Inspire

A friend of mine sent me one of the most amazing text messages earlier this week. It started, “Thought I’d give you an update since you inspire me to achieve my goals…” Then she went on to tell me about the awesome achievements she recently accomplished and the new goals that she hopes to achieve.

My first thoughts were of giddiness…aw, she thinks I inspired her!

My second thoughts were of honor…how honored I was that she chose me to share her news with.

My last thoughts were the most important. Pretty darn revolutionary.

You see, the past two months or so (since my 50K in November) I can count the number of times I’ve ran on one hand. I needed a break from running…really, I needed a break from everything…so I took one. This break lasted quite a long while with many hours spent watching the love tangles between Nathan, Lucas, Peyton, Hailey, and Brooke…snuggled up on my couch with a bottomless cup of coffee in my hand. Let me tell you, the drama from those twenty-something-looking characters at Tree Hill High is really captivating. Needless to say, I started feeling lazy…

…and lumpy.

My body-image slowly started becoming less positive, and before I knew it, I was feeling guilty about my time resting. Although I knew realistically that my body had not physically changed (other than losing some endurance), my mind was starting to tell me otherwise. Crazy pink elephants.

Then I got the text.

I realized that I needed to shut off those crazy thoughts in my head and start going after my goals again! And it’s okay that my goals are less fitness-oriented right now, and it’s okay that they may be more involved with finding out who Lucas Scott really ends up with in the end. And it’s okay that I may not run a marathon this year, especially if that means that I get to start working in the career field that I’ve been working so hard for.

Nursing Group

Just as long as I’m happy.

So, what I’d like to say now is…

Thank you Katrina, for inspiring me to remember to be happy and to stay positive.

ang

2013 Wish List

2013 Wish List

  • Run for fun.
  • But also PR in  shorter distances.
  • Not let my husband beat me in a 5K. (One of his goals was to beat me…)
  • Do an unassisted pull-up…for real this year.
  • Eat more natural, less processed foods.
  • Try to learn to cook better…and with more variety. (Key word here is try…)
  • Do more yoga, even if it’s just in my living room. Try hot yoga…try zumba.
  • Make a better effort to write more. Revamp this little blog.
  • Read a few books for pleasure, not for school.
  • Rock my last year of nursing school and graduate with honors!
  • Make a difference…somewhere, somehow.
  • Stress way less (maybe this will solve the gray hair problem). Laugh way more.
  • Last, but most definitely not least, start expanding this little family.

ang

Woah January

Don’t worry people, somehow I’m still alive. Barely.

Even though somehow my stack of textbooks managed to double in size.

To be completely honest, school is ridiculously overwhelming. I thought the first week was crazy and hard…and since then, each week as gotten even more difficult. And I love it. Even though I’m lacking on sleep, quadrupled my coffee intake, and already studied more than I did in my first time through college combined, I love it.

And somehow January is ending and it’s time to start a new month. That means only three and a half more months until my first semester of nursing school is over.

With the month coming to an end, I wanted to quickly (very quickly since I have a test in fifteen minutes!) go over how great January actually was, even though I’ve been running around like a crazy lady for the past couple weeks.

Yes, I’ve actually made a better eating goal each week. I shared my first, second, and third weekly goals on here (eat breakfast everyday, eat at least three servings of fruit a day, and eat at least three servings of vegetables a day), but I didn’t share my last two. Last week my goal was to incorporate protein in breakfast. Thank you greek yogurt…goal achieved. This week’s goal is to drink the recommended eight cups of water a day. This goal, oddly enough, is a little harder to obtain…especially since my recent want and need for coffee. I’m trying here though.

Another New Year’s goal of mine was to cook a new dinner once a month. Once a month may not seem like anything to most everyone else in the world, but for a non-cooker like me with hardly any time, once a month is lofty. I did cook enchiladas a couple weeks ago, and while they weren’t as tasty as when my madre makes them, they were still delicious. And I was pretty darn proud of myself.

Lastly, I want to touch on this little subject of marathon training.

I knew it’d be hard to find the time to run, but aside from studying and spending time with my family, running has been number three on my priority list (sorry blog…right now you’re near the bottom of this list!) So far I’ve been keeping up with the majority of my runs, and I’ve gotten in each and every long run.

In my pile of assignments and to-do lists sits my training plan, all written in pencil since I still change it daily. The month of January I was able to run 114 miles…total success.

Woah January.

ang

Running is Hard, but Breakfast is Good

I only have a few days left to sleep in because nursing school starts on Monday. Of course I am beyond thrilled about this, however, a sense of fear and nervousness has started to creep in. What if it’s too hard? What if I won’t be able to work and keep up with school? What if I’m not a morning person anymore? How will I find time to study and to run? What if patients hate me? What if the other students don’t like me? And worst of all…

…what if I’m not good at it?!

So, instead of letting all those crazy feelings consume my every thought, I decided to live it up one more day and sleep in. Is it sad that sleeping in is “living it up” to me? Or acceptable? I’m not sure. After I had enough coziness it was time to start my day…which in accordance with my week one New Year’s goal meant eating breakfast.

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I’ve now started my day with breakfast three days in a row, and it has been magnificent! Before I wasn’t anti-breakfast. In fact, most days in 2011 I did eat breakfast…that is until December hit. Sleeping in and having no particular running goals left me with no motivation to go toast a bagel…or pour a bowl of cereal…or blend up a smoothie. Cookie parties also had a hand in eliminating my desire to eat breakfast. Wake up at eleven, eat a chocolate covered cherry cookie (hey, it has fruit in it), and call it a day…until noon, that is, when it was time for lunch.

But three days in a row with a healthy, well-rounded breakfast has got me feeling energized! Throw in some vitamins and a cup of coffee, and there’s no telling how much I can accomplish!

Yes, breakfast is good.

Next on my agenda of “living it up” until nursing school hits…go for a run. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can say for a fact that when I sleep in I have a much, much harder time convincing myself to lace up my shoes and get out the door.

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But after some moseying around, I finally threw my hair up into a ponytail and set out for a sunny eight mile run…my longest run in quite awhile. And it was hard. The hills. The blisters on my heel from my new shoes. The distance. The hills.

Running is hard.

Once my watch clicked to eight miles I walked back inside and realized that yes, running is hard, but it is so rewarding. I just ran eight miles. Eight. That’s really quite a lot. And actually, I felt even more energized than before I left!

I find it so true that taking the first step is really the hardest…but with a good breakfast, I guess anything is possible.

ang

 

Starting the Year Off Right, Part Two…

…by hitting the pavement!

If you take a look at my two thousand and twelve wish list, right away you will see that I have some pretty lofty (to say the least) goals that revolve around running. Two marathons…at least one of them sub-four hours…pure loftiness.

While these goals scare me quite a bit…like piddle-in-my-pants scared or I’m-going-to-bawl-if-I-don’t-accomplish-them scared…I’m still super stoked to try my very best to make them happen. With that being said, marathon number one of 2012 is only sixteen weeks away. Sixteen weeks! So, there’s no better time than now to hit the ground running. Literally.

I woke up this morning to complete five and a half freezing cold my-phone-said-it-was-fourteen-degrees miles with four of my favorite gals here in mid-MO…and all done before the sun even came up. That makes a total of nine and a half miles on the week so far, with hopefully many more to come. There’s nothing like a good run with fun people to set a positive tone for the entire day…and to start off a long training season!

I have a rough draft of what my next sixteen weeks will look like, but I haven’t committed completely to the plan yet. Once I start school, get used to my new schedule, and finish tweaking it, I will be sure to share. My plan for right now is to slowly start building my mileage back up, and of course, have fun! Soon it will also include some speed work, Yasso 800s, long long runs, and weight training. I’d also love to add in some yoga somewhere…

Here’s to pure loftiness!

ang

2012 Wish List

  • Run two marathons.
  • Run a sub-four hour marathon.
  • Run a race that is not in Missouri or Kansas.
  • Eat breakfast every. single. day. no. matter. what.
  • Change my eating habits for the better…one small change per week.
  • Raise money for a charity.
  • Drink lots and lots and lots of water.
  • Cook a new meal once a month.
  • Pray everyday.
  • Do an unassisted pull-up.
  • Run a sub-twenty-four minute 5K.
  • Keep up my blog.
  • Take a road trip somewhere…hopefully Florida.
  • Try zumba…and hopefully fall in love with it.
  • Take a hot yoga class.
  • Rock at nursing school.
  • Stay in touch with friends and family.
  • Make new friends.
  • Smile, and not worry about these darn laugh lines.

Happy New Year!

ang

Two Thousand and Eleven, It’s Been Lovely

In two thousand and eleven I…

…started a blog! Never before in my life did I have the intention of writing and then sharing my writing with anyone and everyone on the internet. However, I’ve ended up absolutely loving it, and I credit my blog along with other blogs I read for being the fuel behind two thousand and eleven’s greatness!

…started out the year with a four mile race, Love 2 Run, in February. My blog wasn’t born yet so I wasn’t here to tell you about it, but I did PR (it was only the third race I’d ever done before in my life, and the second time in this race) with a time of 35:15.

…ran my first 10K…then my second 10K…then my third 10K…each one with a PR!

…trained my dog to give high-fives.

won a local race! It was a small 5K race…a very very small race, since I won with a stopwatch time of 25:09. Nonetheless I won an awesome trophy, and it was for a super great cause to support a local little girl with osteosarcoma. The same little girl who happens to be my Make-A-Wish wish kid and who is a huge inspiration to anyone who knows her.

…greatly improved my body image.

didn’t get into nursing school.

got into nursing school!

…ran my first half marathon, which happened to be my one really big goal that I wanted to achieve this year! I also had a secret goal of running it in less than two hours…which I also achieved with a time of 1:59.10!

went to Mexico with all my amigos!

…was a blonde for awhile. Literally, not figuratively. Well, maybe both.

…ran my second half marathon and PRed with a time of 1:52.52.

…got my husband to run a 5K with me…and my mom, sister, and stepdad! It was for the Susan G. Komen race in Kansas City, obviously a great cause, especially considering my mom kicked breast cancer’s booty.

…coached middle school volleyball with some of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met!

tried mushrooms…grilled…and liked them.

…raised money for Girls on the Run as a SoleMate!

…ran a marathon. A MARATHON! A ridiculously hilly but beautiful nonetheless twenty-six point two miles all over Kansas City, Missouri, and I loved every single second of it…all four hours and fifteen minutes! I set out the year with hopes of finishing a half marathon…what I didn’t know was that I was going to fall in love with running. Once my half was completed in April I knew I needed more! Never before in my life did I imagine I’d run a marathon, but crossing that finish line was the proudest moment of my life.

This year has been amazing. However, it wouldn’t have been nearly as great had I not walked into the women’s restroom back in February and discovered a little post-it note on the mirror that said, “You are beautiful.” That’s when I discovered Operation Beautiful and the entire world of blogging…a world of inspiration, motivation, and support from some pretty amazing people.

Two thousand and eleven, it’s been lovely.

ang

I’ve Been Smiling A Lot

My goal for the month of December was to enjoy life and smile a lot. I must say, I do think I have been very successful achieving my goal thus far. Between laughing it up with my husband, spending time with my family, and catching up with friends, I could not have asked for a better month.

However, I have only logged a handful of miles in my old Asics, and I think they miss me. It always seems like such a great idea at night to wake up at the crack of dawn…or actually, before dawn…and get a good run in. When the morning rolls around the the idea sounds much less desirable. Much. Don’t get me wrong…I am missing hitting the pavement, too…but I’m definitely enjoying life a little bit longer in my warm bed!

And, I’ve been more than lacking in the food/cooking/eating well department. Between my peppermint bark rice crispie treats, and the cookie party I went to, I’ve eaten dessert for breakfast more times than not. I justified the rice crispie treats by reminding myself that rice crispies are cereal after all,  however it’s much harder to justify a sugar cookie.

But, sugar cookies and rice crispies make me happy, so I’m not going to worry about it! I call that a successful month!

I have big, big goals for two thousand and twelve, though, so prepare yourself. In the meantime, I’m going to live it up for the next eleven days and spend every happy moment I can before school, work, and running invade my life to the fullest. My 2012 wish list will be coming to the blog very soon, and expect to see a lot more about my running plans, my running goals, and eating and cooking well. You heard me right…cooking well. Oh, and running a sub-four hour marathon.

Oh wait, did I just say that?!

ang

Fa La La La La La La La La

It’s December. DE. (Fa…) CEM. (La…) BER. (La!) When did that happen?

I must sound silly at the beginning of every month stating the obvious, the fact that time seems to be flying by at a ridiculous pace. But I can’t help it. It’s too true. Time is flying by. My husband is a whopping twenty-eight years old, I am almost twenty-six and a half years old now, Tia is going to turn three and a half at the end of the month, I’m noticing more and more gray hairs each day (all in the same location…thank you Mom), and I think it is now safe to call my laugh lines actual, real-life wrinkles.

But it’s all okay because it is December…which means it’s almost Christmas…which means it’s almost my favorite holiday!

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So many of my most favorite memories of family come from this month. My sister and I made up this game called “The Light Game.” At night when our mom or dad would be driving us around somewhere we would each look out the window and secretly count how many houses we saw that had Christmas lights. At the end of the trip when we’d arrive at our destination we would both reveal how many houses each of us saw, and whoever had seen the most would win.

Maggie would always make up a number that was actually a lot higher than her actual count. She always wanted to win…and she rarely ever did. Maybe if she hadn’t purposely broken her glasses when she was a kid then she could’ve seen the houses better. 😉

Normally at the beginning of the month I detail out a list of new goals for the month, but this time I am not. November was pretty awesome…I decided where I am going to attend school, I ran my second half marathon and PRed, and smiled a whole, whole bunch. It’s hard to beat all that.

This month my goal is just to enjoy life. This might entail some running…or it may not. It might call for some creativity…or maybe not. It might mean I will cook and bake a whole bunch…but most likely not. What I do know is that it will most definitely require lots and lots of quality time spent with my family, lots of laughs with my girlfriends, and some lazy snuggle time on the couch with my husband and little Tia.

Which is good, because I’m already planning out my goals for two thousand and twelve, and let me tell you, they’re going to be big ones! Come January I’m going to be a busy, busy gal (and I can’t wait!)

Merry December to you!

ang

Gobbler Grind Race Recap

This whole race seemed funny. Weird. Funky. Casual. That is, until I started running it.

It was the first race I’ve ever done where I didn’t know someone else running it. In a way this was a little bit sad, but in another way I kind of liked being able to have my own pre-race routine. I arrived to the race site super early, snagged a great parking space near the porta-potties, and blasted the heat and music in my car until I was ready for my first potty break. I was able to get right in and out and back to my car in less than two minutes.

(See…porta-potties in the background…)

I sat in my warm, warm car for another fifteen minutes and prepared myself for the race. When I attached my timing chip to my shoe I finally felt a surge of excitement when I read what it said. Finally, I started to feel like I was about to race!

I used the porta-potty one last time…this time after waiting in a long, long line…and with much caution since the lady who exited it before me warned me that it was “a little bit wobbly.” Visions of your porta-potties toppling over with you and your pretty new hot pink running jacket is not a pretty picture. Like I said, this race started out funky. Luckily, I squatted very carefully (because no one should put their behinds directly on those seats), distributed my weight evenly, finished my business, then headed over to the start line with no nightmares coming true.

At the start line I found a nice little place to stand and wait while the race director made some last minute comments. The race director seemed like a really sweet guy and he told all the runners to introduce themselves to someone they didn’t know next to them. I shook hands and introduced myself to two older men right next to me. They were very nice, and the three of us spoke briefly on our running history. I promptly and proudly told them that I just ran my first marathon in August.

Of course, they were impressed. 🙂

Finally the race director yelled, “Go,” and slowly but surely the racers were off. I, along with my two new male friends, were near the back of the pack so we casually walked forward until the start mats were in our vision.

Since we were near the back, several people had already crossed the mat (duh). Someone’s foot up ahead must have caught the mat, because part of it was rolled over. I noticed this and told myself to be careful as I crossed so that my own foot wouldn’t get caught and cause myself some acrobatics at the start of the race. I finally reached the mat, crossed over it, caught my foot, and stumbled forward with my face only inches from the pavement for approximately fifteen seconds. After regaining my composure, finally, my new friend made sure I was okay and said, “Well that’s not the best way to start a half marathon!”

Like I said, this race started out weird. Funny, though? Not at the time.

Finally I started running for real, not stumbling, and everything fell (no pun intended…I promise) into place.

The first mile was only slightly crowded and I did a little bit of weaving, but nothing to drastic. The temperature was about thirty-one degrees, but I warmed up quite nicely during that first mile.

Mile 1: 8:54

Mile 2: 8:23

Mile 3: 8:24

I was making great time, but I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to maintain this pace. My goal was to average under nine minute miles…not run all my miles under nine minutes. But I always just run how I feel. I know this may not be the best method to running long distances, but if I feel good then I like to run fast.

Mile 4: 8:22

Mile 5: 8:36

Mile 6: 8:12

Eight minutes and twelve seconds for mile six?!?! Who was this girl, and can she stick around forever?! Still…the longer I kept this pace the more worried I was getting that I’d hit a wall. However, from approximately miles three through nine I ran right next to this pretty little girl wearing blue. I remember that she had on blue because I thought the color looked so nice next to my bright pink. Running next to my blue girl helped me keep up this pace because I did not want her to beat me. My ultra-competitiveness kicked in, and I knew I couldn’t let up if I wanted to beat her.

Thank you pretty blue girl for making me run fast.

Mile 7: 8:26

Mile 8: 8:49

Mile 9: 8:38

Miles seven through thirteen was an out and back on a paved trail. For the most part the trail was relatively flat, except for a few steep ups and downs. Very steep. Most of the time I despise hills, especially steep hills, but for this course there was always a very nice downhill payoff.

Mile 10: 8:51

Mile 11: 8:48

Mile 12: 8:57

I knew I was going to reach my goal of finishing in under one hour and fifty-five minutes and averaging under nine minute miles. I felt amazing!

Mile 13: 8:24

To make my race a little sweeter, I chicked this very tall and muscular man in the last .1 mile to the finish line. Sorry guy, you’re not beating this girl.

My official stats:

Time: 1:52.52

Average pace: 8:37

I blew my goals and expectations out of this world. I guess it makes my stumble at the start a little less embarrassing.

Funny? I guess so.

ang