Resolutions: 2016 Recap & 2017

2016 is officially in the books! Are you glad to see the year over? Was it one of the best years for you? Overall the year was pretty good to me. The first half I achieved some great running goals (at this race & this one) while the second half I had to work through an injury, I started juggling more swim coaching hours, trying a new fitness program, and just getting through a day at a time vs feeling like I am enjoying my life. Looking back on the last few months has made me realize what I really want my priorities to be and it is reflected in my 2017 resolutions (see below).

But first I need to finish up with my 2016 resolutions, and even though these are one of the least popular types of posts I write, I couldn’t go through the whole year and not write an update for December. So for those who are interested, here is how 2016 finished up for me.

to train for a marathon– At this point most of you know this didn’t happen in 2016, but it WILL happen in 2017 as I am officially registered for the 2017 Wineglass Marathon.

to find my true purpose in my career- Throughout the year I have alluded to how heavy this resolution actually is. A year ago when I made it I had hoped that through a course I could discover what kind of job was ‘meant for me’ by becoming more aware of my strengths. I have altered what I talked about in this section for the last few months, feeling like this goal would take me longer than a year to figure out. So I talked about how I decided to become an online fitness coach back in September and about a local leadership program I have been participating in.

But I actually have some news to share, an unexpected opportunity was presented to me a few weeks ago and I have accepted a new job(!!), one I hope will challenge me, where I will continue to learn, and potentially make an impact in my community. It was a really tough decision for me, for so many reasons that I could take up a whole blog post about, but I won’t get that detailed! I lost sleep over the decision realizing how much my life would change. I wrote pro/con lists, I had conversations with my closest friends and my parents and what it came down to was an amazing opportunity was being presented to me now. It means I will cut my commute from 50 minutes to 15, I can buy a house and finally feel settled where I live. It’s going to be a big change, and I am nervous because I don’t fully know what to expect, but I am taking a leap. My first day will be Jan 9th, needless to say 2017 has the potential to be a great year for me.

On another note, to continue sharing about my Leadership program. The first session of the month was on Diversity & Human Services- which focuses on educating us about food insecurity and the local food bank. This was a very enlightening day as I have been lucky enough to never experience food insecurity, but there are so many people in my community that are impacted by it. My group was so touched by some first hand stories of how a community center impacted them, how they all support each other to get to the store to shop, that we want our community service project to support the growth of the center.

The second session was on Business & Industry, we toured a local forklift manufacturing company. They produce 90 forklifts a day via assembly lines, lean business practices and it was really interesting to see how it all comes together. During the second half of the day, we had the opportunity to tour a museum of an International corporation that was founded in my area, and heard from current employees about their various jobs. It got a little technical so I found the museum more interesting. This program is more than halfway over now and will end in March. So only a few more months of these updates 😉

A quick update on my online coaching, I am slowly growing it, I am trying to be consistent but I know there are still room for improvement in order for me reach the goals I’d like. I am excited to work with the small group that is taking steps to a healthier new year.

to treat others better and think before I speak– Overall this resolution was challenging because it didn’t follow SMART goal guidelines, but overall I have tried to be better about this, especially holding my tongue, but I feel it’s had more to do with me just getting older and wiser.

to do things outside my comfort zone– see the above on taking a new job! I can’t think of anything else in December that tops that!

Read 25 books in 2016– This did not happen, this goal turns out was a little too ambitious. I only made it to 16, and have made little progress in 2 months in the current book I am reading. This WILL change in 2017.

to reduce clutter in my life– As I mentioned last month overall I feel I have been successful in this goal, but made no specific steps forward in December. With a new job closer to home I hope to ‘catch up’ on ‘clutter projects’ I have let fall into the ‘someday’ category.

to eliminate excuses and procrastination– Over the last week specifically I have tried to be productive in the 10 days I had off from work, I had a list of things I wanted to get done, and when I was feeling overwhelmed that I wouldn’t get it all done, I just took the time to schedule tasks out on the days and I feel good that after this break I balanced being productive with some R&R.

Overall, reading through these resolutions, I realize I actually fall into the category of most people- that I was very successful with my resolutions but I feel I made a good effort. Some were better than others. Some were easier to track than others. This is the first time I have reviewed my resolutions every month, so it’s been a learning experience that has impacted my resolutions for 2017.

So what did I decide? I wrote up a post a few days ago regarding my running resolutions- which are so easy to track, check those out here. I am very excited to pursue those. Besides those, I also WILL (not want, not hope to, WILL)

  1. Write in my journal at least once a week
  2. Attend church 2 or more times a month
  3. Read 18 books throughout the year
  4. Write a blog post at least once a week, I was doing good on this through July of 2016 but started slacking when I got injured with my running.
  5. Don’t over commit myself, and not feel the need to say yes to everything and everyone and leave room for time for myself.

I want to keep my resolution list short so I can be successful. Did you make resolutions for 2017? How will you stay accountable to stick with it longer than 4 weeks?

This post is long enough, if you have read this far, THANK YOU!! I hope you enjoy following my journey of striving for more in life and the opportunity to grow.

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

2016 Racing Reflections & 2017 Goals

It’s that time of year again, a time for reflection and setting new goals. An opportunity to start fresh and make changes.

Within the next few days I will write up my final entry regarding my 2016 resolutions (I have a big announcement to share so stay tuned for that) and share my “life” resolutions for 2017. In the meantime I wanted to write a recap on my 2016 Running Races and share with you my running goals for 2017.

I had hoped 2016 would be the year I became a marathoner, but as many of you know I suffered an injury in August and couldn’t run for 3 weeks, putting that goal on hold. While it would be easy to dwell on the things that didn’t happen or didn’t go right, it’s much more productive to focus on what did go right.

This includes:

1) Completing my 3rd half marathon in a new personal best of 1:55:22. Bettering my previous time from 2 years prior by nearly 2 1/2 minutes. This was my first race of 2016, and I changed my training to be more speed focused than the previous 5 years I have been running. I still ran 3 days of a week, but instead of just ‘getting the miles in’, I spent 1 day completing a tempo or hill run, 1 day completing intervals and 1 day was my long run. The change in pace paid off.

2) Running a sub-25 5K, a 6 year goal. This was an “unofficial time” on a training run about a week after I ran my half marathon. I was feeling good, and decided to see if I could do it. I never thought I would achieve this goal, even changing it to something more realistic. Read more about it here

3) Completing my first 20K. This was a long standing local race that was really cheap to run, so I figured it was a great excuses to have some company on my long run for the week.

4) Finishing my 5th Boilermaker 15K under my goal time of sub-80, 1:19:30. This turned in a very memorable race as I landed in the medical tent post race.I can truly say I gave it my all during this race, Read more here.

5) I Participated in my first Cross Country series and made some new friends along the way. This was a step out of my comfort zone since I haven’t run cross country since I was in middle school. But it helped ensure I ran once a week, and I really looked forward to seeing everyone every week and mixing up my running.

Some these races seem so long ago, especially because I haven’t been running as much as I should and would like. It’s so easy to forget what my body is capable of, but the pictures, my scrapbook and this blog help to remind me I can do hard things. I just have to believe in myself and stick to a schedule.

With that in mind, and after a lot  of thought, I have (mostly) decided on what my  race schedule will be for 2017 (subject to change ;)) along with my overall running goals.

My races will be:

2 15ks: 1 new one in March, the other my usual Boilermaker in July

My 4th Half Marathon on May 7th: Goal is 1:52:30 or better.

My FIRST Marathon (take 2): Wineglass Marathon Oct 1st with the goal of finishing with a smile on my face 🙂 A Sub 4 hour would be nice too!

I also enjoyed the Cross Country Series, so I will most likely participate in that again.

Mileage Goal: 1,000 miles. This seems a little unreachable, especially because 2016 I am finishing up around 475, but considering the last 4 months I have only ran 1-3 times per week, I think this goal will help keep me motivated even when I am not training for a race.

What are your goals for 2017?

“If we write our dreams and goals down, we dramatically increase our odds of realization. If we share them with other they become potent and alive”-Kristen Armstrong

5 years ago… the surgery that changed my life 

Today, November 30th, 2016 marks the 5 year anniversary of a surgery that changed my life.

I have been thinking about how I wanted to share my story for months, and whether I should at all but I was inspired to share due to this podcast.

Not many people outside my family and close friends know this story, but I wanted to share in case it helps one other female.

What lead to my surgery started at the end of August 2011, I woke up one day with so much abdominal pain I almost couldn’t walk. I made it to work just to have my coworkers tell me I looked pale, that I needed to see a dr, etc. but I thought it was just cramps/period pain so I took Midol and the pain became tolerable.

Over the course of the next few days the pain decreased but my grandmother made me promise to go to the Dr, even though my pain had gone away I went so I could say I did. The Dr at the walk-in checked things out but they didn’t think anything was wrong, especially because I wasn’t in pain anymore (it wasn’t appendicitis). They told me if the pain came back they would send me for an ultrasound. But they probably thought I was a hypochondriac going to see them when nothing was wrong.

The next month I didn’t have as much pain so I didn’t think anything of it. In October, after I ran a 5K with my best friend and I had some more pain and after a few questions from her (a now Dr of Physical Therapy) she asked me if the pain was cyclical because she was concerned I might have a cyst. So I went back to the doctor and based on their previous notes they sent me for an ultrasound. What was found from the ultrasound was a 2 1/2 inch “complicated cyst”. I was recommended to go and see an OB/GYN to get more analysis on the results. When I saw the OB/GYN I had another ultrasound done and was told that not only did I have a cyst but I had endometriosis. I had heard of endometriosis from a friend of mine from college who had recently also had a surgery. But other than that I didn’t know what it meant.

For those who aren’t familiar with endometriosis it is a condition which “many women have during their childbearing years. It means that a type of tissue that lines your uterus is also growing outside your uterus. This does not always cause symptoms. And it usually isn’t dangerous. But it can cause pain and other problems” (see more here).

When I met with the doctor he told me that my case was so severe (4 on a scale of 5) that I needed to schedule a surgery ASAP to remove the lesions as no birth control would help. He was actually surprised that it took me so long to come and see him, indicating that I have a really high pain tolerance. So within a matter of a week time period I went from feeling fine to scheduling a surgery. It was very overwhelming and I was scared that the cyst would cause problems with my ovaries and I wouldn’t to be able to have kids, etc. My mind just spiraled out of control to worst-case scenario. After stressing for a couple days I realized that I needed to calm down and just deal with and outcome if and when they occurred.

I scheduled the surgery for November 30 and knowing that I had a fix in the future helped me get through some painful days. Over the next month the pain worsen and on Thanksgiving that year I was in so much pain I barely ate dinner and wound up  curled up in a recliner with a heating pad on my abdomen and had taken Ibuprofen. The only thing that got me through was knowing I had an upcoming surgery that would (hopefully) fix the problem.

On the day of my surgery my parents came with me to the hospital. I was scheduled to go in at 9am and it would only take about 2 hours, but was dependent on how severe everything was. Once I got prepped for surgery, I remember being wheeled out to the room to surgery, within 30 second the the anesthesia hit me and then my next memory I have is waking up in the recovery room and feeling like I had to go to the bathroom haha. The surgery went really well but it turns out my cyst had burst (which was why I was in so much pain a few days beforehand!) and my appendix had become inflamed so that was removed too. But my insides were cleaned out via the laparoscopic surgery.

Waiting in the recovery room to be released
My recovery took 4-5 days before I could walk straight up and my body was functioning properly.  I had to be careful how I twisted and couldn’t lift anything heavy for a few weeks due to the stitches. Stairs were tricky as the incisions were near my hip bones, and I had to put a footstool by my bed so I didn’t have to so high to climb up. I was glad I lived on a first floor apartment, and my mom was able to stay with me for a few days.

But each day I got stronger and kept trying to walk more. I was so anxious to get back to running. But I became frustrated because even after I got my stitches taken out I was having a muscle catch in my  abdomen and it created pain. When I saw my Dr about it, he said because I was so thin, a muscle knot can be a nuisance, so I had to massage it out. Finally after about a month from my surgery I was able to run about 2 miles and you would’ve thought I just want an Olympic medal. I was so ecstatic and so excited because I was looking forward to running my first half marathon and about five months.

I was able to successfully trained for and run my first half marathon in May 2012.

img_0574Throughout 2012 I still experienced some abdominal pain, but nothing to the extend it was. I was told it was the leftover small lesions that a surgery couldn’t get but eventually  they would resolve themselves. In order to keep my condition at bay I was prescribed birth-control pills. This was meant to keep my estrogen levels low to prevent lesions from forming again. Over the course of the next year I ended up trying 5 different kinds of birth control as I tried to find one that “fit”. That was probably the biggest struggle of my recovery, I became very emotional, I didn’t recognize the person in the mirror and I didn’t feel like myself. After working with my Dr we were able to determine a low dose pill that kept my condition under control but didn’t make me feel emotional and helped my body.

I’ve been on one prescription since January 2013 and things of been great since. I have annual check ups with ultrasounds and everything has continued to be good. As a result of the surgery I no longer have days where I’m curled up in bed in pain and exhaustion. I no longer have nausea like I used to, I can run, lift, kickbox, etc, without having to stop due to pain.

This surgery truly changed my life and I am so grateful to my best friend for recognizing my symptoms so I could be properly treated. Endometriosis has no cure, but can be kept under control, and I am proof of that.

Do you or someone you know have endometriosis?

This is a pretty quick recap of my story but if you have any questions I would be happy to answer any. I didn’t want this anniversary to go by without acknowledgement.

Resolution Check-in: Month 10

It has been over 1 month since I last posted to this blog. The longest I have ever gone since I started this page. I have a reminder that goes off every weekend nudging me to write but the days have just gotten away from me juggling multiple obligations and trying to stay sane. 4 days into the new month and I am able to write now because I have been off of work the last 2 days and have been away from other obligations. The last few days have been a nice break for me to ‘catch up on life’ and I would love to have a few more days like this but for now I will provide an update on my resolutions. I have written for 9 months, I can’t stop now so here goes:

to train for a marathon: Nothing has changed with this since last month, I will not run a marathon this year, but I have my sights set on registering for the Wineglass Marathon for Fall 2017.

to find my true purpose in my career: For the remainder of the year, I will utilize this section to provide a brief update on my fitness coaching, which I started in September, and my Leadership Program.

First, fitness coaching. I am starting to not feel nearly as overwhelmed as I did 1 month in. I had a little break through a few weeks ago, realizing I don’t have to spent every free minute of my time working on this, but rather quality time than be done with it for the day. I am struggling trying to find the right market and be myself vs doing what others do. I continue to work on daily personal development and am seeing it carry over to various aspects of my life. I really want to help others reach their fitness goals, as I believe in the programs. In fact I just finished a 60 day program, and lost 2.5 lbs and 7 inches – pictures and full recap of the program will be another blog post.

I had 2 leadership days this month, the first day was focused on Arts (theater, music, arts council, mosaic, etc). It has been my favorite day so far. “The Arts” is so much more than arts and crafts, and there are many skills that can be transferred to a career. Plus it reminded me how much I enjoy being around the Arts. I was in band from 4th-12th grade, and enjoy watching Dancing with the Stars now and I just didn’t ever make the connection that because I enjoy those things, means I appreciate the arts. So I would like to attend more arts events in the upcoming year, and am starting now because in a few weeks I will be attending a play with a friend.

The 2nd Day was Education and Recreation. We spent half the day touring a local BOCES and learn about the various programs that run through the school- ranging from Adult Education to Alternative Education to Career & Technical education. It was really interesting to learn about the different program available to mainly middle school and high school student to help them be successful in an education environment. Some kids don’t do well in a traditional classroom, but thrive in an alternative environment. It was interesting to learn about and made me wonder how my life would be different if I participated in something other than the traditional schooling and made me open to supporting it.

For the Recreation portion we spend time with the owners of the local Double A Baseball and AHL Hockey teams then got a tour of the hockey facility. Both teams has or will have changes so we learned about what that means for their future and how it impacts their marketing.  It was a very informative day.

to treat others better and think before I speak– It is depending on who I am around, but I feel like this was a better month for me then previous months. It’s a continued work in progress.

to do things outside my comfort zone– I did 2 Facebook lives on my Facebook page; one introducing myself and sharing a short version of my fitness journey and another about Running tips. Check them both out here

This was a big deal because I was trying something new to connect with others and challenging myself to provide value every time I turn on the camera.

Read 25 books in 2016- I finished “The Ramblers”, so I am up to 16 books. I started “Go Pro” which is a pretty short book I bought to help with the development of my fitness coaching. I anticipate finishing that book in November and then starting “It Takes Two” the newest Nicholas Sparks book.

to reduce clutter in my life– When I transitioned from my spring/summer to fall/winter clothes. I ended deciding to donation or toss out a lot of clothes that I had for YEARS, and are no longer in style. It feels really good to decrease the amount of clothes even if it means I have to go shopping to replace them.

I also wanted to share this article that references how clearing your mind (what you can’t see) is equally if not more important than physical decluttering. Clearing the Clutter you Can’t see

to eliminate excuses and procrastination– Unfortunately I did poorly with the procrastination as I signed up to give a presentation about ‘Lean In’ and Women in Leadership, in 3 days and although I have the outline done, I need to still work through the powerpoint and practice, so I had a bunch of work to do in the new few days, not my normal style.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading! Look for a Piyo recap and my before/after pictures within the next few days (hopefully).

Have a great weekend!

 

Resolution Check-in: Month 9

Officially three quarters of the way through the year, and it’s that time of month for my resolution check in. As I review these I am not connecting with most of these as much as I was at the beginning of the year. I don’t know if it is because September seemed to fly by, or because what seemed important at the beginning at the year just isn’t anymore. How time changes things.

But either way, here is an update on how everything stands.

to train for a marathon:  As most of you know, this didn’t happen this year, due to  an injury, but I plan to complete one in 2017 with my eye on the Wineglass Marathon or Empire State Marathon- Has anyone run either on of those? I have those in mind because they are close by and they are in the fall. Plus I want to run a bigger race, and risk the chance of getting closed out of registration, in order to have good crowds and race support through the whole course.

to find my true purpose in my career– As I mentioned last month, I am currently exploring what it means to be a fitness coach. It may not be the true purpose of my career, but it’s a least a step closer to maybe finding out what I do or don’t want to do. I am not as overwhelmed as I was at the beginning of September, but I am giving it at least a few months to figure out if this is something I will want to do long-term.

As I mentioned previously, I am also participating in a Professional Development Leadership program for the next 6 months, and I really enjoyed the team building retreat we had a few weeks ago. It reminded me that I have leadership skills that are maybe being suppressed a little, so it’s up to me to find a way to showcase them.

to treat others better and think before I speak– I had a bad moment a few weeks ago at a family event, and for personal reasons and with the person involved I don’t want to go into too much detail because it’s not something that should be shared with the world, but the jist of the situation was that I didn’t give something a chance when someone offered to help me. I was critical from the beginning, sharing my dissatisfaction, judgment and impatience along the way. What I didn’t think about was how the other person maybe was reminded of how they used to help me with the task when I was a child and helping me in the present day could have brought up those (hopefully) positive memories.  Of course once the task was complete I was more satisfied than I initially thought I would be, but if I had just kept my mouth shut and given them and it a chance, then it could have been a really enjoyable bonding experience, instead of an embarrassing, immature moment for me. Even though we all have these moments, it still doesn’t make it right, and yes, I did apologize.

to do things outside my comfort zone– I did a couple of things regarding this: 1) I did my first Facebook Live in my Fitness Challenge Group 2) I registered for a Cross Country Race Series that will last through October & November. Since I haven’t run Cross Country since middle school, and just run road races, this was good for me. But it ensures that I will run at least once and week and will provide me with an opportunity to test my hips in race conditions. 3) I applied for the Women’s Running Cover Runner Story, which I figured it was highly I would get selected, but the questionnaire was short, so I sent it in 4) At the leadership retreat, I tried to strike up more conversations vs just sitting in silence and waiting for someone to speak with me.

Read 25 books in 2016– No progress with this, I am still in the middle of the book I started in August (The Ramblers) but it is an intention of mine to finish it this month. With only 3 months left, and only 15 soon to be 16 books complete, it seems unlikely that I will reach my 25 book goal. Next year, if I make/share resolutions, it will be something a little more realistic like 1 book a month vs 2.

to reduce clutter in my life- This progress has slowed some, but I do have to admit that I am not missing anything that I reduce earlier in the year (cancelling magazine subscriptions, donating clothes, etc). The one ‘thing’ I did this month was clean off the top of my bedside table that was PILED with books I wanted to read, or books half started, but had yet to finish. Instead of 6-8 books, I have 1 book (my current read), plus 2 journals that I track weekly quotes I share, and the other one is a notebook where I write special memories I have with my nieces and nephews. Clearing off that space is MUCH nicer to look at and I am not reminded daily of all the books I need to get to.

to reduce excuses and procrastination– Well the fact that I am writing this 2 days after the end of September just goes to show that I haven’t been doing well with this. When I actually just took the time to write this it took me less than a half hour, I just needed to focus on it. So although the reduction of procrastination as been going well, I have been reducing excuses when it comes to working out, as I am getting up early to do so because I have my swim coaching commitment after work.

That wraps up September. Thanks for reading!

What can you do for the next 3 months to end 2016 on a good note?

10 updates for my 100th Post

I can’t believe this is my 100th post!! When I started this blog in Feb 2015 I didn’t know how long it would last, what exactly I would write about, where it would go and whether I would connect to people. I just knew I enjoyed writing, and I wanted to share my story.

So in honor of this monumental post I have decided to share 10 things (in no particular order) that have been going on in my life since my last update. No one topic in particular, but since its been a few weeks since I have written anything, I wanted to share a couple of things that have been going on with me and some that have really made me think the last few weeks.

  1. As I mentioned in my resolution update, I was accepted into a local Leadership Development program. It will be 6 months long, and a few days ago was the all day (8:30a-7pm) retreat to kick things off.

There are 20 participants in the program, and we started with some team builders (which are soooo much better than ice breakers!). As a group we actually impressed the facilitators on our quick problem solving, and set a record time in one of the activities. So we were setting ourselves up as high achievers haha. It made me excited to spend the next 6 months with this group of people.

After the morning team builders, we went out into the woods for some ropes course activities and challenges. All challenges were by choice, but I went up on a 30 ft catwalk, and honestly the hardest part was transitioning from climbing up the tree to the log that I would walk across. I am not afraid of heights, but I tried not to look down because I knew it would make me nervous.

The next station was a 40 foot rock climbing wall. I had never done a rock climbing wall before, and after watching 5 guys only get about halfway up, I didn’t expect to make it very far. I slowly worked my way up, and even though I had to stop a few times to rest because my legs were shaking, I tried to keep going. I got frustrated a few times because I couldn’t reach the next pegs or figure out where to go, and I felt like I wouldn’t get any closer than 6 feet from the top. I thought strongly about stopping, but seeing how close I was, I didn’t want to regret not going further. I received some encouragement from those watching below, and I was able to turn a peg that was loose to get a boast for my foot and after 15+ minutes on the way, I got to the top. Something only 2 other people did that day did. I was so proud of myself for not giving up.

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough”

Rocking Climbing

Overall, by the end of the day, I felt like I was able to be myself (a leader) which I sometimes don’t always feel, as I feel like I have to hold back. It was also interesting because all day we only could share our first names and we couldn’t talk about where we worked so we had to get to know each other as people vs titles. It was a little awkward at times, but it forced us to ask other questions to get to know each other. At dinner we shared our jobs, and fun facts about ourselves and for some their jobs and facts didn’t seem to fit their personalities that was seen throughout the day, which is the point.

2. On Sept 7th I started a new workout program, PiYo, to complement my running. As you can see from this picture, I have pretty poor flexibility, so I am hoping for some good results. If you are interested in learning more about PiYo, let me know!

As a result of this new program and trying to manage other commitments in my life, I have been waking up early to get the 25-30 minute workouts in so I don’t get off track on the plan and miss a day. This is something I did last fall, and I liked getting my exercise out-of-the-way for the day, even though I like my sleep. So I’ll see how long this continues.

3. Today (Sept 18th) was the day I was supposed to run my first marathon. But as most of you know, I had a hip flexor injury that derailed my training in August so I wasn’t able to adequately complete my training. I made the decision to not run the race. Although I don’t regret my decision it didn’t stop me from thinking about how different the last month of weekends, and the last few weeks would have been like. I would have had long runs to complete, and I would’ve been tapering for the last 2 weeks and carbo loading the last few days.

But everything happens for a reason and by the end of the morning, I was glad this race didn’t end up being my first marathon for several reasons with the top reasons being. A) I felt like the finishing stretch was unsafe as the runners had to cross a busy intersection and since the course wasn’t closed the police patrolling traffic didn’t always see the runners and several runners almost got hit by cars as they were sprinting to the finish line. B) There was a total of 400 runners that completed the half, relay marathon and marathon, which means that it would’ve been very lonely out on the course and hardly any spectators.  I really wanted to like and support this race, but unless something changes, I don’t plan to run this race in the future.

4. I was happy to volunteer for this race, even though the communication on what my actual shift needed to be was not good. I volunteered to hand out race medals, figuring I wouldn’t need to get up as early as those who were doing water stations or race marshals, but it backfired on me when I was told I needed to be there at 6:30 to unwrap medals. Go figure, but within 5 minutes of me arriving the medals were all unwrapped because there were 10 other people there working on them. So I had to kill time until 8:30 when the 5K runners started finishing. It was frustrating, and I know I should’ve taken it all in stride but I didn’t because I was tired and grumpy for having to get up before I really need to.  I did think about offering to help with volunteer organizing next year so others wouldn’t feel the way I did (if they do the race again because they weren’t even sure they would break even this year)

When it was finally time to hand out medals, I did enjoy doing that, and it made me even more determined to try again for a marathon next year.

5. Over the last few weeks I have been able to get 2-3 runs in each week, my hip flexor feels pretty good. I tried doing some intervals on Thursday (.5 miles x 3) and didn’t focus on time, but rather my feel and form. My legs felt heavy, and my stride felt off, and I didn’t know how my hip flexor would feel. Thankfully as tough as the intervals were while I was doing them, once I finished my run I felt good for getting my run done. But it was clear that I have a long way to go to get back to where I was. I know I can get there, but I have to keep running a priority.

6. I mentioned in last months resolution update that I decided to try being a fitness coach. The first 10 days or so of that was very overwhelming because I was trying to find the time to learn everything, and the more I learned I wondered if I made the right decision, and whether I would be successful. My goal is to help others see the value of fitness in their lives. I know what it has done for me and my confidence, and that’s all I want for others. Thankfully, the overwhelming feeling has settled down, and I am starting to find my groove with it. I am planning on hosting a Health/Fitness Challenge group (if anyone is interested check out the Event Invite  for more details) and I am trying not to worry about how I will be able to coordinate everything. I will just have to take everything a day at a time, and do what I can while staying true to myself.

7. It has not been as much a priority for me to not only write for myself (daily/ weekly journaling) but my blog has also slipped a little. I really like journaling because it helps me process my thoughts, and I need to make it a priority again. As for my blog, without a current running goal I wasn’t feeling like I had anything worthwhile to share. But you can expect some thoughts on PiYo in the future.

To me, I really just need to look at all of the things I am involved in and really evaluate what brings value to my life and do more of that regardless of what I feel I “should” be doing.

8. The swim team that I coach for has started back up again and I don’t have a set schedule with it because I am in charge of scheduling and if no one else can work I have to cover. Which is just messing up my workout routines. I hope within the next 2 weeks or so this will settle down, but if it doesn’t I will need to say no to certain nights of that, in order to say yes to myself.

9. If you aren’t already, please follow my Facebook Page: Sarah Chasing Life or Instagram: Sarah Chasing Life, to keep up to date on my latest running updates and information related to me being a fitness coach

10. Although this isn’t really an update, I will wrap this up by saying a HUGE heartfelt THANK YOU to all my readers, especially my loyal followers that have been with me since the beginning, your support means a lot to me. I wouldn’t still be writing it if weren’t for you.

Time for me to head to bed though, so have a great week!

Resolution Check-in: Month 8

Another month, down and even though I am writing this a few days into September, I wanted to stay accountable to provide an update.

So I’ll get right to an update on my resolutions.

to train for a marathon– If you have been following me for the last few weeks, you know that unfortunately I have made the decision to not run the marathon I registered for. I am still recovering from an injury, little by little and even though I was able to run pain free for the first time in 7 weeks last weekend, I don’t want to rush into long distance running. So no marathon this year.So this resolution will be moved until 2017. In replacement of running in the marathon, I will volunteer for the race instead.

to find my true purpose in my career- I took some good steps toward this during August. 1) I was accepted into a local Leadership Program, it will consist of 14 full days over the next 6 months and I am looking forward to this professional development opportunity. 2) I decided to become a BeachBody coach; a health and fitness coach. It took me a few days to being sharing this with others because I don’t want to ever come across as a sales person, but rather be seen as someone to support and encourage others in their fitness goals. I am nervous because I don’t know where it will lead, and its a little overwhelming to learn everything, but I am excited to pursue this opportunity. It may turn out to be one of the best decisions I make, or not, but at least I gave it a try 🙂

to treat others better and think before I speak– I know this didn’t go very well at the beginning of August, and I know it was a result of not being able to run for 3 weeks. I was grumpy and short with some family members. The improvement is that I am more aware of these actions and try to apologize.

to do things outside my comfort zone-I also made some good progress on this in August. In addition to deciding to pursue the coaching opportunity I mentioned above, I also went out on a blind date. It didn’t turn into a 2nd date, but at least I tried 🙂

Read 25 books in 2016- I am now up to 15 books after finishing the latest Harry Potter bookAs a Harry Potter nerd I was intrigued to read this, it was ok, but not as good as the original 7 books. It jumped around a lot, and it seemed like the story line was a little forced, plus it was in the form of a play so it was all dialogue. Which I didn’t mind the format but the series should have just ended with the last book. I have now started The Ramblers a book a good friend gifted to me a few months ago.

to reduce clutter in my life- I didn’t make as much progress as in previous months, but I did get a weekend away to clear my mind and sometimes that is just as valuable as clearing out items out of my home.

to eliminate reduce excuses and procrastination- I decided to change the wording of this (finally) because let’s be honest everyone has times when they just aren’t in the mood to do something. So I feel it is more realistic to try to get better at it vs eliminating excuses and procrastination completely. This is still my most vague goal, because how can I tell if I am progress in it? My only examples of supporting this are making “To-do” lists for weekends and staying focused enough to cross everything off. One weekend this included buying some new dressy dresses for some weddings I have coming up!

Ok I think that’s about everything. I hope everyone has a nice and relaxing Labor Day Weekend.

 

Marathon Training: Update & a Decision

I know I missed sending out an update last weekend but I was out of town with limited internet service, so I just planned to combine Week 10 & 11 of my marathon training into 1 posts.

Over the last 2 weeks a lot has been going through my mind. In my last update I shared that I was having some issues with my hip flexor, had doctors orders not to run and started seeing a physical therapist.  Since then I have seen a PT 3 times a week over the last 2 weeks. My hip feels A LOT better from 2 1/2 weeks ago, but it’s not back to 100% yet.

I have continued to workout- swimming 2-3 days a week, and working upper body. After a couple sessions with PT, I had hoped to get the clear to run but my PT said at least another week. I was so anxious to get back to running that wasn’t being honest with myself/my body to realize just because I was walking around without limping it didn’t mean that I should start running. This wasn’t what I wanted to hear (or admit), but I was reminded by many people in my life that it is better to properly heal than to rush back into running and end up hurt again.

As the date of my marathon has gotten closer and closer, I was trying to figure out whether I could still train well enough to feel comfortable to complete 26.2 miles in 1 day. I hoped to get the clear to run on 8/19, especially since on 8/17 I went all day without discomfort/pain in the hip and that was without anti-inflammatory meds so I’d that things were looking up. But the next day I could feel some inflammation return, my PT session helped some but it didn’t last all day. On the 19th, my PT massaged my hip flexors really well and it helped TREMENDOUSLY and then had a very honest conversation with them about how much longer I should anticipate my recovery especially with the periodic inflammation. I was told that I could continue to exercise and could ‘push my limits’ but still no running. 8/19 marked 30 days until my marathon and I knew I needed to make a decision. Best case scenario I could start running 3 weeks out from the marathon, but even if that were to happen, there was still the risk that my hip flexor wouldn’t be able to handle that level of use.

Since I started seeing a PT I’ve had a hard time accepting that my marathon training plans were getting derailed (runners are a stubborn bunch!). A marathon has been something I have been thinking about for a few years and planning toward since the beginning of this year (as one of my resolutions) and it was difficult to admit that I wouldn’t be able to complete the race. But I also knew that a marathon is not something to take lightly and I knew my body would have to take me most of the way and my will and determination would get me to the end. But without my body cooperating, I knew it wouldn’t be smart to try.

It has taken me these last 2 weeks to be able to accept and now share with others that I will not be completing a marathon on 9/18 as planned. I’m disappointed in myself, but know that I will be stronger because of this in the long run. I still have plans to complete a marathon someday, maybe later this year if I can find ‘the right race’, or there is always next year to try again, and I know I will follow through.

I have read countless quotes and heard enough runners stories to know that running a marathon, something 1% of the population has done, will change your live and many lessons will be learned. Even though I will not be completing this race my lesson right now is that I can’t control everything in life, and listening to my body is more valuable and important than my stubbornness.

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck” -Dalai Lama

Have you ever registered for a race any not completed it? How did you feel about it?

Good luck to anyone who is training for a fall marathon!

Resolution Check-in: Month 7

I am starting to write this during the Bachelorette finale….Do you watch it? What did you think? I have to say that even though I had found out the spoilers a few weeks ago, I still hoped the spoilers were wrong and it would’ve ended up differently. So now I just hope Jojo and her ‘chosen one’ (I won’t give the spoiler in case someone hasn’t watch it yet), are happy together.

This is my monthly accountability check-in on my resolutions, so here goes…

to find my true purpose in my career- I am not any closer on this than I was last month. But I did apply for a local leadership institute which would be a 14 day program spread out over 6 months introducing me to different branches of what makes up a community- legal, non-profit, commerce, agriculture, etc. Applications are being reviewed now so I am hoping I will get in because I think it is something I would really enjoy and may expose me to a different career field that I may like even more than where I am now. 

to treat others better and think before I speak-  I am starting to recognize more times when I don’t need to be so quick to answer or have a witty comeback.  I need to continue to remind myself that I can just take a couple of seconds, check my tone and really think about what my response will be and how it may come across. I think I did better this month.

to do things outside my comfort zone- This was a fun achievement this month as I participated in a flash mob! As someone who is pretty uncoordinated this was DEFINITELY out of my comfort zone. It was all planned in honor of the Vice President of my division who was leaving for another position. His assistant is a Zumba instructor and she wanted to do something memorable for his going away party. So she choreographed a dance to his favorite song “Ice Ice baby”. Thankfully she held a couple of practice session and everything went fantastic. I had so much fun being a part of it and it put me in a great mood for the rest of the day!

What have you done outside your comfort zone this month? If you are looking for an idea..run in sports bra http://www.runselfierepeat.com/blog/bye-bye-insecurities-bring-on-the-sports-bra

Read 25 books in 2016- I finally finished “How to Be Single” it was not what I expected, and I had to force myself to finish it. It is not one I would recommend. On the other hand I sped right through “First Comes Love” the newest book by Emily Giffin, and I would recommend that. It helped that I took a vacation this month so I had nearly 14 hours of flights & layovers to do nothing but read! I am up to 13 books for the year.

to reduce clutter in my life- This was once again one of my more successful tasks this month. My parents were recently given a lake cottage, so I was able to clean household items out of my apartment to be put to better use there. It was nice that my cabinets are getting a little emptier! I am noticing how my mindset has been changing over the last 7 months, when I think- does this get used? do I really need 2 of these? will I ever use the item? why am I letting it take of space on my end tables? I am realizing more and more everyday that less is sometimes more.

to eliminate excuses and procrastination- once again I don’t know how well I did on this. Actually if I really think about it, I know I have not been doing well as I was doing earlier in the year. I still have scrapbooking supplies all over my coffee table with little to no progress this month. I keep telling myself that once I get x done, then I can work on it, but everyday something else seems to come up. It all comes down to priorities.

to train for a marathon- I just finished up my 8th week, so that means I am more than halfway through my training. Unfortunately, I am dealing with some issues in my right hip/upper leg.  As I finish up this section, I am able to provide the update that I went to the Dr and I need to see a Physical Therapist, and until then no running :-(….. with 47 days to go until my marathon, the next few weeks will determine whether I achieve my goal.

That’s it for this month. How are you doing with your resolutions?

 

 


Resolutions Check-in: Halfway Mark

We are officially halfway through 2016. Are you still keeping up with your resolutions? Or do you need to reevaluate your goals for the year? One of my favorite bloggers & podcast host Nicole Antoinette created a Mid-Year-Review which poses questions looking back at the last 6 months and what should be committed to for the next 6 months. I highly recommend you check it out for some self-reflection.

Here is an update on my resolutions. At the beginning of the year I shorten my resolutions to 5 words… “Don’t be afraid to try”….

to train for a marathon- I have OFFICIALLY started training for this, I am 4 weeks into the plan and have already modified it by running more mileage than the plan lists. This is because after training for a half marathon, I felt the plan started off a little too easy. I finished June running 80 miles, which is the most I have ever ran in 1 month since I started running 5 1/2 years ago. I am excited to see what the next 79 days of my training will bring. Stay tuned!

to find my true purpose in my career- I took some helpful steps in my career by requesting a meeting with the Vice President of my division to ask for career advice before he leaves for another position. I really enjoyed working with and for him and after our conversation he offered to be a career mentor for me. He is someone who has been in Higher Education for 15+ years and has a lot of connections, so it can only mean good things for me!

to do things outside my comfort zone- I did a couple of activities this month that fall under this category:

First, I volunteered at my church’s bazaar even though I don’t know many people at the church and have never volunteered at the bazaar before. I worked for 4 hours on the food line, which meant I had to take and fulfill orders. It turned out to be a lot of fun and made me want to do it again next year.

I also attended an informational session for a local leadership program I want to apply for. The uncomfortable part was that it included some mingling/networking time, which is something I am NOT good at. I am not good at just walking up to someone and striking up a conversation. But I tried to put my best foot forward and meet a few people.

Read 25 books in 2016- I finished 2 audio book “Why not me?” by Mindy Kaling, and “BossyPants” by Tina Fey, which were good.  I am still reading ‘How to be single’ and it is not what I thought it would be, I don’t easily give up on books, but this one is not keeping me hooked. I do have a vacation coming up in a few weeks and can’t wait to read the new Emily Giffin book, First Comes Love! My total for the year is 9 books plus 3 audio books, which means I am right on track.

to reduce clutter in my life- I canceled 2 fitness magazine subscriptions because i was getting so far behind on them. I would skip through all of the beauty sections, and just read articles. Plus I have realized that enjoy more running specific articles vs general health/fitness and I just read everything online. So now I won’t have magazines piling up on my kitchen table reminding me on how far behind I am on them.

to eliminate excuses and procrastination- Well, similar to last month, I am not sure how well I did on this. I feel like I have reduced excuses when it comes to making time to workout- I will work out during my lunch hour, or even wake up early once in a while. But when it comes to other things in life I could be considered procrastinating. For example, I have had my scrapbook material and a years worth of pictures on my coffee table for the few months with little progress. I hope to finally make some progress this long weekend (Happy 4th of July), but the “excuse” is that when I get home I just want to relax or have to be an adult and pay bills or clean.

to treat others better and think before I speak- I didn’t keep very good track of whether I did this well or not this month. I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing?

I would love to hear what you are working on for July, or committing to for the rest of the year.

Thought for the next month: We do not remember days, we remember moments.  Too often we try to accomplish something big without realizing that the greatest part of life is made up of the little things.