Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Am A Sweat Pink Ambassador

As I make my way around the internet and find different groups of fitness-minded people, I am intrigued, inspired and motivated to just keep going.  I enjoy being a part of several groups where everyone is at different levels of fitness, running and life.  Some are true rookies, finding out how to take the first step and some are true mentors, having several dozen marathons or fitness competitions under their belt. 

I've learned that it doesn't matter which category you are in.  There are going to be people to cheer you on, give you advice, keep you motivated and to be there to support you when you need it for whatever reason. 

One of the groups that really caught my attention was the Sweat Pink community.  There are so many wonderful ladies in this community that are raising awareness, doing great things in the fitness community.  I wanted to be a part of this movement to help motivate and get people moving.  I applied to be a Sweat Pink Ambassador awhile ago because I feel like I have something to offer others.  I am not an expert, I'm not perfect and my mind, body and spirit are a work in progress but I wanted to help. 

I was accepted as a Sweat Pink Ambassador!  I got the email to let me know and I almost started screaming at work!  I was so excited and honored to be a part of this. 
This means that I am going to help as much as I can when someone says that they want to get healthy.  I have already encouraged two people to run their first 5k.  One friend did her first one two weeks ago and she was so proud of herself.  She cried as she crossed that finish line because she pushed herself and beat her goal time by 5 minutes!  The other friend is training for her first one and we will be doing that one together in two weeks.  I cannot wait to run across that finish line together with her. 

I was so happy to receive my official Sweat Pink tank top and pink laces.  As I find those special ladies who have pushed themselves and complete things that they didn't think they could do, I will be giving them those pink laces to let them know that I am proud of them, that they did it....all on their own. 

I finished my last 5k in my Sweat Pink tank and here's the pic:
I don't know if I can change the world but fitness and running has changed my life and I hope to help others find what makes them happy and fit and encourage them to change their lives. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

MAMAVATION MONDAY: 5k Recap, Moving Forward and Goals

I haven't done a Mamavation Monday post for awhile and it wasn't for any specific reason, I just haven't.  There's no time like the present to remedy that.  So here we go........

5K Recap

This past Saturday, my family did a local 5k for our high school band's annual fundraiser.  My husband, son and I did it last year and it wasn't an easy course.  There are several hills and there is a large hill toward the end that really makes you dig deep. 

This year, we had all five of us running!  This is the first time that all five of us have participated in a running event together.  I was so excited and proud to help promote family fitness.  I feel like we are trying to do more physical activities as a family and our kids are going to benefit from them. 

I have been working out and training more lately so I felt better going into this race this year and I figured that I would struggle less with the course.  I had no idea that my recent training and workouts have helped so much that I would find this course much easier this year!  I didn't really struggle at all with the course itself.  Yes, the hills were still large and they are a challenge but I have found a great technique that helped so much.  I used to look to the top of the hills and see how much farther I had to go.  I now look down and watch myself taking each step and telling myself in my head that I can do this and that I am doing it.  Mind over matter, right?!

The only challenge that came to me toward the end of the run was that it was starting to get warmer out and the sun was out.  However, before I knew it, we were in the home stretch and I saw the flag that marked the 3 mile mark...and also saw my son who was cheering my husband and I on.  He does this at every 5k, he finishes and then comes back to find us on the course and cheer us to the finish. 

My husband and I were running together as usual, our older son was way ahead of us as he was on a mission to beat his PR with a new time.  Our daughter was walking/jogging with her friend and our little guy was with my in-laws waiting to do his 1k race. 

As for our times....my son was hoping for a time around 24 minutes since his personal record was 25 minutes.  He CRUSHED it with a time of 22 minutes!!!  I am so very proud of him and his efforts and drive to be the best he can be.  I am amazed by him.  Last year, my time was 39:40 and this year my time was 33:25!!  I shaved over 6 minutes off my previous time....training paid off big time!  Chuck had a time of 36 minutes last year and this year got 33:05.  We ran the entire race together then he started sprinting for the last .10 of the 5k where I decided to keep a steady pace so I didn't burn out before the finish line! Jada did more walking than jogging and had a time of 44 minutes.  Not too terrible for her first 5k...we are happy she decided to join us!  Lincoln did his 1k and we all lined up to run it with him and when the guy yelled to start the fun run, he took off.  He weaved in, out and around dozens of the other kids and just zoomed away from us.  We put Chuckie in charge of keeping up with him since he is the fastest.  He did so well.  He is still wearing his medal he got and proclaims that "it was the best day of my life when I got my medal!" haha.

Moving Forward

I am enjoying doing 5k's and they are a great accomplishment of mine.  I enjoy seeing the race bibs and medals on my dresser and I plan on making something to display those someday.  I've decided that I will always do 5k's unless I give myself a goal of moving that up to a 10k.  Of course, I love the 5k's and will continue to do them but I want to mix in a longer distance. 

A local 10k fundraiser for our local lake is the perfect opportunity for me to do my first 10k.  It is on all the roads around our house and even starts out a half mile from our house.  The course goes past our house and ends up at the local lake that we are fundraising for.  I have begun the training and so far, I am enjoying it. I got my run in this morning and by the end of the week, I will have logged at least 8 miles.  I think this is a perfect goal for me.  I will feel accomplished and I can't wait to feel the pride when I run across that finish line. 

My ultimate goal is to run a half marathon.  I plan on continuing my training after the 10k run to start training for a half marathon.  There is a half that is happening in mid October that I would love to do.  I said that I wouldn't miss my son's football games for anything that would be strictly to benefit myself but this half is during football season.  It is a mostly downhill course that would be the perfect race for my first half.  I am struggling with the decision.  I am hoping that the football schedule comes out soon so that I know for sure if I can do this or not.  They cap it at 1250 runners so I don't want to miss out on registering if our schedule allows it.

I could say, no, I am doing this for me because I am worth it, I have been working for this, etc.  However, if he has a football game and I do this, then no one would be at the finish line to see me finish it.  I want my family there to cheer me on and see my accomplishment.  Does that sound terrible?!


A lot of my goals remain the same as they have been for quite some time. 

Toning: I need to tone my body in several places and keep them trim.  I want to be able to fit nicely into my clothes and not feel stuffed into them.

Endurance: I am trying to build up my endurance in both running and working out. I have been working on breathing and mental exercises to help me in this department.

Happiness: Not all of my goals are fitness related.  Shocker, I know!  I want to make sure that I am here and present for all the moments that are so easily skimmed over.  I want to sit and listen when my son is telling me a story because even when it seems like a silly little story, it's his story and I want to hear it.

Time: I am trying to manage my time a bit better.  I am constantly on the go and I need to prioritize, reorganize and finalize a schedule that works for all of us.  As summer is nearing, I will be changing my work schedule to be home earlier and working more hours.  I know there will be times that the kids will want to do things and so I'm hoping I can acccomodate them and still work better hours.  This is definitely a work in progress!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Run For Your Lives 5K

Do you watch those movies where there are zombies following and trying to eat people?  Do those movies freak you out, scare you or gross you out?  Yeah, me too. 

There is an event coming to my area in August called the "Run For Your Lives 5K" and guess what? I'm doing it!  It is a fun, kind of scary, challenging and did I mention fun? race that I am doing.

Check out some of the pictures from their website:

I cannot believe that I am going to do this race but I'm sure it will be fun.  I'm also sure that I will be running a bit faster and screaming a bit more than usual!  I mean, I've never been chased by zombies before but I am betting that it will be a little more than exciting! 

Each runner wears a belt with three flags on it and the "zombies" are trying to take your flags from you. 

From their website:


If being chased by zombies isn’t enough, we will have a series of man-made and natural obstacles waiting for you throughout the course. Jump, slide, and climb your way through our blood pit, smokehouse, and maze (amongst others), all while zombies are hot on your tail. Test your strength, speed, and wit as you battle your way to our shocking finish. Make it through this last obstacle, and you are finally in the Safe Zone.

There is also an Apocolypse party after the race so we will get to unwind a little after the running, obstacle doing and screaming, er, fun.

I encourage you all to go visit their site and see if this event is coming to your area and sign up.....it's not everyday that you can say you ran from and escaped from zombies!!

If you have any questions about the race, you can check out their FAQ's page to get all the information you need.

Sweat, Mud and Foam!!

In a month, I am going to be participating in the 5K FOAM FEST!  I am so excited and nervous.  It is going to be so much fun and I have a few friends doing the event with me.  I have a few friends that already did this event in Georgia and they said it is so fun. 

I am a bit nervous about some of the obstacles like maybe this one:
I am afraid of heights so I already said that someone may need to push me down this 3-story tall slide!!

Here is another obstacle that will be at my event that I am nervous about, it looks a bit tough to do:
You have to run across the foam pads, on the water!!

However, when you see pictures like this next one, you just want to join in the fun:

I am really looking forward to this event.  It will be the first obstacle race I do.  I am in training for a fitness challenge and running a 10k so I am hoping that I am well-prepared in a month to do all the fun obstacles.  I have no doubts that I will be laughing and having a blast in the foam and mud!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Brand New Me

Alicia Keys came out with a song that has really struck a chord with me.  I listen to the words and I start to feel a bit emotional.  Not all of the words apply to me but a lot of them do. 

For years, I stood in the shadow of everyone else.  I am a wife of someone that everyone knows so I have always been his girlfriend or wife.  I am a mom of three so I am always someone's mom. I am a sister so I am always someone's sister.  I have never been me, just me.

As the kids are getting older and I am finding more time to find myself and who I am outside of the shadows, I am starting to like me.  I am starting to find what makes me tick, what makes me angry and what makes me truly happy.  I have found the brand new me.  It's not so much that I am changing, I'd like to think that I am evolving into who I have always been.  I have just been hidden.

I feel like I have always had the potential to be this person, but I wasn't allowing myself to open up to be who I am.  I have always been taking care of everyone else.  I have never put myself first. That has changed in some ways.

My husband has always supported me in anything that I have done.  We discuss things and when I say I want to do something, he has my back.  So all of the lyrics don't apply as I said.  However, a lot of the times, I based what I wanted to do on what he was doing.  I always put aside my desires for the sake of my husband or kids.  I still do that but not all the time.  I have to start putting myself first when I can. 

My mantra has been, you are worth it. So, when I want something and I start to doubt myself, I repeat that phrase to reassure myself that it is okay. 

I have been told by someone that loves me that I am different but it wasn't coming as a compliment.  It came as more of an accusation.  I am not doing bad things, I am not off getting into trouble or trying to be something I'm not.  I am evolving into a different person in many ways but it is for the better. 
Don't be mad, it's just a brand new kind of me
Can't be bad, I found a brand new kind of free

It took a long long time to get here
It took a brave, brave girl to try

 If I talk a little louder
If I speak up when you're wrong
If I walk a little taller
I'd been under you too long
If you noticed that I'm different
Don't take it personally
 These lines resonate with me as I have always been the quiet one, the doormat to so many.  I was the one that always said yes to everyone else, even if it meant I was putting myself last. 

Hey hey hey, if you were a friend, you'd wanna get know me again
If you were worth the while
You'd be happy to see me smile
I'm not expecting sorry
I'm too busy finding myself
I got this
I found me, I found me, yeah

I'm happy I found me.  Finally.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Do you ever feel like your life is just one, big revolving door?  Somedays, I feel like I am on a wheel and I keep going around in circles.  Life is always busy, even when it isn't a busy day, we are forever busy.

The next few weeks are going to be so busy for us, as a family, that I am going to be wondering if I am coming or going.  The school year is coming to a close and with that, comes a lot of end of the year activities for the kids.  We have a fair, chorus concert, fun days, field trips and the end of running club.  There are only 14 days of school left so there is a light at the end of the tunnel but then it opens up to wide open days where there are no plans for the kids.

I usually think that it makes life so much easier when they don't have school but I'm not sure that is the case when I am working.  I could continue to work in the afternoon into the evening but I would love to work late morning to late afternoon instead.  There are two days a week where I will be working from 8:30am until 5-6pm so those days will be long days for me. I will probably see if the kids can go to hang out somewhere with someone so that they are not home alone all day when I start work at 10:00am.  The days that I work at the gym, the kids can go there with me and those days they will be home alone for a very short time until Chuck gets home from work.

The juggling is getting old and I foresee that in the fall I am going to talk about how it will be easier when the kids go back to school but for now, I am looking forward to less of a schedule with the end of school, after school activities, evening activities and bus drop offs.

Eventually, the wheel will seem less like a wheel and more like a well-oiled machine.

Yesterday, for Mother's Day, Jada wrote in her card that, "You are Superwoman, even when things get crazy you still manage to not freak out." Oh, if only she knew.  Her card made me cry, like I had to rush into the bathroom so they all wouldn't see me bawling.

I am trying to remain stress free lately and just go with the flow of life.  There are so many things that I cannot change so why fight it, right?  I'm riding the wheel, for now.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Inspired and Determined

This weekend I experienced working with the ladies from The Flipbelt at the Pittsburgh Marathon Health & Fitness Expo.  It was fun, it was busy and the ladies were so great.  I hope to work with them again in the future at other events!  It is such a great product and I was so honored to help them.

At the expo, I talked to so many people and most were people that had either run the 5k that morning or were going to be running in the Marathon, whether they were running the full or half.  It was inspiring and awesome. 

I know a few people personally that ran and it was so awesome to read their reactions and pride that they felt afterward. 

They inspired me even more.  I have decided to train for a 10k that is happening near my house.  It is on July 6th so I have 9 weeks to train.  I have looked online and I found a customizable training schedule that I am going to start next week.  It is an 8 week program that will ease me in to running the 6.2 miles needed to complete the 10k.  I am so excited and nervous.  I plan on using my compression socks and really diving in full force so that I can prove to myself that I can do this. 

Chuck said that he will train and do the 10k with me so we will be training in the evenings since I work in the afternoons.  I would have rather done my training in the mornings but if he would like to do it too, I won't be denying him that!  I will welcome the company. 

I am also starting another fitness challenge with Kat and her Fitness Rebooted group so that will add to my workouts.  It will be interesting to see how much my body changes during this training adventure. Hopefully it makes me stronger and leaner.  This will take me to the point of my brother's wedding so the timing is perfect!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Worker Bee

This week has been busy.  I started working my second part time job and it isn't bad, it just makes me move around my schedule a bit.

 I work in the mornings at the gym nursery so I will be enjoying snuggling little ones and telling the older kids to "stop running!" "give that back to her/him!" "don't throw that at her/him!"  I work there on the days that I don't have to pick up the little boy I drive to kindergarten.  This means that I have a little more time and don't have to rush to get him. 

I have been juggling a schedule since January when I started my first job and it has worked out pretty well so far.  This new job (or new hours since I have been working there subbing for people since October) just means that I add one more thing to the mix. 

I always look forward to my weekends since I don't work on the weekends but tomorrow I will be working at a booth at the Pittsburgh Marathon Health and Fitness Expo all day.  I applied to have this opportunity with this great company called The Flipbelt and I am so very excited to work with them and see what their product is all about. 

I will be there from 9am until 6pm so it will undoubtedly be a long day but I'm sure I will have a chance to walk around and check out the other booths which is something I am also looking forward to.  I am hoping to find some other great products that can help me reach my goals, make my runs a little easier (which the Flipbelt will) and just be out with all these other health and fitness minded people! 

So even though I won't be at my regular job, I will be working all day on my day off.  I'm such a worker bee!