Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I Am Now A Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador!!

I am so happy to have been accepted into the Girls Gone Sporty Ambassadorship program!  I applied awhile ago hoping to become a part of a great group of women that encourage, support and form friendships while learning more about fitness and healthy living.

I love that when I post something online about what I am doing, a race I have run, how my training went or anything related, I have had a few people tell me that I am an inspiration for them to get moving too. That means a lot to me. I know it isn't easy to get started.  I have started and restarted so many times that I have lost count.  I just want to help others feel better about themselves.  I want others to feel a sense of what I feel when I reach a goal or milestone.

I don't know everything.  I have never claimed to know everything but I love learning more.  I love reading what others are doing or have to say so that I can grow as a person and become a better version of me.  Life is about growing and while I am growing, I am getting stronger.  Mentally and physically.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Race Recap: SuperHero 5K

When I look into the races that are being put on in my area, I often take the time to read about what the race is benefiting and how it will impact the lives of others.  I don't just simply pick one randomly and go run it.   I want to know that the race fees are going to a good cause.  I had heard about the Superhero 5K before and had seen some pictures from some friends' pictures in past years on Facebook.  I was interested already.  Here was a race where I could dress up?!  Awesome already.  The race benefits an organization that is helping abused and neglected children through the CASA organization?  More awesome.  There were going to be kids there to see all the superheroes?!  More awesome.  Count me in.

Of course races that benefit the lives of children are close to my heart.  As a mom, how could they not?  I am very lucky in that I have three healthy, happy kids who live in a safe, happy home.  I feel like it is almost a duty to help those that don't have that.  We help in other ways but for me, if I can run and help them, I am definitely in.

I decided early on that I was going to dress up as Violet from the Incredibles movie. I had the hair and the costume was very easy and simple.  All I had to do was order some red tights and make a black mask and I was done.  Chuck helped me add in the final touches and here is how I looked before the race started....

Not too bad considering this is the character I was trying to portray......

Yes, there are quite a few differences but come on, it was sort of, kind of close! haha.

Anyway, it was a good run, the course was great, we did two loops on a road that is lined with trees in a park so it was nice scenery.  There were over 700 people running and walking.  The temperature was perfect and the kids were loving the run and characters.

I had friends there and my friend's dad captured this photo of me as I was running.  I am not sure if this was right before I finished or during the transition into the second loop.

This was definitely a run that I plan on doing again next year.  I ended up with my personal best live 5k time!  I ran the 5k in 30:18.  I was the 24th female in the 31-40 age group out of 113 and I was 277 overall out of 773!!  I was very happy with how I did.  I had a great time and I maybe even helped out a child in need of help.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Slow It Down

Wow, life has been busy.  The school year is dwindling down and the countdown is on for the last day of school (my kids are missing the last day since that happens to be the day we leave for vacation.) The sports schedules are nearing their end, only two weeks left of track & field and a month left of lacrosse.  However, between now and then, we are still juggling those schedules and trying to keep our heads above water.

Aside from what the kids are doing and involved in, Chuck and I are busy.  I am trying to work more hours so that we can start to save some money and have a better financial plan.  He is working his full time job and doing side jobs in the little spare time he has so that he can build up a new business that he and a friend are starting.  It would be lovely if it took off and they were able to quit their full time jobs but that will probably take a good amount of time. They are staying pretty busy right now with it though. It sucks that it takes him away from us at home but it's a sacrifice for getting to where he wants to be.

My running training is in full swing and I have a pretty good race schedule for the next few months.  I have a Superhero 5k tomorrow where I am dressing up as Violet from the Incredibles and joining a friend and her mom for her first 5k.  Next weekend, I have the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay where I am running the fourth leg of the race and I am so excited for that.  I can't wait for the atmosphere that I have heard so much about. There are several other races that I am doing...I really need to make sure they are all in my calendar.  I love that I am teaming up with so many different people for different races. I am doing some fun runs with some people and more serious races with others.  This love of running has really stuck with me and I have finally pinpointed what exactly it is for me.  It is solitude, it is my me time, my stress reliever, my thinking place and my sanity.  It is a bonus that it is a healthy hobby. Chuck likes to tinker with his truck, I like to run and we decided that those are pretty good hobbies.
Lincoln has been pretty good about all of this.  He has been carted around with me for pickups, dropoffs, games, meets and he continues to go and sometimes complain but I really can't blame him.  I'm tired too.
He has no desire to take part in any sports right now and I am fine with that. I do wish I could watch him play something but we're not pushing it. He is his own person and I support whatever he wants to do which happens to be nothing right now.

I hate how sometimes life gets so busy and you lose sight of what means the most to you.  It can cause a lot of stress on a family and the dynamics of everyday life.  Chuck and I had to finally sit down and talk about it all.  We need a break and I couldn't possibly look forward to vacation than I am now.  I cannot wait to let it all go and relax.  I can't wait to see the sunrise on the ocean and put my feet in the sand.  I can't wait to see the kids running on the beach carefree and smiling.

As much as I can complain about how busy we are, I wouldn't really want to change it. Everyday, every activity and event, we are finding ourselves.  We are learning about our strengths, our weaknesses and finding the things we love. Luckily, we get to be on this adventure together, as a family.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

More Foam, More Fun!!

I have run a lot of races and they all have those fun moments, special moments and I try to take away something good from all of them.  One of the highlights of last summer, for me, was the Foam Fest 5K. It was so much fun, it tested my abilities and I really pushed myself in ways that I didn't know I had in me.

I am so thankful that my husband, brother and sister-in-law were there to take pictures because I don't ever want to forget this event.  Here are some of the pictures that were taken:

 It really is such a good time.  I hear that this year, there are going to be even more obstacles, including a free jump onto a big blowup mat!! Also, this year, Chuck is joining our team to have some fun with us.  I cannot wait.  I would encourage anyone and everyone to sign up today for their local event and join the fun and foam!!

Disclaimer: I was not given any monetary compensation for this post, all opinions and pictures are my own.  In exchange for this post, I was given free registration to my local event. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What Lies Ahead

I have been reluctant to write about this because I really wasn't sure of what I would say, where to begin and express my feelings about it.

We found out that my mother-in-law has breast cancer.  She had a very large lump in her breast and went for a biopsy.  It was bad news.  The doctor told her that it was either stage 3 or if it had spread (which was his strong suspicion) it was stage 4. They did the PET scan to find out for sure whether or not it had spread.  If so, the doctor said that there may not be much they could do because it was a very aggressive cancer.

I am the type of person that wants to know the facts before I react and go crazy with all sorts of feelings but this time, I was scared. Really, really scared.  I wanted to know the prognosis, the course of treatments, the everything about what is happening, what is going to happen, etc. I needed to know.

The PET scan came back and thank the sweet Lord above, it had not spread.  She now has the label of Stage 3 breast cancer.  Now some people may think that is horrible news and we should not be celebrating this "good news" but I am. We all are, her chances of survival with that news is far greater than if it had spread.  She has a fighting chance to survive and although she is in for the fight of her life, the frame of mind is much better.  She hates that she will lose her hair, she hates that she is going to be very sick from the chemo, she fears that she is going to act like a baby through it and also fears that depression will kick in.  I think that these are normal fears, normal reactions.

She is going today to meet with the oncologist to find out the course of treatments.  She has heart conditions so they are being very cautious and very mindful of what they can do to best treat her.  She will be going in for chemo, then she will have a double mastectomy and then radiation.

 It is not going to be easy.  

We are all in her corner, cheering her on and it will be so hard to see her go through this fight.  If I could take some of the burden off of her I would.  I feel sort of helpless in not knowing quite how to help.