Monday, November 4, 2013

It's the little things

Tonight's thanks goes out to my baby girl.  My little mini who is about to turn 5! *GASP* I am about to be mom to a 5 year old?  Although, tonight as we stole away from the boys (who are always super stinky) and headed out to a dinner date it was hard to believe I was sitting with a 5 year old and not a 15 year old.  That child is so so SO mature for her age and the wisdom that comes out of her mouth often times has ME stopping and reflecting and changing the way I was thinking.  

As we filled up on some vegetarian Mexican food and talked running, yes we talked running and made some more in the near future dates that includes running the neighborhood each pushing our babies, I just couldn't help but feel the overwhelming joy of being her mom.  I am forever grateful for God for putting this special soul in our lives.  

So thank YOU my little Peanut Butter Bean Pie Princess Baby Girl (you used to make me call you this, back in the sass of your 2 year old self).  Thank you for being YOU.  Thank you for laughing, for caring, for investigating.  Thank you for making me see the world differently.  Thank you for being there when mommy just needs someone special to talk to, listen to and love on.  I will always ALWAYS love you to the moon and back and more than my running shoes :) 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Saving Grace

There is no doubt about it.  One of my FAVORITE things I have ever gotten out of my Facebook page is the advice on a sports bra.  A bit back I post a waaaaay tmi post asking about sports bras and the support (hardy har har!!!!) was unbelievable.

I have always been a larger chested runner, in fact even after losing 103 pounds I was STILL using 3, yes THREE, bras to run in.  I was getting so hot and so tired of layering up as the weather was getting warmer and warmer that I sucked up my embarrassment and posted for all to see.  And the clear winner was a sports bra by Moving Comfort.  And OH. MY. WORD!!!! That bra is AMAZING.  I now only need ONE yes ONE ONE ONE bra to run in and it is oh so freeing!!!

So thank you to Moving Comfort for making such an awesome product!!! You most certainly know what some runners need :0)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

BOB is the MAN!

Oh how I could go on and on and ON about things I am thankful for.  I am really extremely blessed with lots of beautiful gifts, love, life, health, family.  But today's post goes to BOB.

Yep, BOB.  Oh how I LOVE BOB.  I would seriously marry him if I didn't already have my soul mate tied down and well he was a human and not a stroller ;)

I seriously, am so thankful that I have a BOB Duallie (I would SO LOVE LOVE LOVE to do a review for this company!!!!), I bought him used off a Facebook yard sale site a few years back.  I think he is circa 2003 or something like that, but oh my gosh is that stroller still AWESOME!!!!

It allows me to take my loves out to do what I love doing.  My little family runs are the best kind.  We sing, we talk and we nature hunt for all sorts of fun things; pumpkins, red leaves, chipmunks, horses, this list goes on.  I get to do these fun mommy things WHILE I am running.  Its really a double bonus, winner winner chicken dinner!!!! The best part of it is that my little cheerleaders are cheering me the WHOLE way!  Nothing is better than those little voices telling Mommy she is awesome, and running so super fast!

So BOB thank you! Thank you for being there for me and carrying my precious cargo with ease as I push ever so slightly on the handle as I run down the road.  You, dear stroller, are AMAZING!

Friday, November 1, 2013

November Blessings

It's November!!!! Race season is coming to a close and the weather is turning cold and dreary.  The beauty of the fall has passed and everyone is getting ready to hunker down and enjoy some cozy and warm family time.  I have brought down my running layers and have started transitioning into my cold weather running.

November also brings Thanksgiving and tends to be the month where blessings are counted.  I have unfortunately been in a funk.  I hate being in funks, and my running is NOT helping.  I have been having bad run after bad run and it's getting me down.  So, I have decided to keep my chin up buttercup and use November to put things into perspective.  Each day in the month of November I will blog about something I am thankful for.  I have so many blessings in life, that this funk is not going to last long if I can pull them into the forefront and kick the bad attitude to the side!!!

Today I am thankful for the running community.  WOW, what an amazing group of people runners are.  Friends are made over the sole fact that you are runners.  Support is given whole heartily, inspiration, motivation and care is given without a second thought.  Last night, I let it be known over on Crazy Mama Runner's Facebook page that I was struggling and the comments of encouragement has just poured in.  I have made so many wonderful new friends that I hope to race with someday!!! All around the world I am now connected to this group of runners and it is AMAZING!!! I love reading about their PRs and goals, their training and struggles.  We are all there to hold each other up and help become who we are meant to be.  I truly TRULY am so thankful for this support group!

Happy Running!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

This girl is on fire!

It's funny how the Internet and a computer can form a bond between two people.  5 years ago I "met" Melissa on an ivillage board for December 2008 babies.  We were both actually voted the prettiest eyes in our Sugarmama superlatives, and our little girls were born just days apart.  Over the years we have become facebook friends and supporters of each other.  That is why I am so proud to announce Melissa as this weeks Wicked Inspiring Wednesday feature. She is, on top of being a phenomenal runner, one of the most kind, sincere people you will ever come across.  Her everyday happiness and love for her life and family just shines through social media.  her running story is just one of those goosebumps reads.  She is a force to be reckon with out there and wow is she a talented runner!!! I am looking forward to the day where we run the same race ;)

Meet Melissa:

To me, running shoes + an open road = happiness. In college and just after I was married, I participated in a number of local 5Ks and ultimately set my sights on a half marathon. I was registered and uber excited and....found out I was pregnant. I decided to focus on my baby. And then on the next baby. And then on the next. Over that time, physical ailments threatened to keep me off the road forever. I battled supra ventricular tachycardia, which refused to go away even after surgery. I also sustained a small fracture in my back. Walking was hard. Running seemed impossible.

About a year ago, my husband discovered a love of fitness and running and....I cried. I desperately wanted to run again but my body was not going to cooperate. So, I ventured into the world of spinning in the hopes that I could begin to recondition myself. What a Godsend spinning turned out to be. I went 2-3 times a week and slowly felt health, energy, and happiness returning to me.
This May, I learned about a 5K race that was being held locally on Mother's Day. The cause was one that was close to my heart so, before I could talk myself out of it, I entered the race. As a Mother's Day gift, I asked if my family would participate with me. So, on Mother's Day 2013, I ran my first 5K in about 12 years with my incredibly supportive husband, my three beautiful children, and numerous dear friends. Even with virtually no running prep and a 4-year-old who half ran, half was pushed in a stroller by yours truly, I managed to come in at 33:04. My husband ended up coming in at 22:17 and won first place in his age group for males. I was so proud of him. And I realized what I'd been putting on hold for over a decade.

I began to get very serious about my health and fitness. My best friend happens to be an incredibly talented spin instructor and overall fitness trainer. I finally listened as she coached me through healthy eating and the importance of cross training (particularly for me with my orthopedic history). I spun my butt off every chance I got. I found two amazing running partners who helped me slowly increase my miles and my pace. I ate a healthy diet (by diet I mean lifestyle) that my husband had been begging me to switch to for over a year. Weight melted off of me. Strength reappeared. My health improved. Most importantly, my happiness grew.

The "healthy me" entered another 5K on 09/07/13 with my sons, my BFF, and some incredibly supportive friends. I crossed the finish at 21:55! I won first place in my age group for women!
As exciting as that was, I was most eager to run my first half marathon.....the 13.1 that I had put on hold over 12 years earlier. Two weeks ago, on 09/15/13, I did it! I ran the half with my two incredible running partners. I came in at 1:51:33....under two hours! I put that 13.1 sticker on my car so fast...

Probably one of my biggest achievements to date occurred this Sunday at another local 5K. I came in second place overall for females! My time was was my husband's. We were so evenly matched (and we did battle it out on the route) that we crossed the finish line hand-in-hand.
I have one more 5K and another half in the next month. I just couldn't be happier in life than I am right now. I plan to keep spinning and running and just see where life takes me. I do, however, hear a 26.2 calling my name in the distance. :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Love and loss

Being on a journey with the one you love creates an amazing bond. The love and support are awesome and there is always someone there that keeps you grounded. Today's Wicked Inspiring Wednesday is a story of a journey of Rebecca and her hubby. Together they have lost 220 pounds!!! You guys rock! 

I am a mom of 2-A little Girl 3 1/2 and a Boy 18 Months.  I work full time and my husband works full time also, but on an opposite shift so we are very busy!  

Both my husband (Scott) and I were always the heavy kid growing up. Always overweight as long as we can remember.  We had tried just about everything that was out there to try to lose weight.  But it was always a yo-yo and nothing really ever stuck.  Well one day my husband came home and said, I'm tired of being the fat guy and that evening he joined Weight Watchers and started at the gym the very next morning!  He was determined to run a 5K-It was a small goal.  After the gym, he said it was so much harder that he thought. He couldn't even run for 30 seconds slowly because he was breathing so heavy. So, he was determined, he started walking, caught his breath, and then run until he couldn't breathe again, then walk.  I was proud of him for trying.  He started out very strong.  He woke up early to go the gym, he also went after work.  I went with him after work, but I could only walk slowly, as I was expecting at the time.  He was doing great!  Making slow progress to run longer and longer and weight was dropping off.  He was so committed even though I could only do so much with him.  

We had a rough patch, I was put on bed rest at home due to complications of my pregnancy, and then also ended up on hospital bed rest and was rushed for an emergency C-section for having a seizure.  At the same time of my C-section, my dad was being admitted to the same hospital for an accident that happened at home.  He had parkinson's and was stubborn and was up walking when he shouldn't have been and fell.  He broke his femur.  My son was born 4 weeks early but healthy.  My dad ended up needing to have surgery the next day because his bone had shattered.  Even though we were in the same hospital it wasn't possible to see each other, as both of our conditions gave us limits at the time.  My sister and mom was able to take him pictures to see his first grandson.  The next day as I was starting to get better, the nurses informed me my dad had at some point stopped breathing that morning and he had to be put on a machine, something he never believed in.  Unfortunately, the prognosis was not good and his health continued to dwindle.  My dad ended up passing away 6 days after my son was born, never to see him in person.  I was unable to see my dad the way I had knew him and remembered him.  Even though he was still alive, he was already gone.  Devastated and having to deal with so much after a major surgery was rough.  I was determined to finally do something to turn my health around in memory of him and to help support my husband in his own journey too.  

As soon as I was able to, I too got on board.  It took a very long time for me to run, as it took me a long time to heal properly after my c-section.  I did it though.  I ran my first 5K and I couldn't run the entire way, I had to walk and run and walk and run.  my time was awful per say and I was upset, but my husband grounded me.  He said, Look where we are today.  Look where we have come from, what we have over come and I am not leaving your side.  We will do this together!  He was running along by my side, and let me finish just ahead of him.  It was my first 5K, but his second.  I then decided, I have to just stick with this.  The more I "trained" the more I realized, it is rewarding in itself.  I have to be honest, my husband love the thrill and at one point I even told him, I can work out but I don't know if I'm even cut out to be a "runner" per say.  However, after some time, we found another local race 6 months later and signed up.  It was March, I thought winter was over, oh SNOWED while we were running, I was cold.  BUT WE DID IT TOGETHER AGAIN!  

My husband found another race and it came with a really cool medal.  Well, the 10K did anyways, but the 5K, not so much. So we decided, lets just try the 10K, and see how we do, We would walk if we needed to and finish walking if we HAD to, but just wanted to see how we would do. Well, one thing led to another, and by the end of this summer, we signed up and did a 10 MILER!  We just completed our first half marathon, and before we even did it, on the drive there (2.5 hours away) found another half marathon next weekend that was unique. This race would cover 11 bridges in 13.1 miles and the go over an old covered wooden bridge.  The medal is a wooden carved wooden covered bridge.  So, on my phone I registered us for another half marathon!  We already have another one scheduled at the end of october and also signed up to do a full marathon in November.  My husband really wants the medal, but I told him, I just want to see if we can do it.  I want to try.  If we don't finish, then we don't finish, but I will try my best to complete it.  Scott says, but I really want that medal, so I said, then we will complete it!  He is still thinking of maybe switching to the half instead of the full, but I am going to stand my ground and try to go for the full.  I think we are addicted though.  It is super hard to find time to run with the kids, and work and schedules!  It all gets in the way!  I hate that work cuts into my running time! LOL  So we are doing our best to manage and try to get some more consistent running in over the next couple of months as we get closer to the full marathon.  

In this entire process, we have lost about 220lbs total combined.  I am not at my goal but I'm within my healthy weight range. Scott is at his goal and feels he is where he wants to be weight wise.  He has been able to maintain for the last 4 months.  I have been stuck for the last 2 months, but fear it may be my body just trying to say I'm where I should be.  Scott again, tries to keep me grounded.  Look where we have come from and what we are doing.  The body is an amazing thing, it truly is.  

The funny thing is too, that I sometimes I don't recognize the people in the recent pictures.  I don't feel like I look "that trim/lean" just yet.  

Thank you for letting me share my story.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Urge

The urge to run of course! As I allow myself to believe that I am in fact a runner more and more as each day, each mile, each goal run passes, this urge gets stronger and more frequent. 

It can strike me at anytime and come from anyone of my senses. I can see a runner or a motivational quote. Heck I can even just see a pair of sneakers or my pile of running attire waiting to be put away and WHAM BAM " I MUST go running NOW!" 

I can smell a storm coming in or the crispness in the air and I want out. I want to be out on the road with every fiber of my being. 

I will feel the way the sun feels just barely warm and my fingers will itch to tie my laces (pink of course always pink! #sweatpink!). 

There are days where I can just taste a good run waiting to happen. It's like my water had special running molecules that day. In fact, it's a whole other blog post but I do believe in labeling my water with good thoughts and its not uncommon for me to have positive words on my water bottles. 

The other day though it was sound. I heard a song. A song that provoked memories. Memories of back in high school, me being the quite reserved girl until you had me on the bleachers cheering for my then boyfriend, now hubby, when he took the mat. How I used to cheer so loud and so full of energy for the guy who was amazingly fantastic at everything he did. Soccer, track, wrestling, president of this and that. It didn't matter he could handle it. He would share with me before a game or a match the songs he used to get motivated and get going.  These songs now when heard immediately take me back.

  They take me back to the years where I watched true motivation unfold. If he wasn't the best it didn't matter he put the work in ALWAYS and was constantly pushing the limits to see what he could do. Oh running isn't enough? Lets invent the National Log Running society and run with an 85 pound log for 12 miles just because we can, lets wrestle up a weight class just because (that day I watched him take first place in that tournament it was awesome!) it's worth a shot. Over an over he inspired and amazed me. 

So it's no wonder when I hear Eye of the Tiger by Survivor that my legs start aching to run. I grew up and matured watching the love of my life push limits and inspire people and that's what I want to do too. Eye of the Tiger takes me back. Back to the time when I learned about effort and sweat and dedication. Which is part of the reason I am the runner that I am today. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Who am I?

Who am I? Sounds like an assignment from my philosophy 201 class and I wonder if I had been a runner then if my paper would have said something different. 

Not many people have seen completely at ease me. The real me. Not the me who bites her tongue to keep the peace. (At times I am surprised I have a tongue left). Not the me who smiles and nods with everything ok. Not the me who's feelings are hurt and I'm crying and raging on the inside while I joke on the outside. Not the me nervous of making a wrong impression, afraid I won't be liked. Party Christina is as close as some people get to seeing the real me unless you see me when I'm running. 

Running sets me free, it gives me time to think, reflect, feel. Even when I'm running with a person or a group, I'm me. I say things that I would probably keep hidden if not for my feet pounding the road and my pretty pink laces smiling at me. I feel things out there. In fact I often hide the real me from even myself but as the miles pile up and the PRs come in I am discovering ways to keep that me I find when I'm running to stick around after the run. Because running is teaching me that I am enough. I am ME and I am enough. I can't be like anyone else and in fact for all the wishing my body would change and look like a model, a runner, or a hot mom I don't really want it too because well then I wouldn't be me. 

So I am ME. I am:

Mind numbingly afraid of owls, even ones I see in books or on clothes

I am afraid of rejection. 

My feelings are hurt easily, I am sensitive. 

I work really hard on not being jealous and mean. 

I hate being catty but I know that at times I am. 

I love doing things for people. Random acts of kindness are my favorite things to do. 

I love my children beyond words. And can't believe that I am their mom. Those two perfect little people who make my day every morning. 

I am sensitive. Super sensitive which is sometimes hard. 

I think i am funny. 

I love my ears and my birthmark. 

Before kids I used to be proud of my ummm chest but now eh it's not the greatest and that's ok. 

I have a Maine accent but its a small one. 

I suffer from anxiety. Sometimes it's paralyzing. 

I suffer from infertility. Unexplained infertility which means I don't know how to fix it. 

I hate not being able to solve things. 

I like to be organized. 

I am a procrastinator. 

My favorite color is navy.

I love philosophy and Socratic discussions. 

I love being spontaneous and wacky. 

My husband is truly my best friend. He gets me and still loves me. In fact he probably loves me because of all these things I am discovering while running. He has probably seen them all along while I was too busy hiding them. 

These are things that are me. And during tomorrow's run I will probably discover more. I wonder what my marathon training will bring out. After all, that's a lot of miles of discovering I have to look forward too. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Meet Runner Unleashed!

Everybody has a story.  Each story is touching, inspiring, motivating in its own way.  Sometimes, stories are told, heard and retold at a time when we can relate to the most.  At times, you may hear a story and give it a passing thought and other times the story grabs you. It holds you and forces your wheels to start turning and your heart to feel.  I LOVE reading running stories, or stories about overcoming an obstacle.  They all always leave me feeling captivated and emotional however, today's story left me with a feeling of extreme awe.  It was because of this story, that I sat down one summer night with nothing but the crickets chirping and a cool breeze blowing and put my story into words.  My story has now been retold a few times through out the Facebook running page community.  It has been featured on Movin' It with Michelle Running, Recipes and Real Life Adventures  and put into the shit sorter files on No More Mr. Fat Guy  but the reason it was even written in the first place was because I found Runner Unleashed.  She has a Facebook page and a blog that are completely awesome, motivating, inspiring and helpful.  Please read her story and then head over and give some love and check out her stuff you will not be sorry!!!

Please meet Gelcys:

I’ve been a runner my whole life, but unfortunately I was diagnosed with Scoliosis, which to those who don’t know its a curvature of the spine. I was 14 years old when Doctors found it and I was told I need corrective surgery immediately. I must say for a 14 year old who has never gotten a scratch this was very intimidating. Worst part was, I was told I could never run again. After spending 14 hours in the operation room it was all over, SUCCESS! My back was corrected now on my way to a long recovery.
Six months in, getting picked up from school, we got rear ended in a car accident, and requiring emergency surgery due to one of the metal rods put in my spine had came out! Eww yes it hurt…and BAD. Physical therapy for months, another 2 more surgeries and years later I was doing better. Final outcome, I still have severe Scoliosis, had the rods taken out of my back, and have a higher hip on my left and my leg is shorter by 1 inch.
my Scoliosis scar and my left side curvature
my Scoliosis scar and my left side curvature
Now out of college working hard, I meet my husband, RC. Who crazy enough I knew from high school. We didn’t get along, as he sat behind me in class and always picked on me. We graduated and went our separate ways, he went to the Army and I went to College. We ran into each other by chance, and here we are, 7 years later with a 4 year old terror. We decided to move to Central Florida for a change from the south Florida lifestyle, we couldn’t be happier. They are my world and would be lost without them.
RC and I have always been active, but I always had a problem running after all my surgeries. We then started running, but 200 meters in, I would end up walking and was miles behind him. After several attempts and Doctors appointments they told me I can’t run because my left lung doesn’t have a lot of room due to my spine curving into it, among other physical issues. It broke my heart. After moving to Orlando, I was able to do more outdoor activities. I would walk with my son to the park so he can play.
I always saw several people running, training, staying fit. It motivated me to go after what I really wanted to do in life. I told my husband.  ”I wanted to run!!” so he said “I’ll train you.” I got a little nervous since he was the fastest and the squad leader in his running team in the Army.  Little did I know that was going to help me in the end. I started running, from meters to miles, slow and steady. I ended up with some chronic pain that I can’t do anything about because it stems from my Scoliosis. When I see a doctor they tell me I can’t handle running so I shouldn’t try.
I suffer daily from back pain, worse on some days than others, shin splints are common due to my shorter leg, and the hip flexor, I must say gets very irritated. Aside from all the issues I have from running. I learned to never give up and go after my goals. I sometimes have to push myself through the pain, let’s not forget the common runner injuries, because yes, I also have been blessed with those too. But you know what?? I’m a fighter, I learned to push through barriers and walls to make my dreams a reality!!! And now…here I am today…A MARATHONER!!!! I am doing what I never thought I could, so never give up on something you believe in, because if I can do it, ANYONE can!
grun collage
I ran my first HALF MARATHON this past January! YAY!!! I have ran 5Ks, 10Ks, 10 Mile races and a half marathon. It is a MAJOR accomplishment and Doctors can’t believe what I have done! My family and friends know me as the one who fights the biggest battles with a large dose of determination and it also has helped to have the support and motivation of my military husband and everyone in my life . So please stop by, share your story and stick around for a great running adventure! I love reading about stories of hard work and success and cant wait to read yours!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


There is never a certain key for running.  For us all the paths we take to become runner's vary so much.  Some just decide to step out the door and run and they can do 2 miles off the bat, some step out the door (like me) and can not make it the .2 miles down to the end of the road without stopping and walking.  But no matter what, when you a running and you decide to push it, push it passed that point you are comfortable with time and time again to better yourself, go faster, go further, go longer we all have one thing in common. Persistence.  With running it sort of grows and grows until you stop and say oh dear oh me oh my I just went further, faster, longer and didn't even know it! The journey to becoming a runner is so different for everyone.  Meet Alexis, a mom, an attorney, and a runner!

My second Half Marathon is quickly approaching and I have been reflecting a lot on my goals for the race and how I became a runner.  As a child I had asthma,  it was often triggered by running and necessitated two in-patient stays at a local hospital.  They occurred around the age of 9 and 13, I remember the details quite clearly.  I could swim with no problem, so I swam in high school and even lettered a couple of times.  Yes, I am a former mediocre high school athlete.
It always bothered me that I could not run, I would try and quickly become frustrated with my wheezing and tight chest and at some point would abandon the effort.  While I was in law school I lived literally one block away from the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  If you have ever witnessed the Boston Marathon and said that you didn’t want to run, you would be lying. There is something really magical about watching those runners from the elite athletes that run 26.2 miles in just over 2 hours to watching those who cross the finish line long after the big crowds go home.  You really have to stand in awe of all those runners who put in the time, energy and mental fortitude to run 26.2 miles regardless of the time they run it in.
After one of those races, I decided to try my hand at running again.  I would wake up early and attempt to run a loop around the Charles River.  I would run and walk but I never got it down.  It was hard, too hard and I would abandon the effort again.  I resumed my workout routine of elliptical and walking  a couple miles to and from work every day.  Boston is an amazing city to live in, you can really just walk everywhere.  
Years pasted, I got married, had a child, moved to Baltimore, had another child, moved to California and then decided I was going to tackle running again and this time I was going to succeed.  The difference this time, I signed up for a 5K and followed a training plan.  I like structure so following a plan, especially a specific one would be the key to my success.  I downloaded the Jeff Galloway app for 5K training and was good to go.  I really liked that he talked to you throughout your run, encouraged you to slow down or walk if you were getting tired.   It truly was like having a coach with you on a run. 
Initially those baby runs, 1.5 – 2 miles, seemed long but each day I was getting stronger and eventually I was able to run 3 miles.  This was huge,  I never even ran the Presidential Fitness mile when I was in school. About a week before my first 5K, I got the flu.  I was extremely disappointed and could not run, I wallowed and was angry. Then I sought the counsel of some friends, who are runners, and they said it happens, now find another race.   That is what I did. I found the Run Like A Mother 5K and ran my first race at age 34 on Mother’s Day.  Now as I prepare for my 2nd Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, I can look back at all those attempts and failures and say I am a runner.

Alexis was kind enough to share they story she wrote from her blog and it is an awesome blog!!! Find her blog at Miles Meals Motherhood and look her up on Facebook!!!  She was recently selected as one of Women's Health's Action Heroes for 2013 and is working hard to spread the word about their Run 10, Feed 10 race series. Go check out her pages to learn more!!!! 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Finding Yourself. Journey from eating disorder to long distance runner.

Our bodies withstand a lot.  We put them through the ringer and at times we abuse them.  We treat them terribly and wish they would change.  Be taller, shorter, skinnier, curvier.  Some take extreme measures to achieve an image that only they see in their mind.  And yet after years of abuse our bodies will allow us to change and to accomplish feats we never thought possible.  After the abuse it still lets us push it, test it and reach new limits.  The body is truly an amazing mechanism.  Meet a self proclaimed tough bird, a friend I have found over at Running Strong with Lisa, who battles anorexia and has found running.  Running has become her focus, her good focus and she kicks some serious butt at it.  If you head over to her Facebook page you can see some of her awesome winner photos! 

Hello all. My name is Lisa & I live in New Ringgold Pa. I am mom to 5 beautiful children 

 ages 21,17,15 7 twins that will be 14 on Sunday.

I am the crazy runner girl who runs every day, between 55-60 miles a week. I am often 

asked if I have always been athletic & a runner. Unfortunately that is not the case. 

When I was younger I was very non athletic and I hated sports. I did anything I could to 

get out of gym class as I saw it as a form of torture. I was the chubby little girl who lost 

the weight when I got to middle school but I still did not see myself as thin. The summer 

of my junior year in high school I went on a diet. I restricted what I ate and exercised 

twice a day. The weight came off and I went from 125 pounds to 95 pounds. By my 

senior  year I was down to 78 pounds and hospitalized for a month. The doctors had told 

mom they are not sure how I did not die and I was also told I would never have kids. I 

struggled with my eating until I was about 20. I got better but my eating habits were 

never the greatest and I was always aware of my weight. When I had my children though, 

my focus shifted and I knew that I could never be anorexic again. I had to be there for 

them. When I had my twins, I started taking them for walks in the stroller everyday. 

When they did not want to go with me any more ,I started going on early morning walks 

by myself. I am naturally a fast walker so I loved it. 

In January of 2002, my marriage started to unravel. The day after my 33rd birthday I 

confirmed what I knew to be true and kicked my husband out. It was really hard on me 

as I never quit anything and I looked at that as failure on my part. I have since learned 

that I can only control my actions not that of others and I did all I could do.

One day in July, I had a really bad day. I wished at that moment I was a 

NASCAR driver as I wanted so much to go about 100 miles an hour. I definitely would 

have won that day. The next morning when I went out for my walk, I am not sure why 

but I started to run. I ran about a third of the course that I walked . I just loved it. The 

next day I ran even more and by day three I had transitioned my walk into a run and 

never looked back. For seven years I would run about 4-5 miles every day. It was my 

thinking time, my distressing time and it really helped me to stay positive and focused. 

It also allowed me to find myself again.

For years I had been asked if I was ever going to race. I really did not want to do it. I 

know how I am and I was afraid I would get so serious with it and I would take all of the 

fun out of it. When I turned 40 in 2009, I decided I was going to run a 5k. I found one 

that was happening in March close to my home so I thought I would give it a try. I was 

clueless to the whole racing thing but I went and had a blast. The race was being put on 

by a personal trainer. I contacted her after the race and started training with her so I 

could learn how to race properly. She put be on a training plan and worked with me on 

my diet. My whole focus shifted when I started racing. Never in a million years did I 

think 4 years ago when I ran that 5k that I would be where I am today having run 

numerous five & ten k’s, over a dozen half marathons, seven full marathons an Ultra in 3 

months, and two more marathons by the years end. It blows my mind at the things I have 

accomplished. I went from being the non athletic girl who at one point would not have 

been physically capable of running a race to the woman that can run marathons. I 

am also so much stronger both physically &mentally than I ever have been.

Running has done so much for me. It allows me to be in control in a good way. I feel so

 strong & so amazing when I am out there running. It is something I intend to do until I 

am no longer on this earth. I am so happy that I found running and I love that I get to 

share it with others.

I love that Lisa shared her story with us.  Too often we just continue to abuse our bodies and not celebrate what they can do.  Head over and show Lisa some support and also remember to love your body today.  Find something that your body does or is that makes you special and just say thank you.  Thank you body for being here for me today.  For being my vessel in this journey and for showing me how awesome I can be when I am ME! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Discovering how much You are worth to YOU!

I just LOVE learning about running through the eyes of others, and what running or living means to them.  That is why I am super excited to announce some upcoming guests on the blog!!! I will be featuring their running stories, why they run, what keeps them going.  All in hopes that we can continue to inspire others to believe in themselves, set goals, and achieve them!!! So today I would like to introduce Jenifer.  Jenifer is a mom to three, and a fellow runner.  She can be found over on Facebook at Self Worth, Brought to you by the letters R U N.   So read her story, and then drop by and give a nice big hello!  She was brave enough to be my first feature :0).

So here is Jenifer and her story!

  • Ok..... I guess we should start at the beginning. Like the very beginning. I was the chubby kid. Valedictorian of my class, the brain, but definitely not the athlete. I didn't play any sports. As a matter of fact I was that girl doing everything she could think of to get out of gym class. I battled my weight my whole life. My first time at Weight Watchers was as a 160 pound 12 year old. I dieted constantly, and kind of yo yo'd through adolescence and young adulthood wearing anywhere from a size 12 to a size 16.

  • I got married, and had three kids. Each subsequent child put on a little more weight that I didn't get off. And my marriage... well.... that's another whole story that you and a therapist's couch ain't got enough hours in the day for. Let's just say emotionally, it was a train wreck. He cheated on my for 4 of the 8 years we were married. And I had pretty much lost all sense of who I was, what I wanted in life, or even if I was worth thinking I deserved it. Every few months I would sit down and try to figure out if I could financially make it on my own. But I was scared. Too scared to leave, too scared to be alone. And convinced there was no way I could make it without him.
    Then a very good friend came into my life. He said some very important things to me. He said "Jenifer, if your daughters were in your marriage right now, would you be ok with how they were being treated?" My answer was of course and emphatic NO. And he said, "then why is it ok for you? How much are YOU worth to YOU?"
    And I said, "But I'm scared." and he said "So be scared." And every excuse and fear I could throw out he shot down and said "You will find a way, how much are YOU worth to YOU?"
    That became my mantra. I printed it and posted it everywhere in my house. I finally asked my husband to move out (and he moved right in with his girlfriend). I couldn't afford the house alone so I moved into a condo. I started nursing school. And I also decided it was time for once in my life to take care of ME. This friend, who I will always say saved my life, he runs. Just 5k's and stuff, but he suggested I should make a goal of running one last summer. So in May of 2012 I bought my first pair of running shoes, laced up, and hit the track with the couch to 5k app.
    I ran..... every day. I ran when I was sad, I ran when I was scared, I ran when I was angry, I ran when I was happy. Running...... saved me.... on many occasions. It saved me from myself. I could ponder problems, or escape them. In July of 2012 I ran my first 5k. Then I registered for the Princess half at Disney in February. You can see on my page that since that first 5k, the anniversary of which was just last week, I have completed 20 something races. My next goal is the DOPEY challenge at Disney in January. 48.6 miles in 4 days culminating in my first full marathon.
    Me today? I'm 65 pounds lighter that when I started. I wear a size 4 which I have NEVER seen in my LIFE. I've gotten A's in nursing school and should be an RN by this time next year. My kids are well adjusted. I don't even recognize the person I was last year..... at all.
    Now.... as I say on my page I am not the poster child for change. I fell in love with the "friend" who saved me, and I fell hard. Unfortunately he was also at a rocky point in a relationship that he chose to go back to. And this was within the past month. I WAS DEVASTATED all over again. I cannot look at ANYTHING in my life right now without being reminded of him. I cannot even be mad at him even though he probably deserves it, because I feel he did SO much for me. And now, I am finally realizing, the only person who needs to validate my accomplishments and be proud of me.... is ME. How much AM I worth to ME? I went from being completely dependent on someone, to being emotionally dependent on another. But as he reminded me, YOU did all these things this year, I just watched you blossom.
    So now.... I still think about him when I run. I still love him. I don't know when that hurt will go away. But I also think about me. About how far I've come. About how much more I love myself now than I did before. About how much stronger and more confident I am now than I was before, not only in my abilities as a runner, but in my abilities as a mother, a co-worker, a student, and a HUMAN BEING. When I think about stopping, I think about how far I've come, and I think about how much further I want to go..... and stopping no longer becomes an option.

    Thanks Jenifer!!! I loved being able to share your story and to see how another runner hangs in there and never stops!! By the way the Princess Half is my bucket list race!!! It's the race I would love to most be able to do!!!! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Journey...

Awhile back I sat down in the quiet of the night, with nothing but the fireflies, the laptop and my thoughts and wrote down my running story.   I shared the story in hopes that I could reach one person, inspire someone, and to let others know that they weren't along in any of the struggles that they have been dealing with.  I even sent a message out to a fellow blogger telling him he could use my story.  I wanted to reach people. I want to inspire people and I want people to know why I run.  And then yesterday I came across a picture on a Facebook page I follow and I got to thinking.  You see, when I get to thinking, I tend to have a jumbled mess of thoughts in my head and it all comes out in a random mess of words.  But I got to thinking anyway and here I am now trying to sort them all out and come up with something worth reading, worth writing and worth sharing.

You see, I wrote down my story, I wrote down the why I started and sort of the why I keep going. But since I tend to run with running partners and groups, this quote really got me thinking.  While we are all running the exact same road how is it different?  Running tends to be like a shower for me.  I think out there and I have time to process thoughts without little voices yelling "mama mama more juice" "Mooooommmmmm he's bothering me, he took my fairy" and "moooommm I have to poop" to name a few of the constant thought interruptions.  So I came up with a ooohhh lets do it plan! I want to have guest bloggers (actually something I have always ALWAYS wanted to do since I think it sounds so cool!) that talk about their journey.  What does YOUR journey look like?  What drives you, what drives me?  How do you deal with the mind games? The voice in your head? What discoveries have you made out there? Why do you keep going? How has your running changed? How has your life changed?  I have a few takers who are even willing to do this, and I couldn't be more excited!!! So stay tuned for some guest bloggers YEAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! And if you want to share too then please just let me know.  I have a small addiction in learning about different runners and love reading all the stories! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sweat Pink!!!

So, losing the 103 pounds, becoming a half marathoner and a true runner is pretty awesome.  But do you want to know what is even cooler than that?  By taking the time to believe in myself, to find ME and to discover I can do anything with a little believing and lots of hard work and dedication I can also inspire others to do so.  I went for a run this morning with a good friend and her little girl (my future daughter-in-law, lol I hope!) and she told me what an inspiration I am to her.

Things are starting to come together and it's almost like I needed to lose the weight and find myself so that I could be used to help others do the same.  My kids are napping now and I took some time to check my email. Boy am I beyond glad I did.  I received an email only moments ago, hence the jumbled random thoughts my fingers are spewing right now, that I just HAD to share with you all!!!

You are looking at the newest Sweat Pink Ambassador!!! That is right!!!! I applied and was welcomed to the team just moments ago.  I can not wait to get involved, to meet new friends, to start sweating even more pink and most of all to inspire others.  I have a feeling that I will be doing a lot of growing and trying of new things.  Watch out all, I have no idea what I am capable of yet but it's got to be something big!?  Oh and check out my awesome new badge in the top right hand corner of my blog, it makes me feel all official :)


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Heads Up Band

I am a little nervous, since this is my first ever product review! Yikes, how cool is that though?  Little ole me, who started running a few years back, who has never won any major races and most likely never will.  Who runs at a mediocre pace, and no phenomenal distances.  Yet, I plug along and I keep going.  Because when I am out there, I find myself.

Awhile back, I posted on my Crazy Mama Runner Facebook page that I wanted two things.  One to become a Sweat Pink Ambassador (waiting to hear about that one!!!) and two to do product reviews.  Well, not long after posting that Heads Up Bands contacted me and told me they would be willing to send me their headband to test and review.  Uhhhhh YEAH! I had been seeing them around the Facebook pages and they looked so CUTE! I wanted to try one.  While I was on vacation my package arrived.

Heads Up Bands was nice enough to send me TWO! One to try and one to giveaway!  I was FINALLY able to get a run in tonight to try one of them out.  As I was lacing up my shoes, I grew super nervous.  What if I hated it?  What if it didn't work?  What if it was the most annoying headband EVER?  I promised myself, that no matter WHAT, I would be completely honest.  I slipped on the band and off I went.  It helped that one of my amazing running partners was along for the test, she kept checking in and asking how it was working.  Is it moving yet? Slipping? Too tight? Hurting?  Each time I answered, nope I am good, its good, its great, wow its AMAZING!

Part of my review was before and after pics and so the ENTIRE run I refused to let myself readjust or fix the band. I shouldn't have worried because the band stayed in the EXACT same place the whole SWEATY AS ALL GET OUT 3 miles.  It didn't move at all. Not even when my pony tail started coming out and my hair was weighing down the band as the pony tail dipped lower and lower.  It stayed through the constant wiping of sweat off my forehead and it stayed when I put my sunglasses on and off.  IT STAYED.  Not only did it stay but it also didn't cause a headache.  Lots of headbands I have are too tight and by the end of my run my head hurts.  This one I didn't even really know was on.  The product is totally amazing!  I really REALLY did like it and I am happy that I got to try it.  I will definitely be a Heads Up Bands girl.  My ONLY problem with it, is my own darn fault.  I have a thing for sparkles so I asked to test one of the glitter ones.  And since my ears are close to my head the sparkle texture bothered me a bit.  Had I just went for a non sparkle one it would have been smooth and no problem at all.  Did it bother me enough to not wear the band?  Ummm NO WAY.  That band is going to be with me for a long time coming.  Look for me sporting it at all my races :0) Thanks Heads Up Bands!!! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

aahhhh VACATION!

It started out sounding like a vacation start from a family comedy.  Stuck in the car on the side of the road with my parents and two kids in 90 degree heat.  However, we were LAUGHING.  I sent my husband an email: Out of gas, in the middle of no WHERE, can't get there from here, ants everyWHERE!

You see, my dad forgot to put gas in.  He didn't hear the handy little "you are about to run out of gas" warning ding OR see the little handy light flashing.  Add in the fact he wanted to explore a new way to get to where we were going AND bingo family comedy, that had us all sitting on the side of the road waiting for help.  We waited awhile since we learned the nearest gas station was about 30 mins away and thankfully we found someone willing to make that trip for us.  They were also kind enough to let us know that had we continued on our way we would not get even CLOSE to where we were trying to go.  So they sent us backtracking to find a little dirt road OVER a mountain that would put us back on track.  Perfect, we were on our way FINALLY.  (I will add that you would think sitting in a car with a 4.5 year old and a 1.5 year old having NO snacks, or toys would mean DISASTER but those kids were so so so awesome.  They laughed and giggled and sat there like champs).

We finally arrived, checked in, and literally my Princess Pie and I crossed through the tunnel "jumping into vacation!".  It is our annual week at my parents timeshare in North Conway, NH. It is such an amazing family week.  Cousins, swimming, hiking, Story Land (where fantasies live!), old country stores, trains, moose hunting, fishing, fresh strawberries, mountain lake swimming, waterfalls.  I mean really, you can not ask for more when you are a child.  However, I can. Running.  It is in one of the top favorite places that I run.  When we are here I am so happy that I became a runner.  If I wasn't a runner I would miss the beauty of a mountain morning.  The running up here is just breath taking.  I find myself just so lost in the beauty that I can NOT stop running.  My PF is back and back with a vengeance yet the pain is pushed aside so I can make it to the next bend to see what I can find there.  My husband and I steal away in the early morning leaving our sleeping babies to the ears of Grandmama and Papa.  We sneak out together and we run together.  It is my all time favorite date, vacation running.

It's funny, now when I plan a vacation I automatically go to where would I run while I am there?  And the White Mountains of NH, is a FANTASTIC place to run around.  You can choose, hilly trails, back roads, center of old quaint towns.  I never get tired of running the beauty of the mountains.  It's been the perfect little vacation for our family and for ME.  I am still injured and probably will be for awhile but I got some of the best runs in this week.  Not my fastest, no PR for time or distance but some sole discovery and connecting happened dinfintely!  


Friday, June 21, 2013

The "F" word

Nope not the actual F word, but a word much, much worse in my opinion. F.A.T. Fat.  The day that my precious little perfect, squirt of a daughter looked at me and said "Mom, look at this.  Look at my belly it is so fat." Is the day that I got down on my knees and asked God to guide me, to help me to choose my words carefully and to raise a little girl that did not fall prey to societies way of thinking.

I have been there done that.  I grew up thinking I was fat.  Hated my body for it.  Was mean to my body because of it.  To this day, even though I am at my smallest weight EVER.  The driver's license weight I lied about at 16 is now still a lie but because I am smaller than that. My clothes, literally, fall off me yet the fat girl still lives in my head.  And she still likes to yell mean things to me.  She likes to veil my eyes so I still see the fat me in the mirror. She likes to make me think I can wear a two piece then at the last second make me so self conscious I choose to change back into clothes and not swim in public.  These thoughts, these self loathing thoughts are probably the one thing, the most important thing I can think of right now, of mine that I do NOT want my daughter or son for that matter, inheriting from me.  Sure, they can inherit my spontaneous, quirky, adventure seeking tendencies. Or how about my terrible toes, crooked teeth, forgetfulness, procrastination, or the use of the real F word when the time is just right.  But I will do EVERYTHING in my power that the self loathing is not there.

This doesn't mean that I am perfect, FAR from that! It doesn't mean that I wont have days where I slip up and use the F word.  But in my house my husband and I have made a pact.  A pact that will foster healthy self confident building behavior and not unhealthy habits.  We don't use the word fat when describing ourselves, out loud EVER! When we run, work out, stretch, do yoga, hike, bike whatever physical activity we are choosing it is because we are getting healthy and strong.  It is NOT to lose weight and to look good in a bathing suit.  We choose veggies and fruits because they give us the most energy for being able to do the things we want to do. I work REALLY REALLY EXTREMELY hard at this.  Because in the beginning that was why I started working out, but I am slowly really slooooowwwwwly starting to change my opinion of myself, I am trying to change it to the opinion that I want my children to have of themselves.  After all, you should become what you want them to become.  After reading this ARTICLE  that my sister-in-law sent me, this society changing thought process seems even more important.  She sent me the article because she thought of me and how hard I work making sure that my daughter doesn't think this way.

You see my daughter looks forward to Tuesday nights.  It's running group night.  We head out and then come back and add in abs and arms or whatever strikes our fancy.  My daughter LOVES running group night.  She anxiously waits by the door for us to come back and we find her showered in jammies and ready for bed and eager to jump in and exercise with us.  It's a treat, she is with the big girls and we are bonding over shaky muscles and sweat dripping.  But when girls get together we are even more mean to ourselves.  We like to talk about every little thing we don't like about our body.  As I looked up one night in the midst of such a conversation I saw my little girl sitting there ears wide listening and mimicking it all.  I felt sick.  During our next run I spoke with everyone and asked us to all be more careful, more mindful, more loving to ourselves.  And I vowed right then and there to start with me.  I sat down and wrote a letter to myself, to my body and I am getting a bit better at squishing those fat girl thoughts :0)

Dear Body,
For the most part of my 30 years, I have hated you.  At certain points in my life I have loathed you more than others.  I always remember wanting to change you.  To make you shorter, to make you skinnier, to make you curly haired and tan.  I loathed you from the shape of your feet and the size of them all the way to the plain Jane straight as a pin thin hair on the top of your head.  At times I didn't feed you and I hid you.  And then I started to feed you but only the most poisonous of foods.  I forced food into you until you grew and exploded and then I loathed you even more.  I changed your hair color, only wore flats, spent time in tanning beds and on crash diets. 

Then when you refused to work properly and give me what I wanted most in the world I wanted a whole new body, one that wasn't fat and broken and mousy looking.  I raged wore with you on the inside everyday while I held a smile to your face for the world to see.  Then, then just when I thought you were the most useless piece of crap a miracle happened.  You grew my baby girl.  You grew the most precious thing in the world for me two times now.  And while you are yet still broken and #3 hasn't happened yet.  I began to see your purpose.  I began to see that those toes that I hate looked so darn cute on a baby, the weight you were holding on too began to fall off and you were accomplishing all these things that I never thought you would be able to do, your hair is still plain and mousy but now the little girl you made likes to watch you curl it or brush it and it just makes your face smile so bright. 

Dear body I have put you through so much yet you still seem to surprise me with a love and loyalty that I do not deserve to have.  You have withstood the test of time.  You have entered a new decade with me, smaller than you have ever been and healthy as ever.  You can run, jump, squat, plank, lunge, climb and just be.  After all of these years I now have the confidence to wear you proudly.  Rock on body, rock on.  You may not be what I always wanted but you have been what I have always needed.  I am sorry it took me 30 years to realize this.  From here on out you and I are going to be just fine, if only you can give me curly locks....KIDDING!

Friday, June 14, 2013

My Running Story....

Running: (adjective) galloping, racing, moving, or passing rapidly. Or, if you had asked me a a few years ago, running: (adjective) hell, torture, or dying a slow death.

Running and I were never friends. I wanted to be friends with running, I used to dream of being friends with running. As I quickly acquired my college weight and the scales tipped at over 230 pounds, I was desperately trying to get running to like me. I would try and I would FAIL. I would make D be my coach. He could go out and run 7 miles without blinking, (he once even ran 12 miles with a buddy carrying an 100 pound “log” for no other reason than he could) and I thought he could show me how it was done. I thought he could introduce me to running and show her how awesome I was. Nope, still running did not want to hang with me. I would call her up and start running but then quit, telling myself all sorts of good reasons as to why running and I should not be friends.

Once in 2003, I think it was 03, I ran a 5k. The whole thing without stopping and vowed I would keep contact with running so we could start to like each other. Well I never called her again. Then again, in May of 2008, I decided to do another 5k. This one I did a run/walk combo, then used the preggo excuse to not do it again.

After giving birth and dropping my pregnancy weight and then an extra 20 pounds I decided to give running a call to see if she would be my friend again. I started out small, really small. I ran/walked a 5k in Oct 2009 and did it again in May 2010. In August 2010 I started running with a couple of really cool moms. We would run late at night, in the dark, in the humidity. We started out running not far and then walking, then running again and then walking.

We set a goal of running an Oct 5k, we RAN THE WHOLE THING! We even came in under what we thought we would. We loved it so much we decided a Nov 5k needed to be added. We ran that in even less time!!!

You see, I was sticking with this thing called running, not so much because I was better at it than I was in the past, not because it was easier, or the weight was flying off.  I stuck with it because I was running away from something.  INFERTILITY.  It is a big, nasty word and a heart wrenching and emotionally crushing journey.  The reason Running and I were so close now was because it was my escape.  

We started trying for baby #2 in January of 2010.  And month after month of negative pregnancy tests REALLY had me going in a bad place.  Infertility round two was even worse than the 18 months the first time took. I thought once you got pregnant the second time would be easy. Nope. It wasn't it was worse. The depression set in and the weight started to add back on. Tuesday nights in August of 2010, after 8 months of trying and failing, were my therapy sessions. I could deal with the failure of trying to conceive if I could just run from it all. Run from the doctor appointments, the shots, the multiple negative pregnancy tests. In March of 2011 I decided that I needed a goal other than getting pregnant to focus on and I did something completely unlike me.  I signed up for a local road race series. Run 6 races (4 5ks and 2 10ks) and earn a free runners jacket. I also signed up for a few randoms so that I would have at least 10 races on my calendar for the year.  

April 23rd was my first race. But on April 15th after 14 months of the hellish nightmare called TTC, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive!!!! I had paid for all of these races so I talked to the doctors got the ok to run and didn't look back. I ran all season. My last race of the series I was 34 weeks pregnant and I crossed that line running. I had run 12 races while growing my son. I also fell in love with running.

On Jan 2, 2012 just 13 days postpartum I started running again. This time with a half goal in my sites. I ran that half plus a bunch of other races last year. But it wasn't until a cold, snowy night in January of 2013 that I actually started calling myself a runner. I went out late at night without needing too. No training needed to be done, I had already worked out that day and it was snowing, snowing hard. But I went out. As the snow pelted my face and my feet fought through the unplowed sidewalks I felt a peace and a sense of pure happiness. I loved being out there. I had done it. I had gotten running to like me and I was and AM a runner. Now, because of running I am 103 pounds lighter, and started a running club that meets on Tuesday nights!  And the best thing of all is that through running I met a hero and she is ME.  I now believe in myself and am more willing to step up to the unknown and get ‘er done!