Happy New Year! Bring on 2015!

So one of my goals this year is to be more active on my blog.  I often think of things to write during the day, then when I get home and the chaos of kids hits and I hit writer’s block.  Doesn’t make for a successful blog let me tell ya!

Another thing I’m hoping to help change this year is the way fellow moms think.  Just recently I had a mom tell me that I was selfish of all things for spending so much time exercising and worrying about my health versus spending it with my family and taking care of my kids.  HELLO?!??!  How else is mom suppose to remain healthy?  Exercising is NOT being selfish especially as a mom.  I feel kids learn by their parents setting an example and how is it when mom is eating crap and not taking care of herself a good example for her children.  Here she is worrying about whether they eat their veggies and what not and then she “don’t have time” to do that for herself?  I call bullshit!   Excuse my language, but this is something I am very passionate about.

I’m pretty sure kids will grow up just fine and not to mention learn some independence in the process, if mom isn’t focused on them 100% of the time.  If kids get 100% of your time and effort, think of it as them learning to be selfish.  It is alright if you take 30-60 minutes of your day to focus on YOUR health.   Exercising is NOT about “being skinny” or “looking good.”  It’s about being HEALTHY and planting those seeds in your children so that they learn the value of making good decisions.

Not only will mom’s health improve from daily exercise, but so will her stress levels, her self esteem and her overall life/marriage.  As my friend says “happy mommas, make happier families!”  RIGHT ON!

In another recent conversation with a fellow mom who was worried about her health, however did not want to lose anytime with her babies.  What about when your health is suffering and you can’t truly enjoy your time with your kids 100% because you are in pain or discomfort or just uncomfortable in general?  How is that any better?  How is it any better that you spent ALL your time focused on your family and kids and then you are disabled or even worse gone at a young age because you didn’t spend the time to focus on you either?  Your kids and family NEED you even after they are grown.  Trust me, I know this from a fact.  Losing my dad at the age of 19 was devastating.  Granted it has been what makes me so passionate about health and wellness, but it also lead to many tears over the years of the things that I was deprived of.  Having my dad walk me down the aisle.  The support from him going through a divorce.  Knowing that my dad had met my husband.  The list goes on and on and I’m sure it’s not over with.

Take the time to work on your health. Please!  I beg all of you mom and even dads out there. It doesn’t have to be much.  Thirty minutes daily is all that is really required.  That is a fraction of your day.  Show your kids what it truly means to be healthy and lead by example.

Plant those seeds and stop thinking/feeling like your being selfish by focusing on your health this year.  Your whole families health depends on it.

Warrior Dash Race Recap

So I’m a little behind on my race recaps if you can’t tell.  Sorry!  So we ran Warrior Dash back in May.  It ended up being a fairly nice day to run other than the fact it was a little cooler considering there were water obstacles but we made it.  I was excited about this year, because I had FINALLY talked my husband into running a 5k with me.  Granted it wasn’t your typical 5k since it had obstacles and this year it wasn’t timed for us, but we had fun none the less.

My husband had started earlier in the year running first off to continue trying to lose weight but also knowing that he had Warrior Dash coming up.  I’m so very proud of him!  This was definitely stepping out of the comfort zone for him.   He started his weight loss journey back in October 2013 just watching what he ate and swapping one meal a day out with Shakeology.  Pretty soon by the first of the year he had lost 20lbs just by doing that.  Then once he started adding in running two to three days a week to his new, improved diet and Shakeology once a day, he managed to lose another 27 lbs.  Leading up to Warrior Dash, his side started hurting during his runs so he tried to slow it down and take it easy by adding some walking in there when it got too bad, but he managed.   At one he was up to 6 miles.

So back to Warrior Dash, it was fairly cloudy day and our heat was at 11:00 am. Packet pickup had changed and ended up being a HUGE ordeal with lots of standing around and waiting, unlike last year where it was quick, easy and painless.  I found this a little discouraging as I wanted to keep the whole ordeal pleasant in hopes my husband would decide to run again.  I know we waited in line for over an hour just for packet pick up and gear check.  We finished just in time for the start of our heat.  It was cutting it pretty close.

This year they changed some of the obstacles around which made it pretty fun as it was at the same location as last years here in Oklahoma.  Last year it was timed, but for whatever reason this year it was not for the non competitive heats.

There were a couple of obstacles where we had to walk up (one being a very steep hill) and some uneven terrain that was a little rough to run on.

All in all we had fun.  I didn’t get too many pictures since I even checked my phone.  There is some good people watching at these events though with all the costumes and such.

Warrior Dash both

 

My husband and I jumping over the fire pit.  Love that they captured his smile during so!

 

Warrior Dash

 

Have you ever run a mud run or obstacle course?  Did you like it?

Playing catch up and ramblings

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So today I finally have some quiet time to sit and think before the hustle and bustle of the holidays start.  I can’t believe Thanksgiving is in less than 5 days!   That means it’s almost my birthday AND it’s less than one month til Christmas!  This time of the year just flies for me.  This is my favorite time of the year though.  I love all the decorations and being with family.  It is truly a blessing every year that we get to spend together.

So not too long ago I posted on my Facebook page a question, asking people what they would like to read about to get ideas for my blog.  Everytime I get quiet time to sit down and write, it feels like I get “writer’s block” and my mind goes blank!  Yet when it’s crazy and chaotic I have all these ramblings in my head.  Go figure!  So one of the things someone brought up was running.  Not just the usual “how do I start running…,”  “why do you like running…” and etc.  They asked about specifically about my longs runs.  How do I get through the monotony of it?

Well to answer this question for the most part, I honestly enjoy my long runs.  Don’t get me wrong, I used to HATE them, dread them, and even resented them!  However I found a cure to it earlier this year.  For nearly 12 years I ran solely on a treadmill, or rather a “dreadmill” as I call it.  The only time I ran off of it was when I ran races.  Even the treadmills at the gym that have the fancy, smancy T.Vs on them I loathed!  It wasn’t until earlier this year and the beginning of last year that I learned to actually love my long runs.  For years, all I ever ran were 5ks, but this time last year my neighbor/friend talked me into training for a half marathon.  I signed up with a training group with her to run the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon.  It was truly a blessing in disguise.  I had learned some tips on running through my years of it before that, but it wasn’t until I went through the training group that I actually learned a LOT of stuff about running.  It was actually very informative even though it was mainly set up to give us a group to run with on the long run days.  Yes in the beginning as I transitioned from treadmill running to outdoor running, it was nice to have a group to run with.  I still enjoy having a running partner, that you run similar paces with and can chat with along the way.  However I find running by myself enjoyable too.  For the most part all my running is by myself.  I have little kids (if you haven’t heard this yet), and they or someone else is always wanting my attention, so to have time for myself, alone time to think, is kind of rare!  Running outdoors with just myself and my music is truly a joy.  I don’t have to worry about anyone for that hour or more that I have to enjoy.  I get to have complete thoughts without them getting interrupted.  I get to complete a task without having to stop and do 10 other things in the process.  It let’s me regain my sanity and clear my frustrations and energy levels.  At the gym I didn’t get this, I stared at the timer on the treadmill constantly, wondering when my time or distance would be up.  I would count down the seconds as they ticked by.  I tried to cover up the timer so I wouldn’t look at it, but it would never help.  Getting out and actually running outdoors was a blessing!  To get to see outdoors and places that you drive by every day in a different light is amazing.  Near my house we have paved trails and I always enjoy the people who I pass or encounter, no words are spoken or exchanged other than “Hi!” or a smile and a wave.   It’s almost like it is my time to meditate and reflect.  My husband has his storm chasing as an outlet, I have my running!

On the longer run days, meaning for me, 10+ miles, I have my moments when I have to turn my thoughts elsewhere when my body starts to tighten up and things start to ache.  It is amazing at how much sooner your mind gives out before your body does!  I look at things around me, the cows, the horses, just items around me.  I think about  my groups and things I want to accomplish, my goals, the people I help, my family and friends.  I think about the people I help on a daily basis with work that aren’t physically able to do this, that experience far worse pain then I am at that moment that push through it.  I keep running because there are so many people in this world that can’t.  I keep running because there are people with far worse things going on that keep them from running.  I run because it releases any stress I have and because I know at the end of it, I will feel like I can conquer the world.  The act of running is very monotonous, however when you look at all the things it does for you and how it makes you feel, it is not.  Yes there are days that it feels like a chore or like I am dying, but I look at aspects of it and the circumstances.  Am I tired?  Has it been awhile since I have ran?  Did I start out too fast?  Is it windy?  What is the temperature out?  Am I overdressed?  There are so many different aspects to running that you have to take into consideration.

Anyone that isn’t used to exercising and starts running, yes you will feel like you are dying and thing that running is monotonous, however don’t give it up, give it some time.  It never gets easier, BUT you WILL get better.

Half Marathon Training Take 2!

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So let the half marathon training commence NEXT WEEK!!!  I’m so excited now!  After my 15k at the end of October, I had kind of take a running sabbatical so to speak.  I had been running with my daughter to get her ready for the Turkey Trot, but other than that I hadn’t really ran.  However now that I got all my planning mapped out for next year with not one, but TWO half marathons, both within the first third of the year! The Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon series in Dallas-Fort Worth in March and then the amazing Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon in April.  (I highly suggest the OKC!  It is simply amazing at all the supporters and work that the city puts into this race every year.  I was actually brought to tears towards the end of my race at how amazing it is!)   Maybe I’m crazy, but this distance has grown on me since my one earlier this year.  I love how my body proves to me just what it’s made of and what I can do when I really set my mind to it.  Not to mention at the longer distances, it’s not so much my body that I have to convince, it’s the MIND!  There is something in my mind that can run 9.3 miles without fear, however the thought of 10 miles (a double-digit!) makes me nervous.  I want to END this fear and show my mind (and my body) that it can do it again!  Plus my sister-in-law started this thing by wanting to run a marathon on every continent (yes, even though she has never run a marathon), so I asked her to scale this back some.   Since she is one of my frequent running buddies, I helped “reconstruct” her idea, how about we try a half marathon in every STATE.  Seems much more doable in my mind then a marathon on every continent.  Have you ever even ready that book Alisha???  😉  I had read a book about a year ago about a woman who basically goes through a mid-life crisis and decides to run a marathon on every continent.  The book is called Second Wind:  One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents.  I HIGHLY recommend this book, even if you are NOT a runner.  Wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL book!  If you are in need of some inspiration, READ it!

I am also excited about this HM training for another reason.  Remember my friend Jennifer that I got hooked on running and ran her first 5k at the beginning of October?  Well she wants to run a half marathon now too!  I have every ounce of faith that she can do!  This woman is incredible!  She has managed to lose 50 lbs since July and is STILL shrinking before my very eyes!  She went  from couch to 5k to losing 50lbs,  and now to half marathon training in LESS than a year!  SUPER WOMAN status just might be achieved with her!

Fantastic Friday Edition #1

So it’s November 1st and I’m sure by now you all know how much I love the start of a new month and a fresh calendar! A new month for me is a time to reflect on the past month and plan/set goals for a new month.

I would say we had a fun month both family and fitness related. I ran with a friend of mine in her first ever 5k, and just yesterday we signed up for her second, the Tulsa Turkey Trot the day after Thanksgiving. All together for my training this month in preparation for my 15k just last week, I ran a total of 47.6 miles. I need to get back to it since I have kind of taken this week off for the most part from running. I have kept up fairly well with my Les Mills Combat though.

On the home front, Sofie got to enjoy her Girl Scouts Stranger Danger class and has decided she is going to run a 5k race with me in the near future.

The kids had a fun Halloween and definitely got plenty of candy. So much in fact I think we will be donating some! Taylor really got into the hang of trick or treating and picked up what to do really quick.

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Speaking of Taylor he has finally decided to expand is vocabulary. Before he was pretty much a “caveman” grunting and pointing at everything only to say “gaga” (dog), “bye'” and “mama,” but completely understands what you tell him to do. Now he still does this for the most part, but he now says “dada” regularly as well as “Sis” (for Sissy), “love you,” and “see.” We think even was even trying to say thanks on Halloween night. It’s hard to believe that he will already be 19 months old here in just a few days! Golly the time flies!

How was your week/month? What do you have going on for next month?

Passion

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So let’s talk passion.  No not the passion in the bedroom silly.  What is one thing you are passionate about and strongly believe in?  Have you ever stopped and truly thought about what is something that you truly are passionate about?   Some people are okay with being mediocre and keeping to themselves.  Not me.  I want to be different.  I want to encourage people to be the best they can possibly be.  I want others to see for themselves that they CAN physically do things that they never thought possible.  It’s not the body you have to convince, it’s the mind.

 

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I am passionate about fitness, exercising and nutrition.  Why you might ask?  On a daily basis, I see individuals that the majority of them have never took the time to think about their health and wellness.  They just kept going either 1) thinking that would never happen to them 2) didn’t know the outcomes that might come to them from actions they chose (i.e. smoking) 3) the knowledge/education wasn’t there or 4) they didn’t choose to try to correct the issue until it became a problem.  Because of my job, I feel the need and desire to help others obtain a healthy life BEFORE the problem arises (for example diabetes).

Yes diabetes can be hereditary, but in some cases it can be prevented by proper nutrition, diet and exercise.  Why wait til you get diagnosed with it to finally take charge of your life and do something to keep it under control, when you could have done it prior to being diagnosed with it that could possibly have prevented it.  See what I’m saying?

We are all about prevention these days, so why shouldn’t our health and nutrition be a part of that?

When it comes to be healthy, it’s not all about your diet.  Exercise is a vital component to it as well.  A body in motion, stays in motion.  The physical therapy motto you could say, and it’s true.  Do you know how many times a day I hear “don’t get old'” or “getting old isn’t for the weak?”  I can honestly say I hear a phrase similar to this on a daily basis.  DAILY people!  So what gives?  Why does getting old have to be a bad thing?  Yes in general getting old,means our bodies are wearing out and things are going to go wrong with it that are beyond our control, but why not take care of it?  It gets us around and does all those fun and adventuresome things that you so badly wanted to do in your youth on a daily basis, so why not show it some love and get it out and move those joints.  Joints are meant to be in motion, when they aren’t they get stiff.

A couple of years ago I went to a continuing education class that was based on “How to Age Successfully.”  I found it very interesting and appealing.  It not only talked about the physical aspects of aging, but mentally and spiritually as well.  I found it interesting that it was recommended to decrease risk of dementia to have 1-3 drinks daily.  Now if you were to go to your doctor and say you had 2 beers a day, they might question you.  Now I’m by all means not saying to go out and have 1-3 drinks a day, but I found that tidbit fascinating.

However the part that stuck with me the most was the physical aspect of aging.  Most people tend to think that as we get older that the less we should do, when in fact that is not the case.  According to the information that I got from that continuing education class, the physical exercise regimen for a 90-year-old is the same as an 18-year-old surprisingly enough.  This completely blew my mind, as I can’t fathom the idea of a 90-year-old doing what a 18-year-old does.  But then once it was broken down for me, I began to see it on a different perspective.  For “substantial health benefits” and aerobic fitness, it is recommended that you get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week (i.e. walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week and it should be done in increments of at least 10 minutes if you can’t get the full-time in a day.  They did also go on to say that for even more benefits you should reach upwards of 300 minutes a week if possible of moderate intensity.

  •  For example 150 minutes of walking, that is 30 minutes of walking, 5 days a week.  (Three 10 minute walking segments a day is just as good as one 30 minute segment).

Muscle strength should be at least two times a week incorporating all major muscle groups and work up to 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.

Flexibility and Balance should be three times a week, for 30-60 minute sessions (i.e. Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates).

That is incredible!  How many of you actually follow something like this?  I’m sure not many do!  If you want further information on this, you can go HERE, which is where the info was pulled from according to my continuing education class.

So with that said, you now see why my passion is health and fitness.

 

QOTD:  What is YOUR passion and why?  I would love to hear what yours are.

National Diabetes Awareness

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So with November coming up and it is National Diabetes Awareness Month, I am all about promoting awareness for this horrible disease.   If you don’t know already, this is a disease that has heavily impacted my family.  This is a disease that runs in my family:  my mom, my dad, aunts, uncles, and all of my grandparents have or had it.  I have termed it that way because my dad, an aunt and all my grandparents have died from complications of it.  This is an awful and devastating disease, not only for the person that has it, but for the family as well.  When I was born both of my parents already were diabetic.  I grew up with this disease staring me straight in the eyes.  I grew up helping my parents check their blood sugars, giving insulin injections, being made aware of the signs and symptoms of hypoglyemia.  I even witnessed  some of the complications of it:  kidney failure, retinopathy, neuropathy, kidney dialysis.

My dad was by far the worst diabetic I had ever seen.  He had the philosophy that he could eat and drink whatever he wanted and insulin injections took care of the high blood sugar and the kidney dialysis took care of the excess fluid.  This however does not work this way.  It was because of him I did not want to become a nurse, however because of him I became a Physical Therapist Assistant.  I had it in my head that I was going to be the one to help teach him to walk again.  Unfortunately that didn’t happen.  My dad passed away at the young age of 46, (I was 19) before I finished PTA school.  However because of him and my mom (whom is still living), I strive to lead a healthy, active  life and help my family lead one as well.

So with that being said I would like to personally invite every single one of you, your friends and your family members to take part in my Back on Track Challenge that starts Monday, October 14th.

What is a challenge you might ask?

A challenge is a private group on Facebook that I set up with the interested participants that only the participants can see the posts.  Your goal is to learn, encourage, and help one another to get back on track and to help start those healthy, active lifestyles.  It is not all about exercising.  It is about healthy nutrition and exercising combined.  It is a lifestyle change, not a fad diet.

What is required?

It is required of you that you post daily for 7 days.  You post inspiring and motivational thoughts and images to the other group members.  Be encouraging!  Help lift one another up, give ideas and helpful tips.  It is all about support right? You are asked to workout for 5 of the 7 days for a minimum of 30 minutes.  Post a daily food/water log and log your workouts for me to see.

Does it cost anything?

No!  The only thing it costs you is your true time and effort and willingness to put in the extra effort to make it a lifestyle change which can be difficult at first.

What if I have never exercised?

That is OKAY!  Everyone has to start somewhere!  If you can only walk for 5-10 minutes at a time.  That is fine! You can simply do THREE 10 minute walks that day.

What do I get for joining this 7 day group?

Foremost I hope you get the initiative to start leading a healthier and active life, by making it a priority.  Not only to you, but your family as well.  However there will be prizes in three different categories!

How do I sign up?  Or I have more questions….?

Simply send me a message on Facebook HERE.

Please help me spread the word about this group.  I want to help spread awareness of this horrible disease and hopefully get some people on a healthier track so that they may be spared from diabetes by making healthier choices.

 

 

 

 

 

Relaxing Weekends

So this weekend has been the first in awhile not having anything to do! It has been so nice and relaxing! The weather yesterday kind of detailed my plans some to get my miles in but I made up for it today. It threw my schedule off slightly but I will get it adjusted.

Yesterday was my “lazy” day (aka REST day). I think I did one load of laundry and dishes and that was about it! It was so nice. Today, however, I made up for it. I woke up, ran 7 miles, came home, made breakfast for the family, got some laundry done, more dishes, swept and mopped, MORE laundry, picked up the house, took a 5 mile bike ride with the family, cleaned my kitchen and worked some on my business. Very productive I must say! Tonight I’m hoping to crawl into bed early and get some reading done. Right now I’m reading “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. I highly suggest this book to EVERYONE! Everyone has dreams and aspirations and this book will help shed light on how to accomplish your dreams.

Right now I’m working on my schedule for this week. Not just for work, but for home and exercise wise. I’m so excited, I have my very first Tulsa Zoo 5k going on this upcoming Saturday with my good friend Jennifer, who this happens to be her very FIRST 5k. I can’t wait! I hope she loves racing just as much as I do. It’s addicting! Luckily my husband supports it! Ha!

Oh yes, I also have the fun task of going in and talking with my daughter’s school tomorrow. She got sent to the office on Friday for tardiness. This was a first for being sent to the office. Usually if we are late, you know it. The front, drop off location is bare, but not Friday. It was sooo busy! The teachers were still out there, buses still lined up as well as cars. If you haven’t read earlier posts, her grade school is going to a different school this year while her school is being remodeled. Drop off and pick up is now a nightmare. Kids can no longer be walkers. They are either car riders or bus riders because there is no good way for kids to walk or parents to park and wait for the kids to get out like there was at her old grade school. So I’m questioning the tardiness and if they count it then they need to fix the drop off location or have a leeway for it. We easily wait 5+ minutes daily during drop off because of traffic. There is no “better time” to drop off in there 15 min window that the kids can be dropped off.

Has anyone else ever had to deal with this issue? Any suggestions?

What did you do this weekend!

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HIIT

What is HIIT you might ask?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. I personally LOVE HIIT!  It is a great way to “spice” things up and bring a new level to your workout regimen.  HIIT sessions are usually 30 minutes or less and involve short, burst or periods of high intense anaerobic exercise (intense exercise that causes lactic acid to form, think hardcore exercise) and less intense recovery periods.

How do you perform a HIIT session?

A HIIT session involves a warm up period, followed by (normally) 3-10 repetitions of high intensity exercise followed by a low to medium intense (recovery phase) exercise, and then ending with a cool down period.  There is no real designated ratio of high intense to low/medium intense exercise periods, it all really depends on your cardiovascular capacity.  However, a “common” go to ratio is 2:1.  Meaning 30-40 seconds of high intense exercise with a 15-20 second low/medium intense exercise.

Benefits of HIIT?

HIIT is an awesome way to get in a good, quality workout when you are short on time.  These short, intense periods of exercise actually help heighten or improve your athletic capacity and overall conditioning.  Not to mention, it helps improve your fat burning capabilities by increasing your resting metabolic rate even after it’s finished.  It has also been shown to lower your insulin resistance on a chemical level.

How often should HIIT be done?

Usually the next question after one learns about HIIT is, “How often should I do HIIT on a weekly basis?”  With HIIT, it really depends on what your goals are.  I, personally choose 2 times a week, as I want to make sure I incorporate my “normal” 30-45 minute endurance sessions in there, as well as strength and flexibility training.  However that is MY choice for myself.  I am a runner, I still need my longer, endurance sessions as I call them.  Your goal may not be for that half marathon I am training for.  But like they say everything in moderation.  Listen to your body and if something hurts or is painful and doesn’t subside, STOP!   You don’t want any injuries.

How can I do a HIIT session?

The wonderful thing about HIIT, is you can do it with just about any form of exercise!  Running, jumping rope, cycling, rowing.  Really anything that takes your heart rate up quickly followed by a recovery period long enough to let your heart rate come back down.

Example of HIIT

5 minute warm up walking or a slow jog on the treadmill, followed by 5 repetitions of sprinting for 30 seconds and a slow jog or walk for 15 seconds and ending with a 5 minute walk for a cool down.

So the question now is, are you ready for HIIT?  What is your favorite HIIT workout if you incorporate them into your routine?

Exercising, motherhood and planning

How many of you mommas out there struggle to fit your exercise into your daily routine? I know I do! I’m always struggling to fit it in at various times during my work days. I love getting it out of the way in the morning after I get the kids to the babysitter and school before my first patient, however sometimes that doesn’t always happen. That is the perfect day when it all falls into place like that. Those days are few and far between. On the “off days” that things don’t fall into place, I usually fit in my exercise as soon as I can get home and get situated as my son tends to take a nap as soon as he gets home from the sitter. I’m the type if I sit down before getting stuff accomplished my eyes get heavy and than those “to do” items don’t get done.

So with that being said I have been working on my exercise schedule this morning. I signed up for the Tulsa Run 15k and figured I better get a structured running program incorporated into my P90x and upcoming Les Mills Combat schedule. Little under 2 months to get ready.

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This one will be a mental challenge for me as this will be my first distance over a 5k without my running buddy. I will definitely have to make sure my tunes are good to go that day!

So it’s a new month and I absolutely love the feel of new months! It gives the feel of a “new start.” It’s like the “I start my diet on Monday” feel times 10! However I DON’T dread it! I love it! It’s my tie to look back on the last 30 days to look at my progress that was made and re-evaluate my plan if need be. Much like this morning!

Do you make a schedule or have a planner that you use? 🙂