Monthly Archives: January 2014

Fantastic Friday: 10 Things I Love About Mr. Incredible

In honor of the hubster’s birthday, I’m giving him a little blog love today and starting a new weekly series. Every Friday will bring a new countdown of ten things I love on a variety of topics/subjects.

So, here we go. Ten things I love about my very own Mr. Incredible…

10. From carpentry to electrical work to a/c & heating to engineering & fabricating to automotive and tractor repair to heavy equipment operating, ranch work, farrier work, and the list goes on and on, there’s not much that he can’t do. And if he doesn’t know how to do it today, I’ll bet you my boots that he’ll have it figured out by tomorrow.

9. He pushes me. Not as often or as hard as I would sometimes like, but he knows my goals and he helps me make it happen.

8. Whether I’m riding horses, training in Krav Maga, skydiving or training for a marathon, Mr. Incredible is always there beside me, encouraging me, often taking part in the adventure himself.

7. He fills my belly with yummy goodness. I can cook, and I enjoy cooking, but I rarely have time for it anymore. Thankfully, Mr. Incredible is a phenomenal cook and enjoys getting creative in the kitchen. I really think he deserves his own cooking show and I’m pushing him to at least start his own cooking blog.

6. He knows how to make me weak in the knees. Oh yeh, he’s got the moves, and he knows how to lay it on me! 😉

5. He serenades me with his guitar… He knows my favorite songs and sometimes surprises me by learning one just for me.

4. After 13 years, he STILL makes me laugh.

3. He’s a great Dad. I always knew he would be, which is why I wanted to start a family with him in the first place. Going from a couple to a family, and seeing him become Daddy has been a heartwarming, soul-stirring adventure.

2. He understands that love is a verb, and he lives out that understanding on a daily basis.

1. The most important thing of all? His love for Jesus. He’s not perfect. Yes, he sometimes fails, as we all do, but he admits his failures. His sins. He repents, he seeks forgiveness. And he seeks to please God. He truly LOVES God. And for that, I love him. He IS Mr. Incredible, and I am so grateful that I get the privilege of being his wife.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MR INCREDIBLE!!!

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How A Working Mom Copes With Guilt

I finally fessed up. To my husband. To my Church group. To myself.

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The guilt of a working mother.

The two things really helping me with the guilt right now

    1. I know baby girl won’t remember these days.

    2. Running. It keeps me on an endorphin high – my drug of choice.

Even still, the guilt lurks beneath the surface, rearing its hoary head anytime I take a moment for myself during her waking hours.

Stomach rumbling, I quickly whipped up Bacon & Onion Linguine (my favorite Lidia Bastianich recipe) and inhaled a bowl. “You shouldn’t be wasting time like this,” whispers my conscience. “You could be eating a peanut butter sandwich and get to her more quickly.”

I don’t even sit to eat. I burn my tongue as I inhale my supper. My eye is on the clock.

Now, a quick shower. After a long day of work, I stink and I need to clean up.

The guilt rises. “If you wouldn’t have wasted time with food, you wouldn’t feel so bad about taking the time for a shower.” The stress mounts as the clock ticks on.

By the time I reach my Mother-in-Love’s house to pick baby girl up, she’s asleep. She’s been asleep for 15 minutes. She had a tough time going down and had to be carried and rocked. The guilt is overwhelming. “See. I told you so. If you would’ve just sacrificed more, this wouldn’t have happened. YOU would’ve been the one there for her when she needed you. Someone else had to bear YOUR burden. So selfish.”

I purse my lips and try to ignore the sinking feeling in my heart. To get her home I have to wake her up and take her into the bitter cold, strap her into the car seat, listen to her poor little tired cries as I drive the short distance home, all while wishing this evening could’ve worked out differently. I had planned it differently. Sometimes our plans get derailed and the outcome simply sucks.

And sometimes something happens to turn it all back around.

I got home, and as I pulled into the garage, I thought baby girl must be asleep. She was quiet, so she must be asleep. As I crawled into the back seat, I was greeted by a big, toothy grin. The cries were long gone. And so was my guilt.

We played happily for nearly two hours, a rare evening to be sure. She crawled, she laughed, she squealed, she pulled up, tried to walk and talk. Amidst the joyous babbling, my heart swelled and my soul found contentment once again. She may not remember these days, oh, but I will. And when I do, warmth will fill my heart and the joy in my soul will be reflected in my smile.

The following morning, I was up at 4 am for a 6 mile run. It was an incredible run. I had absolutely zero knee pain and I felt on top of the world. I attributed it to an extra day of rest, but looking back… I think it was the joy of a baby’s laughter that carried me through those early morning miles.

The Liebster Award (and a collection of running blogs to check out)

I am honored to have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Amanda at The Oilfield Mom Survival Guide. It is always wonderful to know that others enjoy what I have to share. Take a moment to drop in and check out her blog!

Here’s how the Liebster Award works:

    You thank the presenter who nominated you.

    You link back to their blog.

    You answer the 11 questions that you were asked by the aforementioned presenter.

    You ask 11 of your own questions.

    You nominate 11 small (200 or less followers) blogs, not including the one who nominated you.

Here are my answers to the 11 questions asked by Amanda:

1. What made you start to blog?

Originally, I began blogging years ago about my horses, chronicling their training and my adventures with them. Now, I use my blog as a way to chronicle some of my own training, journal about my life, and connect with the running community.

2. What inspired you to choose your blog title?

I wanted a title that was adaptable to all the phases of my life, but also clearly states that I am a runner.

3. What is your favorite movie?

I actually just watched it last night (for the umpteen-hundredth time) – Pride & Prejudice

4. If you had to choose one song that describes your life, which would you choose and why?

The song that immediately pops into my head is “It’s My Life” by BonJovi. So many people go through life without LIVING, and that is far from who I am. I embrace life, live it to the fullest, do the things that scare the crap out of me, and find the good in every moment, even the painful ones.

5. What were your New Year resolutions this year, and have you broken any yet?

I don’t do resolutions. For one, statistics show that most people don’t stick to them, so what’s the point? Really and truly, it takes something more than the simple changing of the calendar to create the motivation necessary to stick to a goal. Now, I will say this: I did get back to running back in November and I signed up for a marathon and a half marathon. I’m 10 weeks from my first “back to it” run, and I’m rocking along steady as she goes, right on track.

6. What is your current desktop background?

My desktop is an old machine that hasn’t even been plugged into the wall in two years. I THINK the background is of my friend’s (was mine at the time) Spotted Saddlehorse drinking from the pond, the water reflecting her image beautifully. My laptop background (and my iPhone) is of my daughter, at 3 months old, covered in frills, laying in her Daddy’s guitar case. It is absolutely ADORABLE.

7. What is the last thing you ate?

Homemade broccoli soup cooked up by my incredible husband!

8. Name three items that are within your reach, without having to get up or move.

My water cup, phone charger, and a trash can

9. Coke or Pepsi?

I used to be such a big Pepsi fan, I named my horse Pepsi. Anymore, it makes me a bit sick to have that much sugar. For the most part, I’m accustomed to eating healthy and avoiding sugary, processed foods and drinks. Even so, on very rare occasions I do give in to temptation and drink a Coke or Pepsi. I always crash afterwards.

10. Are you very open or very private?

Both. I’m an open book and will tell you pretty much anything you want to know about me, but socializing drains me and I’m a bit of a hermit/homebody.

11. If money was no object, what would you buy right now?

A house in the South of France. My aunt and cousins have a beekeeping/honey business in Cucugnan and I would love to be able to buy a house there and have them operate it as a Bed-and-Breakfast. Then, when I retire I would live part of every year in France.

Ok, now it’s my turn to ask questions! Being that my blog is mostly about running, I chose to nominate other runners and to keep the questions mostly about running (just my own little twist). So, here we go…

1. What motivated you to start running?

2. What keeps you going?

3. Why do you blog about it?

4. Who is your greatest supporter (besides your mom!)?

5. What are the first 5 songs on your favorite playlist?

6. What is the longest distance you’ve ever run? The longest you hope to run?

7. What is the most important lesson running has taught you?

8. What are your favorite running shoes?

9. How do you like to fuel a long run/race?

10. What does recovery look like for you?

11.If you could do any destination race in the world, all expenses paid, what would it be?

Because I’m not hip to what the cool kids are doing and don’t know how to tell how many followers a blog has, I’m nominating some blogs that I’m pretty sure have a big following… if they don’t, they should!

And the well deserving (15, because I’m an over-achiever like that) nominees are:

1. Bound To Cover Just A Little More Ground

2. My journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon…and everything in between…

3. Running From It All…

4. The Freckle Faced Runner

5. Built For Comfort, Not Speed…

6. Q Runs

7. RoadRunnersBlog

8. Slacker Runner

9. Running In Winterpeg

10. RunAndJumpBlog

11. Best Race Signs

12. QuestionablyTexan

13. Thoughts from an Average Joe

14. Simplify The Get Going

15. 2 Cups ‘N Run


I hope you get the chance to check them out!

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My Dose of Wisdom for the Day

My words are turned against me.
I eat humble pie.
Lesson is learned, wisdom earned.

(Next time, I’ll watch what I say. Hopefully.)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5, 6 NKJV)

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The Long Run, Week 5: I Just Became THAT Girl

You know the one. If you’re reading this, you likely are THAT person, too. And if you’re not, you probably will be before long.

I’m talking about those crazy runner people. The ones running in the dark, that the sane people drive past on their early morning commute. The ones who get up at an ungodly hour to squeeze in a run before their own workday commences.

I used to be the sane one (well, many that know me might not agree much with calling me sane, but never mind that), driving past the crazy runners in the dark. I’ve seen them in movies, dragging themselves out of bed, drinking smoothies, running on oddly quiet streets. I’d wonder over it all and think to myself that I could never manage to get up early enough for much running at all before my own earlier-than-most workday.

I’ve been squeezing in short runs on my strictly scheduled 30 minute lunch break, occasionally fitting one in during an odd lull in work, determined to not cut into my evening time with the family. Finally, my work and running schedules began simultaneously demanding more of me, and I had to bite the bullet. I set my alarm for 3am, got my lunchbox ready for the next day, and despite baby girl’s rough night, I crawled out of bed at that ungodly hour, hauled my butt to the gym and ran 13.14 miles in 2 hours 25 minutes (on the “dreadmill” no less, thanks to snow-covered icy roads). I became THAT runner.

And you know, what? I feel great about it! And the drudgery I normally feel while on the mill was shockingly non-existent today… I’m thinking that may be partially due to a product I’m currently testing. I’m really excited about it and look forward to posting my review (and possibly my first giveaway) once I wrap up testing in a couple of weeks.

But, back to the run. I felt like a well-oiled machine after about a mile and a half into it (usually the distance it takes for me to warm up). I chatted a bit with a few coworkers who visited the gym for a, comparatively, short workout. I managed to keep my competitiveness reigned in and not bump up the speed on the mill when said coworkers began logging miles beside me. I kept going through, ahem, poo pains (mile 10). I kept trucking along despite hunger cramps (mile 11 and onward). The only thing that made me break my pace was a “tweak” I felt behind my right knee. The pain itself was minor, but it concerned me since it didn’t feel like a “good” pain. You know what I mean, right? The difference between “good” pain and “bad” pain? Well, this felt like a “bad” pain, so I mixed in a lot of walking on that last mile. Good thing, too. After talking it over with hubby I realized that he had felt that same twinge a few years ago, pushed through it, injured it pretty badly, and still occasionally feels a bit of pain from it. Sooooo, it looks like I’ll be taking at least a few days off to give it a rest. Don’t want to take any chances, you know?

Did you run today? How did it go? Are you THAT runner? Any running injuries (old or new) to speak of? Any advice for overcoming minor injuries?

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Treadmill Tell-all: AKA My Rant of the Month

With Old Man Winter laying the smack down on poor runners all across the Nation, many are forced to hit the dreaded treadmill to maintain their training schedules. I’m not gonna lie – I HATE the treadmill. But, I am grateful to have access to one since the weather and my schedule haven’t been jiving.

Today, I came across this article at Run With Jess and another at Marcia’s Healthy Slice and thought I’d jump on the bandwagon, too. If you have a blog, feel free to write your own edition of Treadmill Tell-All… leave your link here and I’ll check your blog out!

1. What’s your favorite workout to do on a treadmill? The only treadmill workout that could qualify as a favorite for me is the one that is OVER WITH. In the past. Bye bye. For this reason it’s always hard to keep my pace as slow as I’m scheduled to do. I want to go faster just to get it over with.

2. How many miles, on average, do you run on the mill each week? Usually none, but, with a Spring marathon looming and being that I hate single digit temps even worse than the mill… I’ve been running 3 – 10 miles per week during the worst of the weather.

3. What was the most mileage you’ve ever completed on the mill in one workout? When? Why? 6.5 miles yesterday, in the gym at work, before my shift. I stared at my front teeth for a solid hour. I wanted to run outside, despite the dark, but the roads were slippery ice, AND it was 7 degrees out – colder than I care to be out in. (With a 13 mile long run coming up Saturday, and not a single day off for the weekend, I may log my longest treadmill run this weekend. Oh, but I hope not.)

4. Do you mill at home, the gym or both? I’m thankful to have a gym at work because I don’t own a treadmill. If I keep having to use it, though, I’m going to go insane. There’s only so much of the news channel I can stand. I may have to buy a treadmill just so I can watch a different channel while I run!

5. What distractions or entertainment (if any) do you use to help pass the time? I would love to be able to watch movies or a sitcom comedy while on the mill, but I don’t have that option. So, I entertain myself by reading the closed caption readout of the news (and looking for all the misspelled words), staring at my front teeth in the mirror, and (THANK YOU, JESUS) listening to my iPod or Slacker radio on my iPhone.

6. If you have a treadmill at home, what kind is it? How old is it? No extra dinero to shell out for a mill. I do have some killer Jessica Simpson heels and Harley Davidson boots I’d be willing to part with… Anyone want to trade? 🙂

7. Do you fuel any differently for a treadmill workout than an outside one? My differences in fuel are really only affected by distance.

8. Any treadmill mishaps to report?
On a nearly 5 mile mill run, I got exasperated with a string of crappy songs coming on Slacker radio (was trying a new station), so I ripped my Skullcandy earbuds off and threw them (I thought out of the way). One side got sucked under the mill and was ripped from the other side. I was sad. Those were my best buds. 😦

9. Do you mill at incline to compensate for not being outside? Usually a 2% incline, sometimes 1% if I’m struggling mentally.

10. Describe your perfect (if there is such an animal) treadmill conditions: treadmill at the bottom of a lake, and me jogging a tree-lined trail around that lake on a beautiful 50 degree day. No, seriously, I guess it would be a grid of huge tv’s surrounding the mill with some sort of virtual trail stretching before me, playing on video so it feels like I’m outside. And, to be perfect, it would need to have options – mountain trail, flat forests, lake-side, beach, etc. I’m sure Bill Gates has already developed it. So, if you run into him, let him know I would love to be a product tester, ok?!

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Midnight Mommy Tip #7

Midnight Mommy Tip #7:

when the baby is lying in a pool of drool, it’s best to put the towel UNDER her, not on top of. Really, it’s probably best to get everyone up and change the bedding out, but, hey, gimme a break, it’s MIDNIGHT.

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The Long Run, Week 4: #MegsMiles

Most Saturdays are low-key for us, a time to relax, get in a long run, do some cleaning or just be lazy on the couch. This past weekend was quite the exception, though. Between hubby’s gigs that kept him hopping for a day and a half, tending to the herd of horses at our local therapeutic riding center, getting bills paid, meals cooked, a bit of cleaning done, and toting baby girl around like a squirming football (she’s in a stage where she refuses to be put down for longer than 5 seconds), it’s a wonder I did manage to get my long run in. I am incredibly thankful to my Sister-in-Love and Mother/Father-in-Love for all of the support they give us by babysitting. AND, I am ever so grateful for an extra day to just chill out and have some quiet family time before getting back to the rat race. (Oddly enough, it’s only when I’m back to the rat race that I even have time enough to blog.)

So, getting on to the long run. I prefer to get it done during baby girl’s first nap of the day, but since I had parental duties all alone that day, I just enjoyed snuggling as she napped. Then the “in-Love’s” took over while I handled feeding duties at the local therapeutic riding center. (As an aside… My husband’s mom started the tradition of saying “in-Love” as opposed to “in-Law” – just one of many examples of why she is so awesome and why I absolutely LOVE my husband’s family.)

After saying hello to the herd, getting some kisses,

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Feeding the herd of 15,

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Watering the stall-kept horses,

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Mucking the barn,

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And haying everybody,

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I was finally able to get home, suck down some peanut butter toast and get to my run.

It was a good run, but difficult in more ways than one. Just being “that time of month” makes it difficult enough (sorry if that’s TMI, but hey, it’s hard to explain the difficulties without SOME detail), and on top of that was the brutal wind, PLUS… This run was for Meg. And every time I think about this woman whom I’ve never met, I get all torn up inside.

Meg was a wife, a mom, a runner. And now, due to a drunk driver, she is no more on this earth. As I ran, I was hyperventilating, thinking of how her children have been robbed of their mother. You see, my dad was killed in a car crash when I was an infant. I know something about senseless tragedies and growing up without a parent. It HURTS. And as I ran, I hurt for Meg’s kids, and I prayed for their healing. I prayed that, if they aren’t already, that they would become followers of Christ and that Jesus would heal their brokenness as He had healed mine.

I had planned a 12 mile run. The GPS had some issues, I’m guessing due to the vicious wind, and it clocked the run at 12.88 miles, which I think was wrong. In any case, however many miles they were, they belong to Meg and her family.

Did you run for Meg? How did it go?

Maintaining Motivation: 5 Tips To Keep You Running

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A recent comment and post from a fellow blogger, Ryan, over atRunning For Change, got me to thinking about some of the best ways that I have personally found to stay motivated to run. I’ve been through recent dry spells, and after analyzing what kept me humming along in the past, what led to my dry spells, and what got me going again, I’ve come up with 5 essential keys to success.

1. Enter a Race
This can’t be just any race. This race needs to be local, or at least within a short enough distance that an unexpected shortage of funds won’t be a hindrance. That doesn’t mean “destination races” are out of the question. It simply means that there needs to be enough local races on the race schedule to keep the momentum going.

Another important consideration for this race is that it needs to have a goal attached to it that is achievable, but requires focused effort in order to reach it. (i.e. longer distance, faster time, or obstacles to conquer)

2. Use A Training Plan
Whether you use a free one, a purchased one, or hire a personal trainer to develop a customized one, a training plan will keep you on track and help you reach your goal injury-free.

For my first three half marathons, I tailored my own training plan after researching plans and tips for several weeks. This got me to my first half under-trained (a good thing) and injury-free, to a PR in my second, followed by another PR in my third. Currently, I’m sticking to a free marathon training plan that I downloaded on my RunKeeper app, and I’m really feeling great about it. If I get the results I’m looking for, I’ll try a second one when I push for that sub 2 hour half marathon later this year.

3. Fuel The Fire
In everything, you get out what you put in. Trash in = trash out. The better you eat, the more you will FEEL like being active. Plus, the more active you are, the more you will WANT to eat right. It’s a wonderfully upward spiral.

4. Social Media
Most people will encourage you to join a running group. My schedule has never really allowed for that. What I have found helpful is using social media to connect with the running community at large.

A combination of blogging about running, following other running blogs, connecting with runners on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc, and entering sweepstakes for running gear keeps running at, or very near, the forefront of my mind. I’m encouraged by the trials that are overcome by others like myself, and I’m inspired by their victories. I learn from them how to do what I’ve never before done, and I sometimes even get a virtual pat on the back along the way.

5. Mix It Up
Prevent boredom and burnout by mixing some variety into your training runs and even races. Have you been running the same route for weeks? Explore a new route. Tired of the treadmill? Wake up earlier and hit the roads. Still not doing it for you? Find a trail. Not enough trails near you? Turn your run into a game. Go on a “treasure hunt” – make a list of items to find and snap pics along the way (this is basically what I did on these two posts: The Long Run: Here’s Your sign and The Long Run, A Photographic Journey).

There you have it – a handful of my personal secrets for maintaining motivation. How do you stay motivated? Do you play games while you run? What games do you play?

5 Unexpected Reasons To Drink More Water

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The following are a few tips on the importance of drinking water that were handed down to us at work this week:

1. Fluid Balance: 60% of the body is composed of water. Water is crucial in transporting nutrients through the body, regulating body temperature, digesting food, and keeping the body on track.

2. Calorie Control: Numerous studies have found a connection between water consumption and losing a few pounds. Water helps one to feel full and, therefore, consume fewer calories. Replacing sodas with water also aids in weight loss.

3. Clearer Skin: Water targets and flushes out the toxins that cause skin to inflame, aiding in the prevention of acne and clogged pores.

4. Pain Prevention: Aching joints and muscle cramps and strains can all occur if the body is dehydrated. Drinking more water can help to both relieve and prevent pain.

5. Sickness Fighter: Water fights decongestion and dehydration, helping the body bounce back when feeling under the weather.