Category Archives: strong

A Letter To Myself

Dear me,

You are a wonderful person and you are stronger than you know. You take care of those you love and you do the best that you can in everything you do.

So then, why do you doubt yourself? Why do you feel like you can always do more or do better? Why do you feel so fragile? You cannot let fear and your insecurities get the best of you. You must not focus on the negatives, but rather direct that energy to all the positives in your life. Letting the negatives get the best of you only sends your fragile state of mind reeling. 

You know how good you feel when you do something for yourself, when you put yourself first. You seem to fall into the trap of not taking care of yourself when you are stressed out. There will always be something stressful going on, you have to decide how best to manage that stress and not let it get the best of you.

Yesterday, you made the decision to go for a walk and that walk turned into running. You ran when you felt like it and walked when you needed to. After not running for far too many weeks, you did pretty good despite the heat. You should not be so hard on yourself and just enjoy the moment.

Do you remember how you felt when you ran your first half-marathon? You felt like you could do anything – and you can. You have the ability to accomplish anything you set your mind to. It’s the reason you signed up for another half-marathon, to feel that enormous sense of accomplishment in completing something you never thought you would do.

If you are not happy about how you feel or how you look, YOU are the only one who can do something about it, YOU are the only one who can make the right choices and change. You’ve done it before, you can do it again.

Life is too short to be stressed out about things. You cannot control everything and there is no sense in worrying about the things that you know are out of your control. Focus on YOURSELF and the rest will fall into place.

Love,

Yourself

Sunday in the kitchen ~ Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday. This morning started with a delicious breakfast at Paradise Restaurant in Safety Harbor with hubby and I, my mom, hubby’s mom, my brother, SIL, and niece, and my sister. It was a very nice morning.

My family! My sister, Mommy, me and hubby, niece, sister-in-law, and brother.

Hubby, hubby’s mom, and me!

Me and my most adorable niece.

Yesterday, I submitted a new blog post to The Indie Chicks about my mom, just in time for Mother’s Day. I hope you’ll pop on over and read it. It was very special for me to write and share with everyone. My mom is the strongest woman I know and I look up to her in so many ways.  http://theindiechicks.com/the-strength-of-my-mom/

Today, I’d like to share a recipe I actually made for dinner last night. It is a favorite of mine, super easy to make, and makes great leftovers. You can really add just about anything you want to this dish, there are so many ways to do it. Here is my version:

Brown Rice with Beef and Tomatoes  (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 bag Steamfresh Brown Rice
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 White onion, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (garlic and onion)
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

Sautee onions in olive oil and add ground beef, cook till browned and drain. Heat up can of tomatoes while brown rice is cooking in microwave. Put rice in casserole dish and add butter, ground beef and onions, and tomatoes (minus the juice). Stir and serve! This makes 2 servings. Perfect to make when you are short on time.

Enjoy!! If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear what other ingredients you add.

Have a great Sunday!

Race recap ~ Gasparilla Distance Classic 5+3K

For the second time, I was outside on a Sunday morning, in crazy wind waiting for a race to start. This might be how my luck is…

Yesterday, I ran the Gasparilla Distance Classic 5+3K along Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa. This is my first time to take part in this event and I will absolutely do it again next year. This route is so pretty, a gorgeous water view on one side and beautiful homes on the other side. I met up with my good friend Terrie and we waited *patiently* in the wind for it to be time to line up at the start line.

This was an out-and-back course, 4.97 miles that started right at 9:00am. Despite the wind, it wasn’t really cold. Nothing at all like the weather at the Rock ‘n’ Rock 1/2 Marathon last month.

I started running very soon after starting. In my mind, I wanted to beat my time of 1:04 that I did last weekend when I ran the same distance around the park to see how I did. I ran more than I walked in this one. The first half, the wind was at our backs. When we turned around, it was right in our faces. I kept pushing along.

I had my Garmin on, of course, but it was a little off from my chip time. When I hit the 5K mark, I knew I was doing well as I was right around 37 minutes, which would be my fastest time yet. I wasn’t sure how off my Garmin was as I was running, but when I neared the finish line, I knew I was going to be EXTREMELY close to the 1 hour mark. Fortunately I had signed up to get a text alert on my time and I knew very quickly after crossing the finish line that my time was 1:00:16. My first thought was “16 SECONDS?!?!” Oh what I would give to have been 17 seconds faster and had my time right under 1 hour. But all in all, I am VERY happy with how I did, how much I ran, and how great I felt. I definitely push myself more in an event than when I am just running around the park. I think I psych myself out, thinking I can’t do as much as I can.

I waited for Terrie at the finish line and we were both pleased with how we did. It’s a great feeling to finish an event and celebrate with a good friend. So far this year, we’ve done 3 events together!

Here are a few pictures from the day!

Early morning and ready to go!

My running must-haves!

Back side of the start line.

 

Official chip time

Finished!

Super cool medal.

I don’t care.

I always worry about how I look in my clothes. I like to be invisible, I don’t like to draw attention to myself. So as I was running this morning, I was thinking about how when I run, I don’t care what I look like.

I don’t run fast, I don’t run pretty. I wear what is comfortable, not worrying about the size of my butt, or how big my arms look, or how my tummy would be so much nicer if it were flatter. None of that matters when I put on my Nike running pants which are very fitted. Or my dri-fit running shirt which is also fitted. I pull my mess of hair back in a make-shift ponytail and out the door I go.

My mind is not consumed with thoughts of what I look like as I run down the sidewalk to the park entrance. Or how silly I must look when I am on a walk break, pumping my arms like there is no tomorrow. I’m not worried about how sweaty I am.

I don’t care.

What I do think about is how I am taking that time for myself and how every mile I run is good for me and will go along way to making me feel better in my clothes when I’m not running. I care about the journey that I am on. I don’t care what people think when I am huffing and puffing along or when I get caught up in the moment and I’m singing along with whatever fabulous song is playing on my iPhone. I don’t wonder what people think when I get caught up in the moment and end up crying from the stress relief or me just being the emotional mess that I am sometimes. I am too busy feeling empowered.

I don’t care what people think. All that matters is what I think and I know I am out there giving it my all. And that is all that matters.

 

The truth.

 

 

My first half-marathon!

Today was a very a special day. I will remember it for a very long time. Back on December 29, 2011, I registered for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in St. Petersburg. I was determined to do it. I walked and ran in preparation. I expected to walk most of it and run what I could.

This past week was full of anticipation. It was all I could think about. After I picked up my bib, shirt, and swag bag on Friday – I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer. This was the weekend I would finally become a half-marathoner. All day yesterday, I wanted the day to pass quickly so I could go to sleep and wake up this morning. Like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting oh-so impatiently for Christmas Day.

The alarm went off at 4am this morning and I was ready to go. I showered, dressed, ate a good breakfast, got my stuff together, and we were out the door at 5:20am to beat the traffic to Tropicana Field in St. Pete. The only thing I was worried about was the weather. IT. WAS. FREEZING. With the wind chill it felt like it was in the 30’s and it was windy. I was shivering all the way to my bones. I started out in 2 shirts, a jacket, and gloves.

Finally it was time. The first corral started at 7:30. I was in Corral 12 based on what I thought my finishing time would be. We had to finish in 4 hours and I projected 3:25. We started at 7:46:23 am. Within the first mile, I could not contain myself and I started running. I ran off an on through the whole race. I wasn’t running to beat others or to finish by a certain time. I was just running because I could and because I was on an adrenaline high. This was the farthest mileage I’d ever put in where I was running a good portion of it. I’m not a fast runner, but I run.

Hubby received texts on his phone as I crossed certain points: 5k, 10k, 10 mile, and finish. I saw him three times during my run – right at the start,  the 5k mark, and at the finish line. He took some great photos for me.

There were bands and music throughout and lots of wonderful people cheering us on, handing out water and Gatorade. It all kept me going.

By the 5k mark, I was ready to take my jacket off, as I had finally warmed up. The gloves would stay on the rest of the way.

At about the halfway point, I realized that I was really going to do this. I was going to finish this and finish it good. For me. It was very emotional experience. I cried many times during for many reasons…. This was a HUGE thing for me, it was HARD, and I was so proud of myself for taking it on, and riding out the determination of doing it as the weeks passed leading up to it. I didn’t let my insecurities get in the way or focus on all the what-ifs, and my downfalls. I cried from the sheer beauty of the route, especially as we ran along the water. I cried because I knew there would be so many people who would be proud of me for accomplishing this. And I cried because I wished more than anything Daddy was here to hear all about it, to tell me how proud he was of me.

When I hit the 10-mile mark, it felt SO close. Never had 3.11 miles felt so far or so close all at once. When the route was closest to the finish line and I could here the music and people cheering, it made me want to push myself farther and harder. When I rounded the last corner in mile 12 and saw the 13 mile mark and the finish line just past that, I was in tears again. I was so close to finishing, so close to completing this goal I had set for myself.

I saw hubby just before the finish line and that made me cry more. He was there for me as he always is. He supports me and I love him dearly for it.

Crossing over the finish line was a blur. My official finish time was 3:11:33, coming in 6503 out of 7006. I was handed a medal, given a blanket, a bottle of water, and a banana. My picture was taken with my medal on. It was then that I realized I had not stopped my watch. I texted hubby to tell him I was waiting in the family area and waited. When I finally saw him, I was so excited. And then, I saw my mom and Jenna! What a surprise that was. I had just texted my mom to tell her I had finished. I had no clue they were there, even though I found out afterwards that they were standing right by hubby at the finish line. Me and my tunnel vision…

Again I was crying, overwhelmed at finishing, seeing hubby, and seeing my mom and Jenna. they had balloons, and were so proud of me. It was a moment I will not forget.

The day could not have gone more perfect. I started the race with my good friend Terrie, knowing that she was doing it in honor of two very special people as part of Team In Training. I ended the race, feeling extremely proud and strong and loved. And I was so excited to hug Terrie and enjoy the moment with her, knowing we both finished. We did it.

The afternoon was topped off perfectly with a great lunch, with Nick and Autumn joining us. I am exhausted and sore beyond belief, but it is still a wonderful thing. And tomorrow, the 13.1 decal will go on my car. Finally.

Terrie and I in the freezing cold this morning. Brrrr!

Starting line!

At the 5K mark.

A beautiful day for a half-marathon.

What a view!

Approaching the finish line - determined!

So excited to see everyone!

Love!!

Feeling very accomplished! Terrie and I did it!!

A well-deserved beer at the end!

Bee an inspiration!

One of the blogs I follow is Bee Fit, written by an amazing gal named Colleen. She started her weight loss journey at 272 pounds and joined WW on Feb. 24, 2010 weighing 252.6 pounds. This past June, she made her goal at WW, losing 102 pounds. Her weight loss is AMAZING and her progress photos really show the hard work she has done to get to this point.

But what I love most about her story is her determination. When she reached her 220’s, she started jogging. She ran her first 5k in September 2010. Since then she has completed several half marathons and many more 5ks. This is incredible to me. You read so many stories of people who say “when I reach my goal and lose all the weight, I’m going to run a half marathon”. Not Colleen. She didn’t wait. And I love that. And she’s not stopping anytime soon. She just completed another half marathon over the weekend and is training for her first full marathon in November.

The reason I’m telling you about Colleen today, besides the fact that you should all go visit her blog and read for yourself how incredible she is, is to tell you that she inspired me to do something. I read today’s blog post while I was eating my lunch. It was about the half marathon she completed this weekend AND set a new personal record for herself. Pretty amazing, huh?

A couple hours later, I read it again. I kept thinking about how incredible I feel to go out and walk 3, 4, 5, even 10 or 11 miles. And then I wondered how incredible she must feel about herself with all she has accomplished. To run a 5k would be a huge thing for me. To run a half marathon? Well, that almost seems out of reach for me but it is something I would love to do and it’s a dream I have.

So I was driving home from work, trying to beat the rain clouds so I could get to the park and log my 3.11 miles for the day. On a normal day, I will alternate walking and running – mostly walking with probably a third of it running throughout. A little bit here, a little bit there. I tend to run more near the end as I am trying to make the most of my time, always trying to beat my best time.

Today I decided I was going to run 1 mile – all at once. Colleen’s ability to go out and run a half marathon and train for a full marathon inspired me to run the first mile, just to see if I could do it. And I did. It took me 12:02. Not a fast mile by any stretch, but one that was comfortable for me. I DID IT. It felt great and kept me going for the rest of my walk, during which I did more running. As always, I am thankful for my strong legs that allow me to run and push myself.

Another exciting tidbit to mention… I have a new personal best for my 5k – 40:48, beating my previous best by 17 seconds. I am SO competitive with myself.

Now, I know I can run a mile. I’ll work on that for a bit and then I’ll try 2 miles. And one day you’ll read about me running a 5K. Maybe I’ll inspire others the way Colleen has inspired me.

Don’t forget to check out Colleen’s blog Bee Fit . You WILL be inspired.

Saturday = Walking

Another Saturday, more miles chalked up. I am so happy to support my SIL Jenna in her training for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day For The Cure Walk. This morning we walked 11 miles and it was great as usual. Great scenery, great conversation, support, and girl time. Our tootsies were SORE when we were done. Me with my ever present pain in my heel (yes I know I should have it checked, ugh) and poor Jenna with a couple blisters. Hopefully she gets those blisters out of the way now before the 3 Day walk in October.

It is SO very empowering to do these training walks. Not only I am out there in support of Jenna, but it is great for me and trying to reach my weight loss goals. It’s a win-win situation. Next Saturday… 12 miles!

Great group!! (I need a pink shirt!)

Strong and determined!!

Feeling very accomplished!

Enjoying the ice cold towels – they felt heavenly after walking in the heat.

com·pet·i·tive

com·pet·i·tive
–adjective
Having a strong desire to compete or to succeed 
This morning’s walk/run was my best to date. My 3 best times so far are:
41:04
43:34
43:35
Last weekend I shaved 1 second off when I finished in 43:34. 1 SECOND.
This morning when I hit the start on my nifty Nike+ app on my phone, I decided I was going to beat that 43:34 by more than 1 second. And I did, by 2 min. 30 sec. to be exact.
I start out walking and I have certain landmarks at the park where I will run – between signs, etc…. It’s a great way to alternate walking and running with an end in site. A lot of times, I’ll push my running a little farther – not to this tree, how about the next one. It’s always fun to challenge myself.
I am not a fast runner. And it’s certainly not pretty when I run. I am the person who looks like I’m going to keel over – heaving breathing, shoulders hunched, and a bright red face. But you know what? I’m doing it. I will never be that person who runs so gracefully it looks like they are taking a leisurely stroll. My pace will get better and over time I’ll be able to run farther than I do now, but it will never be pretty.
I am VERY competitive with myself. When I beat my previous time by 1 second, my first thought was I can do much better than that next time. I ran more than normal and when I did run, I tried to run a little faster. And it made a difference. My legs feel great and they feel strong and I am super proud of myself.
My next goal? To get under the 40 min. mark. That is just a matter of time. Because I am crazy competitive with myself, moreso than anyone else.
I took this picture at the park this morning – isn’t it beautiful??

Eagle Lake Park

I *heart* walking!

I went for my first long walk in 2 weeks. Being sick and just plain old life got in the way. It took me days to get over being sick and then some to really feel like myself again so I did nto walk until Wednesday. That was on the treadmill because even then I dreaded being out in the heat and humidity of the afternoon. Yesterday morning we took the dogs to the park for a walk. That was nice but my walks with them are much slower (since they have to stop and smell everything…). So this morning after we ran a few errands, I decided it was my time to get back out there and do what I do best – and what I so enjoy.

I love to walk. I am thankful for my strong legs to get me where I need to go and to allow me to walk farther ad faster as I need to. I walked a pretty good pace, 15:24 which means I finished 3.11 miles in 48:01. Not my fastest to date but still very good.

I love the feel of the sunshine on my shoulders. I think the sun is a drug, the more I get it, the more I want it.

I sweat my ass off today. There is nothing pretty about walking in the heat of summer in Florida and when I’m done, I am a disgusting mess. But man it feels good. And it makes me want to walk more. It’s funny how the more I walk, the more I want to walk. But when I miss a day or two, it can be harder to get back to it.

I am hopeful to get a walk in tomorrow morning.

An ah-ha moment!

I have been waiting for a moment such as this and it happened earlier today, making me smile in the midst of my crazy day. So much so that I am taking time out of the craziness to actually share it with everyone who is interested. Ready? Here goes….

My waist feels smaller and my shorts are too big on me.

I know what the scale says, that I’ve lost 10.8 lbs. (as of last week’s weigh-in). But I had not yet had such a big ah-ha moment where I FELT like I was down 10.8 lbs. – until today. (I did comment to hubby last week that I felt like my hips were slimming down some, but it was not such a huge moment as this one).

It drives my hubby insane when I talk about losing weight. He, of course, thinks I’m perfect and that I don’t need to lose weight. He loves me the way that I am. And Lord knows I love him a bazillion times over for that. (I would like to add here that even though he thinks I don’t need to lose weight, he is very supportive of me being on WW and is proud of me when I have a good week and helps me get through the bad weigh-ins). But, back to my thought, I’m not doing this for him. I’m doing it for ME. I am the one stuck with this body and it is up to me to make the most of it. The joy of being able to wear the clothes that are currently too small for me in my closet will bring me immense happiness and will remind me that once again, I was able to take charge and feel better about how I look and feel. I will never be skinny, it’s not in my genes to be skinny. I will always have curves and muscles, but I want to not stress over what I’m wearing for fear of it looking funny and not feeling comfortable in my skin. I want to be healthy. Bottom line.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s weigh-in update… I really feel like it could go either way. After having a 2 lb. loss two weeks in a row, I feel like it’s more likely to have a gain. I did splurge on a couple meals this week (including Cold Stone!!) but I also walked ALOT and I’ve been keeping up with my 64 oz. of water a day. It’s hard to not always focus on what the scale says, sometimes it’s how our clothes fit. So, we shall see… Either way, I am ecstatic about my ah-ha moment.