Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The United Healthcare Western PA Pride 12-Day Challenge

 Post a selfie from any event to enter to win $100

Do you enjoy Western PA?  Do you have pride in being active with your family, your pets or yourself?  If so, I encourage you to enter the United Healthcare Western PA Pride, 12-Day Challenge!! 

Get out and get active, take a picture of you being active around your city (in western PA) and enter it in the challenge for a chance to win a prize!  Each day from December 13th through December 24th, United Healthcare is giving out a $25 cash gift card to one lucky winner!!  There are several chances to win if you enter everyday!! 

It is very easy to slip into some bad habits and forget about staying active as the weather turns colder.  Here in western PA, we've had some dreary weather that makes us want to sit under a blanket and watch some holiday movies or bake those yummy holiday treats. All that is fine but we need to keep moving and stay active to be the healthiest we can be. 

There are many benefits to staying active, such as: a healthier heart, a better mood, increased metabolism and showing others that they, too, can be active. 

You can head over to the Western PA Pride contest here to enter! 

I have entered myself and I am hoping to win a prize!!  We can all use the money and I love encouraging others to get out and get active.  It can be as simple as taking a walk or playing outside with your kids.  Here are a few of my photos of myself being active:

If there is one thing about people in this area, it is that they are proud to call western PA home so get out, get active and get those photos entered into the United Healthcare Western PA Pride 12-Day Challenge!!  Share the contest with your friends so they can enter for their chance to win a prize too!

Disclaimer: I was contacted to share the United Healthcare Western PA Pride 12-Day Challenge with my readers.  The photos and content in this post are mine.  I was not scripted for this post and I will be compensated for my time and opinion.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Race Recap: EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler

I remember seeing the information for this race last year and I wanted to do it but honestly, it scared me.  I'm not quite sure why, because at that time, I was in training for my first half marathon.  I didn't do it and I went on with life.

Fast forward to this year.  At the beginning of 2014, I decided that I wanted to do more races.  I wanted to do different distances, I wanted to just do more.  I have achieved that and one of the new race distances I tried was this ten miler!

I had been thinking about it but I wasn't sure because I had my half marathon 22 days before the ten miler.  I wasn't sure if I could turn around and do another long distance run that soon.  I decided to sign up and go for it.  Why not?!

After my half marathon, I didn't run much.  In fact, it took me nine days to get out and run and even when I did, it wasn't easy.  I did five miles and it took me much longer and it was much harder than before. I decided that as long as I kept consistent with doing at least 3-4 miles, 3 days a week, I could do this.   I didn't do that.  The days were busy and they passed quickly.  I ran 8 miles a week before the race to make sure I could handle the long distance. However, even when I did that, I was doing run/walk intervals.

I went into the race with no real plan of action.  I had no idea if I was going to do intervals or if I was going to attempt to run the whole thing.  I had a friend that I was running with so she really pushed me.

We started out with a plan to run at a 10:30-11:00minute/mile pace to keep us consistent throughout the entire run. We started out faster than that. For the first five miles, we were running a bit faster than that pace but we felt good.  We decided to just go with it and base our run off of how we felt.  She pushed us along and we were feeling good. It was probably pretty aggressive for me and I started to feel tired around mile 6 but I wasn't going to give in.  I couldn't.  My friend wasn't about to let me stop.  She was so good and kept saying, "we got this, you CAN do this!"  Did I mention that she is 13 years older than me and a real powerhouse?!

Around mile 8-9, she wanted to bump up the speed for a quicker finish.  I just couldn't and I started to fall a bit behind. I started to feel a pain in the middle of my foot and I wasn't about to push it and injure myself.  I was able to take a walk break and get going again for a good finish.  It was a wonderful race and I do plan on doing it again next year.  I hope to get more ladies to run it and do a group run.  It was great to have the experience of running that distance with a friend.

Here is a link to my official photos, I LOVE them but they charge so much for them and I just can't justify buying them. :(

This race has me excited for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon where I will get to see even more of the city on foot.  The city is such a spectacular sight to see.

Here are my EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler stats:
Finish Time: 1:46:56
Pace: 10:41min/mile
#1691 of 2395 women
#3241 overall
#291 of 424 in my age group

Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

Here's a few of my favorite pics:

Sorry about the quality, I couldn't screenshot them or get them clear on my phone so I am stuck with pictures of the computer monitor! haha.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Race Recap: Buffalo Creek Half Marathon 2014

The Buffalo Creek Half Marathon is one of my favorite races.  Yes, I have only done it one other time but the scenery is beautiful, the course is easy and the race organizers are wonderful. 

The race was on Saturday, October 18th and started at 9am.  The temp was around 50 with dark, rain clouds looming above.  There was a cold breeze and everyone was just ready to get moving.  I met up with a few other ladies and we huddled together to stay warm until the start. 

I had to keep reminding myself that I could not start off too fast because that is what everyone does and it will only hurt me in the end if I start too quickly.  This is a long run and I needed to conserve energy. 

As I was running, I was keeping up with the girls I was huddled up with but I very quickly realized that they were running faster than what I had planned for so I slowed my pace.  I ended up right next to a friend and so I started to run with her pack.  They had the same exact pace plan as I did and so we ran. 

I was feeling good and keeping up.  I was listening to music in one ear and holding up conversation with them.  It's funny some of the things we talked about while running.  The same sorts of things you talk about while you are sitting around at a friend's house.......the best bras, boob sizes, clothing, drinking, etc.  It was like an active gathering to chat.

The course is on a trail through the woods.  The trail was previously a railway that was converted to a bike/walk/run trail.  There are trailheads that intersect with roads and at those points, spectators are welcome to park and watch the runners.  As we were coming up to a trailhead, I saw my parents.  My dad was there, ready with his camera and my mom (she's a high energy nut) was jumping up and down, waving her arms, yelling "I love you! Great job! My baby!" My dad captured this picture of us at that time......
That is me on the left with the pink socks, running to my mom!  A great moment captured that really expresses how happy I was to see my parents.  I was so thankful for that and for their support.  There is nothing like running a long distance race, wondering if you are going to make it, getting tired and then seeing your parents cheering you on. It gave me a boost in my run and I felt a lot better.

That was, I believe around mile 8-9.  We continued on and I was starting to get tired and my legs were feeling heavy.  My breathing wasn't where it needed to be.  My body was starting to hate me.  I trained for this but maybe, it just still wasn't enough.  I started to lag behind a bit from the girls.  As the mile went on, I fell farther behind.  I didn't expect them to wait for me or slow down for me, this was just as much their race as it was mine so they continued on as I slowed. 

I was feeling terrible about what was happening and I questioned myself a few times about whether I could catch up and push myself to stay with them. The distance was too far and I knew that even if I could catch up, I wouldn't be able to keep up. So, I began running alone.  It is so lonely to run alone when you are 10 miles into a half marathon.  Mile 10-11 was tough....the toughest.  I had the same experience last year at this point.  My legs were heavy and wanting to give up.  That was not an option. 

I pushed ahead and was even able to smile for a picture as I passed a photographer:

 This is a major improvement from last year's picture at this point, last year, I was looking like I may just die so I made sure to smile and give a thumb's up! When you get to this point, you start to do a countdown.  You know that you have less than 3 miles to go and you can do it. The end is closer than the beginning and you feel a bit better.

The last few miles were still tough but I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I was nearing the end and as I came across the bridge to snake to the finish line, my dad caught this picture of me:
When you get to this point in the race, you can see the finish line and I have to say that I was so happy to see that.  It gave me just what I needed to keep going to finish the race. Here are the two finish line pics of me:

I finished with a time of 2:20:59!  My time from last year was 2:32:40 so I had a 12 minute decrease in time and a new PR!!  This year was definitely easier than last year because I trained more and better. All in all, I am so proud of this accomplishment and I can't wait to do it again next year. 

Next up on the running schedule:
Pittsburgh area MRTT Donut Run
EQT 10 Miler

Monday, October 20, 2014

Aviva Advanced Hair Nutrition Review

I was chosen through the lovely folks over at Bulu, to participate in a great review of a product that was made to help with hair nutrition.  It was exactly what I needed.  There I was sitting there with this dried out, boring hair that could really use some intervention. 

Aviva Advanced Hair Nutrition is said to help with the following:
            * Boosts Length
            * Builds Strength
            * Improves Texture
            * Increases Shine
            * Balances Hair Health
            * Reduces Shedding

Now, of all of those benefits, the ones that I really was interested in or needed the most help with were: strength, shine and reduced shedding.  I always had a lot of breakage, dull hair and major shedding.  I was like a German Shepherd during the spring when they shed all their undercoat! 
Take one capsule, twice a day with food.
 After taking two capsules a day for 30 days, I have noticed a major difference!!  First, the reduced shedding is amazing.  My family is no longer finding my hair all over the house and the shower drain is thanking me and Aviva for the clear flow it can now experience! 

My hair is definitely stronger and shinier as well.  I am so happy with how my hair is breaking less and I feel like if I continue with this regimen, it will continue to gain strength.  I do see more of a shine to my hair as well, however, I feel like I need to allow more time for that. 

Another thing that I really appreciate about Aviva is the science and explanation behind it.  I am the type of person that wants as much information as possible.  They include an informational packet in the box that explains their products and how they work.  It also lays out the timeline/phases of hair growth and strengthening.  

Aviva has been seen in many media outlets, such as: Elle Magazine, Lucky Magazine, Essence, Bazaar, Self, The Huffington Post, Fox News, and has had special features in Brides Magazine and NBC. 

There are many success stories online about Aviva and what it has done for others.  You can check them out here.

Overall, I am happy with my results so far with Aviva Advanced Hair Nutrition.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for stronger, healthier hair.  I may even try out some of their other products to further help my hair. 

Disclaimer: I was not paid monetarily for this review.  I was provided a supply of Aviva Advanced Hair Nutrition in exchange for my honest opinion and review of the product.  All opinions are mine and I was not scripted for this review. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yikes! Where Was I?!

I took a short break from the blog over the last few weeks as I was super busy and life just has a way of getting in the way, you know?!

I've been continuing with my running and working out to prepare for my upcoming half marathon which is now only 3 days away!! I am starting to get anxious and nervous about it.  I mean, I know I can do it but I am afraid of being a wimp about it.  I don't want to get out there and struggle.  I feel like I am training well and getting in my long runs that I didn't do properly last year so I should do better this year. I just don't want to disappoint myself, I guess.

Here are a few things I have been doing:

Chuck and I ran the Pittsburgh Great Race 10k. The weather was great, although it started to get warm by the time we were finishing.  The course is beautiful and I've never run a race with that many people before.  I mean I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay but people were more spread out at that point.  This race, we found it hard to navigate around people that were slower that we needed to pass up.  All in all, it was great and we both said we would do it again next year.  I love having my husband by my side as I run.  He is such a great supporter and partner. 
The view as we were coming out of Oakland to see the view of the city! An awesome sight!

Me after the race.

I was trying to capture a picture of the mass of people running. Didn't work so well ha!

We've also been trying to spend more time with the kids. It's not that we've been doing a ton of fun stuff but we are spending time together which is very important when your kids are any age, let alone teenagers.  A few pictures when we were spending some time in the city.

Pittsburgh has a really cool water feature and walkway beside the convention center. I love it!
We've also been busy with Chuckie's football season.  He's doing really well this year but plays mostly defense.  He is good at it but we have been so used to years of him running the ball that it has been an adjustment for all of us.  He is having fun and the season will come to an end next week which is always a sad time for me. I love watching him and his team play.

Jada went to Homecoming which was great for her. Seeing our daughter looking so grown up was hard for us ha! She looked great and had a ton of fun with her friends. No boys, yet!

Lincoln is sailing through school this year, so far.  It is so great to see him enjoying school and not struggling like last year.  The decision we made to have him repeat first grade is quite possibly the best decision we've ever made in our lives.  No more tears and fighting.  We are seeing excitement about all subjects and more smiles along the way. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Be The Change

I often hear those words when people are talking about health, life, world problems....."be the change you want to see."  Yesterday I signed up to run for a charity in the 2015 Pittsburgh Half Marathon next May. 

Last year, I ran the Marathon Relay and I loved it but I had wondered if I should have run the half marathon and after I ran it, I decided that I was going to sign up for the half for next year.  I could have simply signed up, paid my fee and been done with the registration.  I didn't. 

I have a strong philosophy in life.  Help others when you can, how you can.  We are trying to instill this in our kids in hopes that one day, they can make a difference in the lives of others.  The marathon has a program called Run for Charity where you sign on to be a part of a fundraising team for a charity of your choosing, in exchange for a free race registration. 

I chose to run for Genre's Kids.  Here is some background on their organization:

Genre's Kids with Cancer Fund is an all-volunteer organization that helps every child diagnosed with cancer at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. We provide financial assistance and support to their families through our various outreach programs. 
Genre (like Henry with a “J”) was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Memorial Day, 2009.  He was 8 yrs. old.  Since that day, so much generosity and love has been shown to this family not only by friends and relatives but by complete strangers as well.  It is the hope of the Baker family to give back by assisting families dealing with childhood cancers.
This is how your money makes a difference:
$15  will pay for an iTunes gift card, so kids can download an app or song, to entertain them when they are in the hospital for days.
$20 will purchase a video game, providing hours of distraction for a kid in the hospital receiving chemotherapy or lengthy treatments.
$50 will buy a gas gift card, for oncology families who travel long distances, so their child can get medical care at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Each month we give $500 in gas cards to the Oncology social workers to give to families who travel long distances or visit the oncology clinic 2-3 times per week in order for their child to receive chemotherapy, transfusions, and other treatments.
$50 will pay for all of the items to complete a "Go Bag" we give to every oncology family when their child is admitted, and they hear the words "your child has cancer".
$120 will pay for a handheld gaming system or music player, we give to every child newly diagnosed with cancer at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, if they don't already own one. These are priceless to the children during long treatments or when they are hospitalized for weeks at a time.
Any amount will support our financial assistance program. We are raising money to help pediatric oncology families in need.
Prior to the Christmas season, the pediatric oncology social worker selects  the neediest oncology families and passes their names along to us. We provide groceries, basic necessities, clothes, toys, gifts, and a Christmas meal for each family, as well as any other support we can offer.

What a special organization that they have!  I love that they have items specified for every donation amount instead of just putting it in a fund and figuring it out later. 

I would love to raise enough to make 10 "go bags" for families that are just starting the heartbreaking journey they are on with their child.  

We have been blessed with three healthy kids and have not had to endure the agony of going through the diagnosis, testing, treatment and mental endurance that these families do.  So, I want to give, I want to help them to help others.  These children are fighting for their lives and the families are fighting for normalcy and calm.  

If you would like to help raise funds for Genre's Kids, please visit my donation site here:

Every dollar helps. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Join Me!

I have been enjoying my Beachbody experience with the Focus T25 program so far!  The workouts are tough but they are short, only 25 minutes long and only five days a week.  The plan is very doable and I enjoy the challenge of the workouts.  I am liking the changes I am seeing in my body strength. I haven't really been doing measurements yet because I want to wait to see at the 30 day mark, what the changes are.

I have a new challenge group starting on October 6th.  I encourage anyone to join in and we can find a program that works well with what your goals are, what your lifestyle is, how much time and commitment you have. There are options for everyone whether you enjoy cardio, need something low impact or want to learn how to eat clean.

It is so easy to put ourselves last and push our goals and commitments aside.  I am so guilty of this. I am learning (and have been learning for quite some time) how to balance it all and allow myself to put myself first and not feel guilty.  I want to help others realize that it is okay to put themselves first.  We need to improve our health so that we can be everything we want to be.

Let me know if you want to join me! You can head to my coach page and sign up for a free account to see what all the programs are about!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Raising Awareness and Raising Hope: Mesothelioma Awareness Day

September 26th is known as Mesothelioma Awareness Day.  If you are unaware of just what Mesothelioma is, here is a quick definition:  "Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affection the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen."

Read more:

I was contacted by Heather St. Von James about helping to spread the word about Mesothelioma as she knows firsthand about it and wants to help others become aware of this rare cancer and hopefully encourage others that may be going through treatment or have been diagnosed.

Heather St Von James with daugther, Lily.

 From Heather:

 "My name is Heather Von St. James and I am a mesothelioma cancer survivor- a rare cancer caused only by asbestos exposure. I was diagnosed with this deadly disease at age 36 and given 15 months to live just shortly after giving birth to my only daughter, Lily. After undergoing a life saving surgery, which required the removal of my left lung, I beat the odds and I'm still here eight years later. Now, I am thriving more than ever!"

The main cause of this type of cancer is exposure to asbestos, however, there are other risk factors that can contribute to the cause of mesothelioma. You can read about them here.

Diagnosis is one of the most important things about mesothelioma as early detection is the best way to begin the fight early. The symptoms are often overlooked and pushed aside as common ailments. 

If you would like more information about asbestos exposure that could be in your own home, please take a look at this:

Asbestos is also found in other areas, take a look and be aware of the dangers that could be around you:
The best defense we have sometimes is knowledge and by being aware of what is around us and what could possibly harm us or what could have already harmed us.  

Be sure to check out the Mesothelioma website for the most up-to-date information on the disease and be sure to check with your doctor is you suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos or the other risk factors. Talk to your doctor about early screening and help spread the word to others that you know that may have been exposed.  

Please join me in helping raise awareness about this aggressive type of cancer by posting your own blog post about it and sharing it with your readers. Together we can spread the word and maybe even help others as they learn about it. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday To-Do's

Here we are at Tuesday, staring into the face of the rest of the week, feeling determined to fit in all the craziness that it entails.

This week feels far less crazy than last week and I am so happy about that.  I feel like as the school year settles in, there seems to be less extra evening stuff to do like orientations, curriculum nights, etc.  We are almost through all of them.  I am thankful that each of the kids' things were spread out during different weeks.

Here is today's to-do list:

  • Run 4 miles for half marathon training
  • get kids off to school
  • get ready for work
  • head off to work and get as much done as I can to sail through the rest of the week
  • come home to get Lincoln off the bus
  • start dinner
  • pick Chuckie up from football
  • finish making dinner
  • do T25 Speed 1.0 workout
  • eat dinner
  • relax with the hubby for the evening
The list includes much less running around than I have been doing which is so appreciated!  

What's on your list today?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Realizing What I Need To Do

I've been slacking off lately.  I mean, really slacking off.  I ran on Tuesday for the first time in two weeks due to a weird pain that was happening in my leg and then another weird symptom that kept me off my feet.

I got stuck in a rut and really laid very low for awhile. I also started eating not-so-healthy stuff.  Lots of it.  It is amazing how quickly you can notice a difference in your body when you slack off and pick up bad habits.

I'm not proud of myself and to be honest, I feel pretty ashamed of myself.  I know, I shouldn't get too down on myself because these things happen to everyone at some point but I have gotten so far in my fitness and health journey and to fall down and go backward, well, it sucks.

This is my day to stand up, dust myself off and start again.  Tomorrow is a new day that is full of hope and determination. It's time to move forward, full force.

I can do this.  I will do this.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday To-Do's

It is so hard to come back from a long weekend.  Our weekend was full of relaxing and doing a whole lot of nothing.  It was so nice.  We don't get to do that too often.

Friday, we got home from work, school and football practice and settled in.  Trying to decide between going out for dinner or staying home and sitting around a fire in the yard to roast hot dogs, mountain pies and s'mores.  That decision was pretty easy actually.  Of course we stayed home and had a fire.  It was a great way to unwind from the week.  The campfire conversation was deep.....heaven, solar system, dying...very deep.

This week is another busy one but definitely not as busy as last week, thank goodness.  However, today means getting caught up both in work and in personal tasks.

Here's my Tuesday to-do list:

  • Run 3 miles
  • Get the kids off to school
  • Head in to work until 3pm, this is a whole different list that could go on for miles!
  • Drop off a payment to someone local for a football yard sign
  • Drop off Scentsy bulbs for a customer....make that two drop offs for two customers
  • Get Lincoln off the bus
  • Make something for dinner
  • Do some networking/order entries for my businesses
  • Pick Chuckie up from football practice
  • Pick Chuck up from work (he's working on his truck and didn't get it all done yesterday)
  • Clean up and do a little workout to finish off the day
I'm already tired just from looking at it!  In all honesty, I think I function better when things are chaotic.  I somehow do well when life is busy and crazy and I am pulled in a ton of different directions.  I am already looking forward to the weekend though. ;)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Working It Wednesday: Some Things I Want

Today is Working It Wednesday, where I will normally be posting about exercises or workouts that I love, that I'm doing or what I've done in the past.  However, today's edition will be about the health and fitness things that I want.  These things are most likely on my Pinterest boards in one place or another.

1.  The Garmin Forerunner 15
Isn't it beautiful?!  Okay maybe not beautiful but it is a very nice piece of hardware to add to my fitness gear collection.  I need something that works for me in a way that I don't need to use the apps on my phone and wear down the battery.  I love that it can tell me the distance, the time, the pace and the calories.  I think that it could really help me with my training and I wouldn't need to pull my phone out to see this information. 

2. Nathan Handheld Bottle
This is actually something that I have been on the fence about.  I need to hydrate but do I really want to hold something in my hand while I am running?  I have a FlipBelt that carries all my stuff in it so I am currently hands free while running. It is super important to hydrate, especially on longer runs so this is a great solution. I like that the bottle is small enough so I wouldn't feel weighed down while carrying it.  It also features the strap so that it is on your hand, not so much like you are holding the bottle.  

3. Under Armour Women's Qualifier 1/2 Zip
Unfortunately, I live in an area that gets to experience all four seasons and it get cold around here.  We have days where you need the heat on in the morning and air conditioning in the afternoon.   I hate the feeling of bulk so this is a great way to get the warmth that I need without too many layers or being puffed up with a coat.  I like things to be snug to my body while running too. 

I am pretty basic when it comes to how I work out. I don't need the latest and greatest gadgets or things just to say that I have them.  I am always looking for ways to simplify and make it easier on myself.  The three things are just that.  I may have to put all three on my Christmas wish list....or weekend wish list. ;)

Disclaimer: I was not compensated or scripted for this post.  These are simply items that I have found that I am hoping to buy in the near future.  All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Staying on Track

Why is it always so hard to stick with something?  I have been trying to find a way to stay organized, on track and scheduled so that I can get everything that I need to get done, done.  I'd love to say that I did find that special trick to keeping it all together and that I am super organized now but I can't, ha.  I am still scatterbrained and not functioning to my best ability.

I am trying to simplify things and really only tackle the necessary things.  I am trying to volunteer myself less and focus on my priorities.  My family, my jobs and fun. I am trying to narrow down the list to things that work better for us and things that make my schedule easier.

I've changed my work schedule at both jobs so that I can spend more time with my kids and be there three days a week to see them as soon as they get home from school. That may not seem like a major thing to some people but to me, it is a very major thing. In order to do this, I had to reduce my days working at the gym down to two days a week and changed the hours that I work at the ice rink.  This means that I won't be able to do any of the classes at the gym that I love but I had to seek out what my real priorities are and I put my family first.

I plan on doing the T25 program to stay active and really focus on my fitness journey.  This will allow me to do short 25 minute workouts (with the husband) and target those areas that need work without spending an hour at the gym and having to figure out how to squeeze it into my schedule.

T25 Program
I've also learned to ask for help.  I've always been that person that has just done it all on her own and complained about it.  The reality was that I am a control freak and I wanted to do it all and be that super mom that could juggle it all.  That is, until I realized that I couldn't do it all.  I started asking for help with transporting to and from sports practices, with switching shifts at work and even having my husband do some pickups or dropoffs.  I've always just thought it was my responsibility and it is, but it's okay to ask others to help out.  It has saved me a ton of aggravation and headaches.  I am not super mom all the time, I'm okay with having that title part of the time. ;)

I'm just a part time super mom!

I still need to find that one perfect way to get all the information down and organized though.  I've seen the life planners, I've seen the bullet journals and they both seem like great ways to keep everything on track but I'm still not sure if those are the answer. 

In addition to all of that, I am trying to stay on track with my running and training for the half marathon that is now less than two months away!!  I've got a good foundation to my running but I need to stay on course with the mileage and consistency. I've had some small issues like severe cramping that has sidelined my weekday runs a bit.  I'm not running today so that my body can recover from another strange thing going on.  I have a strong fear that I won't be ready and I don't want to sabotage this.  I am hoping for a better time this year than last year's half so I am hungry for success.  I am thinking that maybe as soon as the routine gets in place, I will be in better shape to focus more on the training. We'll see though.  

What do you do to stay on track?  What are your best life organizing tips and tricks? Please share them with me!! ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sharing That Feeling

I've been lurking over at BeachBody for quite some time.  It has been most likely over a year since I started checking things out, reading up on their business, watching videos, infomercials, workouts, products and I decided to just jump in.  No, it wasn't a light decision.  I had thought long and hard why I would want to add something else to my plate.

I want to help others. I really do.  I know that my last post about helping others was about those in need.  People that are looking to get healthier, more fit, lose some weight, tone their muscles, slim down or just feel their best are in need too.  Most of the time, it is to feel better about themselves.  It is hard to look in the mirror and not like what you see.  I've been there, in fact, I am there right now.  I haven't been exercising like I used to, I've slacked off some. I'm not eating very healthy at all.

I can't make changes for anyone else other than myself.  I can support, encourage and be by their side, but I can't do it for them.  People need to want to change their lifestyles or habits.  I can be a guide.  I can be their cheerleader.  I can help them along their journey and that is just what I want to do.  I want to help others.

I am now a Beachbody Coach.  This means that I can be that person who gives you a daily reminder to do your best, to put that effort in, to be the shoulder to lean on when the day is rough and you really don't feel like exercising but need to vent, to just be there on both good days and bad days.  I want to help others.

This is a business, yes, I am going to make a commission from sales but that isn't what drove me. I already have 3 other jobs.  I am looking for a way to encourage others to be healthy and to be that driving force behind a smile.  A good feeling about themselves and determination go a very long way.

I will also be using the products, I want to be an example to others.  I am human, there are days when I do not want to be active.  I want to sit on the couch and eat those damn cookies.  I have done that....I may have done that two days ago.  Today is a new day.

I need to start over and change my ways.  For myself and for others.

Have you heard of BeachBody?  Do you want more information or want to try one of the products?  Just let me know.  I am thinking of trying out the Focus T25.  I thought that maybe Chuck and I could try it together.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Do Good and Good Will Come Your Way

I've heard this a few times and it has started to really resonate with me.  I want to do good for others, not because I feel like good will come my way but the way I feel when I know that I have helped someone in need is beyond measure.  I can't hold it in my hands, I can't put a monetary value on it or give it to anyone's pride, it's happiness, it's a full heart.

There are so many people that I want to help.  I am always looking for ways to help others and just this morning, my husband asked why I am always so into getting involved with donations, setting up fundraisers, etc. My answer was simple, "because I can."  That's all it takes.  I willing heart.

I know that there are a lot of charities out there.  There are millions of people in need and choosing whom and when to donate or volunteer can be overwhelming. I get it.

The Monkey Do Project is important to me because we are helping people in our own area that are living as though they are living in a third world country.  Some without electricity or heat.  Some with no food or water.  Yes, this is happening in our own country, only hours from where I live.

For some families, summer means that their children are not getting regular meals because school is not in session and they cannot afford to buy the food that the kids need.  The food banks are not flowing with food to give.  Children are going days without eating.

Here is a statistic from the Monkey Do Project that is shocking and sad.

This is not okay.  We need to do better. We need to help those in need.  How can you help?  What can you do?

You can head over to the Monkey Do Project and make a donation, any amount is appreciated and we can help those families, those children to get the food and nutrition that they need.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Today, I have been married for fifteen years.  FIFTEEN!  Wow, that's a lot of years. I know it sounds cliche' but it has flown by so quickly.

I am able to remember bits and pieces of the day we got married.  It was a hot July day.  We were going to the courthouse to get married. The only people there with us were our parents.  We were trying to keep it nice and simple so we didn't have any siblings with us because once you invite one, you risk the chance at upsetting someone.

I remember driving there and Chuck being very quiet.  The radio was on, he was looking straight ahead with no real expression on his face.  I kept asking him if he was okay.  He kept saying he was.  We were in the building waiting for our turn and we were all joking, laughing and calm. When we went in the room, the judge was very nice and explained a few things and then got on with the "ceremony."  He talked so fast that at times, I was so busy trying to concentrate on what he was saying.  Then, it was over.  We took some pictures outside and that was that.  We were done.

We then went to lunch with our parents.  We went to a local hall to start setting up for our reception which was the following day.  We threw the biggest party ever.  So many people came, I'm pretty sure we exceeded the limit for the fire code occupancy!  People came and went and had such a blast.  It was a true celebration to kick off our marriage.  Family members still talk about that day as if it were yesterday and about what a good time they had.

For me, that day was a never-ending day.  I was five months pregnant and I got up probably around 6am.  We didn't get home until 24 hours later!!  We were busy all day, had the reception, cleaned up, went to a friend's house and then out to eat for breakfast.  We partied hard....well, everyone else partied hard.  I watched.  It was a memory I'll never forget.

I posted on Facebook, the realities of marriage.  I think there is a huge misconception that as you are married longer, things get easier.  So not the case.  At least not for us.  Yes, some things have gotten easier, you know what sets the other person off, you know their likes and dislikes, you know their personality. However, people change. You can't turn 35 and be the same exact person you were at 20 years old. It is natural for people to evolve and grow as they get older.  The test of marriage is whether your can change, evolve and grow together or not.  Will those changes break your relationship.

I've noticed over the past two years how much Chuck and I have changed.  There have been a lot of changes.  Some days, we really butt heads and I wonder if there is still a common ground. Other days, we are so in sync that I wonder why I ever doubted us.  It's the ebb and flow of life, really.

 I believe that this is what life is all about when you are married.  You are still finding out, fifteen years later, who  your partner is.  You find that there are new reasons that you love them, respect them and want to be with them.  Your heart swells from things that you didn't know about them all those years ago, because they have evolved into who they are today.

Is our life all that different from how it was fifteen years ago?  We are now a family of five, we have three dogs, a cat, different jobs and a happy home.  Yes, it is different, but I'd take this version of our lives over our lives then, any day.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Phone Interview With Comedian, Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias

Yesterday, I had the chance to take part in a phone interview with a famous comedian! If you don't know who Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias is, you need to click on his name to see him. He is so funny and a clean comedian who isn't full of profanity.

It was a great opportunity and a fun project for me.  I really enjoyed spending that time on the phone with him and learning a little more about him, as a person and about his shows.  He was a very down to earth guy and just very genuine.  The conversation wasn't full of self promotion as you might think since he has a new movie coming to theaters in three days.

It was a small group phone conversation with a few other mom bloggers and we were able to ask him some questions to get to know him a little better.

Here is a recap of the interview:

Q: Describe yourself in three words.
A: Approachable, happy guy.
Q: Who are your favorite comedians?
A: Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, Bill Maher, Jim Jeffries, Chris Rock, Dennis Miller (although Iglesias isn't considered an edgy comedian, he does enjoy those that are.)
Q: Why should everyone go see your new movie, Fluffy?
A: It is a non rated R comedy show that centers around family and relationships, it is very relatable and you can even take the kids.
Q: What is your best parenting advice?
A:  Embarrass your kids, it can be more effective than hitting or abusing your child.  No child wants to be embarrassed in front of their friends!
Q:  How has parenthood changed you?
A:  I have grown up a lot and I've learned to appreciate things more.
Q:  Do you find it hard to balance family and your career with this huge tour going on?*
A:  My family almost fell apart. The tour is so involved and it takes a lot of work.  We were arguing and I finally had to say, "just give me until the movie is out and then I will be home and I am all yours again." 
Q: Is it important to you that your movie be non R-rated?
A:   I am generally a clean comedian so I just had to eliminate two swear words to make it PG-13.  Those cuss words weren't necessary.
Q:  Are you now gearing toward more family friendly roles?
A:  I would like to do more work relating to families and parents. I enjoy the voice over work a lot, it's fun and a lot easier.
          Q: Are your shows scripted or do you just get up there and go?*
A:  They are not scripted, I do free flow and I don't write anything down.  I record all my shows so that I can sit down and see which things worked and which ones didn't.  If something worked, I will use it again.  If it doesn't work, I will toss it from my show. The movie, Fluffy, is a longer more involved show so that one I worked on for almost a year. 
Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about breaking into the comedy world?*
A:  Go for it but you must sacrifice, don't cuss, the less you cuss, the less there is a chance of upsetting people and try to keep it relatable to the audience. 
Q:  If you were not a comedian, what would you be?
A:  A teacher.
Q: What is your favorite venue to perform?
A:  The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach. It is smaller and a great place to try out material.
Q:  How do you deal with pressure to make people laugh?
A:  Now I walk out to cheers and applause, there's less pressure now.  In the beginning, I was so nervous and they laughed.  Now it is very surreal, I feel like sometimes they are just so excited that they would laugh at anything I say.  
Q: What does your mom think of your shows?*
A: His mom was the one that told him he wasn't fat, he was fluffy so that is how the whole name came about, he told this in his shows and people started calling him Fluffy.  She didn't really like that people were calling him Fluffy as a name.  She would laugh but maybe because she felt she needed to be laughing when everyone else was laughing.  Of course she loved his shows, she's mom!
Q: What do you like to do during your time off?
A:  I love going to the movies with my family, bowling, Dave and Busters and staying in at home with my 3 dogs.  I have three chihuahuas.  
Q:  What is one thing that people will take away from your new film, Fluffy?
A:  It is more emotional and full of inspiration than you would think.  People go in thinking it is just a comedy but they come out and are moved by the story. 

* These are questions that I asked him.

As you can see, he really allowed us to get to know him and about him a lot.  He did crack some jokes in there and had us laughing, but it felt really genuine and natural, not a forced conversation.

I can't wait to see his movie, Fluffy. I'm sure I will be laughing a lot and I can't wait to take away some inspiration.

He did tell us a story about a special toilet but the details are secret, let's just say that we were all laughing and I will be hitting up Google to look up this toilet to check out the features! ;)

A huge thanks to Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias for his time and entertainment.  I really enjoyed this opportunity and it is definitely going in my book of "awesome things I've done in my life!"

Monday, July 21, 2014

Getting Things Going

 A few months ago, I decided to be brave and start a local chapter of the national running group, Moms Run This Town.  It is open to all women (women only, sorry guys!) It's great because it allows for local women to meet up, share in exercise and conversations.  We can choose to bring our kids along to either run or ride in a stroller. You don't even have to be a mom to join the group, either!  You can be a single lady looking for group runs to keep you motivated.  It is a great organization that they started and I am happy to see that the numbers in my chapter are starting to grow.  We now have a group of nine members.

If you are local to me and would like to join, please check out our Facebook page and ask to join! 

You don't have to be a seasoned runner, you don't have to be fast and you don't have to be an exercise guru.  We welcome all ages, all levels of fitness and all abilities.  We would like to start meeting on a regular basis so that we can get the group going.  I am also going to look into maybe seeing if the local running store would like to host us and give us some tips and information on running and maybe introduce us to some running gear that we may not know about. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Facts: Random Facts About Me

Just trying to mix things up over here and get some fun stuff going.  Here are some random facts about me.....

  • I am totally scatterbrained.  Yeah, I guess you probably could have noticed that by now.  I just have so much going on in my brain that I am always going in ten different directions.  I want to do so much and I just don't know how to execute them all. 

  • I am afraid of failure.  I think this is a trait in everyone but I feel it so much.  I am always thinking of things I want to do in order to start my own business or a side business but I am too afraid of failing and having others look down on me or make fun of me for it, that I don't even get started.  I've had some really good ideas and have watched others succeed at those same things only to feel like a failure for not even trying.  It's a vicious cycle but I'm getting older and I think it's time to start taking chances!

  • I want to help others.  I really feel so much for others in unfortunate situations and I want to help them all.  I would love to make a difference in the lives of others.  I know that there are a ton of organizations and non profits that I can work with to help others, I really need to start volunteering more. 

  • I'm going through a rough time with realizing that my older kids are getting older.  I know most people struggle with their youngest getting older but I am just noticing that I only have a few more years with the older kids before they fly the coop. I touched on this in yesterday's post but it is a daily thought in my mind. 

  • I always plan trips.  I don't ever go on them but I like to plan them and look at hotel and airfare rates and see what it would cost and what we would do on these trips.  It's weird, I know.  I guess I just like to fantasize about traveling the world. Someday I will go on a cruise though! 
Got any random facts about you? 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Letting Go of Control

I am very much a control freak.  I like things to be organized and orderly and I like to know details.  This is why I usually volunteer to handle things, that way, I know how things will go.  However, I am learning to let go a bit.  I still get a twitch when things aren't explained to me in detail and I want to know what is going on, when and how.

Tonight, Jada is going to be sleeping over at her friend's house so that they can leave early tomorrow morning for a week long trip to the beach. She will be gone for 8 days and it is going to be weird.  She has never been away from home for that long and she has never gone anywhere with a friend for more than two days.  I did get lots of details from the parents so I do feel comfortable about her being with them for that long, I just worry that she will get homesick.  She said she is afraid of the same thing but I'm sure she is going to be having so much fun and she will be at the most favorite place on earth so I will be spending the week jealous of her!

Next weekend, Chuckie is going to be going away for the entire weekend with one of his coaches for a lacrosse tournament in Niagara Falls, NY.  This will be his first weekend away from us.  I don't know the details yet but I do know that he is in good hands.  He knows everyone on the team and they will be getting the boys together outside of the lacrosse games for swimming and probably a meal or two.  Chuckie has never seen the falls so I am silently struggling with the fact that he gets to see that without us.  He has always wanted to see the falls though so I am happy that he has the chance to go.  We decided to stay back because it is going to save us a large amount of money by just sending him.  I know he will have fun and will be busy with practicing and at least 5-6 games over the weekend.  We expect that he will get back late on Sunday.

So how am I coping with these two things?  I am trying to reassure myself that everything will be okay and they will have fun and they won't miss us too much.  I am starting to show signs of my anxiety coming back but it is only temporary.  Once they are gone, I will be okay.  It is just the time leading up to it all.  It may seem silly to some people that this will bother me but I am always involved in everything my kids do so letting go is not easy for me. Plus, I think part of it is that I want to experience these things with them.

I have been dealing with the fact that my older kids are getting older and more independent.  In a few years, they will be done with high school and moving on with their lives. I know it is a part of life but it is so hard to think that they could move away....even for college or other schooling.  I feel like I am running out of time and I just want to bottle it all up and save it for a lifetime.

I know I need to let go....not totally though.  I am still right there whispering to behave, to mind their manners and to have fun, to use caution, be aware of their surroundings and to take in the moments that make them happy.  I've had fourteen years of those moments and they are all held close to my heart, visions of them as vivid as if they were yesterday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I am now a BULU Box Brand Ambassador!!

I have tried out a few different subscription box companies and I have cancelled a few too.  I have tried the beauty ones, I have tried a few health/fitness ones and none have even come close to the love I felt for Bulu Box.  It is a health/fitness themed box subscription that is filled with samples from companies that cover all sorts of products.

I am currently subscribed to Bulu only because the products that I have found in other boxes just weren't things that I found to be useful.  I also love the actual box that Bulu sends, it is covered in inspirational and motivational messages! Who doesn't love that?!

I reached out to Bulu Box to see if I could become a brand ambassador because I really do love the company so much.  They accepted me!!  I am so excited to help them spread the word on their amazing company and subscriptions!

Luckily, it doesn't just make me will make YOU happy too because I have a link that will allow you to subscribe and get a 50% discount!! Yes, I said 50% discount!! Now you, too, can get the great orange box in the mail and try out product samples from companies that you may not have heard of otherwise.

You can simply click on the ad or click on any link in this post and you will automatically get the 50% off discount when you sign up for a subscription!  It's really that simple!  What are you waiting for?!  Go now!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Race Recap: 5K Foam Fest

Well, I did it!!  I got messy, I got wet and I had a blast!!  My husband and I had a few setbacks that had me so rattled but it ended well and we laughed about a lot that day.

Our wave was at 9:40am and we were meeting friends there to do it together.  We got a late start because Chuck was sick and slow moving.  He decided that he wasn't going to do the race because he was so sick and it would be hard for him to breathe.  However, he was going to walk the course with me and take pictures. He was not happy about this and neither was I but at that point, he was wheezing and coughing so much, it was much smarter that he not run and do the obstacles.

So we were running late, our directions took us to the wrong place and we ended up driving around for a bit looking for the right place. We finally saw a bus that was a shuttle bus and we followed it to the parking area. Then we had to wait for around a half hour for the shuttle bus because the line was long.  We made it to the event area and had to wait in line again for registration and waiver signing.

When we were finally in and set up, we were put in the next wave which was starting in five minutes.  The horns went off and we started walking.  The course was set up on an ATV dirt trail through the woods.  It was pretty and the trail walking was a good workout in itself.  A lot of people didn't do last year's event so they had nothing to compare it to.

If I were to compare last year and this year I would say a few things:

1.  The parking was different.  Last year, the parking was right at the event area so no shuttles were needed and I really liked that.  We were able to drive through and get it much faster, no lines, no shuttles, no confusion on where we needed to go.

2. The course was much different.  I enjoyed the trails this year.  I liked that the course itself was a workout and the hills and rough terrain allowed the crowds of people to space out and we didn't have to wait in a large group to get through the obstacles like we did last year.

3.  The obstacles. Last year, it just seemed like the obstacles were much closer together than this year.  There were parts of the course this year that it seemed like we were walking forever until the next obstacle.

4.  The afterparty.  The area after the race had some pros and cons over last year.  The shower and changing area this year was superb.  There was plenty of space and privacy for everyone.  Last year, people were changing in their cars, myself included.  However, last year there seemed to be more vendors and it was better set up.

I had a blast and I had no problems with any of the obstacles.  They were fun and I got messy, wet and foamy.  There was even a portion of the course where we walked through a real mine.  I would recommend this race to everyone as a fun run. I think it's a great event for groups of family and friends to do together.

Here are some of the official photos of me:

Have you ever done the 5k Foam Fest in your area?  If not, consider this one as the fun run you've always wanted to do!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Foam, Mud, Water and Fun, Here I Come!!

I am so excited about tomorrow's fun run for the 5K Foam Fest!!  I am very happy that my husband has decided to do this with me, he was there last year following us and taking pictures and he decided that it would be more fun to join in with us.  We have our same group as last year so we can say it is officially our second annual Foam Fest together!

Chuck has been sick for the last week so I was really anxious about whether or not he would be well enough for the run but he assures me that he will be fine.  I told him that it is fine if he needs to walk (he has a chest cold and congestion so running may be out) that I will walk with him. It's really not about your timing in this event, it is about having a blast and doing the obstacles.  I can't wait to see the obstacles because there are some different ones this year.

If you haven't done this event yet, I encourage you to sign up and join in the fun.  You will not regret it at all.  You may just find out that you are tougher than you thought! I know I did!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Making the Tough Calls

As every other parent on the planet, I am always trying to do the best for my kids.  We all do.  It is a tough balance between doing what is best and allowing them to learn on their own.  This year has been a roller coaster of highs and lows.  Teetering on that edge of what is right and what you feel in your heart. Kids have this knack for making you question your decisions sometimes. Little stinkers!

Lincoln is our youngest and you would think that by the time you have your third kid, you have this parenting gig down. That is not the case.  The lovely thing about it is, each kid is different in so many ways.  That is what makes parenting more of an adventure. Not always the fun adventure but an adventure nonetheless.

Lincoln has been quite the adventure since he was born.  Each day is exciting and fresh and well, unpredictable.  He has a way of bringing a smile to anyone and everyone.  I'm not sure how he does it but he's a charming little guy.  Chuck will always take the credit for that.

During this school year, Lincoln has been pushing and plodding along but as the lessons got harder and the words got longer, he started to lag behind.  His teacher and I noticed it and talked about it a lot.  We kept our eyes on his progress and talked about how we can work to keep him where he needs to be. The gap was getting bigger and we finally made the decision to have him evaluated to see if there was something that the special education office and school psychologist could find that would explain this gap. I was nervous that they would wait until next school year to get the series of tests done.  By law, they have 60 days from the day they receive my permission, to test him.  There were less than 60 days left in this school year.  Thankfully, they did the testing right away and they were gathering the information from several sources for the results.

He does have what is being labeled as a learning disability.  There is no specific name for it, it means that there is a discrepancy in his results.  In a series of tests, all pertaining to reading and comprehension, he tested "high above average" in some areas and "well below average" in others.  This means that he needs some help in some areas of reading with the special education staff in order to bridge the gap.  The director of special education feels that it is very likely that with this intervention, he will be able to close that gap and may not even need help in the future.  He may "catch up" to his peers and be fine as he gets older and uses the learning tools they give him to do it all on his own.

The director was saying that they would create an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for him and they would make sure he would have the appropriate teacher for second grade.  I immediately looked at his teacher because in our previous conversations, we decided it would probably be best if Lincoln repeated first grade.  We decided that before we had this meeting though, so does that change things?!  I felt like I had already made the decision so am I again faced with making the decision based on the new information?  They felt that he could go on to second grade now but I thought we had that cleared up.  Shoot......I didn't want to have to decided again.

And then, the director gave me advice........

"Listen to your mom gut."

Isn't that what we all usually rely on?  She was spot on.  There I was sitting there second guessing my decision thinking, well, it would be nice to not have to explain why he is repeating first grade and he would be happier just going on to second grade.   No!  Stop it, you made the decision.

Repeating first grade will essentially help him bridge the gap much more easily than to send him to second grade where the benchmarks and expectations are higher and he has an even bigger gap to close in on.  It just makes sense for him to repeat.  He is also young, he isn't going to turn seven until the end of July so it's not like he is going to be so much older than his classmates in year number two of first grade. He will fit right in, age wise.

He has no issues with making friends and his teacher this year is going to be his teacher again next year since she is an inclusion teacher (classroom with children with IEP's, special needs, etc.) He told his class that he is going to be repeating first grade next year and the teacher started cheering and waving her arms, his classmates starting booing and saying they wanted to be with him next year.  It's really bittersweet.

It wasn't an easy decision but we are looking at the future.  Do we really want to send him on and watch him struggle and get frustrated?  No, I cannot handle another year like that.  It may not be an easy year next year but he will be getting help where he needs it and we are hoping to build a great foundation for his educational future.  The director also said that through the intervention, it is our hope that he gains more self confidence and feels better about himself.  Who can argue with that?!  No one and certainly, not me.

Parenting is definitely not an easy thing, but it is so far beyond rewarding.  I wouldn't trade my silly, loving, crazy boy for the world's riches. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What's Your Why

A few weeks ago, I was in the car with my son after one of his lacrosse games and he asked me what my why is.  I told him that it was a very good  question.  I'm not sure if someone asked him that or he heard it and decided to ask me.

I often tell other people that I am doing this health and fitness thing for several reasons.  It is so true.  It's hard to pinpoint exactly why I am trying to be the best me that I can be.  I feel like there isn't just one reason. 

  • Me.  I am trying to be my best because for many years, I have been doing so much for others, I have put myself on the back burner in an effort to care for others and make other happy.  I don't necessarily think that it is a bad thing that I have done so much for others.  I do enjoy doing things for others.  However, it is my time to put myself first.  The time that I spend working out or running, I get my thoughts out, my frustrations out and stress is lessened.  I am able to relax when I need to relax and I am able to have the energy needed to keep up with my family.
  •  My family.  My husband and my kids are my number one in life.  They are what keeps me grounded, what keeps me going everyday.  I need to be able keep up with them and I want to be able to stay active with my kids, playing in the backyard.  Run with them, ride bikes with them, play baseball, catch and frisbee with them. We love to be active so I can't do that if I am not healthy. 
  • To help others.  It is in my nature to help others.  I want to help people in any way I can.  I love that some people have remarked that because of me, they have started to exercise more.  It is so good for people to get out and move, to find that one thing that makes them feel good about themselves.  I love to help others find that thing.  To see that they are worth the time and effort it takes to be healthy and active.  

So, now I'm asking you, what is YOUR why?!  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Finding the Right Plan for Me

If you are a runner and have looked for a distance running training plan, you know that there are several out there to choose from.  I have pinned quite a few on my Pinterest page over the last year or so.  Each one seems to have its benefits and I can usually tweak them a bit to fit my schedule.

Then, I found this one:

It is just perfect for my weekly personal schedule.  I can get my runs in on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning before I go to work because those are the days that I don't work at the gym.  The stretch and strength on Mondays and the cross training on Wednesdays I can either do at home or do at the gym.  I really like that Fridays and Saturdays are rest and recovery days because those tend to be days when I want to do stuff with my family.  The Sunday long distance runs are perfect because I can get up and go for a morning run to finish my weekends and get ready for the new week.

I am hoping to run at least two half marathons this year so I need to start training now and building up my strength and stamina.  My half marathon isn't until the fall but if I start now, I will be good to go by September, October and November.  I can't imagine doing a half marathon in the heat of the summer so I decided to wait until the cooler temps of fall are here.

It is always hard to find the time for running and exercising with our busy family schedule but as the school year winds down and we have more free time, I can make the time for more running.

Have you found the perfect training schedule that fits your needs?

Monday, May 19, 2014

It's Going to be Wonderful

In less than three weeks we are leaving for an out of town wedding then heading to the coast for a few days at the beach.  I am both excited and stressed.  We have had a few unexpected expenses pop up and so I am less financially prepared than I was planning on being but we are still going.  I will make it work.

We are going to our nephew's wedding in Virginia and then the following day we are going to Ocean City, MD for four days/three nights.

We were in the car yesterday for a short road trip for a lacrosse tournament for Jada and I was sitting there thinking about how much I love being in the car with my family.  Sometimes the kids are annoying and I want to choke them (don't worry, it has never happened) but I love to be in the car with the people I love the most in life.

Our car ride won't be as long as our drives down to North Carolina and they will be broken up into two drives but I am excited.  We laugh, we talk about memories, we make memories and we sing our hearts out.  There is nothing I love more than my husband and kids and even though it can be a long road, it is worth it.

This will be our first family vacation.  Yes, we have been on vacation before...a few times to the beach.  However, this will be our first time with just the five of us.  We have always gone with other families or our extended family for our beach trips and hopefully we will do that again soon.  I am looking forward to a trip of our very own.  Just the five of us.  There may be more fighting, bickering and annoyance but that's okay. We are making memories of our very own to share with only ourselves.

I am planning on it being a wonderful trip.