Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas and all that Jazz....

It has been a crazy week and the holidays STILL aren't over! What in the world? Take forever!

With LB out of town visiting his dad I have had some free time on my hands. I have been working late a few evenings but when I am not working the house is quiet...my tree is still up with presents under it, waiting for LB to come home and open them. While I am more than ready to take that tree down and put all my holiday stuff away I have to remember that it's important to leave it up....for just a bit longer.

Of course I miss my Little Buddy like crazy when he is gone but I try to make the most of it. I've been able to get my workouts in and on a couple of occasions I've even gotten in two-a-days. While I am still struggling with running I have definitely caught the swimming bug and been getting back in to yoga. Man it feels so good and just after a few classes I can feel I am getting stronger. Swimming has increased my strength as well! I noticed over the weekend that I wanted to go for a swim SO bad! It was that longing like I'd get for a good, hard (or long) run! I just wanted to get in the pool and swim. It feels good to get that desire back. It's been a long time since I've felt that. It doesn't help thought, or maybe it does help (??), that I have put on a few winter pounds, you know to keep me warm and all. The extra weight makes me feel so gross and lethargic and slow....and gross. So I'm motivated to get busy and lose it, but the extra weight makes it that much more difficult to get out there and get moving. UGH.

So with the poundage piled on it really hit me this weekend that I can definitely empathize with others who struggle with their weight. It is hard. And while I don't think I could ever just give up and say "Wow, it's too hard, too much, I'm too far gone..." I can totally see how that would happen. You just start to get bogged down with the extra weight and it feels impossible to overcome it, to lose it. I've been swimming now at least twice a week for about a month.  I know it has taken 6 months to put these extra pounds on and they won't just fall off after a month of a little exercise. But I am hard on myself, and I want to see change (as I put a delicious pizza in my mouth).

I know the reality. Reality is that I have to change my eating habits. But I had thought that since I had been somewhat inactive for 6 months after my shoulder surgery that adding even a little exercise would make a huge difference. But nope. It's not enough. You cannot outrun a....er, fork? Is that how it goes? No, you cannot outrun a bad diet. And that is HASHTAG TRUE y'all.

So I'm not waiting for the New Year to make changes. Change is happening now. Today.  This photo below my friends, is a half marathon training plan, complete with swimming, yoga, and strength training. It goes 17 weeks and puts me running the Oklahoma City Memorial half marathon....Again. After I almost died last time. But I think it is time for a rematch...It also has some information about Whole30, an intense Paleo diet change that will help me break my cycle of sugar and bad eating habits, and hopefully reset me back on track, a path of health and feeling good!



This is the previously mentioned homemade pizza that my bestie's husband made in their outdoor brick oven...it's true, authentic Italian. And delicious....


And of course a picture of Ace recovering from his Holiday Hangover......We partied hard for one week and now it is time to buckle down and get back on track.



So maybe there will be a 5 Mile Year End Review coming....maybe not. Maybe there will be some New Year's Goals coming. Maybe not....and I will soon complete my Marathon Myths. But for now I am focusing on breaking these new habits that I created after moving to OK and getting back to a point where I can race 5 Mile Style again....ready for any race, any distance, any day...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Topic 16: 20 Myths about a Marathon....Part I

Oh boy! A running topic!! This may actually be difficult because I don't really know too many myth about marathons! But I'll debunk a few that I can come up with.

Myth #1: I could never run a marathon

Bologna. Pronounced BULL LONEY. 

I am pretty sure anyone can complete a marathon, given they have proper training and are cleared by their doctor. 

Myth #2:  I can't do a marathon because I can't run the whole way. 

Bologna. Again. Pronounced. BULL LONEY. A marathon is 26.2 miles. Point A to Point B. You can get there running, walking, crawling, hoola hooping (as long as you're on your own two feet, I've seen it...for real), and any combination of these. I used to think it wouldn't count if I walked. But it totally counts. Run. Run/walk. Walk. Who cares?! You did it and it counts!

Myth #3:  My toenails will fall off. 

Maybe. Maybe not. I've never lost a toenail to the marathon. I have many friends who have many times. I think it comes down to your toenail genetics, shoes, socks, lubricated feet, and conditions on race day. If it's raining, like it did in Portland 2010 where is rained like 7 inched in 2 hours, your feet and socks WILL be wet which is very hard on the toenails. And you know what? So what if you do? It's a badge of courage and accomplishment. It is something that most everyone who experiences it brags about. It is a conversation piece. All the cool kids are doing it and it should not be your reason for not taking on the 26.2. 

Myth #4: Only crazy people do it.

Ok. Maybe so....but it's a good kinda crazy!

Myth #5:  I will have to train all the time and have no social life.

#truth

Ok, well 90% true. You do have to train. You have to stick to your plan if you want to finish the marathon with as little pain as possible (there will be pain, but following your training plan helps. Significantly.) But your social life becomes your training. Or your training becomes your social life. You will find that you start hanging out with your running buddies and instead of staying up late you go to bed early and get up early. And you run for miles then go out for a big fat burger and hot coffee. And that is fun! That becomes your social activities and you soon forget any other things you did and you wonder what on earth you did before you had kids you started training for a marathon!

Myth #6: I will get so skinny! 

#false

Sorry. Simply not true for 95% of us. The thing is this, running makes you hungry. And if you don't follow a strict diet (and I don't mean diet like restricting, i mean disciplined eating of healthy foods and a combination of protein, fat, and carb) you will eat your weight in junk and thus not lose any weight. You will certainly see changes in inches and tightening and moving around as body composition repositions but you most certainly will not lose copious amounts of weight....unless you don't eat. In which case you would not be able to cover the distance of 26.2 miles. You will need a lot of energy which as we all know comes in the form of FOOD. And no, not necessarily carbs....which brings me to my next myth....

Myth #7: I hate bread and pasta. I can't run a marathon because I hate carbs. Or I am Paleo....

So? Yes you can. Complex carbs are better anyway! Try beans, lentils, and peas! Green vegetables, oatmeal, potatoes and sweet potatoes! Pumpkin is a good source of complex carb as well.  Eat healthy and eat appropriate portions and you will do just fine. If you find yourself in a brain fog or a slump (often in the middle of a long run if you haven't eaten enough prior) then you readjust your diet before the next run. It is all a game of trial and error. Everyone must find the way their body responds and how best to fuel it. What works for me most certainly won't work for everyone.  But don't let this deter you!

Myth #8: I might get last. And that will be embarrassing.

Uhhh.....don't chose a tiny marathon full of elite athletes. Ok, really...some of these marathons are HUGE. Chances are you won't get last. But yes, I guess there is usually a last person to finish. But who cares! You did it!! 26.2 miles is a long way and a respectable distance! And you just did it! That is all that matters! Also have a running partner that matches you pretty well and run together. You both can be last together! Or you may surprise yourself and not get last at all! And really, in the end no one really cares, it is your race and yours alone. Who cares what those benchwarmers think? Let them lace up and try to run 26.2 miles....then they can say something.

This is getting really long. I think I will break it up into at least two posts. Do you have any marathon myths you'd like debunked? Let me know and I'll give you my 100% personal opinion.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Swim, swim, swimming...

I'm taking a break from my previously scheudled blog topics to actually discuss something fitness related! Yay!! Swimming! 

I've been swimming with the Masters swim team lately and it's going swimmingly. It is hard to make the time, but that's just it, I HAVE to make the time. Practice is from 8-9 PM and by the end of the day I am wiped out. But it is so worth it to just suck it up and go. I have yet to regret going, only regrets are the times I have not gone. 

Here is our 2000 meter workout from Monday. The workout Tuesday night was 2300 meters but I gran out of time and had to call it a day at 2000m. But I am ok with that.


Isn't it beautiful? I love pools. It just looks so calm and inviting!


I am trying to go three times a week in preparation for an actual swim meet end of January. I have verbally committed to swimming the mile. YIKES!!  When I swam 1.2 miles in my 70.3 my time was 42 minutes, I think. I know in the swim meet, in the pool, the times will be much MUCH faster. I know I will be destroyed. I know I won't win. I just hope it doesn't take me 40 minutes! Everyone would be watching me finish! One of my teammates told me her time in the last meet was about 21 minutes and most of the others were around 18 or 19 minutes. Ummm..... Say whaaaa?! Ok. I am not scared though...ok so I AM scared but not scared off... I will try. That is all I can do. Try. Wait, but like Yoda says, there is no try. Only do or do not....And I will do it. If I can get my time under 30 minutes I would be thrilled! I have about  month and a half to get ready for this....Given my first day day in the pool after being released from the surgeon for my shoulder I swam a mile. I know I can cover the distance. I just don't know how fast. Or how graceful. And my turns....oh. my. goodness....my turns are not pretty. But I'm not asking for pretty. I'm asking for completion. And maybe completion in a decent time. Under 40 minutes. Or under 30 minutes. Ok really all I am asking is to finish and to not throw up in the pool. That would not be cool. 

And just throwing this out there....I'm kicking around the idea of a Ragnar Relay in Florida. Just kicking it around. If I can work it into my schedule and figure out the logistics it just might happen. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Topic 15: 20 Quick Tips About Health....

Health is multifaceted so here are 20 tips for health that encompass all facets of life:

1.  Get plenty of sleep. 
2.  Drink lots of water. 
3.  Eat less sugar. 
4.  Eat more whole foods. 
5.  Sweat. Daily. 
6.  Don't be lazy when you are parking. Don't be that annoying person who waits for four minutes to get the closer spot. You could have parked and walked in already! And gotten a few extra steps in. 
7.  Laugh often. 
8.  Don't be angry. Let things go. 
9.  Don't drink soda. 
10. Cut back on coffee. 
11.  Get a pet and snuggle with it. 
12.  Play with your kids. 
13.  Invest in yourself. Take "me" time and stop making "I'm a busy mom" excuse. You matter. A lot. 
14.  Talk about it. If not to a close friend find a therapist and work through it. 
15.  Drive slow. 
16.  Wake up early and don't be in a rush so that you CAN drive slow. 
17.  Vow to make your house a "Non-Yelling House". There is no need for it and it can cause anxiety in some kids. Even if it's not angry yelling. 
18.  Try yoga or at least meditation and/or mindfulness. 
19.  Count your blessings weekly. 
20.  Dare to day dream and begin to make those dreams a reality....


Do you have anything to add to my list? 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Topic 14: The Best Moment of my Life...

Wow, this is tough. I've had a lot of awesome moments. But here are two...

1. When LB was born I got a glimpse of him then he was whisked away to the NICU. About two hours later I was finally able to see him. That very first moment I got to hold LB and look at his perfect little Elmer Fud face....Best. Moment. Ever.

2. The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in 2010. The entire 4 hours 9 minutes of it was awesome. But specifically the final 100 yards and the few minutes thereafter are the absolute best memory ever....I had run an excellent race. I saw my family waving and cheering me on around mile 21. Only a few miles to go. When I finally came within eyeshot of the finish line I knew I was going to do it. I was going to win! Win MY race! I heard my name being called and I looked to my left to see my dad and LB! Dad was running along beside me, on the backside of the fans camped out to cheer their runners in. My dad was finishing with me....with the biggest smile across his face, in his cowboy boots.


Once I finished and got a hamburger, chocolate milk, some cookies, a banana, an orange, some water, and more chocolate milk I made my way out of the athlete finish area and over to my dad and LB. The photo above is one of my all time favorites. I was so proud of myself, LB was obviously proud too...and my dad, he was proud of me. I could just see it in his face and eyes...he was proud of me. 

That photo was taken only weeks before he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. The thing about our Best Moments Ever is that you rarely ever know at the exact time it is actually happening that it is in fact THE BEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE....



Monday, December 1, 2014

Topic 13: Write a Letter to Someone I Need to Forgive...

One thing I know for sure is that forgiveness often is something that is done for yourself. Carrying hurt, resentment, and anger is exhausting and really does no one any good at all. I'd like to think that I'm pretty good about forgiving people. I don't carry a lot around with me. I can't. It's too much.  When you forgive someone you certainly are not excusing the behavior or saying what they did was ok or acceptable. When you forgive them you are doing so so that their behavior does not destroy your own heart.

Here it goes...

An open letter to the person who hurt my feelings,

Dearest,
I have a tendency of putting my head in the sand. It helps me get through the tough times. I push things away, pretend they aren't really happening, or just straight up shove them aside so that I don't have to acknowledge it. Often times I distance myself from others when I am hurting. And then I find that the one who hurt me is no longer there, mysteriously, or maybe conveniently, having bowed out. Disappeared. Ducked out while I was ducked under. I don't know where you are, how you are, what you are up to.  So this is the only way I can get you a message, not that you read my blog though. 
The thing is I have always been nice. Really nice. Sometimes people mistake my niceness for naivety or being oblivious.  But I can assure you I am neither. I notice things going on around me and I take note. I often catch discrepancies and they sometimes hit me in the face like frying pans, or a wok.  But I rarely confront. I like to wait and see....watch what happens. Then I can decide what to do. Do you know what it feels like to be told you are awesome, or "amazing"?  Completely unprompted? Let me try to express to you the hope and loyalty that grows inside of a girl who has the Great Wall of China built up inside. It may have taken a few months but the most amazing thing is the moment I realized that the wall had been peacefully torn down, so peacefully that I didn't even realize until I was left wide open, vulnerable. I don't think I will ever understand why someone takes such pleasure in being a Knight in Shining Armor just to turn around and be the villain. Why take the time to carefully and gently tear down a wall, brick by brick, so delicately that there is nary an indication it was ever there, just to plummet through the once barricaded boundary and kill the unsuspecting fledgling heart? The only thing I can compare it to is working months and months to earn the trust of a stray dog, a stray who is doing just fine on it's own mind you. Who has found a nice warm shelter where it's cozy and safe.  And it has found a place where it can eat every single day, without fail, and has found a way of life that works and is just fine. It gets handouts from random animal lovers consistently and is comfortable the way things are.  But one day a man comes and sees this dog and says, "Wow, what a great dog! I can't believe no one else wants it! It's so fluffy and cute! Such an amazing dog! I need to take care of this dog."  He just has to convince this stray dog to eat out of his hands. Eventually this dog's go-to food sources quit watching and waiting for it. It's friends stopped coming around because it was always with the kind man. And being with him is what it loved! He made the dog feel special! He took extra care to not scare it and to make sure it was taken care of in every way. He ran off bully dogs who wanted to steal it's spot under the shed. He eventually led it to his house where it had warm blankets and an amazing doggie bed....they play fetch and went on doggy walks to the lake. They did thing together that dogs dream of doing with their human......You get the drift. Then BAM. One day the man was gone. He didn't even say good bye. No more food, no more treats, no more petting or attention. No more doggie bed.  He just simply decided that this poor stray dog was no longer worth his time.  Or maybe he had to go and couldn't take the dog. Either way he didn't even say goodbye to the dog, gave no indication that he wouldn't be back. The dog sat, patiently waiting for him to return, to hear his whistle or his voice. Surely he wouldn't just leave me here, it thought. He wanted me! He worked so hard to get me to come to here; there is no way he doesn't want me anymore....Why would he bother to do this for me if he didn't really want me? I can't believe that he would do that. Maybe something awful happened? Maybe I did something wrong? Maybe there is something wrong with me? 
I know the truth though, the truth about that stray dog and about myself. There is nothing wrong with us. There is nothing wrong with me. Maybe I did do something wrong, or something not right enough.  But the fact of the matter is I forgive you. I know that in relationships there  are only two endings: Together forever or break up. So there is no surprise there that the relationship ended. However the surprise is in the manner in which it ended. And that is what I forgive you for. I forgive you for slowly building my trust, slowing making me feel safe and happy. Slowly convincing me that I would not regret taking a chance on you....only for you to disappear like Houdini. I forgive you for not valuing me as a person, not recognizing that I am a human with thoughts, feelings and emotions. I forgive you for dehumanizing me and tossing me to the side like I didn't matter, like a stray dog who was fun for a time being.  Like I never did matter and I never will (to you anyway).  
You see, I know that people are going to hurt me. They have in the past and they will in the future. I don't want to continue on in life untrusting and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I don't want to rebuild my ginormous wall, the one that I now know really doesn't protect me at all. If it remains strong and tall I hurt, living a lonely life not connecting to others. Or I take it down and I am left wide open to hurt, pain, and rejection. So either way I recognize that I won't actually be able to find true, strong love if I keep my wall up. And the only way to know is to let the wall down, invite them in and just wait and see...I do have a hopelessly optimistic view of people and I believe that not everyone is out to hurt me. In fact I don't believe you really intended to hurt me the way that you did. I don't believe that you meant to come in like a wrecking ball (wow, I thought Miley might come in handy for me one day) and completely ransack my chest cavity.  You see, I understand your struggles as well. That's a part of loving someone. You know, loving all their flaws and imperfections. I saw yours and I accepted them. But I didn't see the end coming. I had finally allowed myself to take a chance and think about the future....
One thing I have learned over the years is that you can love someone but that doesn't mean they are good for you. And just because someone hurts you doesn't mean you immediately stop loving them. What I have noticed is that long after the dust has settled and the scars have healed, even with the memory of the pain and the hurt, the love is still there. You don't just stop. It doesn't go away. Over the years I have come realized that once I love someone I always will. The capacity and intensity may change, but the love never dies. Many times I think long-after-the-fact love is often confused with hate, hatred, or anger. But I know that you cannot hate someone unless you  first love them...and even then you don't actually hate them. You love them. And they hurt you. And thus when you say you hate someone  what you are really saying is that you love them and they hurt you so badly that you are choosing not to recognize that love and you are renaming it: Hate.
I don't acknowledge hate, unless it is used in a sentence with spiders. Then I really believe in HATE, the hate that has nothing to do with love....But I digress....For me, love is a strong and necessary tool used in forgiveness. And love for myself is what allows me to continue to love and care for those who otherwise could not possibly care less for me. It allows me to see my own beauty and potential, even when and if they aren't recognized by others. Love is hope. For me it is hope in the future and it makes every morning as exciting as Christmas morning...what will I do today? Who will I meet today? Who will I hear from today? What will my heart experience today?  
Yes, you may have broken my heart, but you have not broken me or my ability to love. As for me, I will be OK because I have no other option. I chose love. And I chose to forgive. So don't worry about me. I hope you are doing well and I wish you love and happiness in the New Year.
Your's Truly,
A



P.S. I  am going to be SO happy to finish all these pre decided topics and get back to fitness blogging!!! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Topic 12: A Word That Means Something To Me...

Life. 

We only have one....and I don't want to squander it. I want to experience it!

I have realized that just waking up and living is not enough. I want to LIVE LIFE. I want to experience LIFE. I want to be an active participant in my LIFE. I want to make LIFE happen....I want to say "Yeah, I did that."

I want to live the LIFE I love.

You may have noticed that the theme of many of these post lately have circled around choices and life and living....and future. I have really been doing a lot of soul-searching, self-work, and self-evaluation lately. I have noticed that I seem to find myself in the same situation, over and over and over....And it is time to change. Time to take a leap of faith and begin living LIFE. Whether I like it or not LIFE is happening and I don't want to be a bystander and just let it unravel, I want to be involved. I want to dream and make it happen the way I want! For so long I was along for the ride, living the LIFE of a military wife, tagging along on someone else's LIFE dream. I was not in control of anything in my LIFE, or at lease not much. I just had to hold on and say "Ok, I'm in. " I never dared dream of the LIFE I wanted because it seemed impossible and only left me with disappointment. My LIFE would begin after military time was done. I felt I had to chose between the LIFE I had as a military wife, a mom...and the LIFE I wanted. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to live LIFE as a wife and a mom, but I also wanted more....but being a military wife did not allow for my dreams of the future. So I gave up on that....I had no dreams beyond "tomorrow" or maybe "next year".

Fast forward to now and I am sitting here. Not a wife (and that's OK!).  I have a bucket full of dreams for my LIFE that I can make happen! I am ready to put a plan into action and begin seeing my dreams actually happen!

I am so excited! for once I have a very vivid picture of my future in my mind. It is amazing! It will take a lot of work and dedication but I can finally being living a purposeful LIFE with a goal....and LIFE is good....and exciting!

So how about you? What is a word that means something to you?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Topic 11: Bad Hair Days....

I've had far too many bad hair days lately.

I made a very very bad decision....all because I am impatient. I have an awesome hair girl. I'm lucky to have found her within weeks of moving back to OK. BUT....as it is with all good hair people she is busy and often difficult to get in to unless I schedule far in advance. I don't plan. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. I hate plans. 

So one Saturday when LB was hanging out and playing with a friend I decided it was my chance to get my hair trimmed....I mean just a little trim, I'm talking a quarter inch off the ends. So I headed in to Super Cuts. I mean it's a trim for crying out loud. What could go wrong? It's just hair, it'll grow...Just a trim.

JUST A TRIM.

JUST A TRIM?

HOLY MOLY LADY WHAT ARE YOU DOING? 

IF YOU KEEP GOING IT'S GOING TO BE A MULLET! 

OK, THAT'S GOOD. I THINK WE'RE DONE HERE. 

I have no idea what happened. She put me in her chair. I told her I'm growing my hair out and want to keep it long but need just a trim off the ends to clean it up a bit. And a little trim on the bangs and to frame my face.  She started CHOPPING the sides. I said, "Whoa! If you keep going it's going to be a mullet!" Ugh. I stopped her and left. And now my left head hair is shorter than my right head hair. I'd show a picture but I'm at work and have figured out a way to mask it and make it somewhat disguised.

The worst part? The walk of shame into my old trusted salon to see my amazing girl. There is no denying the fact that I messed up. This is what I get for going outside of my circle of trust. I never should have done that and now I am paying the price. I have learned my lesson and will be planning my hair appointment.  6 weeks out......

Monday, November 24, 2014

Topic 10: Getting up in the Morning....

I don't like it.

But now that I've written that I realize that I should adjust my frame of mind, my negative thinking....I should be grateful for another beautiful morning that I get to rise and shine and live life.

But sometimes I feel like my life could be complete if I got to spend the entire morning in my bed, wrapped in my warm down comforter, snuggled up with Crazy Puppy and sometimes LB (he's almost too good of a cuddle bug, smothers me and somehow gets arms and legs all over the place all at once).

I've set my thermostat to be very low during the night and then warms to 70 at 6:30 AM. This helps me get up. I start to get pretty hot under all my blankets and then eventually I find myself rolling out of bed, grumbling.  I've always had a pretty comfortable bed but two years ago I got a new mattress, a cooling gel memory foam mattress, and it is Ahhhhhhhhhmaaaaaaaazzzzzzziiiiiing. Really it put an end to any early morning runs I have dreams of doing. Nothing it happing in the early morning except me laying, no more wallowing, in my bed, loving life....loving life snuggled in my bed.

Then.....BAM. The alarm.


Ugh.


I have to get up. I have to get LB up and around and ready for school. I have to get ready for work. And then I spend th rest of my day thinking about bed time. Wow. Maybe I have a problem? I bet if I had a rock hard bed I would be much more productive. I'd get up earlier and not go to bed so early.


But sleep is good. It is really important for a healthy lifestyle. Sleep hygiene is one of the most important factors for good mental health.  So yeah, never mind.....I'm going back to bed.....

Look at that face....

He's right in my spot....


Friday, November 21, 2014

Topic 9: Going to the Movies with Friends....

...is fun.

This is a boring topic.

I like going to the movies. The big screen captivates my attention. I LOVE the previews almost as much as the movie. So I really enjoy getting there and eating ALL my Twizlers before the previews are even over.

I have a very hard time sitting through movies at home. I get up and walk around, do things, get side-tracked and distracted. At home I rarely can sit through an entire movie without getting up and missing a big part of it. But in a theater I refuse to get up and go anywhere. I will not get up to go the bathroom unless it's an absolute emergency. I am captivated and thoroughly sucked in. Or just stubborn.

So I am much more likely to go to the movies than to watch one at home. In fact I don't have anything that even plays a DVD. My computer doesn't have a disc drive, neither does LB's. I don't have any gaming systems, other that the WiiFit and that doesn't take a DVD. If I do want to watch something I use Amazon Prime or Hulu and then I pause it or get distracted or fall asleep.

I do want to go to the movies to see the new Hunger Games. I saw the last one on New Year's Eve. Hopefully since I have a kid-free week I'll be able to make ti to a movie!

How about you? Heading to the movies this weekend?


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Day 8: Getting a New Phone...

Yes. I want one.

No. I'm not getting one.

Remember a few post back? The one about the important things in life? Yeah, the one where I discovered that the important things aren't actually things? Yeah, I still feel that way. Of course I think the new iPhone is awesome! And of course I'd love to get my grubby little paws on one! But no, I am not going to spend hundreds of dollars on the newest gadget just because it's new and cool. My iPhone 4G is still working just fine. In fact when the iPhone 5 came out I still had the 3G, not even the 3GS, the first generation iPhone is what I had, I think....finally I upgraded about a week after the 5 came out. I was at a race and when I pulled my phone out of my arm band my hands were cold, sweaty, and not functioning and my phone went flying through the air and slammed into the pavement, shattering the screen into a thousand shards. I have to admit I was pretty excited! I left the race and drove straight to the AT&T store where I immediately upgraded to the 4G. They tried to get me to spend more on the 5 but I told them the 4G was so much better than the 3G that it would be awesome to me.

So here I am, at least 3 models behind the newest iPhone. And I'm OK with that...because it's just not important. As long as I can call my friends and family, FaceTime, text, and use the map to get where I'm going then I am happy.....

...and happy and content is a good way to be.




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Finding my Soul Mate....

Is there such a thing?

Is a soul mate real?

Does anyone ever find their one and only true soul mate?

Once upon a time I believed in the romantic notion of a soul mate, and if you are lucky enough to really truly honestly be able to say you have found your soul mate....then congratulations. No, really, not being sarcastic, congratulations to you. There are 7.125 BILLION people in this world, so maybe 3.2 billion men, and you have managed to find THE one.

Wow. That sounds somewhat condescending. Doesn't it? Believe me when I say I don't mean it to be rude, I truly am happy for you. But really the idea of one person in this whole entire world that is meant for me, to be my lover, my partner, my other half is quite honestly depressing. I mean in the scheme of the world I haven't traveled near enough to be able to sift through 7.125 billion people to find my Mr. Soul Mate. I'd say on average I meet 300 new people in a year. And most likely 70% of those are off-limits due to meeting them in my office--ethics prevent me from being friends with clients, so they are automatically off the possibility list. I'm no math whiz but I can certainly crunch some numbers in my mind's eye and know that I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the earths humans.

So have I found my soul mate? No. I don't think so. Will I? If I am lucky....then maybe in that case I should also start playing the lottery.  Hmm......

Have I met a few who could become my soul mate? Become my other half, my better half, a part of me, complete me, make me happy, hold my hand to death do us part...I think so, maybe. But then if that is true then what happened? Can he be my soul mate while I am not his? Oh bother.....and then it becomes even more difficult.

So you see, I have decided that I am my own soul mate. I complete me. I make me happy. I will be by my side, through thick and thin, sick and health, good times and bad. I can count on me to never leave me, never walk away when times are tough, when the grass is greener over yonder. I can trust myself to take care of myself, to make choices that are in my own best interest....I am my own soul mate.

And on a separate note, I do believe I have found a number of platonic soul mates. Friends who will last a lifetime and who have proven time and time again that they are here to stay....so a soul mate doesn't have to be a romantic soul mate. I am so grateful for the friends I have made that will without a doubt span the lifetime.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Things I Wish I Had....

I have too much. Too much STUFF.  One perk of the military lifestyle is purging every time you move. Since 2002 I have moved  8 times, central USA to coast to coast to coast to coast. That's a lot of packing.  A lot of boxes. A lot of STUFF.  And every single time I'd wonder, "Where does all this stuff come from?!" And I'd vow to not let it happen again.

It has become clear to me that the things in life that I need, that I want, that I long for, are not in fact things

Some things are necessary; food, clothes (unless I move to a nudist colony-not gonna happen), shelter. But most everything else is just extra. It's Life Fluff. Life Fluff can get out of control and begin to feel stifling, overwhelming.  It starts to make the walls close in, the bank account seem too empty, and the clutter just slowly takes over. Minimizing is hard. I have had years that are better than others. I am currently starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with my stuff again. I got rid of a lot when I moved to OK and again it seems to slowly seep back in....I have been trying to do better and practice more mindful spending. I have realized over the past 4 months that I can live much more frugally than I had been. I have realized that I don't really need those new boots or that super cute shirt. I have really begun to evaluate what is important in life and I continue to find myself thinking about all the stuff I have.....and the annoyance it brings to my life; digging through my kitchen cabinets, through all the random things I NEVER use to find the ONE thing I do use, squeezing past the junk in my garage to get inside, searching through loads and loads of laundry for my favorite Saturday lounging outfit, dumping out my hair tie basket to find the only hair tie I ever use, digging through my basket under my bathroom sink to find my deodorant....buried under a million bottles of who-knows-what....you get the idea.

I need to once again minimize.

I have realized that the things I wish I had are not actually things. I wish I had more stamps on my passport. I wish I had a garden....ok, so maybe that is a thing, but it's a different kind of thing. I wish I had a good long run with some of my favorite running buddies (J-Ninja, RED, Mel....). I wish I had a Friday night at Roland's, the dancing studio in Fayetteville, waltzing, swinging, and foxtrotting the night away. I wish I had a weekend on the beach, to sit and watch the sun rise with the sand and salt water rushing up over my legs. I wish I had an afternoon to sit on my porch, in my rocking chairs catching up with old friends. I wish I had a night to set up my camera and tripod to take time lapse photos of the stars with an old friend. I wish I had one more day with my dad, just to sit beside him and hear his voice.  I wish I had a week to spend in the mountains of Colorado, to hike the trails where I went as a kid. I wish I had a Saturday afternoon coffee date with The Sailor's Wife. I wish I had the means to help more people, to give to charities, the poor, hungry, and sick. I wish I had more memories playing on the trampoline with LB in the back yard. I wish I had shot the bow and arrow at the hay bail more often. I wish I had swam out into to ocean with him more than just sitting and watching him play....I could go on and on. What I have realized is that moments are so brief. my iPhone, computer, blog, Facebook...it will all be there later. But right now, this moment, is here only for right now....and want to live it fully!  I am working to collect memories, not things.



So there you have it....the things I wish I had.....

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Ever-Changing Life Goals....

Does anyone ever know their life goals...like really KNOW them and keep them? Maybe so. Maybe some people do...but for me, I don't. Mine seem to be ever-changing. From one day to the next they change. Some parts of the life goals stay the same. Like being a good, kind human being. That will never change. But what do I want to do with my life. Like REALLY want to DO with my life?

As I was driving to work this morning it hit me. I want to be great. I want to do great things. I don't want to be ordinary. I want to be EXTRAordinary.  I want to make a mark on the world. I think I currently do make a mark, a little one. But to the people I work with I am sure my mark isn't so little. As a mental health professional I see people's lives change and move forward every day . I also see people stay stuck, but those I can't do anything about. I can't work harder than my clients. If they don't want to change then I cannot help them. But the ones who want to change, want to make life better...those I can help. And it is those people that make my job so awesome! I love to see people move from the depths of deep, dark despair to seeing the sunlight, the beauty of the world around them, despite the hardships of life. It is those hardships that make up our life, they remind us that we are LIVING, and make us ever so grateful for the good times.

Am I living? Yes. I am living. But I have recently realized that I don't want to just sit around and let life happen. I want to MAKE my life happen. I moved to Oklahoma with a 5 year plan. I love being here and being near family. I love that LB is getting to hang out with his cousins and they are becoming like siblings. You see, it wasn't my life goal to be a single mom with one kid. I always wanted 5 kids. Five boys to be exact. But now I am accepting that may not happen. It might, but time is not on my side and the thought of having four more little humans kinda scares me these days. So that is one life plan that has drastically changed. I planned to be a doting wife, a super mom, and a part-time therapist. Wow, how those plans have changed. Now I am a single mid-thirties mom working by bootie off full-time, being as good of a mom as I can, with hardly any time to date. And if I do....dating with a kid is hard.

So my life plan, as it stands today:

Own my own private practice, working no more than 30 hours a week, in a small beach town. This business will address the whole person; mind, body, and spirit. It will address nutrition, fitness, and mental well-being. It will be awesome. Going to work every single day will not feel like work. I will have an awesome building surrounded by a beautiful garden where we can sit outside for sessions of therapy, nutrition consultation, or yoga, if we'd like.

Own a home within blocks of the beach and my office so I can walk to work, or ride by beach cruiser, or Vespa. Sit on my porch and drink my morning coffee, enjoying the beauty of God's handy work...every.single.day. And eat from my garden. Year round.

Live frugally. Purge unnecessary clutter from my life. Save, invest, and pay off debt so that I can travel and enjoy life.

Invest fully in relationships. Build strong friendships and maintain connections so that my life is fulfilled, even without a husband and five rowdy boys ransacking my life (and I mean that lovingly).

So there is it. My ever-changing life goal. Is this within reach on a 5 year scale? Maybe. I'm not sure. It all depends on how dedicated I am to the parts of my life that will get me to my goal. I am starting to make my plan. How do I get from Point A to point B? That I am not sure....but rest assured it will happen. Someday 5 Miles Past Empty will be 5 Miles Round Trip: House, Beach, Work....Life. 

And I cannot wait!







So what is your ever-changing life goal?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 4 Topic: Going to the movies...ALONE.

Dun, dun, dunnnnn.....

Have you ever done it?  I have. I think if I had to chose, a movie or dinner alone on a Friday night, I'd rather go to a movie alone....well I'd probably be hungry too, so I'd do both.

It doesn't really bother me to do things by myself. Over the past 9 years I have found myself doing a lot of things alone. In my days as a military spouse if I wanted to see a movie that wasn't rated G I pretty much had to go during the day when all my friends were at work and LB was in pre-school or school, or pay even more money for a babysitter. So I would to go alone usually to a matinee. As a matter of fact I think I saw the first Twilight movie alone at one in the afternoon in Lakewood, WA. When I went in I felt strange at first. Then I realized that I don't know these people. They don't know me. And hey look! There are a lot of people sitting alone in here....yep, this isn't so bad at all. And not only that but I don't care what they think.

Here are a few other things I have done alone:

-Gone to and ran a race, without knowing a single person.
-Gone out to eat....a hundred and 57 times, at least.
-Traveled by airplane-that is glorious-to a city, alone, where I know no one.
-Shopping (I'm pretty sure everyone has done that one).
-Gone to church, gone to a new church.
-Joined a new team or club and attended.
-Lived. Like actually had my own place, mine only, circa college.
-Driven halfway across the country, at least 4 times.
-Sat on a beach and watched a sunset...sat on a beach and watched a sunrise. West coast to east....
-Sat on a rock and listened to a river.
-Eaten a box on Girl Scout Thin Mints......not proud of that one.

I'm sure there are more but those just kind of stick out as clear memories with me, myself, and I. So how about you? Ever gone to a movie alone? What is your favorite thing to do by yourself? Anything I should try?


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 3 Topic: Getting a Divorce. It's Stupid.

So todays topic is Getting A Divorce. Wow, a doozie for a running and fitness blog. But I think it is actually quite appropriate. I don't recall if I ever went into my experience with divorce in detail or not.  I will spare many of the personal details out of respect for myself, ex-husband, our families, and LB. But getting a divorce is tough....all around awful. Regardless of the circumstance. There is nothing easy about it.

In 2010 I began running a LOT. That year alone I ran three marathons and countless half marathons. I was running away, trying to escape. I was trying to survive the most painful time of my life. I was coping with the loss of a pregnancy, my husband in Afghanistan, divorce on the table, and my dad's cancer diagnosis (#worstyeareverinthehistoryofever). I could not run fast enough. I could not run far enough. I could not run away. I could not get away from all the painful emotions boiling inside me, killing me. But I did know that when I ran the pain was less, or at least different. It wasn't so much psychological in those miles, it was physical. My legs ached, my lungs burned, my ribs screamed at times, my ankles hurt, my feet burned with callouses and blisters....It was nothing in comparison to the emotional pain. I felt alive when I otherwise, and at other times, felt dead. I know I haven't talked too openly about how psychologically difficult this time was but it was awful. Even now when I think about it I want to go back to that time and hug myself, just hold me and tell myself I will be ok, not only OK but great. Not only great but HAPPY. I will be happy again. 

My actual separation did not take place until 2012. For many years we tired to make it work, tried to put our lives back together, fix it. We couldn't, for many reason, and it wasn't for a lack of trying. Looking back I think the last 3 years of the marriage were the most damaging. Dragging it out and trying to save a marriage that was not salvageable was.....detrimental to my core, changed me as a person, it almost seems like it damaged my spirit. But when it actually happened, when I came home to find the house cleared of any sign that my husband had once lived there, it was like a gut punch. I felt alone. Lost. Confused. Afraid. Worried. Sick....I felt a million feelings at once. I was spitting mad. The anger from years of trying. Years of pouring my heart and soul into something. Years of sacrificing and moving a lll over the place, years of worry and anxiety that accompanies being a military wife. Years of unrealized dreams, years of putting myself last, his career and needs first. You bet I was angry. 

I was angry for quite some time but I feel the breaking point came about 6 months after we separated. I slowly began to heal. I began to find myself again. Of course I was changed, I was a new person, but I began to have my own dreams and hopes. I became hopeful and excited about single life. I began to feel happiness for the first time is years. I began enjoying my freedom, my ability to make decisions for myself and not worry about what someone else wanted or needed (obviously not talking about LB here, he is always a priority and a factor in my choices). I took time to grieve, to heal, and to process everything.  I got in good shape, I ate healthy, I exercised. I smiled! 

All this to say divorce is awful but the pain and hurt won't kill you, kinda like a gun won't kill you. The person shooting the gun might, the actual gun won't.  One thing I remember being told, and I cannot for the life of me remember WHO said this, "This won't last forever. It will get better." And that stuck in my mind, like a broken record. It will get better. It will get better. I clung to that. It gave me hope. Of course it has been tough and new challenges arise, but it has gotten better. I am stronger and happier. I have worked very hard, I have put in many hours of my own therapy to work through this and to do identify my role in the dissolution of the marriage, because as much as I would love to poke a finger and place blame, I must also take responsibility for my part. The self-work I have done has been an important part of letting go...not holding the anger and resentment. One thing I realized is that in the end I am glad my husband moved out. I know it was hard, the hardest thing to do. He had to pack his stuff and leave his son, his wife, his dog, his home. I know that was hard and I know this because I myself could not do it. I wanted to. Trust me I wanted to leave so bad and so many times. But I couldn't. Him leaving allowed us both to heal our wounds and opened the door for us to live the life we dream of.....which I am still working on.

So there you have it, my thoughts on divorce. While I am an advocate for marriage and know it can be beautiful and so fulfilling, sometimes it is the opposite. It can be unhealthy, stifling, hurtful, damaging. Sometimes letting go is the best choice. How do you know if it is the best choice? The right choice? How do you know choosing divorce is not the biggest mistake of your life? Well the truth is.....you don't.  

A note on anger. Anger makes everything worse, more difficult. I'm not talking about in divorce only. I mean in life. Anger does not help and certainly makes things harder on yourself. Anger takes so much energy. It is exhausting.  I am not saying my ex and I are best friends, we aren't. We have certainly had our difficult moments, weeks, months. but in the end there is a mutual respect, after all we both have been through one of the most difficult times in our life. It is just easier to get along and get over it. 

And there it is, my thoughts of Getting a Divorce. Ugh... I'm ready for a run.




Friday, October 17, 2014

Always Behind...Living the l Life I Love...

So I have been slacking on my blogging challenge! Imagine that! I have the topics now I have just been stupid busy. So I have gotten behind....So it may not be a 30 consecutive day blogging challenge but just 30 blogs in as short of a time period as possible.

So for Day 2: My Worst Enemy

I'm pretty happy to say that if I were to end up dead there isn't anyone I can think of that would be a prime suspect....There is no one that wants me dead....I don't think. So with actual people as enemies off the table I think that only leaves me with myself.

I am my own worst enemy.

Bummer. How awful is that? Pretty stupid awful.

I must say that I have been working on that though. I have been being more self-aware of the things I think and say to myself, about myself. I have been trying to live my life, the life I want to live.  I have been trying to be more mindful of choices I make and the true intention behind them. Up until recently I wasn't able to do that. I have made decisions based on everyone else.  In fact for the past 12  years I have not made choices for me. But the time is coming where I will stand up to myself, the me that is often trying to appease everyone else, and say, "Self, that is quite nice of you to think of everyone else but what about YOU? What about ME?" It is time I stop listening to the voice that worries about everyone else and begin listening to the inner voice that says "You can do it! It will be great!"

So there you have it. I have been my own worst enemy in a lot of ways, hitting the snooze button, passing on a trip to the gym, not eating healthy, procrastinating, or just negative self-talk all around. But not anymore....not anymore.


Are you living the life you want? Or is something holding you back? I say it's time to take a risk and join me....well, join me in living the life YOU want, not the life want. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Day 1....and 1.39809 miles....

Why is it that as soon as I commit to a challenge to get me back in to blogging life gets exciting and I actually have something to talk about? I really wanted to do Day 1 last night but I didn't get home until late and when I did get home I had to write an article for work that was already late.  And when that was done I was so tired I fell into bed.

I have been waiting to be released from the surgeon since I had my should surgery. And as soon as I was released you better believe I had a plan. I had been looking for an adult swim team and I found one!  Actually my niece told me that grown ups swim with her team all the time! I made a phone call and one thing led to another...I found myself jumping in the pool at 8 o'clock last night. I was so nervous driving to the pool. LB called me out and said I was just trying anything to get out of it. He couldn't have been more wrong. Yes, I was nervous but I was not trying to get out of it. As soon as I got there I was introduced to the other adult members of the swim team. They were so nice! And even LB asked me this morning, "Did you make a new friend mom?" His question caught me off guard but he noticed me talking and laughing with the ladies and one in particular who recently moved to OKC from Fayetteville ARKANSAS, and I moved from Fayetteville NORTH CAROLINA....weird eh?  Anyway, long story short I literally jumped right in and began the warm up.....and before I knew it an hour had passed and I had finished 2250 meters (and in case you need that in miles that is 1.39809 miles). I could not believe I was able to complete the workout! Not only am I out of shape my shoulder is not exactly strong. But I did it! I am paying for it today but I cannot wait to get back to the pool!

And for my blogging challenge topic: Checking the Closets Before Bed.

I don't.

Ok, ok, that was a short answer but really I don't. I'm actually surprised that this isn't something I worry about more. I tend to worry about bad guys a lot but one thing I am certain of is there is not one hiding in my closet. Having a huge German Shepherd does help. If there was a bad guy in the house he would know before I do. On top of that I have a pretty awesome alarm system (and a pistol that I am not afraid to use) that makes me feel confident that no one could hide in my closets. No one except LB anyway. He likes to hide and scare the bijeeeeezeeeses out of me. As far as super natural things and monsters....What in the world would I accomplish by checking the closet? Nothing.  I don't want to see them if they are there.....ignorance is bliss.

So there you have it......and tomorrow I will continue on with #2  My Worst Enemy.....this should be fun!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

And I am Good to Go!

I had my final follow up with the surgeon last week. Good news is I am good to go! No restrictions, per say. The surgeon told me to follow my Physical Therapists's plan. Last week, before my appointment, I was able to swim 350 meters! I felt so great! I can't even tell you how much I have missed being in the pool.  I will be joining an adult swim team and my first practice is tomorrow night. I'm not even kidding, being sidelined has certainly made me appreciate being able to workout. This isn't anything new, it always happens. It's not until you're down with the flu that you realize just how awesome it is be healthy. I hate how it takes something like this to really make you appreciate how great it is to be able to be physically active. At home I have been slowly easing back in to my yoga practice, adding poses each night. My plan is go to my first class in one week. I know it's going to be tough, and depending on how much time we spend in down dog,  may not make it all the way through. But I am ready to try!


And now, my good friend over at  CACKALACKY TRANSPLANT has committed to 30 days of blogging. And the cool thing is that she used a random topic generator and now has 30 days worth of topics to write about. I have decided to join the fun. I decided to generate 30 of my own topics and here they are:

1.  Checking the closets before going to bed
2.  Your worst enemy
3.  Getting a divorce
4.  Going to the movie alone 
5.  Your ever-changing goal in life
6.  Things you wish you had
7.  Finding your soul mate
8.  Getting a new phone
9.  Going to the movies with your friends
10. Getting up in the morning
11. Bad hair days
12. A word that means something to you
13. Write a letter to someone you need to forgive.

14. The best moment of your life
15. 20 Quick Tips About Health
16. 20 Myths About Marathon
17. Why We Love Love (And You Should, Too!)
18. 10 Signs You Should Invest In Health
19. 7 Things About Marathon Your Boss Wants To Know
20. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
21. What is biggest regret this week? 
22. What was the last gift that you received?
23. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
24. What do you like to do on a rainy day?
25. Who do you envy and why?
26. Happiness is...
27. What do you sense you're supposed to do before your life is over?
28. What is changing in your life right now?
29. What relationships have had the greatest impact on your life?
30. What's the biggest step you've taken this year?

Some of these are pretty intense, especially since this is a fitness and running blog. But I figured that since I have had a difficult time blogging lately (and by lately I mean in the last 3 years) maybe this will get the spark going again. These topics paired with my new motivation to get more active and bak into shape should help. I hope.

So join in the fun if you want and let me know if you do! Be sure to check back tomorrow because I know you are DYING to hear about me checking my closets before I go to bed....


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In Loving Memory of Lazy Dog…

You remember Lazy Dog, right?
It’s been just over a week since we had to say goodbye to the best dog I could ever ask for.  And even though I called him lazy he was far from it. He began having hip problems about 4 years ago. Up until then he could run with me a little but but not more than a few miles. He preferred to run at his own pace, to and fro, not on a leash.

All dogs go to heaven...It must be the best doggie play date Lazy Dog has ever seen, and he’s had some good ones.  Carson has seen a lot in his short 11 years. From Choctaw, OK to TX, NC to WA and back to NC, and back to OK and every state in between, Carson has had his paws in the Atlantic and the Pacific. He has climbed mountains, ran trails, frolicked on the beach. He's felt the wind sweeping through the plains. He’s chased rabbits and cats, and deer. He caught a bird once (and surprised himself and let it go), eaten bees, and begged for salmon. Carson had a big job, to protect his family. As soon as LB could walk Carson became his shadow. He saved my life three times that I know of, and who knows how many others. There will never be another Carson, named on a car ride between Wichita Falls, TX and OKC, because we were in the car and he was our first born, hairy son....Carson.

Saying goodbye is far from easy and I have a huge hole in my heart. But I can say that today I am better because he lived.


 


He is already missed dearly and will be missed for the rest of my life. Hopefully this weekend I can get out and run some miles in his honor.

If anyone else wants to join me feel free! Let’s see how many miles we can run for Lazy Dog!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My shoulds are wants...

I actually FEEL like something inside my brain has changed. A shift has taken place and  finally what I know I should do and what I WANT to do are coming together. They finally match up!! 

I know I should run. I should work out. I should eat healthy.... But for the first time in a loooooong time the should, need to, ought to's are matching up with my want to. 

I want my shoulder to get better so I can swim. So I can get back to yoga. So I can throw some weights around. I want to find a trail and go run it. I want to sign up for the OKC Marathon!! All these wants are not because I feel like I should or need to or ought to! I want to! 

I also want to live near the beach.....

Maybe it was the trip from Middle America to the bottom half of Florida that did it....something about toes in the sand gets my thoughts in order. The waves almost hypnotize me...


And twice in barely a month I have been able to hang with the TFF! She recently moved from the PNW to FL and of course we hung out! And now I have an excuse to make it to Florida any time I want!


But here I am, back in Oklahoma. I've already gone for a run this evening and am looking forward to doing it gain in the morning! Because I want to!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Chargin' the Garmin...

Yep. It's charging. It has been dead for over a year. I plugged it in and kid you not it took about three minutes for it to even register 1% charge!


So what does this mean?? Well, it means that I have been released from my sling and the surgeon... After weeks if not being able to do anything I really realized I miss running. Isn't that always how it goes? You only need te light when it's burning low, only miss the sun when it starts to snow... Only know you love her when you let her go...and I let her go...

So now I know, I let it go and I see know how much I missed it, how much I need it... How much of a part of me it is...

So what does this mean? It means I'm charging my Garmin and going for a run in the morning. 

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