Celebrate You (now with 100% more Jim Carrey)

While I’m sure we all try to be positive people, sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged and down on yourself.

I don’t know about you, but all it takes for me is one “bad” meal to get sidetracked and fall into the labyrinth of self-doubt and regret: You’re such a freakin’ pig. You can’t even stay on the wagon for one day. Did you really need that slice of cake? And you wonder why it’s so hard to break a 10-minute mile. It’s because you can’t keep your trap shut after a normal amount of food.

hard timeAnd so on.

Sometimes I get so into beating myself up over my failures; but how often do I actually congratulate myself on my accomplishments? Think about it – when was the last time you truly patted yourself on the back for a job well done, whether it was at work, or in running, or even just for checking everything off your to-do list over the weekend? Go ahead, think about it. I’ll wait.

andyYou’re having a hard time thinking of something, aren’t you?

I say no more. Our society praises success against all odds and achievement above all else, but who’s actually holding the measuring stick?

Screw it. I’m going to be proud of my accomplishments. Every day, I’m going to try to find one thing to be proud of – to show myself that I can finish what I start and be successful, even if “success” that day is putting on pants not murdering anyone in traffic on the way to work.


…the power to not kill people!

Today, I’ll kick off this new positive outlook by looking back at how far I’ve come on my weight loss journey, with the only non-Jim-Carrey picture in this whole post:

photo 3

In 2003, I weighed over 267 lbs, I was miserably uncomfortable in my own skin and I had a severe anxiety disorder. The following summer of 2004, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer (and later beat that cancer’s ass, hooray!!). That’s when I realized that I had to turn my damn life around. So I started running. And doing yoga, and kickboxing, and the elliptical, and the bike, and weight lifting, and I stopped eating every damn thing in sight. And after 5 years, I lost over 100lbs. And I’m not planning on going back to that size anytime soon.

I do have days (weeks even) where I feel like that girl on the left again. When I eat too much for a few days in a row and slack off on my workouts and call myself a failure. But that’s when I look at that picture up there, then glance in a mirror. I’ve come a long way. A really long way. I worked hard to get here. But dammit, I did it, and I can keep kicking ass because I’m a winner and that’s what winners do.

be positiveWe wear bad wigs and plot revenge against Bruce Wayne.

So today I encourage you to do the same thing. Think about something you’re really proud of. Something that it took effort to achieve. Have you run a full marathon? Cleaned your whole house lately? Raised a family? Are you wearing a bra today even though you don’t want to be wearing one?

feel the loveOr are you flexing your freedom muscles and going bra-less?

Tell me about it. I want to feel the love like Chip Douglas up there. Shout out how proud you are of your accomplishments and let’s share the happies!

My First Nike+ Run

Let me preface this post by saying that I love Instagram. If you are on it, and not currently following me there, please do me a favor and give me a follow (if you’re so inclined). I’m on there multiple times in a day, and I find so much joy in “meeting” new people that like to share their journeys too! On Instagram, it’s all about the community. Everyone there is just so encouraging and helpful and inspirational – and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s even been a source of fashion inspiration for me too!

So last week, my runner friend at work Instagrammed a photo from her nightly run: a gorgeous scenic photo, with her Nike+ run info along the bottom. I’d seen plenty of other IG’ers with the Nike+ jargon, and have always thought “Eh, it’s too complicated, it’d just be one more thing to carry and sync and post and drive my friends on FB crazy with when I post with it.” The photo was gorgeous though, and when I saw her at work the next day I complimented her on it. We got to talking about Nike+ and she reassured me how easy it is to use, how it doesn’t drain your battery, how you can create challenges with friends – well, before I knew it, I was inspired to take the leap and jump on the Nike+ bandwagon, and now I’m wondering why it took me so long to do just that!


…and if all my friends jumped off bridges, I would too.

It took some getting used to – I don’t normally carry my phone with me, and I still ran with my Garmin too, simply out of habit. It’ll be easier on long runs or those jogs where I’m wearing pants that have pockets where I can stash my phone, but overall I found that the Nike+ app was perfectly accurate on my pace and distance, and I’ve already connected with some friends on there! I feel like a part of a bigger community, which is always a good thing, and I can’t lie – my work friend who introduced me to it has already said she’ll challenge me, and I can’t wait to bring it. Talk about motivation!

Plus, it didn’t hurt that today was my first solo run around the industrial park near my office, where I was surprised to find beautiful sights like this one:


perfect running scenery

I can’t wait to lace up again tomorrow and see where I go with my Nike+!

What do you think – are you on Nike+ too? What tracking app/product do you rely on? Share your favorites in the comments!

From 2 Legs to 2 Wheels

So back in 2011, I got a bike. Specifically, a good friend gifted me the bike as a wedding present. And it was one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten!

I still remember unpacking that thing a few weeks after we got back from our honeymoon and putting it together with my own damn hands. I was so excited! I was going to finally get back in the saddle after almost 10 years, and I was going to jump right in! Well, once I figured out why the brakes weren’t working and if I could get the tires to stay inflated. Then winter came. I promised myself I would get back into it after the snow finally cleared out. Then we moved. OK, I’d get it all fixed up and hit the road once we were all moved into the new house. Then I figured I’d wait until after the AC Half Marathon. And then I tore my ACL and lost 15 months to rehab.

SO. Fast forward to this past weekend when I found myself laid up with a surprise ear infection the same day that my good “virtual” friend (and Mermaid Club founder) Helena completed the Ironman Texas Triathlon. I was inspired, to say the least! Since I’ve managed to incorporate cycling into the last 3 months of my training, and have found that I REALLY like it, I finally called my papa – AKA the Bike Doctor – and he swung by to give my pretty girl Maggie a tune up. 


Yeah, that’s the bike’s name, so what?

A quick 20 minutes of tightening and oiling, and I was ready to hit the road! So the next morning, when I woke up feeling much better (thank you, modern medicine), I threw the bike in the back of the Honda and we went for our inaugural ride!


Selfie time with Maggie!

I set out to ride on feeling, just to see how far I could get. I even found that I could use my Garmin for biking – score! And after one mile-long lap, I felt so good that I took the turn out of the park and went exploring. My knee felt great and I was having a good time, and before I knew it I had done 3.5 miles! I started to feel it in my legs after taking a few small hills, but I kept going and told myself to push for 5 solid miles as hard as I could go.

So push I did, and I completely surprised myself when I finished all 5 miles at a little over 6:10/mile pace! 


happy biker

Needless to say – I’m hooked! I can’t wait to incorporate biking into my fitness plans, especially when I start getting into the thick of my marathon training and need to give my legs some good cross training. I’m already planning out new routes to test my limits now that I’ve transitioned from 2 legs to 2 wheels!

Tell me: if you’re a runner, do you bike too? What are your other favorite cross-training exercises? Give me some other ideas, I’ve gone exercise-crazy and I’ll try anything next! 

Bad Blogger

OK, so first let me apologize for the lack in posting. Secondly, Happy Friday! I’d like to thank the good people at QuickCheck for caffeinating me enough to answer all the emails in my inbox *and* blog before 11:00AM. Nicely done, folks.

ImageThis has basically been me for the last 90 minutes.

I’ve had a good week here, filled with new running gear, jewelry, and more – let’s get right to it!

First, we’ll start with last weekend. On Mother’s Day I participated in a virtual run called Mermaids for Mamas, with my online friends in The Mermaid Club. It was a great day to get some miles in around town, and to take some time to think about all my mother has done for me. To say that she’s my inspiration would be an understatement. Without getting all mushy here, let’s just say that it was a great run that filled me with love and pride in my family 🙂

ImageThat’s my mama and me in the bottom right, at my very first 5K ever!

When I got home I found that Lucy had “surprised” me with a Mother’s Day gift: my very first Alex & Ani bracelet!

ImageShe did need a little help with the online ordering, being a cat and all.

The warm weather over the weekend made me realize that I need to seriously look at what I wear when I run. Yes, capris/tights feel good and cover everything, but when it’s 85 degrees out, I am not all about that heat stroke life. So on Tuesday, I finally bit the bullet and went shopping for some new running shorts.

Being a larger girl for basically 95% of my life, I was never very comfortable in shorts of any kind. Especially when I warm-weather run. Shorts are a necessary evil, but with the typical swishy shorts I always end up with – let’s be honest – a ridiculous frontal wedgie. It’s just not cute. All of my pictures from last month’s half marathon prominently feature my thighs snacking on my shorts, big time. It’s time for a change.

So a few of my Instagram runner friends have been rocking some SUPER cute little fitted shorts, and it got me thinking maybe I should see what the big deal was about. So off to the Nike outlet I went…

Image…and I hit the mother lode!

The tank and swishy shorts were my usual style (who can pass up $10 Nike shorts & tanks?), but I’m more excited about the top right and lower left mini-shorts. SO out of my comfort zone – but so perfect!!

ImageReady to run!

I tried the top right shorts out last night and I’m in love. They are so flattering, and fit like a glove without any muffin top. They still ride up a bit (that’s what happens when thighs collide), but I just feel freer and faster in them. Maybe it’s the placebo effect and I’m really no faster than when I wear my swishy shorts, but I noticed a distinct difference. And also? While we’re on the subject of differences?

ImageHello, new booty!

I’ve been hitting it pretty hard since my half marathon, and I have to say that I’m amazed at the difference I found in these two pics, only taken about 2 weeks apart. I’ve been watching my sugar intake, I added more protein and veggies into my diet, and I’ve squeezed in 50 squats a day (10-20 at a time) since my half – and magically I earned myself a new booty and belly!! Sure, the usual bloating/diet of the day may have had some effect, but when I saw this last night I actually said “Dayum!” aloud, like I was in a Wayans brothers movie.

So tell me – how was your week? Do you have any exciting plans? Is anyone racing? Tell us about it in the comments!

Magic or Science?

With my first half marathon post-ACL surgery in the books and few more weeks until my first full marathon training plan starts, I’ve found myself floating around in this cloud of indecision and inspiration. If it sounds weird, just imagine living it.

I’ve only gone on about 4 or 5 runs since my half, telling myself to get back into the swing of things easily now because once full training starts, my knees will be begging for mercy. But at the same time, I’m anxious to get out there again and again because – and I’m not kidding here – every run since my half has been amazing. Like, A-MAY-ZING with a capital A. I feel lighter, my pace has improved, the hills are easier to tackle, my breathing is even, I fall right into a rhythm as soon as I start… it’s unbelievable!

actual photo of me running Sunday morning

How I felt running this past Sunday morning

Have I finally pushed through all of those crap-tastic training runs I fought throughout February and March? Is my running karma finally turning around after feeling like Homer Simpson for pretty much the first 2 miles of every. damn. run. I’ve taken in the past 6 months?

Probably not because that’s what I actually looked like running Sunday morning.

I’d like to think it’s magic. But when I examine the facts, I really can’t deny that everything I’ve heard about “getting out of running what you put into it” is really true. In my training, I added serious cross-training to strengthen my whole body and protect my injury-prone joints. As a result, my post-surgery knee feels stronger than ever (except when it’s humid. NOT when it’s humid). I built up my mileage slowly, and have seen my limits grow with every long run. I learned how to alter my pace to my distance to avoid burnout, and have found shorter distances to be much faster now that my endurance is built up. Sure, I went from a 13:00 mile to an 11:00 one, but hey, I was on track to break 10:00 before my injury and I never thought I’d see it again!

So while I’d like to think that it’s magic, the facts really don’t lie: training smart really does make you a better runner. Although a little magic doesn’t hurt.

What do you think? Have you noticed any improvements thanks to your training? Have any tips or tricks that you like to use? Share your story!