Dear Former Gym Teacher

Dear Former Gym Teacher,

So on Sunday, I set out for my scheduled long run.  It started out rough as it was staying darker longer and I was trying to get out earlier to beat the heat.  Well after about 30 minutes of tossing and turning and fighting those inner demons in my head, I managed to pull myself out of bed and get ready.

As usual when it comes to my long runs, I tossed around different routes in my head and which way did I want to go today.  Down the paved trail where I would find rolling hill after rolling hill, or did I want to go through the park, where it was mostly flat, however I would have to circle passed my parked car at some point?  I ended up choosing the paved trail so I wouldn’t have to go passed my parked car and be tempted to call it good.

I’m sure dear former gym teacher, you would be so proud, I chose to go the path less traveled and “most difficult” in my mind.  So my run started out like any of my other runs despite the fact that it was already warm and a little too balmy outside.

Dear former gym teacher, you have to understand that on my long runs, my thoughts range greatly.  Most of the time, it is with great ideas and things I want to do.  Today it was a little different.  My thoughts went “dark” so to speak.  No I was not running in the dark for those that thought that.  I started thinking about growing up and being that “fat kid.”  I mean come on, I weighed 186 lbs in 6th grade (and you know, I haven’t even ever told my husband this).  I started thinking about when I did I start to feel self-conscious about myself and about my abilities or lack of abilities rather when it came to team sports and physical activity. When do I recall that I started to hate gym and physical activity?  I plodded along thinking and thinking and thinking.

It was you that made me learn to hate it and to dislike myself.  It was you that made me feel inadvertently self-conscious about myself and my body, even after I later on, became an athlete.  Definitely not a choice I made due to any encouragement from you that’s for sure.

I tracked it down to one particular instance.  ONE.  It only takes on time right?  This is it.

I headed to gym like any other day dear former gym teacher with my class and after our daily warm ups, we were instructed to go out and run two laps around the cinder track.  TWO.  For some, this may not seem like much, but for the 186lb 6th grader, who wore a size 20, this was a lot.  Yes, I get that your job is to instill good health, nutrition and fitness in our youngsters, but how you went about it in my case, was NOT helpful

So I remember taking off running to keep up with my classmates, because that’s what all kids do right?  Well about a quarter of the way around lap one, I, gasping for air had to stop and walk.  I felt defeated but I was determined to keep going, I remember thinking I could walk a bit then start running again.  I never saw myself different from others before, until this day.  So there I was having to stop and walk because I was gasping for air, when I heard you yell out my name along with a few others and sent us to time out by the football field posts.  Coming from the kid that had never gotten in trouble at school, to being reprimanded (in my mind), because I was too fat and couldn’t run 1/2 a mile without having to stop to walk like all of the other kids and your football players.  Really?  Did you try to come out and run with me, to ENCOURAGE me to keep going?  No.  Instead I had to sit there in time out, while other kids ran passed me, laughing, giving me “those” looks.  Yeah I knew they were talking about me (or at least in my mind with their actions they were)  I never held it against them, only you.  You were the one that called me out.  The shy and quiet kid.

Here, you put me in time out and I was sent home with a letter to my parents telling them all about it (and in my mind that your child is overweight and not good enough).  I dreaded having to take that letter home.  I was devastated and upset.  I was furious and in tears.  I remember handing that letter to my mom at bedtime and crying (yet again).  I had went all day postponing the inevitable task of announcing my sorryness as a child.  I remember my mom reading it and not saying a word.  She didn’t get mad at me.  She simply signed the paper and hugged me.  She loved me no matter what.  You on the other hand, dear former gym teacher, did not.

Not only did I have to bring that ridiculous piece of paper back to you signed, but I was reprimanded and had to run that 1/2 mile again WITHOUT walking while the other kids did something else.  I remember taking off on that nasty looking, old, beat up cinder track and running, slow this time, because I wasn’t having to “keep up” with anyone.  I cried the entire way around those two laps (without stopping yes).  I was gasping for air, my legs and knees hurt, my lungs and throat burned, face red I’m sure, but yes I did it.  Not because you had motivated me or encouraged me dear former gym teacher, but because I was FURIOUS and because if I didn’t make it, I would have to do it again another day.   I.  Hated.  You.

The time when I needed some encouragement and someone to SHOW me how to be healthy, you did not do that.  Instead you reprimanded me for something I couldn’t do.  I hated gym ever since.  Did you ever think to look that at home what I was dealing with?  The fact that my dad suffered from diabetes and was going on kidney dialysis?  The fact that I needed some guidance but my parents had too much going on with my dad’s health to help me.  Did you think about the long-term effects your choice of “fixing” the problem would do?  Did you think about how the kids would treat or see me after that?  Did you think about the fact that I needed help, and not being put in timeout?  Did you even know I was shy and quiet?  I got my feelings hurt easily back then?  Did you know because of you, I became aware of the fact that my dad was ashamed of my size?  No….

I.  Hated.  You.  It wasn’t for you that’s for sure, that I chose to go out for volleyball.  It was because of you that after middle school volleyball, I didn’t try out for high school volleyball, simply because there was a timed mile run and because of you, I was afraid.  Afraid of running.  Afraid of failure.  Afraid of being made fun of even despite the fact that I had a wonderful volleyball coach in middle school that encouraged me and knew I would try my best even when I made mistake after mistake and would have to run laps on the bleachers.  He saw that I would try even when I struggled.  I kept trying because he did not reprimand me and put me in time out.

It’s not because of you that I excelled at tennis during high school.  Instead, I had an amazing coach that made it fun and turned it into a game.  A coach that was patient and encouraging.  Not one to point out that I was still bigger than all of my friends, one that pointed out all of my strengths and what I had going for me.

It’s not because of you, that I later became a long distance runner and to this day have run numerous 5ks, six half marathons and one full marathon .  It’s.  Not.  Because.  Of.  You.

It’s because of you, that I was ashamed of myself growing up and afraid to go to gym.  I dreaded going to gym every day.  Even in high school when you were no longer my gym teacher.  The seed was planted.  I recall loving to play kick ball in grade school, but after THAT day in 6th grade.  No longer did I want to play any team sports or go to gym.

Dear former gym teacher, I hope that one day that this finds its way to you and that you take the time to read this and know, that’s it’s NOT due to you that I have learned to love running finally.  It was all of those other people and coaches in my life that encouraged me.  Please don’t take credit for something you didn’t do.  I no longer hate you, don’t get me wrong, but I still don’t like you.  There are far better ways to get someone to accomplish something especially a young mind, which you were put in charge of on a daily basis.  Life isn’t fair and kids are mean, I fully know this, BUT you are a teacher.  You were put in your job to help encourage young minds and shape them. You are put there to TEACH them.  Teach them to love themselves and each other, not to hate themselves and what they are.  Dear former gym teacher, I hope this finds its way to you and you learn that “tough love” doesn’t work all of the time.  Being a therapist, I know all about “tough love.”  It has a time and a place, once you get to know the person’s personality and if it’s appropriate for them.  Tough love isn’t for everyone.  Sometimes it can be more damaging than anything else.

Dear former gym teacher, it is because of you, I shed tears on Sunday’s run.  I shed tears because I recall how I felt just like it was yesterday.  I shed tears because I let you get to me like that.  I shed tears for all of the inner turmoil you caused throughout those years.

I have changed greatly since then.  I am no longer that shy and quiet kid.  I am a grown woman with kids of my own now and I will not let a teacher like you, do what you did, to my kids.  I am stronger and tougher than I used to be.  I am proud of what I have accomplished, all despite what you helped instill in me.  I am strong.  I am happy once again.  I run for myself.  I run for others.  I run to SHOW others that they can do anything they want to.  I, a former 186lb “fat kid,” am a MOTHERFREAKING.  RUNNER.  No thanks to you.

Warrior Dash both

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Sincerely,

Your former fat student

This, That and the Other

Boy as I look at my website and try to decide what I want to do with it, I just can’t figure it out.  I always seem to get in my most thoughtful moods, when I’m NOT at my computer.  Imagine that!  So frustrating!

2015 was a rough year for me and I know for many others as well.  We sold our old house, moved into a rental house and lived there for 6 months while our new house was being built which meant going out to the build site every day to see progress and taking pictures, going to stores to pick out tile, carpet and flooring and many others.  It was an amazing experience, but definitely stressful and tiresome.  So glad my husband and I agreed on everything.  With living in temporary housing it meant a loss of space for our kids as well as myself.  They had a share a room which meant transitioning a three-year old to a new way which was very tiresome taking on a new job at the same time.  Now that we are in our new house, trying to transition him back to his own room is proving to be another challenge.  Here we are three months into living in our new house and it is still a nightly fight.  He even got a new big boy bed that is in the shape of a Jeep and he wants to still sleep with his sister.  Ughh!  Have I ever mentioned how trying three-year olds are?!?

Not only did my kids have a share a room, but I gave up my office space along with my workout area.  I made do often working from the couch, but not having my structured setting at my desk where I could live myself notes and things to do the next day.  My workout area at first was the livingroom then it slowly got taken over with new furniture and kid toys invading it.  It’s amazing at how much we moms give up for our families.

Now that we are in our new house and we made it through the holidays and our Disney World trip right before Christmas, it only made sense to start focusing on our health again which had been a huge challenge in 2015 with house showings, trips to the build site and two moves meant lots of eating out for convenience.  Which led to a 15lb weight gain.  No amount of Shakeology or working out will keep you from gaining weight if you still continue to eat poorly.  I want to be honest with everyone on that.  2015 was a year of reaching family goals, but a year of some sacrifice and making poor choices in nutrition.  Now that is all in the past, we have made choices and sacrifices as  a family to make our health our #1 priority.  I have my workout room back so now I have been getting up every morning before everyone else to get a workout in, for that happens to be Hammer and Chisel.  Running has taken a step back and is sitting on the back burner as I have dealt with a sinus infection off and on all year-long last year.  Going to the doctor and being told it was just viral with it never going away.  Finally getting medication for it right before Thanksgiving time and starting to feel better only to have it come right back after the medication was gone.  I finally broke down and scheduled an appointment with an ENT at the beginning of January only to have it confirmed with a CT scan that all of my sinuses except my frontal were pretty darn full.  Of all things, this is not for me, as the one bodily fluid I can’t stand to see is, snot!  BLEH!  When my kids have running noses, they get sent to Dad!  So with all the pressure and congestion, I am scheduled for a sinus surgery on February 19th to have them cleaned out, ballooned and to fix my deviated septum.  I’m hoping once all of this is done, I can once again breathe and be able to run again without my heart rate sky rocketing because breathing is so difficult.

With that being said I am currently on day 12 of Hammer and Chisel and I am loving it!  So far I have only encountered one workout that doesn’t include weights, which is a change of pace for me and I am truly enjoying it.  I do though that I need to get heavier weights as I am doubling up on my lighter weights and gripping TWO weights in one hand is rather difficult with my tiny hands.

I am hoping to get a few friends going on Hammer and Chisel and running so I can have some accountability along the way with it and get back to running my half marathons.  I have goals to crush!   If you are ready to get started, just let me know and we will get you going.  If not for you, but for someone else, send them my way!  I truly need the accountability.

Who is ready to join me??

Rooster Day Run 15k

So I started this post back on the day of my race and then got sidetracked with other things, typically my full-time job and my family and basically not having enough hours in my day to do everything that I need and want to.  I think that is life in general though, don’t you agree?

So my race went better than I actually expected.  My unspoken goal was 90 minutes as I have only ever done one other 15k and it was while I was training for something else, so I was much better conditioned then I was coming into this.

This race actually took place on my “turf” if you want to call it that.  I always run out along this route.  Always some hill work involved and some good flat areas as well.  Plus not to mention I love the scenery!

So the race had a fairly late start compared to most races with a gun time of 8:30 am, which I think is mainly in part due to the fact this IS a family friendly race which I love.  I got to sleep in compared to most other races and get up at 7 am.  I had my usual whole wheat toast with PB, half of a banana and some honey.  This works perfect for me.  I good amount of complex carbs, protein and easy energy with the banana and honey.  Once I had my breakfast and got dressed, I headed to the race venue.  One of my favorite things to watch is the fun run.  I love being able to watch the kids and families take part in a healthy lifestyle together.  Plus I love watching the competitiveness of the little ones!  They melt my heart!

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After the fun run got underway, they got set up for the 5k and the 15k.  We were both starting together, which I kept having to remind myself in the beginning to pull back on the reigns as I kept wanting to stay up with those doing the 15k.  We looped around the park and then headed out towards NSU college grounds, which are absolutely gorgeous!  Somewhere around the NSU grounds is when a man came up and introduced himself as Mike.

I absolutely love the running community for the simple fact that everyone is typically friendly and will come up and just start talking.  This was Mike’s first run since his half marathon over a year ago.  His goal was under 90 minutes as well.  We chit chatted most of the way about our spouse’s and our kids and our “why” for running.  It’s so neat hearing everyone’s reason.  Along the way, he kept pointing out all of his B.A. Runner friends and even pointed out one that said he would give him $20 if he could pass him somewhere along the way.  Mike just chuckled and said he had to do this.  GAME ON!  Once we got onto the actual trail system where the hills start to take over, this is where I just look down and running becomes mechanical for me.  Right before the first big hill, we manage to come up to the gentleman that Mike said he had to pass.  Needless to say we did!

Hills are not enjoyable, but yet I find myself easily getting into a steady rhythm and pushing forward.  I began to pull away from Mike and he told me not to wait up and that he was going “to cry like a little girl up this hill.”  HA!  I just had to chuckle to myself and kept going.  Somewhere along the way after that first hill, Mike caught back up to me for a little bit before his running watched beeped at him, letting him know that his heart rate was too high so he kind of pulled back some.  We still have a few miles to go, so I pulled back some too as the sun was taking its toll on me and starting to get a little warm.  

I kept drinking more and more of my water and was getting towards the bottom of my bottle.  As we started up some more of the smaller hills, Mike slowed down and I just pushed forward.  The last mile was rough as you could see the finish line the whole way.  It was just pure torture as it was too hot for me at this point.

I felt like the ending was rather uneventful as I had pushed myself enough during the whole course that I had no umph to finish it off with.  I was happy to see though that I had beat my goal and even set an PR for my 15k time!

Another great year for the Rooster Day run!

Week 2 of Marathon Training

So this week marked week two of marathon training for the Route 66 Marathon on November 23rd.  It’s been a hot one here in Oklahoma.  Granted we haven’t been in the 100’s yet but it’s been mid to high 90’s with higher than normal humidity making it hard for running.  Most of this week I had to get up early to get my runs in without feeling like I’m dying too much with the humidity.

Sunday started off my week, not so much with a run, but with some PiYo Sweat from Team Beachbody.  I’m noticing the fact as a runner I need to add in some flexibility training and as well as the fact it is helping me with some strength building in my core and upper body.

I started out my week with my first run on Monday running with my neighbor and one of her friends.  They are always a joy to run with because our conversations vary so much and usually revolve around our kids and daily motherhood/wife struggles.  It’s always refreshing to know that you are not alone.   Monday evening was spent with finally getting in PiYo Buns after my kids went to sleep.  This was my first time getting to this workout of the DVD.  Boy did it work my legs and butt!  Ohhweee!

Tuesday I ended up running by myself as my neighbor had something planned.  Tuesday is was even MORE humid than the day before.  I ended up having to stop and walk 3 times due to the humidity.  I had sweat just pouring off of me.  I think between the humidity and the PiYo buns the night before, my legs were pooped!

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Sweat running down my arm after my run

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Sweat dripping off the tips of my hair

Wednesday was a rest day for me completely.

Thursday, I didn’t make it up early enough in the morning before it got hot to make it out for a run, so I ended up going to the gym to get in a tempo run on the treadmill.  The treadmill is never my favorite, I find it rather boring even with the people watching and the TV so I make it into a tempo run which is easier to do on the treadmill.

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After I got my run in I think outside may have actually been a better choice.  At my gym they have a swimming pool so it’s always a little more humid in there, plus I passed one thermostat and it read 82 degrees.  I was just covered in sweat but I managed.  I wasn’t too happy though once I got out to my car.  I walked out of the gym to my car to find this:

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I couldn’t even squeeze my knee cap in between the side of my car and the door.  I had to climb through my passenger door to get into my seat.  In my awe of how some people can’t park, even when it’s a tiny Kia Rio, a couple of guys walking into the gym had to say a few choice comments and left some “presents” under the windshield wiper for me.  Made me feel a little better it wasn’t just me overreacting at least.

Friday was another rest day for me from running to gear up for my long run on Saturday.  I did get in my PiYo Sweat in for the day and felt great starting my day off with it.  I can’t say enough how much I love Chalene Johnson and her positive attitude with her programs.

Saturday morning I woke up early to get out the door and meet my friend at Turkey Mountain to get our long run in.  Granted this really was a long for us, but as we work through our training program, it is what it is.  I will say 6 miles was rough today, even at 7 am.  At 7 am it was already 80 degrees and the humidity was high yet again.  We are supposed to have cooler weather next week and I look forward to it!  On our run this morning we did see something I had never seen before.  It was rather sad to see, but as we were running the trail ends early due to construction and we still had a quarter-mile to run before we could turn around so we followed the roadway on the shoulder to get in that last bit.  Up ahead we noticed some kind of animal had been hit and as we got closer the coloring made me think of a Bald Eagle and sure enough as we got closer that’s what it was!  So sad to see but I don’t want to even think about what it felt like or heard to the car that hit it.  It was MASSIVE!

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Waiting for my friend Jennifer to arrive

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My husband ended up getting me a new pair of kicks for our anniversary (which is August 1st) after I went and got fitted for them

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The last three tenths of a mile back to our starting point is pretty much an uphill battle.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m used to hills as I run them pretty much all the time, but this thing was termed the “mean b***h” because it just stinks.  I think I can walk faster up this hill than I can run up it.   This hill is a series of short, steep hills followed by a small short “landing” that levels out some followed by another small, steep hill.  There is hardly anytime for your heart rate to recover.  Killer workout for sure!

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So I ended week two with just under 18 miles.  Next week will be right at 16 miles.

How is your training going?  What race and/or distance are you training for?

For those of you that haven’t read my post about WHY I am running the Route 66 Marathon you can find that here.  It is very near and dear to my heart as I am running it in memory of a friend and fundraising for the JDRF charity as well.

If you would be so kind as to help me reach my goal, I would great appreciate it!

https://www.crowdrise.com/inmemoryofgaryroberts/fundraiser/kimdavis2

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.

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

 

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

Ups and Downs and Fun Runs

So lots has been going on around our household.  I finally heard back from my ob/gyn about my lab results and ultrasound.  Lab came back okay, the ultrasound showed a small simple cyst inside my right ovary like the doctor was thinking.  I go back at the end of June for another ultrasound to check on the status of it.  So far the only issues I have been having, the birth control pill that the doctor put me on have fixed.  However it kind of stinks having to take something like that since after having Taylor I had my tubes tied.  I think my husband gets a good laugh at this every night!

Other than that, things have been going well!  Work has been fairly busy and Sofie has had a few more extra curricular activities with Girl Scouts and such.  They got to go a day camp for horses which I think the girls loved.  I know Sofie did!

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I also wanted to bring home this little guy, but my husband told me no….

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Now that you know what I have been busy with, I would also like to take a moment and talk about a fun run that is coming to our state that I have been wanting to do!  Run or Dye!  I have done the Color Run and earlier this year, my daughter and I got to do the Color Me Rad 5k.  Those are a lot of fun!  I love not having to worry about run times and PRs.  It’s all about having fun and getting friends and family involved and moving!

Run or Dye is coming to Oklahoma City July 26th at 9 a.m. at the Dead Woods Haunted Forest!!!  How cool is that?!?!   Run or Dye, is the world’s most colorful 5K.   Bring all your friends and run a color-blasted 5K, where you get showered in safe, eco-friendly, plant-based cornstarch dye every kilometer. Then enjoy our world-famous Dye Festival afterward, where you can Tie-Dye the Sky (not to mention all your friends!) in this ultimate celebration of life, friendship, fitness, and fun. Use the code: BLOGOKC to save another $5.  Don’t forget the code EXPIRES July 18th!  You can also form or  join a team and save another $5 for a total savings of $10!

Don’t worry, if you think you can’t do this, then THINK AGAIN!  Run or Dye is for absolutely everyone! Whether you’re a recovering couch potato or an avid marathon runner, you’ll love the atmosphere and experience at Run or Dye. You’re welcome to walk, run, dance, or skip your way to the finish line. And Run or Dye is family-friendly — kids 6 and under participate for FREE and do not require registration!  It will be so much fun and you better believe I’m going to be there with my whole family!

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Enter below for your chance to win two codes for free admission to Run or Dye in Oklahoma City on July 26th, 2014. Giveaway ends 7/6/2014 at 11:59pm. Winner will be sent the codes via email within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway.

Please join and Invite your friends/and fans to join our Facebook Run or Dye event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1417026548570050/?context=create&source=49

Disclaimer: We will receive compensation and admission to this event in exchange for this promotional post.

Links to RunOrDye

#RunOrDyeOKC

https://www.facebook.com/RunOrDye

https://twitter.com/RunorDye

https://plus.google.com/111656639231999978072

http://www.youtube.com/runordye

http://instagram.com/runordye

http://runordye.tumblr.com/

I hope to see you there!

Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon Race Recap

So on Sunday, I had my second half marathon of the year, however this is the second time I have run this race.  This race is amazing!  I absolutely LOVE it, I can’t say that enough!

So my race weekend started out on Saturday.  I live in the Tulsa area, so I left my house around noon on Saturday to head and pick up my friend Jennifer and we headed to Oklahoma City.  This was her first half marathon and with both of us being working moms, this weekend was our “mini vacation.”  No kids, no husbands, what do we do with ourselves?!?!  HA!  I think it’s safe to say we enjoyed ourselves, but it was also nice to return home to our babies (yes the husband is in this category!).

Once we made it to Oklahoma City, our first stop was the race expo.  I have been to a few of them and never been all THAT impressed, but this one was AWESOME!  Lots of stuff to really look at and buy if you wanted.  Lots of sign ups for drawings, free items and even free pancakes!  YUM!

So first thing we took care of business and went and got our packets.  Can’t run without a bib, right?  Since this was day #2 of the expo, I was assuming it would be packed, but the lines really weren’t that long, and the ease of it was awesome!

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As you can tell Jennifer managed to snap a picture of me.  Needless to say even with the cheesy grin, I was a little excited!

 

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After the expo, we headed to our hotel.  Both of our husbands traveled for work for about a year, so with that being said and my husband’s hours logged in hotel rooms, Embassy has since then ranked high on our list for great hotels!  We got the top floor.  There was a wedding going on and some sorority meeting of some sorts of some older women.  It was funny to watch them take “selfies.”  Goes to show selfies are popular now amongst all age groups!  Love it!

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Upon check in, we learned about the shuttles transporting runners to the starting line as well as the manager’s reception!  SCORE!  Manager’s reception= FREE drinks AND snacks!  Granted drinking isn’t the best thing before a race, but ONE drink wasn’t going to hurt us.  PLUS when do we have time to get out of the house for a “girl’s weekend” and no kids?!  The answer?  NOT VERY OFTEN!  So we got checked in, made it up to our room, got settled in.   While Jennifer was changing, I snapped a shot of the t-shirt.

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So after the manager’s reception we headed across the street to Chili’s for a quick dinner then back to the hotel to relax and get to bed at a decent time!  4 a.m. wake up is no joke!  One of the things I picked up at the expo were these new Brook’s racking socks.

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Granted you aren’t suppose to wear or try anything new before a race, but with the weather predicted, these were better than my old cotton socks.  These socks felt sooo good and were extremely comfy!  Finally fell asleep around 9:30 or so.  I will leave out the fact that somewhere after I dozed off that I woke up shortly due to some racing their crotch rockets up and down the road.

 

Check back tomorrow for the rest of my race recap!

 

Do you have any “traditions” the night before a big race?

 

Apera Bag Review and Giveaway!!

So are you in the market for a new gym bag or a tote for “racations” or overnight trips?  Then I have the bag for you!  This bag is AWESOME!  I was recently contacted by one of Apera’s wonderful spokespersons about checking out their bags and seeing what I thought.  Stacy sent me the Performance duffel in pink (as I requested of course!  You know I LOVE pink!).  I had mentioned to her about being an avid runner and frequently traveling overnight to a location for a race.  I had looked at this one before Stacy even mentioned it, but I wanted her opinion as well.  Her and I were on the same page!  I love when you get a great salesperson that knows just what you need, don’t you?

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Well let me tell you, this bag has everything!  I don’t know about you, but when I workout, I sweat, and when I say sweat, I SWEAT!  I make dri-fit clothing really work!  So I want a bag that isn’t going to hold the odor of my stinky gym clothes and/or shoes.  I want something that is antimicrobial and Apera bags are made of just that!  From Apera’s website:  “Apera bags are designed to be healthier – with built-in antimicrobial product protection to inhibit the growth of bacterial odors, separation of your wet, sweaty gear from your dry stuff, and venting air to keep your bag dry and suppress odor.”  What does that say to me?  PICK ME!

Another thing that I loved about the Performance Duffel is that there are TONS of pockets.  When I pack my race gear, most of the time my bag is half full after I put my running shoes in there. The Performance Duffel has these wonderful side pockets (one on each side) that are the perfect size to store your shoes!  How awesome is that?  According to their website it says the side pockets will hold up to a men’s size 11 1/2 shoe.  Now granted I have some big feet, but they aren’t quite THAT big, but I will take it!

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Plus it has this awesome, heavily padded strap that is adjustable and super comfy to carry, even when I stayed at my friend’s apartment and had to park a ways from her apartment and had to carry my stuff in.

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The other great thing about the Performance Duffel is there is even a smaller bag inside that you can put wet items in so that it protects the rest of your articles from it.  There are lots of little pouches on the outside as well to store things.  I managed to pack all of my race gear (shoes, socks, running tights, sports bra, tank, jacket, bandana/hat, fuel/hydration belt, water bottle, fuel), plus a change of clothes for after the race, some pajamas, toiletry items and all of my allergy medications!  Allergy meds in itself for me require another bag almost!  Ok, just kidding, but it sure feels like it.  I had also stuffed in my iPad for the car ride home for my daughter and my iPhone charger.  Even with all that there was STILL room to spare!

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Another great thing about Apera Bags is for every three bags that they sell, they will donate one bag to a Special Olympic athlete.  How cool is that?!?  Such a great cause!  I don’t know about you, but I also LOVE a GOOD DEAL!  Speaking of good deals Apera is having an AMAZING deal going on right now!  They are offering 40% off their entire BLUE LINE of bags, meaning any of their bags that are blue in color are 40% off. Also ALL of their Duffel Packs are 40% off as well, any color!  STEAL!

Apera also does a monthly giveaway!  The winner gets to choose the bag and color of their choice!  Definitely enter THIS monthly drawing!

Some other ways to check out Apera bags:

Facebook

Twitter

So would you like to win an awesome bag from Apera?  Well I was offered the chance to do a giveaway on my blog for one of their Sprint Packs!  Sweet!  Keep scrolling to go to my Rafflecoptor to get signed up to enter my giveaway contest.

SPRING PACK

 Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Apera  and while I received a free bag to review, I received no other compensation for this post and my review is 100% my own, honest opinion.

Where has the time gone? + Rock n’ Roll Recap

So where has the time gone?!  I get on here and just realized it has been almost 3 weeks since I last posted!  SHAME ON ME!  So much has gone on in that time.  My daughter turned 8, we celebrated her, my niece and my son’s birthday (even though technically his birthday isn’t until April 9th), my son was sick with bronchitis, two ear infections, and a sinus infection, then I had my Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in Dallas,  not to mention I now have bronchitis!  Luckily I went to the doctor yesterday and got all set up with medications for it, so I should be good to go!  Shew!  March has and was a BUSY month!  Some pictures from the birthday party.  My daughter and her friends and my son in his minion hat that his nana had made for him.  <3

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Today as my family is outdoors enjoying the weather.  I am indoors working at my desk trying to get caught up on my blogging, my challenge groups, looking over the rest of my half marathon training program (I have #2 for the year at the end of April), working on laundry, and trying to clean my desk (MUCH NEEDED!)

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As I sit here and type this now, I am enjoying a quiet house and sipping my coffee.  My husband is out mowing the yard, Sofie is out playing and Taylor is up taking a much-needed nap!  It’s amazing how much more I can think with the sound of spring in the background, the windows open enjoying some fresh air and no little kids SHRIEKING!  WOW!  It won’t last long I know!  I love my chaos, but a break is nice too

So on to the fun stuff!  My husband and son were initially supposed to make the trip with me from Tulsa to Dallas, however with my son being sick and running a fever, they stayed at home.  My husband ended up being sick later Saturday too.  So I needed up packing my awesome new Aspera bag for an overnight by myself.  With all the pockets and what not, it was able to hold all my running gear PLUS my regular clothes for my overnight stay with my friend Becky.  (Running gear included a couple changes of clothes for running gear depending on weather, water/fuel belt, running shoes)  I still had room to spare!

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Last weekend I had my first half marathon of the year in Dallas, TX with my sister-in-law.  We signed up for the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in order to cross Texas off our list of 50 states to run in.  1) Oklahoma 2) Texas (next up will be Missouri in June!).  The weather ended up being kind of crappy.  Cloudy, cool, and WINDY!  The temperature was between 45-48 degrees with a windchill in the 30’s!  Brr!  I will leave out the part about the sun coming out after the race was OVER.   My day started bright and early at 5 A.M. to get up and get dressed so that I could be out of apartment by 5:30 A.M. to go pick up my sister-in-law at 6 A.M. and get to Fair Park so that we could catch a bus before the 7 A.M. cut off time.  I always manage to get dressed quickly on race morning, however this morning I managed to set off the smoke detector waking my friend up as I made a piece of toast.  Whoops!  Just checking to make sure she could hear them in her sleep!  HA!  Love you Becky!

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Sorry for the bad picture, but this was on the bus ride from the parking lot to the starting line and it was still slightly dark at this point, plus not to mention the bumping ride on the bus (literally was a school bus).  Although the bus ride was nice and warm compared to being outdoors and waiting.  Once we were in downtown Dallas, the tall buildings helped shield us from some of the wind.  We made our usual stop at the lovely port o potties then made our way to our corral.

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They starting gun went off at 8 A.M. and then every 2 minutes they let out another corral.  It really wasn’t long before we were off and running, which we couldn’t wait for to get warmed up!  Waiting for the start is always the hardest for me when it’s cold out!

There were local bands every mile along the course, although I felt sorry for them since it was cold just standing there and then they were being asked to play in it!  YUCK!  My fingers would have been too numb to play a guitar that’s for sure!  Some bands were just setting up in the beginning too.  There were a couple good ones though!  Somewhere after mile 5, I noticed with my Garmin and how I was feeling that my heart rate was much higher than what it normally it was this early into the run.  I looked and sure enough it was in the 180s!  Not unusual for me towards the end of a long run considering I used to have a heart arrhythmia, but not this early on that’s for sure.  My legs felt great so I kept having to pull the reigns back on my pace to allow my heart rate to come down.  I’m sure with my allergies being flared up and what I’m sure was the bronchitis then already starting so my constant coughing wasn’t helping with this at all.  My goal for this half marathon was 2:15.  My finish time was 2:14:32, which I can’t complain about since I beat my goal, but I wonder how much better it would have been if I were feeling 100%.  Oh well, at least I finished and got to see this smiling face at the end.  Yes she even stole my Jimmy John’s sandwich and my wrap to block the wind!  Brat!  ;-P

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At the end they had the American Authors playing, but we didn’t stick around to really hear them since it was so cold and we had to make our way back to my car in the cold.  Trust me I think this was the LONGEST part of the race right here!  Walking in soaking wet clothes in the cold and wind!  BRR!!!

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Picture at the finish line!  (Sorry it’s so small!)

RNR

 

This is race #1 of my goal of 5 half marathons this year.

QOTD:  What is your goal for the year?

 

Weekly Wrap up #4/Half Marathon Training #12 and GIVEAWAY ALERT!

So this weekend got away from me in terms of getting my weekly wrap up written up on Sunday.  With the weather as cold as it was this week, I took some time to relax and eased up my routine some.  I managed to get three runs in, plus I tried out a new workout program that you will hear more about below.

Sunday I spent recovering from my long run last Saturday.  Monday was just chaotic and the roads were iffy so I just stayed at home with the family instead of going to the gym to run on the treadmill, I did do a 15 minute workout DVD though.

Tuesday was a short day for me in terms of work, so I ended up having a lunch date with my wonderful husband since we don’t get date nights very often.  We must take advantage on days when work is slow!  We had lunch at Panera, then once we got home my husband mentioned going to the gym to run together!  This man knows how to speak right to my heart! *smiles*. We got in 3.13 miles running on the track at the gym.  After gymnastics I tried out yet another 15 minute workout DVD.

Wednesday was another long day at work then followed by a Girl Scout meeting.

Thursday, I got a wonderful surprise from my husband with this brand new piece of awesomeness!

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He is on a roll this week!  (Wonder what he wants ;-P ).  So of course I had to go try it out at the gym since if was cold.  I had to get it all set up to my foot pod from a previous model I had to use it at the gym, but that was fairly easy.  Enjoyed it so much I ran 4 miles at the gym on the track that night.

Fridays are ALWAYS crazy in our household and nothing but the basics get done.

Saturday was warmer than it had been and I was scheduled for a long run of 10 miles, so I eagerly got dressed wanting to test out my new toy outdoors!  It was a cloudy, overcast day with temps hovering right around freezing and a windchill of 25, but not too bad.  Set out for it later in the afternoon than I normally like and had a couple of cheats the night before and Saturday morning but I survived my run with no problems.  Plus I’m in LOVE with my new toy even more so now!  How can you not like graphs and data to see how you are progressing?!

graphs

 

Total Mileage this week 17.13

Okay, so on to this exercise DVD I mentioned above.  As part of my Girl Gone Sporty Ambassadorship, I was contacted by Jamie at MASH Up Conditioning about trying out a line of exercise DVDs they are starting.  I happened to get the TEMPO DVD.  I happen to LOVE Tempo workouts so this was right up my alley!  If you have never done a HIIT workout you should!  Do you know what HIIT workouts are?  Read my post HERE explaining what HIIT workouts are.

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MASH Up Conditioning is a company that was started by Jamie and her business partner, who both, happen to be “moms on a mission to help others achieve optimal wellness in less time.”  In Jamie’s email she put it perfectly, “Our workouts are based on the science of high intensity intervals which are 5-6 times as effective as steady state exercise.  Our format combines Mind/Body, Agility & Strength, and High Intensity Intervals and are designed for 3 different fitness levels for safety and so that everyone can benefit.”

The DVD has 7 complete 15 minute workouts containing 5 minutes each of Mind/Body, Agility & Strength, and High Intensity Intervals.  The short, effective workouts are great for busy moms.  I tried a few of the workouts and they were short and sweet but effective!  I got my heart rate up and was starting to sweat.  The great thing about these workouts were there were the 3 different levels with one person performing each level.  Level one was amazing and doable by anyone if they were just starting out.  I would have liked to see the instructor actually doing most of the workout with the others as to me, that says a lot.  I have tried out a lot of exercise DVDs, not all Team Beachbody ones either, and that has always been something I have looked at, whether the instructor is doing the exercise with the group or not.  In my mind frame if you are going to be showing me what to do, then do it yourself.  I don’t want to exercise when I have someone walking around and talking.  When I did the 30 Day Shred, I had the same issue with it.  That is just me though.  Other than that they are great exercise DVDs. If you are looking for something to do at home in a short amount of time, just starting out, or have never done a workout DVD in your home, then this would be a great, basic workout DVD to start with.

For the programs I did, you would just need a yoga mat and some hand weights.  I used my 10lb hand weights and was fine, but if you are just starting out, you may need lighter.  If you wanted a longer workout, on the inside there is a way to string the workouts together to complete a longer session, however the downfall to having to do this, as easy as it is, would be to have to stop and push a few buttons until you got to the one you wanted.  When I’m working out, I don’t want to have to do this as I feel like it interrupts “my burn.”  But by in far, a small thing to look past.

What is your favorite exercise DVD and/or program?

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Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by MASH Up conditioning and while I received a free DVD to review, I received no other compensation for this post and my review is 100% my own, honest opinion.