end of summer thoughts

So in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a blogging hiatus. I meant to get on here and explain why and then just didn’t have time. When I started blogging again a few months ago, part of the reason was to dedicate myself to some “just me” time and allow myself to focus on me and not work or other things. I had let my life get to a point where there was never any time for me and I wanted to change that.

And then, well, this summer has completely changed my life. In the last couple of months I’ve gone from work, work, work to still doing a lot of work, but a lot of taking care of me and myself as well. So many things, ideas, plans, and goals have changed in my life just since spring. A lot of the change has been positive and involved be taking care of myself physically – which in itself is time consuming. With the arrival of my son here this summer and our goal of running the 5K together, along came many hours of training with him on top of my own running schedule. I also added in a personal trainer, which involved more hours of my time. Then I decided that I was going to start making better, solid, healthy decisions for my health and family and well, there goes almost every hour of my day.

Now the summer is almost over. My son goes home this coming weekend – one week from today. It’s my least favorite weekend of the year and every year on the drive back from Nebraska, I cry. I’m an excellent “drive-through-the-tears” driver. You would think that after 11 years I would get used to it, but I don’t – it never gets easier. And in only a couple of weeks, the semester starts again and my mad crazy of awesome begins at work again. My goal through all of this is to not stop taking care of me. I’m thrilled with how I feel and the results that I can see from training and living healthier and I have no intention on stopping – but it will be a struggle. I’m kinda notorious for working 60+ hour work weeks during the school year and my challenge will be to find a way to balance that with my fitness regime I’ve got going on. I have faith in myself though and I also have one hell of a support system at home (seriously – I have no idea why this man I live with puts up with me and my “hey, guess what I want to do now?” ideas lol).

This is me saying then that I won’t be here as often. Definitely not every day but I will keep in touch with updates and struggles as always. And photos – I so love doing photography that I want to continue doing photo posts. That’s all for now – talk to you all soon. :)

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finishing in the race!

We’re back at home now – showered, hydrated, stretched, and rested. And it’s only 9:43am! I dig these early morning races. :)

The 5K went super well today – I felt like I was dragging big time but in the end, I was quite pleased with the results. From training the last week with my husband, my son’s pace was faster than mine (well, that and he’s skinny and 15, unlike his mother lol) but he stayed with me for most of it. The last 1/2 mile though he headed off ahead of me which was totally cool. I am so proud of him for training with me for four weeks and doing the race. Best summer project I’ve thought of for us to do yet.

I wanted to finish in 51 minutes or under (that’s where we were at 2 weeks ago) and I was really actually hoping for 45 minutes. I knew then I’d be doing at least a 15 minute mile jog pace which I would be happy with – but…my finishing time was 38:24 instead!!! And my son did it in 36:52!! Seriously, so proud. We’ve decided that next summer’s goal is to do it under 30 minutes. :)

Here’s my photo gallery from the day – enjoy!

The Brew 2 Shoe 10K/5K was sponsored by a number of great local business (in addition to Manhattan Running Company of course) including Tallgrass Brewing Company and AJ’s Pizzeria – so, after the race, I had a super tasty Tallgrass Halcyon Wheat beer (at 8am) and my son had some pepperoni pizza. Good times all around. :)

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tomorrow is race day!

Tomorrow is race day! I’m pretty excited – and also quite surprised that these last four weeks went by so darn fast. I cannot believe it is August already! In preparation for tomorrow morning, today is rest day. No running for my son and me today – just hanging out and resting (well, and going to work for me!) – and drinking lots of water. Tonight I’m going to make the classic “before race” meal – pasta. My son is most excited about that part I think. :)

The race begins at 7:10am tomorrow so we’ll be up bright and early. My mom is coming down from Nebraska to see her daughter and grandson finish their first 5K together. And then after the race and the showers and recovery, we’ll just get to hang out the rest of the weekend which will be fantastic.

Stay tuned for post-race photos!

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another training session

I write this tonight while sitting on my couch, legs on the ottoman, ice packs on my knees. Another lovely evening at my house. LOL

As I mentioned earlier, this is my first week of official personal training and my last week of training with my son for the race. Yesterday evening’s plans for running and training were completely thrown out the window because it was raining, raining, raining. And since I have yet to go buy a new membership to a gym, heavy downpour = no working out or running. So it was moved to this evening instead. I worked a little later today than didn’t get home until later than normal and since my trainer told me we were running this evening, my husband went running with my son while I was still work. That way, he still gets to run and I wouldn’t have to run twice in one night back to back.

But see, I assumed we were doing a long distance run tonight but my evil trainer (which is what I’m referring to him now, of course with nothing but love) had other ideas. We went for a jog for a “warm-up” – he seriously has a sick sense of what a warm up is, let me tell you – and then went to a quarter mile track here in town. And then he had me do a HIIT session there. It’s a damn good thing I didn’t run with my son beforehand as I had originally planned because I was sucking wind as it was. I don’t think I’ve ran sprints since like junior high. Holy shit, I hurt. And had some side stitches because Lord knows I was not controlling my breathing. BUT!! I did it. I survived another training session.

For real though, it sucks during the session but I feel good when I’m done – that I’ve accomplished it – I made it through and finished. And as I work towards my goals and work through these sessions, I will see results and be super happy about it all in time. Except the homework part – I hate the homework part. Homework is sit-ups and push-ups every night – I hated them when I was in school and I still hate them today. But I’m not being stubborn for once and actually following directions. Shocking, I know.

That’s the update for today. Tomorrow and Thursday my son and I run; Thursday is also plyometric workout day work with my trainer. And then Friday is our off day because the race is Saturday! Holla!

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kicking it up a notch

Today (Sunday) was my first day back at it after taking two whole days of rest – no working out nor running on Friday or Saturday. I way overdid it last week while traveling – with running for so long – and my body was definitely letting me know it was time to take a break. So, I listened.

But, today pretty much rocked. It was my first official day working out with newly kinda-hired personal trainer. He has helped me along the way the last year or so but today started our very serious we’re-going-to-get-this-shit-done working out. And today was upper body and arms and he pretty much killed me. Well, in the beginning I was already dying and then he said, “okay, now that we’ve warmed up…we can get started” and you know I thought I might punch him. But I didn’t – I just did what he said and called him names in my head for the next hour. It’s probably a good thing I counted him as a friend before we started this because otherwise I might hate him by the time we’re done. I mean, of course, not really – he’s totally helping me out and teaching me how to do everything the right away which is awesome. And frankly, anyone who puts up with me in the gym or working out while outside wins a gold star in my book. Shocking as this may be, I’m not the easiest person to get along with sometimes. LOL.

After I got home, the family and I went out to run the course for the 5K next Saturday. I wanted my son to get a feel for it – a straight 5K distance through town, not just running around a park, and of course the three hills that are included. We don’t normally run hills so we needed to get some practice. And he did fantastic! I’m so proud of him. From someone who never went (nor wanted to go) running, he is such a trooper. We finished the course in 45 minutes and of course for most runners, that’s way slow, but we don’t care. Especially since last week we did the 5K distance in 51 minutes! Woot! We’re gaining!

So, those are my happy working out updates for today. Later this week I’ll give some stats updates since a lot has changed there. But for now, I leave you with photos from the plane when I flew home Friday evening from Chicago. So beautiful, you’d almost think they were fake!



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if nothing ever changed…

…there’d be no butterflies.

Totally the motto of my life right now. This evening I realized how crazy different my life has become – even from just a few short months ago. So, let’s play this game. Six months ago, I never thought I would be the kind of person who:

  • runs over 30 minutes straight at a time, more than once a week.
  • can only work through problems in her mind by going running to process them all.
  • runs in the morning, afternoon, or evening without caring who saw her.
  • actually leaves a park and runs in the street and on sidewalks in neighborhoods.
  • goes to the fitness center or goes out running while traveling.
  • eats food for fuel and not just because “it is time to eat”.
  • doesn’t really crave the sugary desserts anymore.
  • actually gives up coffee and caffeine for the most part.
  • drinks huge amounts of water every day.
  • actually carries a water bottle with her all day.
  • works out twice a day.
  • hires a personal trainer to actually LEARN how to do shit properly.
  • just doesn’t give a shit what people think about her in her spandex running shorts.

It all just seems crazy to me. Crazy good, but crazy nonetheless. I honestly love my life right now. Truly. Not just the health and fitness part either – I have so many great things happening for me right now that I am feeling just really and truly blessed. 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

Fresh can be defined so many different ways, in fact, the original post for this theme even includes different definitions:

The definition for fresh has a bit of a fork in it – it’s a state (new, recent, previously unknown) and it’s a taste or sensation (cool, sweet, invigorating, refreshing). 

For my post I working more with the former definition – something new and unknown – because the whole place I am at right now is new to me but there is definitely a refreshing feel to my photo as well. As mentioned, I’m away from home this week and a little limited to how much I can get out and photograph. However, I’m fortunately surrounded by some really beautiful surroundings and was able to capture this photo:

waterfall pond

The conference center I am at has these small little ponds and lakes in addition to the surrounding forested area and river. It’s quite beautiful and this waterfall grabbed my attention right away – seems fresh to me. :)

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