“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”-Socrates
Everyday we are faced with hundreds of decisions. In fact there are around 612 choices that we make everyday whether we are fully cognizant of each one of them or not. Oftentimes our decision is actually posing as indecision because refusing to decide is in and of itself, a choice. The last couple of years I have been working on honing my disciplines by learning that a “No” to one thing is actually a “Yes” to another. That being said, today, when faced with a choice that you would really rather not make, reframe it. There is no getting out of choices and decisions, so you just might as well lean into them and choose the one that has the best long term outcome for your life.
The most extreme example of applying this method of thinking in my life would be my #runstreak. Today I ran day 787. My choice this morning was not IF I was going to run, rather WHEN, HOW, and HOW FAR. Unless you have been living in the bottom of the ocean, you know the whole country has been under a Polar Vortex this week. (I think we just like drama. Let’s call it what it is……..WINTER)
For some people, they may have been faced with the decision to ditch their New Year’s Resolutions and goals in the infancy of 2014. After all, who wants to workout when nature has given you a -40 degree windchill excuse. (Forget the fact that you can in fact work out in a heated home or gym. Your home doesn’t even need equipment for you to get a work out in. You can do a YouTube fitness routine. How’s that for robbing you of your excuse?)
For me, however, facing a PR year of running (I’ve never run 2 full (26.2 mile) marathons in 1 calendar year back to back before, so regardless of pace, I will acheive a personal record.), working on year 3 of the #runstreak, and at the start of my Cleveland Marathon Hal Higdon training plan, running wasn’t an option, it was a mandate. You must have steely resolve in your goals, but also be flexible. Do what you gotta do to make things work, but also don’t excersize your self-discipline muscle too much too soon, or it will cause you so much pain that you will quit before you’ve gotten a new habit or routine. Ease into it and you will amaze yourself with your newfound capacity for snap and efficient decisions.
Disclaimer: You might have difficulty saying no to ice cream no matter how large your self-discipline muscle is. The cure for this is to just keep signing up for marathons. The means justify the ends!
The polar vortex made it unsafe to be outside longer than 20 minutes, so we took the run to the YMCA. (You know the weather was bad for me to opt for a treadmill.) However, because child watch was closed and clearly, from the picture below, no one else was putting fitness first, I was able to run with my BFF’s by my side.
Jonathan tried to force me to choose which cover model I wanted him to look/be like. I chose both. We can be smoking hot and be like Jesus all at the same time! (Mind, body, spirit)
Gentry made a very adult (he’s 6) decision to change his hairdo. I basically wept because he looks like he’s 25, but he’s a man that knows what he wants.
I made a decision to take my runs back outside this AM. 6.3 miles in 12 degrees.
The discomfort of giving your best is less than the regret of holding back.
A lot has been going on in my life lately. My weekend started off with one of those days of sorrow topped with joy. We spent the day in Toledo Ohio at the Memorial Service of my 90 year old Great Aunt Dorothy. It is very sad to see her pass and know that her chuckle and ability to include everyone in everything and make you feel genuinely liked will never be felt again, but celebration of a life well lived. To live to 90 years old and have spent 89 of those years living independently is a great story. She only gave up her independence 9 months before her passing due to some health issues. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I got that side of the families genetics instead of my Bentley side of the family, but so far I’m pretty much striking out since almost all of me is pure Bentley. If I keep running and living well though, hopefully that DNA will kick in and I will last well into my 90’s like so many of the Whitmore’s have.
The boys at the memorial service behaving like champs and brightening the mood.
A small portion of the dessert table that I had to try. It was National Doughnut Day Friday, so I replaced the biblical mandate of eating Donuts on that holiday with a mandate to eat all chocolate products in sight. I had gotten out of bed at 5 AM that morning to get a 6 mile run in before we left for out of town, so I definitely had banked the calories for this.
On Saturday I woke up early again to hit all the Little League Games and get my house in acceptable condition for our friend who was coming to spend the weekend with us and minister at our church. I got my 8 mile run in and felt fantastic. Our rule at the Buckland home is that when friends come in from out of town we have to eat copious amounts of food in our quest to be hospitable, and all of the food must be delicious. By the time our friend arrived, I was more than ready for dinner, but something felt off. I decided to order a salad instead of the burger I usually order at Fat Head’s (the restaurant my husband thinks is necessary for each of his friends to eat at. He thinks eating here is as important as baptism, so you can’t argue with that). I ate my salad and just felt inordinately full.
I didn’t want ice cream after dinner, which should’ve been my first clue something was awry, but since we were going to Mitchell’s (another Cleveland staple and MUST eat), I couldn’t say no. Another glaring clue something was wrong should’ve been the fact I ordered a single scoop cone instead of my usual Sundae the size of a small toddler.
I woke up Sunday feeling lethargic, but since I had slept all of 3 hours the previous night, didn’t think much of it. I did my Sunday #runstreak 2 mile run, had a great church service, then went to another horrible for your body meal. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, you have to eat at MELT when you visit Cleveland. It was Jonathan’s duty of brotherly kindness to expose our friend to this place. I didn’t feel great at this point, but ate my meal and half of everybody else’s meal anyway because it’s just what you do at MELT and I thought I was just tired.
That evening I ate nothing at all. I even said “No” to ice cream when the guys tried to peer pressure me into partaking again. I just felt chilled, tired, stuffed, and not too great. I honestly thought it was from eating too much. I almost always gain like 67 pounds when our friends come to visit and I know how unhealthy eating destroys my body and my system, so I thought I am officially too old to indulge occasionally and it’s time to marry my new lifestyle 100% of the time instead of following my usual 80/20 plan.
Thankfully, or horrifically depending on your perspective, I have learned over the course of the last few days that it wasn’t what I was eating that is the problem, but in fact, my body decided to go on the WORSE DIET EVER. I got up Monday and almost passed out walking to my kitchen to start coffee. This is obviously not normal behavior. I can run a marathon but I can’t walk to the kitchen, funny stuff. I felt so hot and so cold at the same time that I thought I was going to burst. I crawled back up to my room and just layed like a kid in bed. When I can’t make or drink coffee, it’s time to call the coroner. I was down for the count.
Because Jonathan had appointments that day, I pulled myself up, threw clothes on and took Gentry to safety town. I had already promised Reese that we would go to the YMCA for me to work out and him to have kids club, so despite my husbands plea’s, I took off.
G-Man Representing Safety Town
After 576 Days on the RunStreak I’m committed to the streak. I eeked out my 5K on the treadmill feeling like I was going to die and then skipped weight training. At that point, there was no arguing, something bad was happening. I will not tell you the other evidence of the stomach flu in my life at that moment, but let’s just say I had a very unpleasant day. I went home, showered, and didn’t move all day. At this point I had not eaten one thing since Sunday at lunch and was not only not hungry, but terrified of what would happen if I ate. I finally force fed myself a banana and some Sprite, but I had a fever of 101 and couldn’t budge.
So, if you want to lose weight fast, find someone with the stomach flu and get it really good. It is Wednesday and I’m still not recovered. My fever has broken thankfully, and I’ve eaten some chicken noodle soup and toast, but i have no appetite and my energy is nill. I am down 5 pounds from Sunday morning. I hate being sick, but if I can keep it off when I feel better and start eating again, that will be nice.
I have kept the #runstreak alive against all common sense and logic, but I have had to replace my 10 mile run this week and my 8 mile run with 2 mile slow runs and I pretty much have read that you shouldn’t resume any mileage until you can eat normally and feel strong. For now, I guess the only speed work that will be happening is a trip to the bathroom.
What are your lose weight quick tips?
When was the last time you were bed ridden? (The last time I was this sick was before my eldest son was born and he is 8 now, so I have a great track record for health and wellness overall.)
Train — like an athlete. Eat — like a nutritionist. Sleep — like a baby. WIN — like a champion.
I like the above quote, however, those of us that have raised babies realize that this is not realistic for an adult. Babies snooze a lot and snooze deeply, but they sleep according to their own whims and at their own discretion. I may feel like crying from 2 AM-4:30 AM as an adult like a baby would, but it doesn’t work out too well for my schedule.
(I have totally felt like crying all night long lately as my allergies have been out of control and keeping me awake. I have even gleefully plotted the methods I could use to remove my eyeballs from their sockets. I am taking Claritin daily, but it is struggling to keep up with the reality that my neighborhood looks like a winter wonderland, and no, it’s not from snow but from extreme pollen.)
I have a lot of stray and random thoughts today, so while I desire to change your life, motivate you, and elevate you holistically, I’ve been taught a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Therefore, I decided to just let the stray mental bullets fly. Mind, Body, and Spirit are all at work today. Hopefully you’ll catch something!
I completed day 565 of my #Runstreak today.
(You can join a temporary #runstreak by aligning with Runner’s World and their Summer Streak. Check out #rwrunstreak. One of their holiday challenges is how I got started on my streak and I had so much fun streaking that I have just never stopped!)
My question is how did 8 miles feel like 3 miles just a couple of weeks ago but feel like an ultra marathon today? Thankfully I’ve been in the running game long enough to know that the weather, sleep patterns, stress levels, eating habits, and numerous other factors all go together to decide if a run is going to be easy mentally and physically, or if it is going to be a struggle in one of those areas. The good news is that no matter how bad a run is mentally or physically, the endorphins produced do not discriminate and flow footloose and fancy free through your mind, body, and spirit and make you very happy that you did what you did and that you are accomplishing your goals one step/one run at a time.
We have been having a heat wave (I’m actually loving it. I’ve been so ready for this long winter to end), so this week between the heat wave, the high winds, the humidity, and all of the thunderstorms, topped off by my tight hamstrings, I have really been working hard at running smart. I am thrilled to report that my sever hamstring issues were obviously from the weed pulling (my theory was correct), and are not some super long term running injury. I have run three 5K distances, a 6 mile run, and two 8 mile runs this week that will be capped off by my weekly short “rest day” run of only 2 pre-dawn miles early on Sunday morning, which could be a soaker because there is a 90% chance of storms, but I don’t have treadmill at home and it builds character and the mental prowess you need to complete marathon training and actually finishing races. (If you would like to purchase me a treadmill,I will be your new best friend.)
Proof that the meteorological reports in Cleveland are inaccurate a majority of the time. Left shows the forecast (0% chance of precipitation) and right shows the reality out my windshield (monsoon).
I’m not sure how healthy this snack is exactly in terms of pure/clean eating, but it has been a go to favorite of mine lately when I want “junk” food. It’s not junky at all in reality, and it is sweet. There is quite a bit of fiber in each serving, as well as protein and it is decently low calorie. If you want a sweet crunch, check these out. They are a little on the pricey side, but too horrific. They cost about the same as a pack of Oreos, and if you eat the whole bag it will cost you much less calorically than a binge eating episode of cookies.
I’ve been spending a good majority of my life in Costco lately. I am seriously considering a move into the store. Our church is in a huge Summer Serve Initiative and I have been feeding just about everyone and their brother on the west side of Cleveland. I figure that a majority of Jesus’ ministry was spent around a table in fellowship with others, building common ground, and even showed us that the greatest thing we can do to honor is death on the cross is have communion, which involves the breaking of bread, I can model this and show my community appreciation with all of the goodness Costco has to offer. This is where we fed all of the teachers breakfast at the school we are holding our services at for no reason other than to show them kindness and let them know we are praying for them. I am loving our summer serve and can’t wait for all of the awesome things that will come of it.
My husband getting ready to do an adopt a business summer serve project. With a pastor this hot, I don’t know why the entire population of Cleveland isn’t already a member of the Bridge Church.
Living the mom life, raising intellectual super heroes poised for world domination. Here we are at an early morning school assembly to cheer Reese on and watch him get an award for Academic All Star.
If moving to Costco doesn’t work out for me, I have pitching a tent at ball fields as a great alternative living arrangement. I have been spending numerous hours running all around creation at various baseball practices and games. Of course the boys would be on two different teams and in two separate age groups. That’s what being a boy in summer is all about though.
Things have been moving at warp speed lately, so thankfully, my work and church life piggy back with my mom life (Not that you can ever separate yourself into categories. You have to be all things at all times, but you get the point). I’m doing summer serves while earning mom points. The Bridge Church tee-ball team.
Where are you spending most of your time lately?
Any hot weather running tips to share? I will be sharing some of my tips this week as well as what I like to pack in my fuel belt. Liquids are a must for me in these temperatures as I sweat like a 765 pound couch potato. I guess I just have an efficient internal cooling system.
Never hold your head down, never say you can’t, never limit yourself, and never stop believing.
Today was one of those days where you spend almost the entire day thinking it is a different day of the week than it actually is. I’m pretty sure this has to do with the fact that Monday was a holiday, but a good solid majority of my day today I kept trying to follow the Tuesday agenda on my calendar and kept forgetting that I had numerous meetings and baseball practices today. Thankfully my Type A kicked in and I made all of my meetings on time and was able to complete my Wednesday projects. (I also spent quite a bit of time thinking of catchy titles to this blog with the word Tuesday in them. It’s a good thing I couldn’t come up with any.)
None of this is really too embarrassing considering my other forays off of earth onto planet Jessica are usually more tragic. For example, on Sunday I held up our worship team practice internally stewing because our sound guy had not yet plugged in my microphone. Finally, after a pretty substantial lull of me standing away from the microphone singing into the air and watching/listening to the band tune up, I came to the stunning realization that we use cordless microphones. It was an epic blonde moment. It would’ve continued unnoticed by anyone other than myself, except for the fact that my self esteem is high enough to be the center of a wonderfully hilarious punchline and moments like that really should be put out there for pleasure and enjoyment. In my defense, I was thrown off by a random cord laying on the floor unused. In our sound guys defense, we have had cordless microphones for a fairly lengthy period of time, so I should’ve put two and two together. I plead the 5th amendment and make my case for a hands free microphone.
Running injuries are a favorite topic around the Buckland household. Jonathan has some sort of issue with his feet and calves that flares up when he increases pace and mileage and I have been dealing with crazy feet my whole life, even before I became a runner. I have extremely flat feet and I walk and run like a duck essentially. I have decided this is a badge of honor. Not many women can pull off a waddle with such gracious ease.
(As a side note, the Sperry Topsider shoes are a gift from heaven. They are like wearing a tennis shoe in terms of comfort and form and are in fashion this season for some reason. Anytime a shoe is comfortable and in the remote ball park of fashion I am all over it. Usually I have to pass on shoe fads and just fill with coveteousness and envy towards ladies with dainty girl feet)
I will not go into too much depth with you on my foot problems because I don’t want you to have nightmares, but I will say that, as I mentioned yesterday, my hamstrings are super tight and this is putting pressure on my Achilles tendons as well as the tendons that run along the side of your leg and is making my calves tight. Add to that my flat feet, extra bones, and bruised toenails and you have the recipe for someone who will never attract a stalker with a foot fetish.
I know that I am not in injury mode yet, but I want to ensure that I get these muscle knots loosened up ASAP. Next week I start my pre-marathon training mode and I need to be in top shape for it. Since the Captial City Half marathon, I have been running about 30 miles a week to give myself an “off” season for a couple of weeks and to allow myself to “date” running again. Starting next month running and I will be engaged again jumping to about 36-38 miles a week, and then in July we get to work our way to marriage as I build towards 50 miles and beyond a week until the Akron Marathon.
Because of all of this, I used the pretty little head God gave me and actually chose to run on the treadmill. I needed a way to force myself to go slow and when I run outside my speed creeps up way to easily. I set the treadmill on the pace I wanted to go and just kept a steady rhythm for a 3.1 mile run and then went to a 1 mile walk. I pretty much always do a 5K on the days that I lift weights. (Until peak marathon training season where I run like 876 miles a day regardless of what is on the workout agenda or life calendar. It really is fun. You shoudl try it.) I also focused on arms and abs today and nixed the kettlebells and squats. You gotta know when to hold em and when to fold em. I will be foam rolling again tonight like a good girl while claiming this scripture:
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, (Colossians 1:11 ESV) (The bible has some of the best scriptures for use while running. Why would I run on my own power and strength when the Holy Spirit can give me a boost? Why would you sit on a couch and not become a runner when clearly we are called to push beyond our limits into his possibilities?)
These are the vitamins that I am currently taking. I have low iron counts (and therefore eat about a 78 pound bag of ice everyday. I will probably have no teeth by the age of 40.) and no matter how hard I try or how clean I eat, I do know that there are probably a few vitamin areas I am deficient in. These Costco brand performance vitamins are some of the first vitamans I have taken that haven’t made me sick to my stomach and have legitimately made a difference in my functioning and energy levels. I love them. The other vitamins are from a huge free pack of things I was given to try and I really like them so far. I am going to be purchasing some Glucosamine and Condrotin like a 95 year old lady to help my joints and ease the mild discomforts associated with being a human gazelle and some Vitaman D. Dr. Mercola states that even if you exercise outdoors and spend time outside, if you wear any SPF it blocks the absorption of Vitiman D, add to that the fact I live where we see the sun 3 minutes a year, and I don’t want to risk the negative side effects of low Vitaman D. I haven’t had any issues so far, but know lots of people who have had serious health problems they found out later were a simple vitaman deficiency. I would also rather not look like the “Tanorexic” mom you see on tabloid magazine covers, so some SPF is definitely going on my face.
Just a few of my favorite people from my LifeGroup tonight. I teach a lifegroup at Dunkin Donuts and still haven’t eaten a single donut at any of my groups yet. I deserve a medal of valor.
A glimpse into the Foundations 101 afternoon group we had today. I pretty much spend my day hanging with amazing people and talking about Jesus. I also spend it surrounded by carbs and testing my will power. I had no goodies at Panera Bread this afternoon either. I’m upgrading from the medal of valor to the purple heart.
I apologize that I haven’t been posting pictures of the food I’m consuming. I know it has been a struggle for you, but this too shall pass. What is the best thing you have eaten this week? I had a Chipotle Chicken Bowl for dinner tonight with brown rice, black beans, tons of salsa and hot sauce and very light cheese/sour cream. I can’t do away totally with the cheese/sour cream, but I stress very very light to the person making my bowl. Chipotle is always the highlight of any week that it finds itself in.
“When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes”- Brennan Manning
Happy Tuesday, otherwise known as the new “Meatless Monday”. Yes my friends, yesterday was Memorial Day and it would have been a crime to let it pass without putting grill marks on a dead animal and ingesting said beast. I did buy the 93% lean ground beef, which literally had like no fat on it at all so I justified eating the 1/2 pound burger that my husband had handcrafted for me. I’m glad my husband appreciates a girl that can throw down a good burger.
Side Bar: That is one advantage to being married to a runner, you understand the bizarre running appetite and you will give each other frequent non romantic massages. Most men will not do this, however, since I’m willing to rub his semi repulsive running feet, he reciprocates by doing the same. If you are a runner and not married to another runner I feel sorry for you. We wear our knotted up leg muscles and gnarled feet like a badge of honor at the Buckland house. There is no shame or need to hide.
I will admit that I did enjoy myself in the food department on Sunday and Monday. There is something about holidays that puts me in the mood to eat things that I otherwise try to stay away from. If you know me or have read my blog long enough, you understand the paradox I live in. My revelations about clean/healthy eating are balanced by my indulgences in the darker, shadowy sides of carb and meat cravings.
God bless America!Public Service Announcement: Be sure to not eat so much on holidays that you have to hug the nearest potty.
Indulging in a few treats, like ice cream and potato chips, will not make all of your hard work fly out the window or put you on a path to terminal illness if done correctly and by correctly I mean don’t be lazy.I put in a misty/rainy 6 mile run/1 mile walk on Monday morning even though I felt more like reading magazines and drinking coffee.
This run actually messed with my head. I literally thought at one point that it was actually Thanksgiving. The weather this weekend was cooler and more drab than it was on Thanksgiving week this year and while on my run, a pack of wild turkeys came out from an empty lot and proceeded to march across a major thoroughfare. I also saw numerous deer and very few people hanging around outside. Although I’m sure the turkeys were glad it was memorial day and not Thanksgiving, all of those hoping to have a major outdoor party yesterday were terribly disappointed in Northeast Ohio.
Finally-The Point: I want you to know that if you register for the Cleveland Marathon by May 31, it is only $50. This is a STEAL for a full marathon. Why would you not sign up for it immediately. I am so excited to run this next year. I have wanted to run in my city for a couple of years now but was unable to due to scheduling conflicts and other things going on. Please stop what you are doing and shell out hard earned money to torture yourself for 26.2 miles at the mercy of the bizarre weather patterns the lake brings to us. It could be 89 degrees or 40 the day of the race. How will you know unless you sign up and just do it? The culmination of my mother’s day gift and Jonathan’s father’s day gift was we bought each other race entries to this marathon. I can’t hardly wait. Until then, I will focus on training for the Akron marathon in September that I’m already signed up for.
Side Bar: It should be ILLEGAL for runners to have to pull weeds. I pulled weeds in the rain yesterday (I know how to party on holidays) and today my hamstrings are tight as a drum and seizing up from bending, squatting, and stooping. I took my 5K run this morning slower, and ran by feel, then lightened up on some of my leg work at the gym because I’m not going to let my stone cut patio that requires digging and pulling weeds for days on end steal my marathon go. I urge you to reconsider a stone cut patio unless you can afford a landscaper or groundskeeper. It looked so pretty and enticing when we bought the house, then the reality of digging moss and weeds out of every little crevice and orifice semi annually set in. Round up only does so much. Consider yourself warned! I will be foam rolling today.
The weather didn’t stop me from being crazy enough to bring a van load of 5 and 8 year old boys putt putt golfing Friday night. It was cold and they were all wild. I definitely earn the parenting gold star for coolest mom for that.
How did you spend your holiday?
What races are you signed up for? Sign up for one now. It is a constant motivational reminder that everyday is not a holiday. You need to get out and work for your goal and step away from the chips and ice cream this summer. (Except the 4th of July of course. I have that to look forward to next)
An attitude of “whatever is convenient” won’t accomplish very much. An attitude of “whatever it takes” is impossible to stop.-@women_sports
Yesterday was a first. I accidentally published a blog that I had not yet written and tweeted it out to the whole world. If you are one of the lucky ones that got to it before I changed it back to draft mode, you can celebrate my incompetence with me.
It has been a couple of days since I’ve posted because I have been busy living “La Vida Loca”. Life is so much more interesting to live and write about when you are actually living. I made a determination when I turned 30 three years ago that I would not be a passive spectator in life’s journey, but that I would make things happen. This does not mean that all of my expectations and dreams become reality, but it does mean that I have raised the expectation of my life to a new level and it has been a game changer. Being aware of mortality in your 30’s is a blessing, but the death of my dad when I was 24 is what has made me hyper aware. Every blessing has a curse, but I have allowed myself to learn through the struggle and I’m grateful that tragedy didn’t defeat me, but advanced me. The Bible tells us to learn to number our days and make them count. Too many people think they are invincible until they hit about 50 and then a major mid-life crisis creeps in and they totally spaz out and ruin a lot of what they have taken decades to establish.
I am averting my crisis by living large, having fun, being filled with joy, and speaking faith and favor into every circumstance. Words are death or they are life.
At the Cleveland Marathon Expo practicing stretches.
Because of the power of words, I try not to alter my life based on the weather forecast or curse my weather channel app. I have zero control over weather, but 98.45% control over my reaction. It does in fact get HOT in Cleveland though (not complaining at all. In fact, I am rejoicing. It was a LONG winter.). Because of the stifling humidity and heat, I was out the door at 5 to beat the heat/smash an 8 mile run for day 554 of the #runstreak
I ate a banana before the run, which I hate to do so early in the morning, and brought a Gatorade with me. I have to be far more cognizant of hydrating and fueling properly in the heat than I am in the winter. I have run 10 plus miles with no breakfast or drinks with me when it’s 20 degrees out, but I deplete instantly when I’m melting. Of course, I refueled again with a blueberry Chobani after my shower. No good workout is complete without a good dose of protein infused goodness afterwards.
In the stands amongst our fans after the CLE 5K
My running had a super fun insertion into it this past weekend. I have never run a 5K in my life in an official capacity. I often cover the 3.1 mile distance by my lonesome, but I have never paid a fee, got a t-shirt and gathered with thousands of my closest friends to do one. I was the weirdo that jumped from not being able to run 1 mile into running numerous Half-Marathons and then the Marathon. My friend came into town with her husband, who ran the Cleveland Full Marathon, and was inspired to do her first 5K. I found out later that she snuck in a 5 K a couple of weeks ago thereby taking away my joy of stealing her 5K virginity, but I will still be her friend. She PR’d by 4 minutes and RAN the whole thing. To my knowledge she had never covered the full distance running the whole time before. I discovered that the 5 K was a lot of fun, but since I have no hope of winning one (5K elites are speedy little demons), and since it still costs money and requires great effort, that I would just save my sheckles for the long distance runs unless it is a charity event or something to inspire my kiddos. I like to do charity runs in my area to meet people, network, and give back to the community.
We had an epic run through the streets of downtown Cleveland and finished in Cleveland Browns Stadium with our finish on the jumbotron. I’m seriously considering a career in the NFL now. I’m not going to lie. It was amazing to get a taste of the glory those guys get every Sunday. It was pretty cool running beneath the building, past the locker rooms, and out onto the field. My boys, ages 8 and 5, were so jazzed by the 5K that they are running the Cleveland event with me next year. We got a pretty cool T-shirt out of it, although I was it was a technical shirt and not cotton.
Chillaxin with the gals at the start line
Living the high life. We helped our friend (the husband whose wife did the 5K) Carbo Load for the CLE Marathon at a Mexican Restaurant. I ate at this same place the night before the Akron Marathon, so I knew it would work like magic.
No more Pre-School this year for this boy. He’s getting his vacation on while mom works in the office. We are praying for Oklahoma and realizing once again the vapor of life & how very little possessions mean. This sweetie may be catered to a little more today as I hug him close and feel the grief of parents whose children lost their lives in the Tornado. The most important investment we can make in life is people/relationships/God’s purpose.
Do you run 5K’s? What is your favorite distance to race/run and why?
Running is a funeral for your fat. Let sweat and tears flow freely!
Today is Thursday and there has been a lot of celebrating going on. Thursday is an oft underrated day of the week.
First, last night was a milestone. I had ice cream for the first time since Mother’s Day. My 3 whole days of strength and will power are to be commemorated.
Secondly, we tried a brand new pizza place specializing in “healthy” pizza and it was amazing. It is called Pizza BOGO and their whole business model is around hormone free, antibiotic free, and organic ingredients. They have a flax seed miracle crust and were running a special for as many large unlimited topping pizzas you want just $5. I was in vegetarian, clean eating heaven. Anytime you tell me pizza is healthy, I’m going to make you proud with the vast amounts I consume. I will definitely be revisiting Pizza BOGO frequently.
The third and final celebration related directly to me is that I ran 6 hot miles thinking I was going slow, but realized I was going quite fast and had an epic run, seemingly without effort. Day 549 of the runstreak was completed well. I also had an epiphany regarding self-image during this run. I realized I don’t care what people who look at me and watch me run think. I used to only run in the metro park because you rarely encountered cars or people. I thought others were judging my pace, sweat, or stride. Today I’ll gladly galavant anywhere soaked in sweat and salt crystals. I earned my stride. I’ve fought for my pace. I’ve also realized that most people just stare because they are truly amazed you would run so much with no one chasing you. I smell admiration off them. (On a side note I passed a PTA mom on my run with her hair perfectly coiffed, fully made up, and a cute yoga outfit on doing a little perfume scented jog in the neighborhood. I did not let that deter my salt infused, hair soaking wet, BO scented self-esteem from running proud.)
Gentry celebrated yet another trip to the grocery store with mom. He gets free cookies when we go to Giant Eagle and gets to drive the car. We were also celebrating my very healthy choice to take advantage of the 4 (12 packs) for $11 coke zero sale. In all honesty, my soda consumption is significantly lower than it was a year ago. I’m baby stepping away from drinking it all together. I’m not even drinking a can a day, however I do dream of it often so that is why I write about it so much.
Today we are celebrating Reese’s amazing participation in our LifeGroup Bible Study last night. Of his own volition, he took out a notebook and pencil and wrote down scriptures, memory verses, and took notes on the lesson. He also participated like a champ. That boy is hiding God’s word in His heart.
We are celebrating Reese running faster than any other kid at the Forest Elementary School Family Fitness night.
We are celebrating how much fun we had at Gentry’s end of the year picnic at his pre-school with all of his friends and the fact that I ate no desserts at the potluck and stuck with fresh fruit and salad. I really am better behaved than I let on, but it’s not as much fun to share all of my good choices. Bad choices are more intriguing.
And the biggest celebration of the week is that Gentry graduated from Pre-K like a champ. He is now a certificate holding finisher of John Knox Presbyterian pre-K and armed with all the knowledge he needs to take Kindergarten by storm.
Celebrating family: Mimi with her boys at Gentry’s graduation
Celebrating Gentry’s stellar performance skills. This kid has no fear of public speaking, singing, dancing, and poem reciting. Be on the look out for him on the front page of your favorite news website someday. This beats his former no fear of removing his pants in public. Thankfully he grew out of that stage so you aren’t reading about him for less than savory reasons.
What is worth celebrating in your life this week?– I am celebrating that tree pollen seems to be climaxing. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. (As I look through watery, red, itchy eyes glazed over by springs finest torture makers)
What is one of your favorite new “healthy” food discoveries? Seriously check out Pizza BOGO
It’s not a problem to make mistakes, everyone does, but it is a problem if you don’t learn from them.
Epic Failure #1
This past Friday I realized that I had made a hugely, terrible epic mistake. I had done my weekly haul at Costco (that little piece of heaven on earth where I buy all my fresh produce and super healthy items because we eat those types of things in epic proportions at my house and I would have to go to store and spend $5,678 a day if I went to an average grocery store) and I had returned home, unloaded it all, and realized I had forgotten to purchase my Chobani yogurts. This my friends was a failure of “IRS tracking tea partyer” size. Even on sale, the cheapest you can find Chobani at the local grocery store is $1.00 per container, but at Costco, even when it is not on sale and doesn’t have a coupon it only averages out to about $.85 a container. My body basically lives and thrives on that protein infused goodness, so I had to make a second trip to Costco that week where I bought not one box of 15 yogurts, but 2 to be safe. I am so lucky that I outsmarted myself on that second trip. Epic fail to Epic win in the matter of 48 hours!
That second trip to Costco reminded me of another major failure I have had that also involves Costco and that is the failure to grocery shop without a fully staffed nanny firm as my entourage. My boys adore Costco and all of their glorious samples and friendly staff members. I do try to go though when I only have one boy with me instead of both, or if I have the hubby for back up. On one such trip all bets were off. I was getting into the fridge to pull out some milk and I heard a lady behind me snap at me for my kids. I turned around to see what her deal was and saw my kids climbing in the freezers and having a dance party. I definitely was mortified, however, I thought the lady was totally nasty in the way she dealt with it. Nobody was injured. Nobody died. Nobody was bothered by the incident except the lady who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Other customers got a chuckle. I was embarrassed, but what parent has gone their entire parenting career without one grocery store fiasco? I doubt there is even one on this planet. I guess you learn really quickly that turning your back for even 2.2 seconds can be an epic failure.
Epic Failure #3
Another epic failure that many women in general make is looking to romance movies to find out how to navigate real, committed, long-term relationships. A single friend of mine texted me this weekend that they were watching “Notting Hill” and crying. I texted this friend back and told him the truth. I said:
After 12 years of marriage the line “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.” (So sweet and sappy )
Becomes: “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to fold laundry.”
I then had to send the obligatory LOL on the text because truth be told my marriage is still sweet, sappy, and easy to navigate 87.56% of the time. I’m blessed!
Epic Failure #4
On my 8 mile run this morning my Garmin did not work at all until after mile 1. There was extreme heavy cloud cover, so I don’t know if that contributed or not. I passed what I knew to be the 1 mile mark at minute 9 and it was saying I had only gone .2 miles. Needless to say, I stopped the watch, got a new signal, and then took off on my run happy spree. It was a great run once I resolved my technical issues. One day I’ll learn to run “naked” and just let myself go without being married to my GPS watch. I’m totally addicted to it though. I love seeing the results of my time per mile, my overall distance, and my calorie burn. I would hate to have even .1 of my run not count on my chart. I will be sharing yearly mileage goals with you very soon.
Epic Failure #5
Participating in an ugly sweater contest and allowing yourself to be inserted into photographic evidence as such. Disclaimer: My husband won, but I bought him the shirt so I should get at least 2nd place right?
So Diet Dr. Pepper might not be a superfood, but you can’t be perfect all the time and it’s supergood. That makes this snack just a 50% fail but a 100% taste bud dance party.
The perfect lunch. A Baked Sweet Potato with cinnamon and an egg sandwich served up all classy like on my finest plates and table decor.
Have you ever seen the “Google Chrome” Stewy commercial? It is the complete opposite of a mistake or failure. It is hard core fact. I’m thinking it is oscar worthy material. Mom. Mum. Mommy. Mother. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mum. Mum. Mommy………..
Today is a very special day. I look at it as a day to say “Happy female empowerment”. While not all women are mothers, and while mother’s day does not conjure up warm fuzzies for everyone, we can celebrate that care giving spirit that God put into women today. I am thankful that for me today is a “Happy Mother’s Day” type of day. I was raised by a virtuous, faithful loving woman and I am privileged to be raising children of my own. I have a Godly, praying Mother in Law, and I’m praying circles around the future wives of my sons. We will not be the statistic.
As the mother of boys only, I am praying that this statement will not apply to my future “A daughter is a daughter all of her life, but a son is only a son until he takes a wife”. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
After I got up at 5:30 and did my short Sunday morning run (The pace of each mile was expedited by the fact a pack of deer were chasing me), I came home to these 2 amazing snuggly little guys bouncing off walls, filled with excitement to hug and kiss me while singing “Happy Mother’s Day to you” to the tune of the birthday song. I’m thinking that these moments are part of the riches of my inheritance in Christ.
The Bridge Church was wonderful today. I was so blessed by the “Life Change” story shared by a friend of mine today at the opening of church of the power of God working in her life through the Bridge Church. This is what my life is all about. Chains be broken…..Lives be Healed….Hearts be opened….as Christ is revealed. The sermon was a glimpse into the life and mind of Mary, the mother of Christ. First, it wasn’t odd to her at all to be confronted with angelic visitation and the voice of God. Secondly, we choose which voices we want to have guide our lives and Mary chose to go with the voice of the angel and the voice/promise of God over the pressures and voices on the outside and over her own comfort. Even though my husband preached today with a male perspective instead of me with a female perspective, he’s a super mother lover and said I was his visiting angel, so it was amazing.
Rocking the sermon
I knew you would be super disappointed and not able to live one more day if you didn’t see a picture of my food. I had the most amazing strawberry, pecan, feta cheese, and other random various fruits and onions salad as my appetizer. I wish I could have someone deliver me this awesomeness on a daily basis. I’m glad I was able to be with my mom and my boys at lunch today. There is nothing sweeter than generations attending church together and then eating lots of good celebratory food with each other.
(Repentance followed by gluttony followed by repentance. Gotta love the cycle)
A passel of both purchased and homemade cards from my men. Be still my heart!
Peeking through all of my mother’s day flowers at the boys who call me “Mom”. (Eventually every kid in the neighborhood was in my yard. I hope their moms got some rest while I corralled all of their kids 🙂 )
A glimpse at a page in the book Reese wrote to and about me for Mother’s Day. I love his artistic rendition of my appearance and his views on my fashion choices.
The card Reese picked for me. It plays a hilarious song. His perception of me totally cracks me up. I guess I’m pretty obvious! No more hiding my stealth type “A” get on top of everything skills.
Coffee with my favorite NBA stars, and a game of “Who loves mom?”.
The grand finale of the SuperMom post is a picture of me exactly 8 years ago, 7 days before Reese entered the world and became the first to call me mother. He was born on May 8, 2005, which was Mother’s Day that year.
Do you ever wonder how in the world your belly, or your wife or mother’s belly, ever got that ginormous and then eventually returned to normal? The miracle of life is astounding!
What was the best thing that you have eaten so far today?
What good is starting tomorrow when you can stop being lazy and start today?
Since this blog is in part a leadership blog (Isn’t that obvious from all of my food pictures I post?), I thought that I would spend today sharing with you some of the deep thoughts I have been thinking over the course of my last several runs. Spending hours alone with nothing but the birds, the pollen, your tennis shoes, and a little bit of concrete separating you from your brain creates a magical place where genius is born.
Yesterday I ran 3.25 miles followed by strength training and weights (The Kettle Bell DOMS never kicked in so I ramped it up even more. I’m in total post half marathon beast mode), and today I did a nice, breezy 6 mile run.
I’m feeling like my glycogen stores are stocked up adequately for a coast to coast non stop run. I even said no to cake at a community event I attended Thursday night because at some point the party has to stop. It is always a delicate balance to eat enough to build and maintain muscle, keep a healthy metabolism, fight off the scary runners appetite from increased mileage, and maintain weight loss. My weight hovers in a 3-4 pound range that I like to keep it at to feel strong, fit, and healthy. On any given week I will hit both the bottom and top of the range and this is perfectly normal based on hydration, digestion, activity, hormones, and a whole host of other things like if I ate an entire gallon of ice cream or not the night before or whether I ran 18 miles or 8 the previous day. (I don’t see how it is possible to keep your weight identical, so I have established a range and I WORK to stay within it. It does not just magically happen. I established a range so 1-2 pounds of water weight or life issues won’t freak me out. It is when I get out of that little perfect range that I freak out and do an intervention.)
Deep Thought #1:
The weather in Cleveland is not like the weather in Southern California
In typical Cleveland fashion, we got amnesia about what it is really like here and got too comfortable with the amazing weather spell we have had. I stepped outside this morning almost regretting my short sleeves when I noticed the sun was not coming out today and that we were sitting in the 40 degree Fahrenheit range. It’s a good thing that I’m such a salty runner. I managed to get in a good sweat even in short sleeves today. I need to quit following running bloggers in LA. It is just depressing to see the sunshine they “endure” on a daily basis.
Deep thought #2
Know your strength zone and stay in that zone.
Reese wanted Chick Fil A as the last stop on his birthday week tour today. The birthday week has to end because tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and therefore, the party is all about me again. (Who am I kidding? It’s about my mom. Nobody cares about me. Once you reach 60+ I guess you’ve earned the right to pick the restaurant.) Our local Chick Fil A has updated their menu to include the nutritional information right on the board in compliance with all these new Anti-Obesity laws Michelle Obama has been pushing. The greatest thing to come from these new menus is the realization that it is better for me to eat 2 Spicy Chicken Sandwiches instead of having a milkshake. Jonathan and I were extra starving today for some reason and so we both caved and ate a second sandwich. I am only admitting this publicly because I was able to get my vegetable servings in with the extra pickles I ordered on BOTH of my sandwiches. I guess it’s a good thing I have eaten numerous super foods today as well and that I ran 6 miles.
Side Note: Truett Cathy knew his strength zone. Instead of a career in modeling, he pursued business ownership. Think of how different the world would’ve been if he had chased a dream out of his skill set.
Deep Thought #3:
Not all diet books are good for you
I’m a pretty big fan of Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, and the mission of the Biggest Loser Crowd. In fact, I have read numerous Jillian books and Bob Harper’s book “Skinny Rules” really impacted me. I now drink my coffee black because that is a skinny rule (I don’t even know how I stomached cream before. Now that I’ve gone black I’ll never go back) However, I do not recommend Bob’s new book “Jumpstart to Skinny”. I got it at the library excited to learn a few new tips for my arsenal and was completely off put by it. He advocates full blown dieting and we all know that does not work. It is just a temporary fix. The only thing in that book that will change your life is to increase your water intake. Oftentimes dehydration masks itself as false hunger. Guzzle water all day long and just taper back some near bed time so you don’t have a miserable night clubbing in the WC. In fact, I just stopped mid sentence and got a glass of water just so I could practice what I preach. you will never find me being hypocritical on water intake. I have always been a huge drinker. I come from a long line of super thirsty folks, but I never paid attention to how different my body felt and looked when I drank lots of water versus when I was drinking illegal amounts of Diet Soda, Crystal Light, and any other zero calorie beverage. (If it has zero calories it must be healthy in ocean size doses correct?) So now, especially in light of the runstreak, I make an effort to get most of my liquid intake from water (with or without lemon, but preferably ice cold).
As a weight loss success story myself, I can’t even imagine following his advice of eating only 800 calories a day. I eat that for one snack (joking). I do realize that with my runstreak and various races that I exercise more than your average gal. In fact, I have to have a take no prisoners approach to stay fitting my size 6’s, but I feel drastically better eating a clean, balanced, hearty diet combined with exercise. I have done calorie restriction and it was a losing battle for me. It never lasted, I always felt lethargic, and I would gain the weight back in the form of fat. Even when I was “dieting” in a sense to lose my 55 pounds to get where I’m at now, I still ate around 1,800 calories a day because I was changing my lifestyle, not “jumpstarting” myself to being skinny for 5 minutes just to yo-yo back. Bob, I know you mention exercise and I know you emphasize fruits and veggies and water and all of that is good, but other aspects of this book should be titled “Jumpstart to Starvation and Anger”.
Deep Thought #4:
Running is a great way to multi-task
Many people do not exercise because they don’t have time for it. I propose that if you have even 20 minutes to watch TV, read this blog, check your twitter/Facebook, or get a second helping of dinner, you have time to break a sweat. Now, it may be true that you don’t want to make time to workout 7 days a week, so just start with 3. Regardless, before you know it, you will crave exercise and you will start sacrificing other things in life to make time for it.
I do a lot of my personal growth and development when I run. I listen to leadership podcasts, sermons, lengthy passages of bible reading (the YouVersion app will read to you), and I get to work on our worship songs for Sunday. I know our Worship/Creative guy probably won’t read this, so I will tell you that he’s quite the vigilante on getting everything just so. I am sure my neighbors appreciate hearing me practice all the lyrics and my alto part loudly while I run. This is good training for my lungs too. I can do speedwork, memorize lyrics, bust out a crazy praise, and work on harmonies all at the same time.
In full disclosure, sometimes I like to run with no iPhone/ear buds and sometimes I have to have tunes that really pump me up, so I need some Pop Fitness Radio. I don’t suppose you can fit my habits in a box. I like to spice it up.
While these songs are not in the Pop Fitness category and are a tad on the slow side for an epic run, I do appreciate the mind, body, spirit fuel that they provide for a great workout and I’m going to be prepared like a boss for worship service tomorrow.
Deep Thought #5:
I found a dollar on the ground on my run
Very few things will get me to slow down or come to a near halt on a run. Once I lose my rhythm, it takes me a while to get back into it and it is like starting all over again. However, I found a dollar on the ground covered in ants and stopped to pick it up and blow all the ants of. If a penny saved is a penny earned, then I just saved 100 cents! This my friends, is deep. Who says it doesn’t pay to run?
Deep Thought: This kid just played some killer Tee-Ball and is unbelievably attractive. I can’t believe I’m a mom and raising such a handsome, well-adjusted child. This is proof of God’s grace.
Deep Thought: My mom is really lucky that she was able to give birth to, mother, and raise my brother and I. Not all moms are privileged to be in the presence of such greatness.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the ladies out there this weekend. Mother’s Day can be a mixed bag for a lot of people. Grief, death, betrayal, loneliness, insecurities, abuse, abandonment, abortion, adoption, dysfunction, and unmet expectations can cloud the day, but remember there is healing and hope!
What are you doing to celebrate mother’s day?
What are some of the deep things of life that have been heavy on your mind?