Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Run and Be Happy"

Since I started running a few years ago I've accrued several medals. Okay yes, most of them are participation medals, but still. And I've never had a designated area just for my medals. Some were hanging alongside my jewelry, some from my car's rear view mirror, and many in my office.

The other day I found a picture on Pinterest of the letters "R U N N I N G." Each letter had hooks in order to hang race medals. Cool! (Click here to see that one!) So that was my inspiration. I wanted to use the letters "R U N" for mine (because 3 letters versus 7 letters sounded like less work!) and use bigger letters. So I went to my local craft store... and they didn't have any wooden letters thick enough for the job. So I improvised and used a decorative block of wood. Then I thought, "Why not go ahead and put on quote on there?" So I did.

I painted it gray, added some brown around the edges, sanded it to made it look more rustic, used a Cricket to cut out the letters, added some rolled paper flowers, a few sparkly gems, some hooks, and voila! My very own designated place JUST for MY medals! 

The only thing left to do is round up the rest of my medals! 

Happy Running!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Another Half

Wellllllll... I completed my second half marathon! It was miserable! I thought I was going to die! Let's do it again!

A couple weeks ago, I completed the OKC Memorial half. I started training a few months before and had been doing really well. I gotten up to running 7-8 miles comfortably, so I figured I wouldn't have any problems. Then life happened (and I got lazy, too) and my training became pretty much nonexistent. I was still going to the gym doing crossfit maybe 3 times a week, but that obviously wasn't adequate half marathon training.

Three. That's how many times I ran during the month before the half, totaling a whopping  14.26 miles. Yikes! So the whole week before the Big Day, I knew I was doomed. But I figured Hey, if I can do a 6 hour, 15 mile Spartan Race, surely I can go out and do a 13.1, even if I have to walk some (uh maybe most) of it.

I drove up by myself on Saturday evening and stayed with one of the fitness coaches from my gym who was also running the half. Seriously I don't know what I would do if I didn't have people all around me always stepping up to take care of me! We woke up early Sunday morning, got ready, and went to the race. Then it started raining, and then there was some lightening, and then they made the announcement that they were going to delay the start time for 30 minutes. Everyone (thousands and thousands of us) piled into nearby parking garages so we wouldn't get rained on. We sat on the dirty concrete floor, and then the start was delayed again. And again. And again. I was beginning to hope (oops, I mean worry) that they were going to just cancel it. After two hours of weather delays, though, we finally got started! Granted I was still in the parking garage when the actual horn sounded, but I wasn't exactly "racing" anyway.

I got to the start line maybe 15 minutes later and started out with a slower-than-grandma-who-just-had-her-hip-replaced pace. Because of the rain, and the rising temperature, it was HUMID. I was literally drenched in my own sweat by mile 4. And all the people around me, oh my word! Thousands and thousands of runners, weaving in and out, elbow to elbow, tripping, jumping, sprinting, walking... it was insane and wonderful! I've never experienced anything quite like it.

Around mile 6 I knew I was in trouble. My legs were already so tired. My ankles and hips were getting stiff and painful.  I decided I would walk when I reached mile 7, but somehow I missed that mile marker and ended up getting to mile 8. That's when my run/walk combo began. Run a mile, walk a half, run a mile, walk a quarter... oh my hips were DYING. I ran the last two miles (although I'm not sure you could call it running...) and finished with a time of 2:45:39, about 30 minutes slower than my first half! But considering I wasn't exactly prepared... I am pretty proud of myself.

However, this I vow to myself: I will NEVER EVER EVER run a race without training for it EVER again. EVER. While I did survive, and I was able to run about 11 miles of it without passing out... I paid for it BIG TIME for an entire week. My right hip needed replacing, I'm sure of it. HA! And my ankles felt like there were grapefruits stuck inside them, dying to explode. And then there's my shoulder. It just seems so WRONG that running hurts all over! The night after the race, when I finally laid down in bed, I couldn't fall asleep because of the throbbing in my shoulder, of all things!

The best part about my day was probably after it was all over. LOL I went to IHOP by myself afterwards and drank coffee and ate pancakes. Then I had to drive two hours to meet my parents in order to pick up my son. We met at a convenient store and I told my dad I really really wanted a Mt. Dew and a peanut rounder. Mmmmmmmm... so he went in and came out with a paper bag that I assumed contained my goodies. After we said our goodbyes and they drove off, I opened the bag. My dad does NOT disappoint. Inside was a LITER of Mt. Dew and TWO peanut rounders. You better believe I drank the entire bottle and ate both those little suckers.

Nearly three weeks later, I feel pretty much normal again... just in time for the Super Spartan which is in TWO DAYS. What can I say? I just really like torturing myself.

Friday, March 7, 2014

March Goals

February goals went GREAT. I am so proud of myself! Here's my goal tracker sheet all filled out:

No Soda: 19 days
No cereal: 22 days
Take vitamin: 24 days
8 glasses water: 16 days
Run or workout: 22 days (and some days I did both!)

As for no soda... I can't believe I really went 19 of 28 days without it. And the days I did drink soda I usually didn't drink much. So even though I wasn't perfect on that one, I still consider it an improvement!

The no cereal bit was pretty easy because I would find other not-so-healthy bedtime snacks to replace it with. Oops. Ice cream, peanut-butter crackers, chocolate... yeah, I think those things aren't any better than sugary cereal! Now I know that it wasn't cereal I was addicted to, it was eating any kind of junk food right before bed. 

Taking my vitamin everyday was easy, and I don't think I really need to write that one down anymore. Does that mean it's now a habit!? Why yes, yes it is. 

The hardest thing to do, which was surprising, was drink 8 glasses of water each day. Why is drinking water so hard?! I can literally go all day on one glass of water. The days I actually completed that goal required me having to force myself to do it. I'd look at the clock and say, "Ugh, I should have already had 4 glasses by now," and then I'd down as much as I could. Some days I would try and drink one glass every two hours and that wasn't any easier. I guess after a lifetime of drinking Dr Pepper... this water business is just going to take time!

And then there's the running/working out. That one was way too easy! I realized that it was way harder to take days off than anything. Imagine ME waking up at 5 AM everyday ready to go throw some heavy stuff around. So. Much. FUN. Let's face it, I'm an addict! 

Now it's time to reveal my March goals. They are:

No soda.
No snacking after 8 PM (ahhh I already regret this decision lol)
8 glasses water daily
Run 4 days per week
Crossfit 4 days per week

Okay... I'm not going to lie: these weren't the original goals I came up with. Originally one of my goals was to cut out all sweets like cake, cookies, ice-cream, candy, you get the idea. Then on day 5 I realized that, for me, it was unattainable. I mean I can't even conquer the "no soda" yet... so I decided to remove that one and just do no snacks after 8 instead. 

What's funny is that I was talking about my monthly goals with my 8 year old (before I'd changed them). She offered me some of her chocolate bar and I said, "No sweetie I can't have that, I made a goal this month not to eat that kind of stuff." She gave me such a grown-up "yeah right" look and said, "No sweets? Hmmm, I bet that's not going very well, is it." It wasn't even a question. She knew. LOL I died laughing and said, "No.. it isn't going well at all." She was right... I hadn't been able to go a single day yet without eating some sort of candy. And that's when I decided to put that one off for another month... 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I know what you're thinking: everyone who does crossfit feels the need to TALK ABOUT CROSSFIT. Well, I can't lie, it's pretty true. But it's also true of people who run, workout, do yoga, or go on some kind of fad diet like Herbalife or Body by Vi. People like to talk about stuff they like. I also talk about my kids a lot :) They're kind of awesome and I kind of love them a bunch.

So anyway, where was I? Oh right... I started crossfit the first full week of February at CrossFit Ada, which means I've been doing it now for a little over 4 weeks. When our gym first became affiliated with it, I'll be honest, my initial thought was, "Great, now we're going to be overrun by those crazy people who think they're better than everyone." Before that point, I'd honestly imagined crossfit to just be a fancy term for people who "cross-train" and didn't think the movements or the workouts would be all that different from what I'd already been doing for the past 7 months. I mean come on, is it really all that hard?

My first day, I attended the early class and was the only girl there. Now if you know anything about me, you know I'm stupid competitive. I get it from my mom and her side of the family (my sisters can back me up on this, right Tonya!?). You should see us all play volleyball at a family reunion. I  know nothing about volleyball, but when it comes time for a family reunion, all of us act like we've been playing for years and will fight and argue like volleyball is our life. We end the day sun burnt, mad at each other, sand stuck in embarrassing crevices, and ready to do it all over again next year. We don't mean to be that way, it's in our blood to compete.

So the first day of crossfit, being the only girl there, the Tomlinson side of my brain kicked in and I made it a goal to keep up with the men. I put on my big girl panties and acted like I was really as strong as a 6ft, 200lb man. We did box jumps, hang cleans, some kind of weird walking push ups, and rope climbs. The push ups nearly did me in. I didn't modify, I didn't act like I was dying, but deep down all I could think was, "WHY AM I PUTTING MYSELF THROUGH THIS?!?" But I did it, and while I did not finish ahead of all the guys, I did finish right with the very last of them. Sure, he was about 30 years older than me, but whatever. I can't remember how many full rounds I did, or even how long the workout lasted, but I remember coming to 2 conclusions. 1) I wasn't dead. 2) CrossFit was out of my league.

After the first week, I really wanted to quit and just go back to what I'd been doing before. I didn't like the workouts--they were too hard and I sucked at every movement we did. I didn't understand any of the lingo "What the heck is AMRAP?" and "Why does everyone keep saying 'prescription' like it's suppose to mean something?" The first time I did "toes to bar" I felt like giving up, especially in the last round when the callouses on my hands split wide open. I barely got through each workout, and there were very few things we did that I didn't have to modify. Pull-ups: use a band. Push-ups: on my knees. Hang cleans: no weight on the bar. Squats: pathetic. OH squats: impossible.

But then, after the first week, something magical happened: I started to get better. Who would've thought all that hard work would pay off!? So then of course I started to actually look forward to going. Instead of the big fat green band on pullups, I started using the not-quite-as-fat purple band. Instead of doing push-ups on my knees, I was able to do TWENTY full push-ups on my toes before going back to my knees! If you've ever done anything in your life and gotten better at it, then you understand the feeling I had. Okay, I was still terrible at toes-to-bar (and honestly still am and hate them more than anything in this world), but I will tolerate them if I have to. And rest assured: I still run, too. My love for running will never go away! In fact I signed up for another half marathon which I am totally unprepared for, but I'll live. :)

This past week the CrossFit Games released the first "Open Workout" 14.1. No way on earth would I actually register for the games, but it was still fun to do the workout and compare myself to hundreds of thousands of other crossfitters. The workout:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 double-unders
55-lb. power snatches, 15 reps

I'd never done a "double-under" in my life. All it is: jumping rope, but instead of the rope going under once, it it supposed to pass under your feet twice (per single jump). Saturday morning I grabbed a jump rope and gave it a go. I didn't totally suck at it for once. I couldn't get very many in a row, but I could do a couple. So I decided to alternate my jumps: single, double, single, double, etc. This means I ended up doing the Rx of 30 double-unders, but I also had to add 30 singles which takes longer. As for the power snatches, I was originally going to just do the bar (45 lb) but then all my lady friends started adding weight. I'm competitive, remember? So if they do 55, then what choice do I have? So in the end I did the full prescribed workout (and I actually caught on to what that means!). 

I did 3 full rounds, plus 30 double-unders and 11 power snatches. My final rep count was 166 (it was actually 176 but apparently can't add in the heat of the moment, lol, so on the board it says 166. I need to relearn math.) As far as the Cross-Fit games go, 176 is nothing. The lead woman scored 472. And thousands and thousands and thousands of submissions later, you might find 176 somewhere way down on the bottom of the leaderboard. So while yes, I'm very proud of the fact that I could do the workout, I'm nothing special. 

BUT, what is special, is having a group of people that support each other throughout the entire process. I mean, yeah, we're competing with one another, but it definitely isn't the Tomlinson family reunion kind of competition. We encourage one another, cheer, and lift each other up. We high-five and fist-bump. So while I love crossfit, what I love more is the people. Maybe we aren't supposed to get all mushy, but I can't help it. I love my fellow crossfitters. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February Goals

Every month, I try to make some attainable goals (because my gym tells me to! lol). Sometimes I do great, sometimes I forget that I'm supposed to be tracking progress and I go off the deep end. January goals were:

No soda. (like, ever)
Take fish oil (daily)
3 servings dairy (daily)
Run 4 days per week


No soda: This is basically my goal every month, and last month I think I went 20 days without soda. Woohoo! Not perfect, but it was quite an improvement.

Fish oil: I've discovered that, unlike normal people, fish oil breaks my skin out. Isn't that so backwards?? So mid-month I changed that goal to just taking vitamins daily. The only ones I could find in my house (why buy more when you know there are some expired ones somewhere!?) were prenatal vitamins. So I took them, and that goal was definitely the easiest one (and my nails look great!).

3 servings dairy: I don't know why this is so hard for me... but I never get enough dairy. I didn't do so well on this one. My poor bones needs more calcium...

Run 4 days per week: I didn't fit in 4 days of running per week, but I did manage at least 3. Close enough.

I was pretty proud of myself!

So here are my February goals:

1. No soda (sigh...)
2. Take vitamin daily.
3. Drink 8 glasses of water daily (I am guilty of being a water snob and I never drink enough)
4. No cereal (I have a serious "eat-2-heaping-bowls-of-cereal-right-before-bed" problem. Ask my husband, he'll tell ya)
5. Run OR workout 5 days a week.

So far things have gone well! I've had no soda, I've taken my vitamin everyday, I've downed 8 cups of water daily (being mindful of where the bathroom is located at all times), I've stuck to my workouts, and I've had NO cereal. Zilch. Nada. And I have to admit... not eating cereal right before bed is WAY harder than not drinking soda. I'm such an awful night time snacker. It's my weakness.

Not only did I come up with my own goals, but I talked my husband into doing it too! We have our goal tracker sheets right next to our bedroom door, and each night we check off the goals we met for the day. It's fun! Plus I'm really competitive and it gives me a rush to have more things checked off than him. I'm too competitive, seriously.

So what are your goals? Maybe you should think about writing them down and checking them off when you've met one. Start small. List one goal to work towards. Next month, maybe try two. The idea is that after you have consistently met a goal on a daily basis, it becomes a habit. Maybe instead of trying to quit something cold turkey, try cutting back. (ex. drink no more than 12 ounces soda daily, eat out no more than once a week, etc.)

Good luck!