EveryStepOfTheWay

First of all, last Saturday, October 10th, I finished my first marathon!! I did a lot more walking than I wanted to or planned for but my only goal was to cross the line and I did! My official time was 6 hours, 33 minutes, and a few seconds. I think taking our Alaska trip when we did really messed with my training schedule. The two weeks that should have been my highest mileage were my lowest mileage weeks and I never got back into the running groove after our vacation. Oh well, I wouldn’t trade our trip for anything. And since I’m already signed up for my second marathon in January at Walt Disney World (actually I’m doing a marathon and a half–39.3 miles), I’m dedicated to making the second one go a little better and training smarter.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t been around blogworld at all lately. I’ve been reading your blogs but I haven’t commented or written a post for my own in a while. And over the last few months I’ve been MIA a lot…I’ll post and then won’t post again for weeks. In those weeks when I’m not posting, I feel guilty for not posting and not commenting on your blogs. I feel like I should come up with something to post about even though I don’t really want to post anything.

After a lot of thinking, I’ve made the decision to “officially” step out of the blogworld…essentially it’s what I’ve been doing for months but I just haven’t made it official. I’m sure I’ll still be reading your blogs on occasion but I won’t be commenting or posting.

I’ve felt for a few weeks that this is the right step for me. I believe that there are seasons in life…seasons of love, seasons of loss, seasons of running, seasons of not running…this is a season for me. A season when I’m not feeling inspired writing-wise and posting has become a chore. And I need to listen to myself and step back for a while.

There’s been a lot going on with my family lately and now, more than ever, I feel that the only person I can count on is myself. Which sounds so depressing but it’s a fact I’ve known since I was 10 years old and it’s been reaffirmed for me over the past few months. When I feel hurt or wounded, I curl up into myself and reflect…I don’t want to share myself with others because I’m terrified of what they can do with that information.

I’m not saying any of you would use my emotions and feelings to manipulate or hurt me but that’s what my family has done. I feel like I have to protect myself and I shut myself off. I know this isn’t the most emotionally healthy thing to do but this is how I deal with this at this point in my life.

When the seasons change again and I feel ready to open myself back up, I know where to find all of you. Thank you for your support.

I’m back from my vacation to Alaska!! Expect a few upcoming posts about our trip; it was amazing, wonderful, and beautiful. It also ended with me meeting someone very famous but more on that some other time. How’s that for a teaser?!

I’m sorry that I’ve been so MIA lately…I fully intended to write before my trip but work was suddenly busy and I just didn’t have the time. I’m still figuring out how to balance my new job with blogging and commenting. I haven’t found the solution yet but I’ve got some other ideas to try out.

I cannot believe my marathon is in 17 days! Holy crap-ola!! I can’t think about it too much…I get nervous and feel like I’m going to throw up or cry or a combination of the two.

Anyways, just a quick note to let you know I’m back and I’m alive.

 

Hey lovely ladies!!

Sorry I have been MIA this past week…Stephen’s mom was here, I had a cold/bronchitis, and work was super busy. It’s been an interesting and l-o-n-g week. But today’s Friday and 2 weeks from today, I’ll be leaving on my trip to Alaska!! I’m so very excited for this!!!

Anyways, I wanted to do a quick check-in and let you all know that I’m okay. Next week should be much more un-exciting so I’ll have more time to post (good thing—I’ve got tons of stuff I want to talk about) and read & comment on your blogs (also a good thing—my reader has ~200 unread posts in it). I’ll leave you with some pictures of some of the activities we did when Stephen’s mom was here.

P.S. Huge congrats to Lynn who reached 100 lbs lost!! Lynn, you are truly, absolutely freaking amazing.

I recently read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan and wanted to give you all a quick review of the book.

First of all I should say that I loved this book. I found it to be extremely informative and some of what I learned truly shocked me. What I liked most about the book is that Pollan gives the reader information without pushing a particular way of eating or living. My biggest complaint about Jillian Michaels’ “Master Your Metabolism” was that she basically says that you have to eat and live one particular way or otherwise you’re going to die (she wasn’t quite this brash but you get what I’m trying to say). There’s none of that pushiness in “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”. Pollan simply gives you the facts and lets you decide how to eat and live.

I found the book to be eye-opening and can’t wait until “Food, Inc.” comes out on DVD so I can watch it.

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I didn’t do my 22-24 miles this weekend but I did do 15. And I feel no guilt whatsoever for not doing a longer distance. 1) I woke up at 3:30 on Friday morning to get my run in before I had to meet my friend at 11 AM. 2) It was hot and humid on Friday. I started getting dizzy and knew I had to stop.

Stephen’s mom came into town on Friday evening and we spent the weekend showing her some DC sites—Air and Space Museum, Mount Vernon, and a Baltimore Orioles baseball game. We had a lot of fun and did a lot of walking. We also got some great pictures but they’re on her camera so I’ll have to wait to post them.

I hope you all had wonderful weekends. I’m off to catch up on all that you’ve been doing.

Hey lovely ladies!!

This past weekend was my sister’s baby shower in Oklahoma. It went okay. Baby showers are not my thing at all plus with the unresolved stuff going on between me and my mom/sister, it wasn’t the best time. But I did get to talk to my mom a little bit and I feel like we’re at a better place and she understands where I’m coming from on some issues. I didn’t get to talk to my sister…I’m still very hurt by some of her comments a few months ago and I’m not ready to talk about it yet.

The reason I bring all this up about my trip is because last week before our trip and while we were back, I noticed that I’m still very much an emotional eater. I’m better than I used to be but it’s like I don’t feel my hunger/fullness cues because I’m too busy feeling other things. Definitely something to keep working on.

I also attempted a 12 mile run on Saturday. I thought my issue was going to be the hot weather (it’s been triple digits in Oklahoma compared to the 80 degrees I’ve been enjoying in DC) but it was actually my tummy. I did 6.5 miles and my stomach was bothering me so much, I had to stop. I’ve noticed the last few times I’ve traveled that my stomach is pretty sensitive and almost always bothers me. Oh well, 6.5 miles is 6.5 more than doing nothing!!

Tomorrow Stephen’s mom comes in to visit us for 10 days. She’ll be staying with us for 4 days and then moves to a hotel when her friend arrives from Boston. Since I’m getting into crunch time for my marathon training (and I have tomorrow off), I’ll be getting up and doing a 22-24 miler tomorrow morning. I’m absolutely terrified…it’s the first digit being a “2” that’s getting to me.

But after my long run, I’m going to see “Time Traveler’s Wife” with a friend!! I am so excited!! It looks amazing. I’ll be sure to let you all know how it is.

Thankfully, my weekend was much better than last week!! I was scheduled for a 20 miler but mentally, I could not get into it. I know it was all the mental and emotional stress of last week. I did about 11 miles and called it good. While a part of me felt like I had failed because I didn’t do what I was “scheduled” to do, I also knew that it had been a horribly rough week and the fact that I even attempted to do 20 miles said a lot about my mental fortitude. (I also think it’s funny that 11 miles isn’t a long run for me anymore…it’s still a long distance to run but in my training plan 11 miles is an intermediate distance.)

My new hydration pack works wonderfully!! I love it! It holds soo much more water and there are tons of pockets to put my phone, keys, ID/cards, chapstick, and mid-run fuel of gumdrops and Swedish fish. It is an expensive product but I love that I don’t have to ration out my water while I’m running…I just sip when I’m thirsty and don’t have to worry about running out. The only downside is that the water doesn’t stay cold (there’s not a lot of insulation in the pack itself) so it’s a good idea to put some ice cubes in the water bladder. I’ve also been putting those freezer packs for lunches around the water bladder and that’s worked well.

And now for your consideration…

When I was thinking about signing up for and running a marathon I knew I wanted to use it as an opportunity to raise money for a cause but I wanted it to be for a cause that meant something to me. While a lot of people raise money for cancer research (a very noble and deserving cause), cancer (fortunately) hasn’t impacted me personally. After some brainstorming, I knew that I would do fundraising for injured soldiers. My brother is in Afghanistan right now and he has previously served in Iraq and Bosnia. His wife is in Iraq for the second time and has previously served in Bosnia. While neither of them has been injured, they have had close friends who have been injured.

I spoke to my brother and he pointed me in the direction of an organization. After reviewing their corporate mission statement and a lot of research, I decided this was the cause for me! I am raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that helps soldiers and their families transition to a civilian life after serving in the military.

Please consider making a donation to support this organization. More information about the Wounded Warrior Project can be found here. My personal donation page is here.

Thank you for your consideration!

It’s been an off week for me on many levels. I feel mentally, emotionally, and physically beat down.

The past two days at work have been rough…today, thankfully, has been better. Essentially, there’s a bully on a power trip and this week was the week he chose to pick on me. I was upset and frustrated yesterday plus I was tired (which never helps). But I decided this morning that he is just one person and if I let his attitude affect me, then I’m only giving into his bullying. Obviously, I can’t redo yesterday or Tuesday but from here on out, I will not allow him to impact my mood or attitude.

Stephen and I will be going back to Oklahoma next weekend for one of my sister’s baby showers (she’s having 4!!!). Anytime we go to Oklahoma, I feel stuck in the middle and like I can’t please anyone. I’ve been stressed about how to deal with everyone and getting plans sorted out. And I know Stephen’s tired of hearing me complain about it but ultimately, I decided to go so I just need to stop complaining. It may not be the best trip ever but I made the decision to go and need to just stop stressing about it. My mantra for the trip: I can only control my happiness, no one else’s. I have to make the choices that I feel are right and do what I want to do.

And running had been tough this week. Over the weekend I did a 19 miler which was awesome! But Tuesday and Wednesday I just haven’t had good runs. Both times I’ve stopped running halfway through and walked the rest. I suspect it was rough because I was tired. I haven’t even used the elliptical once or utilized the work gym in the afternoons. I’m just in an exercise slump right now, which happens from time to time. Today I didn’t run, instead I got up a little later than usual (5:15 instead of 4:30) and used the time to do some cleaning around the apartment. I think I’ll take tomorrow off as well and give myself some time to rest and feel rejuvenated for my 20 miler on Saturday morning.

I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that my co-workers bad eating habits are rubbing off on me. I’ve started eating a lot more processed foods (including a Burger King trip for lunch one day this week…and I don’t even like Burger King!!) and I feel like crap. Probably a great reason why I feel beat down. I need to remember how awesome I feel when I eat cleanly and how I haven’t even really enjoyed all the processed garbage I’ve been eating.

I know this a downer of a post but we all have moments/days/weeks where we don’t feel 100% and it’s important to realize that it’s all part of the journey.