps her daughter care for her husband with ALS, Angela kept close eyes on Grandma and Grandpa from just across the street where they live, and my step-dad Paul takes care of my mom and helps her manage her MS.  They are all mild mannered, kind people who couldn't have all gotten those traits biologically but were raised to be good people.  The apples don't fall far from the tree.

I came into this family as a "bonus" child - my mom and now step-dad moved in together when I was 4. I got a new brother 11 months older than me out of the deal who I didn't really like all that much to start.  We ended up in the same grade and went through school together.  There are definitely drawbacks to divorced families but the way I see it is I got 2 moms, 2 dads, lots of cousins, aunts, uncles, and 4 sets of grandparents.  Pretty lucky girl if you ask me.  I was accepted and loved in the Thompson family from the very first meeting.  I don't remember the very first time I met them, but I do remember on December 4th, 1998 when my mom married my step-dad that Grandma and Grandpa Thompson were there.  They got married at the court house and we ate at Bob Evans after.  Nick and I were in the 6th grade and had to ask the Principal if we could still go to our first middle school dance that night despite missing school because our parents were getting married.  He let us, and I know I was thrilled.  In the next few weeks came Christmas and I got a gift from Grandma and Grandpa of a jewelry box with a note inside that said "for our Granddaughter, even though you always were, now it's official!".  Pretty lucky girl.

I spent time with my family at the funeral home and church for his visitation and funeral services.  There was so much love in the room it was palpable.  The line to see Grandpa one last time and to hug Grandma was out the door for a good amount of time.  It was as if the whole town, church, and beyond was there to pay this great man their respects.  At the cemetery, the county honor guard was present to pay respects to Grandpa and to present Grandma with the flag from his casket.  I held it together pretty well until then and to see multiple other veterans present and saluting gave me chills.  What a great honor for the greatest of men.

At the end of the viewing hours when all the visitors had left and the family was getting ready to leave, everyone sort of made their way over to say goodbye; to touch, and kiss him one last time.  My heart shattered into pieces when Grandma went and touched him, looked hard at him, and with her voice cracking she said "we can go".  66 years together.  Their entire lives were together and the love they shared was infectious.  Very few people can make it to that milestone and we should all be so lucky to feel and be loved like they loved each other.  True love exists.  True love lasts a lifetime.  Theirs did.

All stories have a beginning and an end.  While this may be the end of Grandpa's story ours continues.  There will be Thanksgiving and Christmas soon.  Grandpa's birthday is the day after Christmas and we always celebrated the two together.  There will be an unimaginable void at the table.  The prayer will have to be said by someone else (Come Lord Jesus, be our guest.  Let thy gifts to us be blessed. Amen) and I'm sure there won't be many dry eyes at either dinner.  He was just that great.  He was a rock of solidarity and a beacon of what defines a man.  He cared and loved his wife deeply, he took care of his family, his country, and his community.  Everyone should have a Grandpa like him.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

18 miles and oral IV product review!

Week 25 of marathon training complete!  I remember writing about being halfway done at week 15 and how long ago that seems.  I feel like I've gone through a lifetime's journey in the last 9 months.  There has been ups and downs with a whole lot of sweat and tears in between.

Speaking of tears, I shed quite a few of those this morning.  I finished my 18 miles with 15 seconds to spare to get under my 4 hour goal I had set for myself.  I ran the first 14 miles straight and beat my 13.1 PR time by a minute in the process.  From 14-18 I walk/ran and had intermittent moments of uncontrollable sobbing in there too.  I don't know what it was today but it just all felt like it's really coming together.  When I pretty easily ran 14 miles without much thought I was amazed at what was happening.  Who is this girl?  Who have I become?  Someone who runs at 5AM and enjoys seeing the sunrise from the golf course behind the homes I pass.  Someone who follows through with a commitment.  Someone who dreams a dream so big a year ago and is seeing it through.  That's who I am.

I got home and I no more than got through the front door and the water works started.  Kyle was concerned that I had hurt myself again but I had to tell him they were happy tears and I was just so proud of myself.  The dog was all over me wondering why I was so sad (and stinky).  I couldn't hold them in and I'm sure I'm going to straight up ugly cry at the finish line of the marathon and very likely before then, too.

One more run longer than today and that's my 20 miler 2 weeks from now.  I'll enjoy falling back for 14 miles this week especially knowing I did it so well today to that point.  I had set my 187 mile goal for how many miles I had left after I hit my 200 mile goal and I'm already 25% of the way done.  I had missed a run so I've added a mile or two to my shorter runs to make up for the 6.5 miles I was behind.  I've got a few weeks to get the last 3.5 in, no worries :) I don't know how well I'll truly be able to taper and only run 2-3 miles at a time the last week of training.  It's all good!

I ordered my custom dri-fit shirt yesterday and I'm pleased with how it turned out. I got it from as it was the only site I could find that actually let you have color options in single ordered shirts and they were even having a flash sale at the time so even better!  

This morning I took the opportunity to try out Oral IV for  my run - I was graciously offered samples to try to review for my blog through a Sweat Pink connection!  Per the website (, Oral IV is "a revolutionary hydration aid product based on a proprietary formula of crystalloid electrolytes and purified water. ORAL I.V. does not contain any sugars, caffeine or stimulants, additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients."  It comes in a small tube that's easy for carrying in my fuel belt and doesn't have a bad taste to it.  I always use my Advocare Slam before and during my long runs so I took it as an opportunity to use it along side that and followed with a small swig of water to wash it down.  I think in combination with today's cooler temperatures and the Oral IV I felt more hydrated and didn't have any issues with cramping during the 18 miles.  I drank the same amount as usual and even though it was cooler I was still drenched with sweat so I feel the Oral IV helped with my electrolytes and keeping on top of my hydration.  I will continue to use it for the rest of my training!

Can I just say how excited I am to be back on day shift starting this week?  6 weeks of nights was a long stretch!  I do think my training schedule works out better with being on nights as long as I don't work 3 in a row because I can do longer runs during the day and still get a nap in before work.  Life works out better for us on day shift so I will be thankful (as will Kyle) for some normalcy.  I'm working a day at Bethesda this week on Wednesday and work Tuesday, Thursday and Friday otherwise.  I'm spending the day tomorrow with my sister, niece and nephew at the Cincinnati Zoo so I'm excited to play with those two for the day!  

I'm going to settle in for the night with a book (I've just started Orange is the New Black) and get some good sleep tonight. Week 26 is upon us!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

39 days away, Sunshine award, more spotlights, oh my!

Guys, we are 39 days away from THE day.  I remember the 100 day mark, now we're a little over a month away.  Holy shoot!  I have a lot of miles left to run in the next few weeks and then I get to taper and I don't know how I feel about it just yet.  I'm excited to taper but I'm nervous about it and from what I've gathered that's a consensus among us crazy people they call "marathoners".

I've had a pretty good few weeks and my plantar fasciitis has been under control.  I have been getting regular massages (thank God for Massage Envy memberships!) and I think having them do a full body but focusing more on my legs has helped tremendously.  That and new shoes and knowing I have to back off a little bit especially on the treadmill.  For whatever reason my feet and the treadmill surface don't love one another but it works to get the miles done.  I have run over 350 miles since I began training at the end of March and that is CRAZY.  I doubt I've ever covered that many miles in my lifetime before let alone in a few months (that might be a bit of an exaggeration but you get my point). 168 more training miles in the next 5 weeks to be exact.  I'm not counting down or anything :)

Tomorrow is 9/11 and I'm remembering by running 9.11 miles - I was due for 9 anyhow and it just worked out that way.  I'm not overly patriotic on a daily basis but I do remember exactly where I was (9th grade English class) and I won't forget how I felt.  To honor the families, first responders and service men and women who went to war following the attacks I will run these miles for all of them.  Both Kyle and I have brothers who served in the Marine Corps and I know mine specifically served 2 tours overseas.  He has been out of the military since early 2010 and can be called up as a reservist if needed still until this coming January.  He received a letter telling him to report to a "fit for duty" meeting thing this weekend because if things with Syria continue he may have to go back.  Insane.  Hoping for the best.

I was tagged in a few different blog posts for some "about me" type fun so firstly I will start with Candra from Camo and Lipstick ( with 6 questions about me:

1. What is your favorite workout move?
I love, love, love to do the curl/press combo with a nice heavy weight!

2. If you had to eat the same cheat meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

Chipotle.  Easy.  Or Panera bread bowls of soup.

3. Live in the mountains, or by the ocean?

I think the ocean because I hate the hills of the mountains, especially in the winter.  I don't love the idea of hurricanes either so maybe I'll just stick with the midwest :)

4. East Coast or West Coast and why

I've never been to the West coast but I'd love to go visit New England in the fall.  I've never been but I hear it's beautiful!

5. What is the book you recommend the most?

I love My Sister's Keeper, the Harry Potter series and a fun book I found before starting marathon training was The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and on With Training.  It gave me hope I could do this and was a quick, funny read.

6. How do you take your coffee (or energy drink)?

Coffee - 4 shots of espresso over ice in a venti cup with sugar free vanilla and splenda/stevia from Starbucks.  Energy drink wise I use Spark, Slam, and C4.

I'm a bad blog follower and only read others occasionally so I really only have 1 person to tag and that wouldn't be fun now would it?

I also realize I need to step up my blogging game and learn how to use HTML properly and add pictures and actually design this page but I don't know how.  Need blogging help!  Maybe when I have more time to focus on not running a marathon I can focus on being a a better blogger during my short period of down time.

I was also tagged for the Sunshine Award for blogging!  Again, I don't have the fanciest blog but I'm happy people enjoy reading my ramblings.  I'm supposed to include the picture and tag blogs but I need to be a better blog-buddy because the other ones I follow were tagged by my friend Kim over at Fabulous Fit Foodie ( who lives in the area and we are planning on meeting up on marathon day!  These were the questions she asked of those she nominated:

1) If you won a free trip, all expenses paid, to ANYWHERE you wanted to go--where would you visit?

I REALLY want to go to Ireland and England but I don't love flying so I hope to drug myself up some day and get there.  I also would love to go on an Alaskan cruise!

2) What does a typical weekday look like for you?
My weeks are so crazy with my schedule where I flip back and forth every 3 weeks between day and night shift so I hardly can say what a typical day looks like.  When I work I'm gone for 13.5 hours that day between my commute and the actual shift itself.  So I basically wake up pretty early and get home after dark now that fall is settling in (although the 95 degree day we had today hardly felt fall-like!).  I love my job so it is totally worth it for me.  On my days off I try to get up by 7, have breakfast and either run or go to a Zumba class.  In the afternoon when we are all free I like to go play with my nephew and niece who are 2 and 8 months.  They are precious!  In the evening the boyfriend and I have dinner and try to catch up on our favorite DVR'd shows.

3) What's your all time favorite workout?

I really am loving running now but I have to say that Zumba is my obsession right now.  I grew up playing softball competitively and still love to play on leagues occasionally.

4) What is your favorite recipe right now?

I love Jackson's spaghetti squash recipe from The Biggest Loser last season - 10 minutes microwaving a spaghetti squash that was cut in half and the ends off, wrapped in saran wrap and microwaved together.  While that is cooking brown some lean ground turkey and onions with some minced garlic.  We have a big jar of minced garlic from Costco in the fridge for easy cooking!  When the meat is brown add a jar of low-sodium spaghetti sauce and some spinach (and mushrooms but I don't care for them).  Cook until the spinach gets slightly wilted and add one cup of the meat mix to one cup of spaghetti squash for around 250 calories!  Top with a bit of mozzarella and serve with a side of steamed veggies and it's so good!

5) What is your favorite site for finding new recipes?

I don't really seek out too many new recipes but I've been hearing a lot about Emily Bites lately and am dying to try some of her "cupcake" recipes!

6)  If they made a movie about your life, what would they call it and who would have the lead role? Who would you want to play your best friend?

They would probably call it something with "resilient" in the title.  I think that word really defines me since I was a little girl.  With my father having Huntington's disease and my mom having Multiple Sclerosis I had to do a lot of things at a young age as a caregiver.  I gave my first injection at 11 years old to my mom for one of her weekly treatments.  I think to play the lead role I'd want it to be Drew Barrymore just because I love her and the best friend(s) would pretty much be the cast of Bridesmaids.

7) What would your perfect day entail?

Sleeping in until around 8:30, pancakes and hashbrowns in bed, a mani/pedi followed by a massage then dinner and a movie with my love.  Perfection.

8) What's a major aspiration you have? Think big!

I want to go to nurse anesthetist school and officially call myself a tri-athelete one of these days!

9) As a child, what did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

Either a singer (think Taylor Swift style and with the same level of stardom), a lawyer or a music teacher.

10) What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Shopping - I have always had a hole in my pocket!

That was fun!  Of course it was because like any other blogger or female I love to talk about myself - lets be honest.  That's what I'm here to do, right?

I've been having a lot of fun as a face of the Columbus Marathon as an ambassador.  We have a weekly "assignment" to complete but I probably would be posting what they are asking for anyways.  My feature on the Runaway Bridal Planner's blog was fantastic (thank you!  Check out this nearly 40 time marathoner!  Insane miles right there, guys! I found out that THIS FRIDAY I will be the featured charity athlete on !!!  I am so excited and am so close to meeting my fundraising goal.  I hope the exposure will help me hit (and exceed would be even better!) my goal before race day.

That's all I've got for now - running in the morning and working the next two nights have me tired just thinking about it.