December 22, 2009

Food Bank

I blogged a couple weeks ago about an experience I had at Starbucks. In that post I talked a lot about wanting to volunteer and give back this Christmas. Well, I did just that!

My mom, brother and I decided to volunteer at the food bank this last Friday and Saturday. On Friday, all we did was get shipments of food, sort the food into different baskets and bag up the produce. We spent most of our time bagging up oranges, potatoes, apples, pears and onions. This produce came from grocery stores. Once the grocery stores can no longer sell the produce, it is sent to the food bank. All of the produce is still edible, but it doesn't look very appetizing. Although the fruit had dirt on it and brown spots, for someone who really needed the food and was hungry, the food was good enough.

When we got to the food bank on Saturday morning, the employees explained to us how the food bank works. Each family gets a green card and it says how many people are in their family. If the family has less than 2 people on their card, they get one item out of each bin. If the family has 3-5 they get two items out of each bin, and so on. My mom and I were at the produce station. I was in charge of a basket of oranges and then a miscellaneous basket of fruit. Depending on the number of people in the family, they could take one bag of oranges and one bag of miscellaneous fruit. My mom was in charge of potatoes, onions and a miscellaneous basket of vegetables.

I had a lot of expectations of what I thought the food bank would be like. I thought the families were going to be so appreciative and so thankful. Boy was I wrong. For most (not all)of the families, this was a way of life. They came through the line at the food bank like they were on a mission to get the best food and get as much as they could shimmy out of us. We were told to hand out the bags of produce and not to let the families rummage through the bins. I remember on lady came through the line and she had a one on her card, meaning she was the only person in the family. She turned her nose up to all of the fruit I offered her and went on to tell me how gross the fruit looked. What did she expect?! Shes at the food bank! If you are really that poor, I would have thought you would be grateful for ANY food that was offered to you. Just because the oranges have a little dirt on them doesn't mean they are bad, wash them off! Another woman came through the line and tried to hackle everyone for more food. We weren't allowed to hand out more food to people because they wanted to have enough for everyone (there were about 500-600 families that came). Once this woman got her vegetables from my mom, she bent down, opened her bag and stole several bags of green onions out of a basket next to my mom. Another man came through the line and caused quite the commotion because he thought us volunteers stole his reusable bags.

I was shocked. Of the 500-600 people that came through the food bank, I bet less than 20 people said thank you. It was as if we owed them this food. The families seemed a little bitter towards us as well, like that we thought we were better than them, which is so far from the truth. Most of the people were elders or disabled. Several people who came though had on nice designer jeans and designer purses.

I am happy that I was able to give back to my community but I was very shocked by what I saw. I didn't volunteer at the food bank for a pat on the back from the families at the food bank, so I really shouldn't be complaining. Although there were many negatives at the food bank, there were also many positives. There was a young mom and her children who came through the line. My brother was handing out danimal yogurts. The little boys eyes lit up when he saw the danimals yogurt. Its little moments like seeing the little boys eyes light up that made the experience so fulfilling. I was also surprised at a couple mothers who came through the line. I would hand them a bag of apples and they would say 'No thank you, I still have an apple sitting on the counter at home. I'll leave those apple for someone who really needs them'. It was nice to see that some people would only take what they needed and leave the food for someone else who needed the food more than them.

All in all, it was a fulfilling experience and I hope to continue volunteering and giving back to my community.

December 3, 2009

Moments That Change Our Lives


We all have moments in our lives that change us forever. Sometimes these moments break us and turn our lives upside down. In the end, everything happens for a reason whether it be to open our eyes or to make us stronger. I can think of three instances in my life that have truly impacted me and made me a stronger person. One of these instances happened on December 9th, 2004.

I can remember this day like it was yesterday. I was a junior in high school and had just got my license. I drove a 1993, white mustang with red interior. I remember the day I bought the car. My Dad made me buy the car and I sat on my porch and cried. I couldn't believe I was going to have to drive that car. My friends all had new cars that their parents had bought them. Not going to lie, I was insanely jealous of them. They drove brand new cars while I drove an old mustang with red interior. My friends always joked that they could see me coming from a mile away because of my red interior. Although it wasn't the car of my choice, I began to love that car, after all, my hard earned money bought that car. I always poked jokes about my car in front of my friends. I would always say 'I just want to roll that car so I can get a new one!'. I suppose I spoke too soon...

On December 9th, I was at my boyfriend's (at the time) house about to leave to make it home for dinner. He was joining my family for dinner that evening and was going to follow me to my house. Before I hopped in my car, I remember feeling like there was a rock in my stomach. Something wasn't quite right for some reason. I got in my car and something told me not to lock my doors (which I always do). Another thought popped in my head. I remember thinking that I should have told him I love him in case I die. Very weird. So, I told him I loved him and drove off. I pulled out of his neighborhood and got into the right hand turn lane. The straight/left hand turn lane was backed up and the cars were at a complete stop. I sped right past the stopped cars.

And then it happened.
A gold car that had been stopped in the other turn lane decided it wanted to turn right instead. The gold car inched its front out into the right hand turn lane. My first reaction was to swerve out of the way. My car popped up over the curb and ran into a rockery. Since it was raining, my car slipped on the rockery and rolled. It all happened in slow motion. I remember hanging from my seat belt and seeing nothing but glass and pavement. I didn't know what to do so I just screamed. A man appeared and ripped open my door just enough to pull me out of my car. (If I would have locked my doors, my door would have been jammed shut). I got out of the car and the man was no where to be seen. It was almost as if he wasn't there at all, we like to think it was my guardian angel. My boyfriend hopped out of his car and called the ambulance. The gold car didn't stop for a second, just drove off. I may not have hit the car, but there is no way they didn't see or hear my car roll. 17 (hot) firefighters came to the scene and were shocked I was ok. They strapped me to stretcher and took me to the hospital in case of internal injuries.

I walked away from the crash with a fat lip from my airbag, that's it. I also walked away from that accident with a lesson I will never forget. Life can be taken from somebody in a matter of seconds with no warning. This was the moment I realized there are so many things to accomplish before my time here is over. When it is my time to go, I want to be remembered as someone who has done great things and has made an impact in people’s lives. I’ve learned to never take anything for granted. My accident gives me motivation to work hard and strive for excellence.

I have a motto in life. "I swear, by my life and my love for it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." I live my life for me and nobody else. I am going to do what I want, when I want. I remember when I decided I wanted to start running, I asked friends of mine to run with me. Of course, everyone had so many excuses of why they couldn't run with me. If I would have waited for someone to run with me, I would still be waiting. I am going to run the Eugene Marathon because there is no better time than now. If I have to run it alone, so be it. I can't live my life waiting for someone to join me in the activities and adventures that await me. I have to go out and accomplish things on my own.

At home, I keep a picture of the car and the mangled license plate from my accident next to my bed as a little reminder of just how lucky I am.

Life is short. There is no better time than now :)

November 30, 2009

I'm BACK!

Its official, I'm back! I fractured my shin at the end of September after my 300 mile month. Doctor said no running for at least 6 weeks. Well, its been 8 weeks and I did my first run two days ago. I ran around the track and did 2.5 miles until pain in my lower shin set in. I cross trained the last two days. Today, I set out for a 4 mile run. Not going to lie, I was very nervous that my shin would start to hurt after the first mile or two. Well, one mile down, no pain, two miles down, no pain. I was so relieved. I wore my compression socks and wrapped my shin pretty tight. By mile two, my ankle was starting to hurt since my shin was wrapped so tight. I ran the last two miles with just compression socks on. I ran at a 9 minute mile pace, which is much slower than my previous paces. The 9 minute mile felt good on my shins. Running 6 minute miles is not worth it to me if I am going to hurt myself again. I need to focus on my running form, the way my foot strikes the ground and how my body feels. I know I will get back to my 6 minute mile eventually, but this time around, I want to do it with the correct form and injury free!
All in all, Life is good :) (Pictures from my run!)

October 30, 2009

Giving Back

Since I have been off my feet for a couple weeks now, I have had so much extra time to spend studying, working and what not. If you know me, you know that I love to go to Starbucks and read, work or study. An incident at Starbucks I encountered this past Sunday has really left its mark and has me thinking.

I went to Starbucks last Sunday to get some work done and do a little studying for my Finance exam. I always sit next to a window, not sure why, but I always do. As I was reading, I heard this thumping coming from outside of Starbucks. When I looked out the window, there was a man who was shaking metal racks with newspapers in them. My first thought was that he had stuck a quarter in the slot and he couldn't open the little door on the box to get his newspaper. He shook the rack for 5 minutes or so. I'm not going to lie, I was giving him the evil eye from inside Starbucks because it was getting really annoying. Once he was done shaking the rack, he moved on to the Seattle Times rack. He shook that thing for another 5 plus minutes. I couldn't tell what he was doing, but all I know is I was about to lose it. The man then walked inside of Starbucks. He was a shorter, very overweight man with big coke bottle glasses on. It became very apparent to me that he most likely had a mental disability. He had two bags over his shoulder as he stood at the entrance of Starbucks. The man began to walk towards me. He approached me and the lady sitting next to me. The man reached in his pocket and pulled out a plastic cap from a Coca Cola bottle. He went on to explain how he had found this cap that was a "buy one get one free" coke. The man had no money and wanted to know if either of us could spare a little change so he could go to Haggen and get a Coke. The lady and I were rather rude and said no when it was very apparent we both had money on us since we had just purchased coffee. He hung his head low and looked devastated. The man then approached every single person in Starbucks for a little bit of change for a Coke. Not one person in the whole entire Starbucks had a little change to spare for this man.

Ask any one I know, and they will tell you I refuse to give money to homeless people. I work hard for my money and I don't think I should have to give my hard earned money to someone else who made poor choices. This man then walked outside of Starbucks with his head hung low. He walked back to those newspaper racks and shook them like none other. Finally hit me, he was trying to get change from the newspaper racks. The man appeared to be crying. As he wiped his eyes, he then walked away from the newspaper racks.

My heart sank. This man did not look like other homeless people. He was clean, did not appear to be on drugs or have a drinking problem. This man probably had a really hard time finding a job in this recession. Little old me sitting in Starbucks in my designer jeans talking on my blackberry didn't have a quarter to spare? I didn't have to give the man money, but I could have walked with him to Haggen and buy the Coke for him so I knew the money was being spent on the Coke, and the Coke only. Talk about being selfish.

It is now Friday, and I cannot stop thinking about this incident. I do not know this mans past and I do not know what choices or incidents happened to him to get him in that predicament. All I know is that man was in a very deep and lonely place. Not everyone in this world is as fortunate as I am to have a home, a job and an education. Of all people, I should know how bad this recession is since I am studying finance and economics. Many people have lost their jobs and cannot find a new one, not because they aren't qualified, but because the economy is so poor right now. I know I don't agree with handing money to "homeless" people who stand at the off ramp of the free way, but I can give back in different ways. I have decided I am going to find a way to give back this winter. Whether it be volunteering for a soup kitchen or donating to a food bank. There are people out there who need help and who are desperate. I can donate a little bit of my time and a little bit of my money because in the end, every little bit helps.

I will keep this man in my heart and continue to pray for him. Shows me just how blessed I am and how thankful I need to be for everything I have and every opportunity awaiting for me in this life. There is so much to be happy about and so much to live for :)

October 21, 2009

Shin Fracture

October has been a great month. Not only did I get to celebrate my 300 mile victory, I also signed up for my very first full marathon. After my 300 miles, I took a couple weeks off to recover. I was having really bad shin splints, so I bought new shoes and thought time off would solve the issue. After nearly two weeks off running, I decided to begin my marathon training. I started off with a very slow, light run. I made it 20 minutes into my run before I began running with a limp. I turned around and walked home, talk about disappointing! Not the greatest start to my marathon training. So, I went home and iced my poor shins and tried massaging the muscles.

The weird thing was, normally both my shins hurt, where as this time, only my right shin hurt. When massaging my right shin, I felt this bump on the bone which was definitely not supposed to be there. So, I met with my doctor and he told me I most definitely have a shin fracture. The X-rays showed a small fracture in my right shin. One cool thing, my X-ray chart said "Jessica: Avid runner with possible fracture in right shin" <-- "avid runner"? Ill take it :) My prescription? Six weeks, no running. My eyes welled up with tears and the doctor looked at me like I was an idiot. If you aren't a runner, you just don't understand what if feels like to be told you cant run. Its like a prison sentence. When I told my Dad, he didnt understand either and told me "you're killing yourself". Although my marathon is not until may, I am very nervous that this is going to take too much time away from training and hinder my running.

Running? Its what I do. Its my drug of choice. It gives you this incredible high, so much adrenaline pumping through your body. I finally found something that I am good at, one injury is not going to stop me. I suppose this injury has taught me the importance of allowing my body to recover after a run. I need to slow it down rather than running my hardest all the time. I will definitely stretch and ice way more than I did before. Doctor has allowed me to bike and swim. I was so used to running and exercising outside that I forgot what its like to go to a gym. Not going to lie, I really dont like it. But for now, I will have to deal with it. One hard thing about being injured, besides not being able to run, is controlling my eating habits. When you are running like crazy, you get so used to eating much more food than you normally would. Although I am still working out, I am definitely not working out as hard as I was before since I am so limited on what I can do. Since I am so used to eating large amounts of food, its been really hard cutting back.

6 weeks is much better than a couple months. This is a learning lesson as well as a great opportunity to improve my biking and swimming skills! Who knows, maybe a triathalon is in my near future ;)

October 2, 2009

Eugene Marathon

This week has been such a good week. The week started out with a 15 mile run, which completed my goal of 300 miles for this month. The nasty text message was a slight bump in the road, but my week got especially good when I talked to my friend about an upcoming marathon. She wanted to know if I was interested in running the 4th Annual Eugene, Oregon Marathon with her. My answer right away was "yes".

First off, running a marathon with a friend is just what I need right now. I need that motivation and accountability. It is a flat, beautiful course. Although my initial goal has been to run the Seattle full marathon, I just don't think that marathon is a good fit for me. Every runner I have talked to said it is a tough course. Lots of hills and in the middle of winter. One runner I talked to told me she ran the marathon in the snow. She also mentioned that she cried ALL 26.2 miles because it was so darn cold and hilly. When I run my first marathon, I want it to be a good experience. I am really afraid that if I have a bad experience with my first race that I wont want to run any more marathons. I have decided to run the Seattle half marathon in November and then run the full Eugene Marathon in May.

As you all know, I get really nervous when it comes to signing up for races. So nervous that I haven't signed up for any races. The Seattle half is coming up and I still haven't signed up for it because I am so nervous. When I was looking into the Eugene Marathon, I noticed that the price of the full marathon went up after October 1st. Meaning, the longer I put of signing up for my marathon, the more expensive this marathon is going to be. So, yesterday was October 1st which was the last day to sign up for the marathon before the price increase. Before I went to my first class yesterday, I changed my twitter status to "Signing up for my first marathon today." This way, I would have some sort of accountability if I didn't sign up. Then it hit me. What the heck am I waiting for? What was stopping me from signing up for this marathon? There was no difference if I signed up in the morning or in the afternoon, so there really was no point to put it off even longer.

Yesterday, October 1st, I signed up for my first race, my first marathon! There is no backing out now. The money is spent, therefore, I am running all 26.2 miles. I was so overwhelmed and so proud of myself. I got such a huge rush signing up for this race. I was all smiles all day long! I immediately texted my family and told them I signed up. Yes, they still think I am nuts to run 26.2 miles, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear they wanted to join me in Eugene, OR to cheer me on. It means so much to me to know that I have friends and family that would sacrifice their weekend to come watch me in my first marathon. I think one of the main reasons I have put off signing up for my races is because I don't like the idea of doing it alone. I am new at this and I don't know what to expect. To have my friends and family by my side will give me the courage I need to complete all 26.2 miles. My friend still has not signed up and I think is having second thoughts about this marathon (which will be her first as well!).


I will run this marathon alone if I have to. This is something I want to do for myself. Don't get me wrong, I think it would be such an amazing experience to have my good friend running along side of me and to conquer something so huge together. We are both beginner runners striving for something more. We have been friends since I dated her brother way back in 7th grade. We have had our fair share of ups and downs like any good friendship, but the most important thing is I know she has my back no matter what happens in life. That's why I want to run this marathon with her. I think we are similar in so many ways. We both want to be the best, we don't want to fail.

If there is anything running has taught me, its that every runner is a winner. Running is a one man sport. In my mind, I am my own competitor. I race against myself, I run to run faster than my last run. When it comes to running a marathon, I can't fail. In my mind, running a marathon is the ultimate. If I can complete a marathon, that makes me a winner on the spot. I don't really care about my time at this point, I just want to run the whole way and cross the finish line. I hope my friend can let go of her doubts and believe in herself. I will run this marathon alone if I have to, but I can't think of anything better than running it with a good friend. I will encourage her and support her all the way.

The marathon is May 2, 2010. If I got this big of a rush just signing up for the race, I can't even begin to imagine the rush of crossing the finish line. :)

September 28, 2009

Sticks and Stones

I received a couple emails asking why my blog was not working correctly and why it was asking for an 'invitation". Well, I took my blog down last night. While I was taking a bath last night resting my legs, I received a text message. This text message said I was a "liar", looking for "attention" and that I "needed help". This text message was from someone who I thought would be behind me 100%, have my back and that should be encouraging me. This was the one person I was so excited to tell that I had ran 300 miles. That I have worked so hard, killed my legs to accomplish. To receive this text crushed me. Unfortunately, in the future when I look back on this blog and my accomplishments, I will always remember this text message that rained on my parade.

I went to bed at 7 pm and just stared at the ceiling. Not going to lie, I was so hurt and still am. Do I wear running shoes for looks, do I splash water on my face when I come home from a run to pretend like I was running?! Do I wear a fuel belt and compression socks to look cool? I don't get it! I laid there thinking for a long time. I didn't sleep at all. My alarm went off at 6 am, and then it hit me.

I do not run for anyone other than myself. If someone doesn't want to believe me when I say I ran 300 miles, then so be it. I run for myself, I run for clarity, I run for happiness. I don't have to prove to anyone that I am a runner. I am not going to let this person take this away from me. I accomplished something I never thought I could. This blog is not for "attention from my cyber friends" like this person thinks. I write this blog to track my personal progress. I like to read back over posts and look at my ups and down and then use it for motivation. If you think this blog is a lie and false, then don't read it, simple as that. I write this blog for me, not for anyone else. I honestly don't care what other people think, I run for myself. Like I have said many times before, running is a selfish sport, get over it. I took this blog down and almost deleted it last night. But why in the world would I let one person ruin all of this for me. Ask anyone I know and they will tell you I love my blog. One person will not ruin all of my progress and hard work. I will push forward harder than ever.

I have thought long and hard about the Seattle Marathon. I have put off signing up for it for quite sometime now. My nerves get to me every time I attempt to sign up. Its like I have been waiting for a sign, or the right time. Well, what better time than now? Its time to prove to this person that I am a gosh darn runner. I am going to sign up for the Seattle Marathon this week. Maybe, just maybe, this person will finally be proud of me. I don't know why I feel like I have to prove myself to this person, but I always have and probably always will.

I will be signing up for the Seattle Marathon later today. I will continue to run and continue to work hard. In the end, I run for me and me alone.

September 27, 2009

300 MILES STRONG!

Its official. I have officially ran 300 miles in the month of September. 300 miles is the distance between my home and Washington State University over in Pullman, WA. I burned an average of 129 calories per mile totaling to 38,700 calories in one month.

See those legs in the picture? Honestly, I have hated my legs my entire life. I have the legs of a soccer player. They are thick and muscular. When people would ask, "Whats one thing you would change about your body if you could?" I would always respond with my legs. They were big and ugly. I couldn't fit into the jeans everyone else would wear because my thighs were too big. When I began running a year ago, I was so self conscious. They would jiggle every time my foot hit the ground. So I began to run in yoga pants to cover them up.

Those legs in that picture, those soccer player legs ran 300 miles this month. Those legs helped me reach my goal this month. I love my legs. They are muscular and strong and they can out run most people. For this, my legs are my best asset. How could I not love my legs? Yeah, they may never be super skinny, but hey, I'm not really into the anorexic look anyways. My legs have taken me to new place, new heights and have set the bar for future goals. I now run in shorts. I don't care if my legs jiggle when I run, because that's not why I run. I am bettering myself, jiggly legs is the least of my worries.

I know I always talk about staying positive and never letting negativity get in the way of things. But honestly, when I set this goal, I just threw out a number. The first number that came to mind was 300. I didn't realize 300 miles meant an average of 10 miles a day. The goal was overwhelming and honestly, I didn't think I could do it. Yeah the goal looked good on paper, but in reality I never thought I could average 10 miles a day. So many people told me I couldn't do it and that this was a 'dumb runner" move. I was so determined to prove them wrong. Well, 27 days later and I am thoroughly amazed with myself. For all of you who doubted me and told me I couldn't do it, WHAT NOW?!

I went to Starbucks this morning before going on my last 15 miles. I couldn't even think. Run, run, run. That's all that was going through my mind. I ran fast and I ran hard. I blocked out my shin splints and I just ran. These last 15 miles were more than just a run for me, they were the last few miles of my journey. When I hit 14 miles, it hit me. I had one mile left, 7 more minutes and my goal would be behind me. Tears of happiness came streaming out and didn't stop. Now, I can finally say, I ran a strong 300 miles this month. What an accomplishment. My body has changed. I see muscles I never knew I had, my pants are starting to get loose in the waist and tush. I feel so good. If I can run 300 miles in one month, I know I can do anything. All the tears and all the pain, its all worth it in the end. I have so much to live for and I have so much to run for.

I hope other runners take this challenge of setting a goal that seems impossible because the feeling on the other side, well, its out of this world. Take the challenge, do the miles, then bask in the glory. :)

Life is so good :)

September 26, 2009

15 Miles

15 miles. 15 miles is the distance from my apartment to the mall and back. 15 miles is really not that far. Today, I am proud to say that 15 miles is all I have left of my 300 mile goal. As I sit on my deck and blog, I can honestly say that for once, I am so proud of myself.
All month I have been trying to think of something that I can reward myself with at the end of the month when I finish my goal. Maybe a pedicure, manicure, or a massage? I just couldn't think of anything to reward myself with. For a while, I didn't think I even needed a reward for myself. Now that it is closer to the end of the month and have completed 285 miles, I know just what I want. I want something tangible, something I can hold on to for the rest of my life. I want to be able to look back and remember ever single mile. I learned something new about myself on every single mile and that's why I never want to forget this journey.

My first tangible gift to myself will be a new pair of kicks. At first, this was going to be my only reward for running 300 miles. But when I got to thinking, I need to buy new running shoes anyways so its not really a gift because I was going to do that anyways. So as I sat reading some finance down at Starbucks today, I thought of the perfect gift to myself. Once I finish running my 300 miles, I am going to take a picture of my shoes and have it framed. Not a huge picture, just a small one. This picture will be a daily reminder of just how strong and capable I am. If I can accomplish 300 miles in one month, honestly, I can do anything and nothing is out of reach. Those shoes took me on quite the journey and I want to remember ever second of the journey. This is a gift that will never 'go out of style' and I can hold on to forever.
I am so excited to run the last 15 miles of my goal. I can't even count how many times someone told me I couldn't do this and that this was such a bad idea. "You're going to hurt yourself". "This is such a bad idea, just sayin'". When I got my concussion, I believed them for just a second. Numerous people have told me I am crazy and nuts, which I am. Only a crazy person would run 300 miles in a month ;). I don't know anyone else who has ran 300 miles in one month, but I am so happy to say that I will be the first. I learned a lot about myself as a runner and also as a person. Many miles were filled of tears, few were filled with smiles, but all of them were filled with pure heart and dedication. For that, I am proud.

So, for all of you out there who told me I couldn't do it, these last 15 are for you!

September 22, 2009

Jess, Meet Your Scale...

I moved recently. I don't like packing or the actual move, but unpacking is so fun. I love decorating the place and organizing things the way I like things. I was putting the final touches on my apartment, putting pictures on the walls, setting out candles, oh and, finding a place for my dreaded scale. I found the perfect spot in my bathroom for my scale. I really have never understood why I own a scale. I feel guilty if I do not own one, but I never use it. Every time I walk in the bathroom I try not to even look at it. When I go to the doctors office and they ask to weigh me, I specifically ask them not to tell me the number. A scale is a constant reminder of my weight. I work out to feel good, not for a dumb number on my scale. I like to be aware of this number, but I don't let this number rule my life. I eat to stay healthy, to fuel my body and I work out like a maniac. To me, weight is important, but I am not going to let it control me.

When I took my scale out of the box, I tapped on the glass and just my luck the batteries were dead. My first thought was, "oh thank goodness". I hate seeing that number. It makes me feel terrible about myself. So, I put batteries on my grocery list and went back to unpacking. Well, I have had these batteries for four days now and just now got the courage to put them in my scale. I stepped on my scale with my eyes shut. When I opened my eyes I was pleasantly surprised. Down 10 pounds from the last time I weighed myself which was almost a year ago. What a relief!

I really wish I had enough courage to write my weight on this blog for accountability reasons. But unfortunately I don't. I really want to become comfortable with my scale. The scale is not my enemy. I am no where near obese or overweight, so honestly, why should I fear the scale? The scale should be my friend, should help me in training, and help me track progress. I would like to start weighing myself once a week. My goal is to keep this number in the back of my mind to track progress. This number is simply just a number to me, and I will not let it get the best of me. I work out for me, I work out to feel good not for a number.

September 19, 2009

inVigorators!

Compression socks, compression sleeves, any thing compression, I love. I don't know how they work and I don't know why they work, but they just do. I love running and I love everything about it, minus my insane shin splints. I stretch, I have good running shoes, I take more ice baths than showers and I take Ibuprofen like its going out of style and I still have shin splints. I am heavy on my feet even when I walk. My Mom has always told me I walk like an elephant, which is true. Its like I stomp rather than walk sometimes. I don't mean to do this and most of the time I am very unaware of it. I think my shin splint stunt from the way I walk and run. Pounding my feet on the floor shoots pain throughout my shins.

A friend of mine told me about compression socks and compression sleeves. So, I went out and bought a pair of CEP compression socks and Zensah Calf Sleeves. Ask any one I know and they will tell you I wear my Zensah sleeves all the time. When going out with my Mom she always asks, "Uh, you are going to take those sleeves off before we go in the store right?" Yeah, they might not be the most attractive things in the world, but they work. I wear them with my high heels to work and I wear them when I am lounging around in the evening. Running isn't a fashion show and I am not embarrassed about my compression socks. I will do what ever I have to do to get rid of my shin splints, even if it means wearing "embarrassing" compression socks to the grocery store. Compression socks and sleeves have truely saved my shins and have kept me able to run.


So, when @inVigorators on twitter asked me if they could send me some compression socks to try out, I jumped at the offer. I didn't think I would find a product I liked as much as my Zensah's or CEP's, but I think I just did. They fit great! My problem with compression socks is sometimes the calf fits correctly, but the foot doesn't vice versa. These inVigorators! fit perfectly! Lots of compression in the foot, ankle and calf but not too much. Another issue with my Zensah sleeves is that they are so tight that they make my Achilles tendon hurt while I run with them. The inVigorators! were just tight enough to feel compression all over, but not too tight where they are causing my legs to turn blue. I really like this product and will definitely continue to use this product to assist me in my training for the Seattle Marathon. I have only ran with this product once, so I still don't know how the compression in the inVigorators! will hold up over time, but so far so good! Follow @inVigorators on twitter and also find these guys on Facebook, they're great! Thanks guys for the socks, you definitely make a good product that I look forward to training with!

22 miles complete and one happy runner! (198 of 300! YEAH BABY!)

September 10, 2009

Summer of Change

This summer has been like none other. I came home from school in June for the summer. Not going to lie, I wasn't happy. I could think of every reason in the book of why I wasn't happy. I looked at the negative side of life, I felt sorry for myself and for the things I have been through. I came home from school to work. My days consisted of waking up, going to work, running, eating dinner and then going to bed. What a life, I thought. I did nothing but work and run, and felt like I had no one. Also, seemed like everyone was getting engaged, getting married and having kids. I was (and am!) single and all by myself. I felt so much pressure to find "the one" and get on with life.

But then it clicked, how can I expect someone else to date me and love me if I didn't even love myself? I have no one else to blame for the way my life is besides myself. That was it, I was done sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I took it upon myself to look on the bright side of life. Whats the point of living if you're not going to enjoy the ride? This summer, I stayed committed to running and optimism. When I sit down and think about things, I have SO much to be thankful for. I have a job, I have the opportunity to go to school, and I have an incredibly loving family. My friend once showed me this quote, it says "Everyday might not be a good day, but there is something good in everyday." So true. I am so thankful that I wake up every morning to see the sun rise. So thankful that I have a job to go to everyday. Thankful to have a home and to have friends who care for me. I am thankful to be a runner and have SO much support!

My outlook on life has changed this summer. I am going back to school a different person. Life is so short. It is so important to step back everyday and take a look at what you have to be thankful for. I see things in a different light now. If you dwell on the negative, you will miss out on so much in life. I can finally say, I LOVE myself. I no longer feel like I need a boyfriend to complete me. I am perfectly fine on my own because I am my own best friend. God has a plan for me, and I know I will find love when the time is right.

One song that really hits home to me is Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews called "I'm Alive":

So damn easy to say that life's so hard
Everybody's got their share of battle scars
As for me I'd like to thank my lucky stars that
I'm alive and well

It'd be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you've sat and watch go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me... I'm alive

And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I'm alive and well
I'm alive and well

That hit the nail on the head. It is so easy to focus on the negatives in life, use them for excuses of why we can't do things. Why can't we all just be thankful to be alive and well?

I have changed not only physically this summer, but mentally and emotionally as well. Its been a summer of change. I am going to go back to school changed. For the first time in my life, I can actually say I am happy. :)

So, slow it down, smell the flowers and enjoy the ride :)

100 Down, 300 To Go!

Happy Thursday. Today is an especially happy Thursday. I have reached 100 miles of my 300 mile goal. I still have a long ways to go, but I am happy to have reached the 100 mile mark. I am right on track. Today is day 10 and I have averaged 10 miles a day. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I ROCK! To celebrate, I have decided to post some lyrics. Not going to lie, I am not a fan of the song, but I love the lyrics. Brian McKnight "Reaching For My Goals":

If you wanna sing
Then sing
If you wanna run
Run away
It's all right to speak
Just watch what you say
Don't let the words
Get in your way

To achieve
All you've got to do is just believe
Come whatever, come what may, sing

I can't let my dreams slip away
I won't let my heart break
It doesn't matter what it takes
I'm reaching for my goal
I'm going on

If you're on the team
Come to play
Be the one
That sets the pace
Follow your dreams
Dream away
And your life
Will never be the same

With every passing day
Until I'm old and gray
I'm gonna do my thing
No matter what my so called friends might say
They can't put out my fire
I've got too much desire
I'm reaching for my goal

Thank you for all of your support! It is such great motivation and great accountability! For all of you who doubt me, I can't wait to prove you wrong! 100 down...and still goin' STRONG!

September 8, 2009

83 Miles in 8 Days

8 days ago I set a goal. My goal was to run 300 miles in the month of September. I have listened to many runners tell me how stupid this idea is, but you know what, I can do it. I have run 83 miles in the last 8 days and my body feels so good. I have iced like crazy, stretched, worn my compression socks and have begun using Arnica Gel. As long as my body says yes, I am going to run. I am 83 miles in and my body keeps saying yes. I have heard from many people that this is a terrible idea and I am going to hurt myself. But I have said it once and I will say it again, I am not going to jeopardize my body and risk hurting myself. If my body starts to hurt I will stop, even if it means not meeting my goal.
Tuesday - 7
Wednesday - 16
Thursday - 4
Friday - 10
Saturday - 25
Sunday - Rest
Monday - 9
Tuesday - 12
Yes, 83 miles in one week. I plan to take the following weeks much easier with more rest time. I felt on a roll this past week though. My body feels fantastic. No pain, no shin splints and no muscle weakness. I have run at a little slower pace than usual.

On today's 12 mile run, I ran with my Nathan Fuel Belt for the first time. Let me tell you, I LOVED it! It was very comfortable and didn't bounce around too much. It was so nice to have water with me at all times and really nice to have a pocket for my Blackberry. I wish I would have got a fuel belt sooner!

September 2, 2009

Cry Baby Runner ;)

Yesterday was a rough day. Not only did I have a crumby day, I had a terrible run. My goal yesterday was to run ten miles. I had no time limit or pace set, the only thing I wanted to do was finish all ten miles. Well, I only finished seven. Although seven is better than nothing, it still wasn't my goal.

Today was just as crumby as yesterday. My goal for today was to run 13 miles. I initially was only planning on running ten today, but after the miss yesterday, I needed to makeup the 3 i didn't complete yesterday. When I left work today, I was in no mood to run, but i knew it was something I needed to do. I normally listen to country music on my way home from work, but today I decided to listen to my running music. It really helped motivate me and get me pumped up for my run. I ate a banana in the car and some peanut butter when I got home. I put on my new Nike shorts, laced up my Mizunos and hit the pavement. Run started out strong. I went a different route today, through different neighborhoods. Let me tell you, these neighborhoods were very hilly to my surprise. First 4 miles were complete hills. The hills made my shins feel really tight, so I stopped to stretch them out and loosen up. Once I started running again, my shorts began to rub on the insides of my legs. Ouch. I tried to block out the pain and keep going. I didn't run to my usual running music today, I ended up running to my sappy music. Not going to lie, I was in a bad mood today, and the past few days. So for the last 12 miles of my ran, I just cried. I ran and I cried and I cried and I ran. Free therapy session anyone? Yeah, some people may think this is weird and that I should be embarrassed, but to me, it was just what I needed. Sometimes I just need that alone time to escape. I just needed to forget about everyone else and get to the bottom of what was bothering me. I may have shed more tears than I sweat, but hey, I feel back to my normal self. My 13 mile run turned in a 16 mile run before I knew it. I came home with blood running down my legs from the scratching from my shorts and mascara down my face, but I finished my run which was all I wanted. I kept running because I knew that the moment I stopped running, I would have to face reality. I ran 16 miles and when I came home all I could think was, "DAMN I FEEL GOOD!"

Running calms me, helps me sort out the scattered thoughts in my brain. Yeah I cried while I ran today, but it doesn't make me any less of a runner. I read this quote the other day, "Pain is just weakness leaving the body." Wow, so true. All the tears I cry and every drop of sweat makes me a stronger person, both physically and emotionally. I kicked some tush on my run today and I feel pretty darn good about it. Its really amazing how a good run can really turn my day around.

I have said it once and I will say it again...I am so happy to be a runner.

September 1, 2009

300 Miles Of September

Today is September 1st. It is a Tuesday. Only Tuesday and I am already beat. My mind is in the clouds today. I have had Andy Davis' "It Just Happened That Way" on repeat for over 8 hours and I never noticed. Like I said, my mind is gone, not here, busy, doesn't want to be bothered. This week has been the toughest week in a while. The drama and the stress have been at insane levels. As much as I try not to let it get to me, it has. It has been following me around like a rain cloud. Below are some of the lyrics from "It Just Happened That Way":

"It just happened that way,
no time to invest,
just pray for the best.
and you say,
it just happened that way.
We could run away,
thinking it over,
we should run away."

Somethings just happen. We have no control over the things other people do. People make their own choices and have to deal with the consequences of their own actions. I am not going to allow myself to get wrapped up in their issues. I can't solve them, therefore I should not worry about them. I will pray for the best and know things happen for a reason. But when issues and stress come up, I will run. I will run to soothe and calm my mind. I will run to remind myself that life is short and that I should cherish every moment I have.

Two days ago, I set a goal. In September, I am going to run 300 miles. Yes, that is an average of 10 miles a day. Yes, I am crazy, crazy is my middle name. Lately I have been running for speed. I would run to improve my speed and my mile time and forget about the miles. This goal is to help encourage me to slow down and just run the miles. Yes, 300 miles is a lot, but I can, and will do it!
Since today is September 1st, I thought it was appropriate to start out with a solid 10 mile run. Weather was perfect, a cloudy 60 degrees. I decided to wear my tights because I always have really good runs when I wear them. My sister wanted to come along and watch me run around the track. The first mile and a half was solid with a 7:06 pace. I finished up my second mile and stopped to take a sip of water. My sister decided to inform me that my butt looked huge in my tights and my butt was "flabbing in the wind". Awesome. Normally, when I run, I am not self conscientious. I am running to better myself, why should I care what other people think? Today was different. I was running around the track with two soccer teams and a baseball team practicing. I walked home. I changed into my new Nike shorts and headed back out, without my sister. I have worked so hard to get to a place where I don't care about what other people think about me. This was a big set back. The whole time I was running, that's all I could think about. As if my week wasn't bad enough already, my run wasn't good either. I didn't finish all ten miles, only made it to seven.

I have let the negativity in my life consume me. I will make up the 3 miles tomorrow. I will reach my goal of 300 miles. I will ice, stretch and listen to my body. The last thing I want to do is hurt myself by pushing myself too hard. So, as long as my body allows it, I will run 300 miles this month. I have had a rough couple of days but I will not let the negativity win. Like I said before, negativity is just a road block getting in the way of my goals.

August 27, 2009

I ♥ Nike

You know what I like? Clothes. When I get a new pair of jeans or a new shirt, I feel like I have an extra spring in my step. Although I may be the only one who knows I am wearing a new shirt, I still feel like a million bucks. Same goes for running clothes. I may be wrong, but I am pretty convinced that new running shirts/shorts make me run faster. Although I am not one of those girls that puts makeup on before I work out, I still like to look good on my runs. Running clothes make me feel good and make me feel better on my runs. I bought new Nike shorts this week as well as a new Nike shirt. New running clothes help me look forward to my runs because I can't wait to wear the new gear! I love looking through my running gear. I can relate each shirt to a different run, they all contain different memories.

When I first started running, I thought running was going to be such an expensive sport. My shoes alone were $150. I was attracted to running in the first place because it was free. I didn't have to pay for a trainer or pay for a class. All I had to do was open my front door and go. The more I got into running, I needed the Nike+, I needed tanks, tights, jackets, socks, Zensah's, CEP's and a fuel belt. Yikes. I don't have a money tree growing in my backyard. I like Nike. Their clothes fit great and I know they will last because they are good quality clothes. I have started looking for Nike gear at Nordstrom Rack, Ross, Marshall's, TJ Maxx. Success! I got my Nike tights for 15 dollars at Nordstrom Rack along with shorts for 15 and a Nike top for 7. Score! I love that I can enjoy running clothes without having to pay a hefty price. My cheap Nike gear works the same as the full price Nike gear from the Nike store.

Ok, so I might be running in last seasons color, but hey, I still look good running in them ;).
I know I am a runner, because I have more running clothes than normal everyday clothes :).

My Running World

Not going to lie, this has been a rough day. Today has been a day full of bitterness and jealousy. Two terrible things to feel. Later today, someone made an insanely rude sarcastic comment to me via twitter. Why do people have to talk other people down in order to make themselves feel better. All I have to say is, I feel sorry for them. Nothing like kicking me when I am already down. I don't want any part of their negativity.

When I first saw this comment, the first thing that popped in my mind was, RUN. Get me out of here. Get me away from the negativity. Running takes me to a different world. One in which there is no negativity. To a runner, negativity is a road block. It is the only thing that can separate me from the finish line. The moment I tell myself "I can't", I will never reach my goal. In the running world, positivity helps me and guides me towards the finish.

The moment things go wrong in the real world, I escape to my running world. In my running world, its just me, no one else exists. I run for me, I race for me, I compete for me. I race against me, myself and I. None of life stresses or problems are allowed in the running world. Its a strict "leave your problems at the door" policy. Problems and stress, just like negativity, stand in the way of my goal. In the running world, there is no one there to talk you down, to tell you you're not good enough.

Why do I run? I run to escape. What am I running from? From all of life's pressures. This world is so quick to tell us what we can and can't be. Call me self centered, but I run to a place where only I matter and where I can be whatever I want to be. Where I don't have to compete against anyone else but myself. A place where I can focus on bettering myself and only myself. The running world, well, is a dream come true.

Days like today, where I have been kicked and stomped on, I am thankful to escape to a better place, even if it is for only 30 minutes. Running is my escape, it is the only thing that keeps me sane in this crazy mixed up world.

August 25, 2009

"Hello There Runner Girl :)"

You know what makes me smile? The little things in life. All the little things in life are simply reminders of how wonderful life is. The little things in life that remind me I am a runner truly make my day. This morning, I received an instant message. It was not the 'receiving' an instant message that surprised me, its what it said. It popped up and read "Hello there runner girl :)" from a friend of mine (you know who you are ;). I don't know why, but I about fell out of my chair from smiling so hard. Runner girl. That's right. To see it in writing from someone other than myself was another little reminder, I AM A RUNNER! Something so little, something this person probably has already forgot about, really lit up my day today. I will always remember today, because today is the first time someone else has called me a runner. I am not used to thinking of myself as a runner. I have painted a picture in my mind of what a runner should be. They should be very thin, very motivated, fast, invincible, and most of all, they should never get tired. I am almost none of the above. I have meat on my bones, I have buns of steel, I get tired, and there are many days I doubt myself. But I am strong, I have determination that lasts for miles and miles. Today, I was acknowledged as a runner for the first time. You know who you are, and I thank you for your very small greeting this morning, because I am still smiling :)

Like I said, it is the little things in life that mean the most to me. I like to hold on to the little things that bring me joy. I will keep this greeting in my head and when I feel like giving up on my run tonight, I will remember "Hello there Runner girl :)" and push through until the end!

Awkward, Yet Hot, Tan Lines


Tan lines. I love them. Every summer I like to lay out in my bikini and tan. I can tell how tan I get based on my tan lines. Bigger the lines, better the tan. This summer has been different. I don't have a bikini tan line this summer. I am proud to say, my tan lines are of my racer back tank, my Zensah calf sleeves and my iPod arm band. Some tell me my tan lines are embarrassing and I really should cover them up. To me, they are hot. I worked hard for those tan lines. I ran in the heat, I ran in the sunshine, but best of all, I ran. I didn't spend my time laying around eating bon bons this summer because I was too busy training. My tan lines might be 'embarrassing' and not very attractive, but man, I worked hard for them and couldn't be more proud.

I tweeted about this yesterday, and the response I got was huge. Us runners, we earned these tan lines. They are a constant reminder of all the hard work that went into training. They remind us that we are strong individuals. No matter how busy and hectic life is, we all were a bit selfish and took the time for ourselves to get outside and just run. Runners have to be selfish. We have to step back and really focus on ourselves and on our bodies.

Us runners, we may have 'embarrassing' tan lines from running, but let me just say...we all have rockin' hot healthy bodies to show for it :)

August 18, 2009

Happy Hour + Running

One of the many joys of being 21, I can finally join my friends for Happy Hour. I am going back to school in a month, so I like to see my friends as much as I can before I leave. My dilemma, do I run before or after happy hour? Well, if I run before happy hour, I don't really have time to come home and shower and I am more pressed for time on my run. But, if I run after happy hour, I will most likely run much slower and have less energy due to running with alcohol and food in my stomach. Yesterday, I decided to try running after happy hour. It was warm outside and I figured it would be cooler outside when I got home. Well, two lemon drops later and I was off for a run. Not going to lie, I surprisingly had a TON of energy. I ran 6 miles at a 7:30 pace which was shocking. Although I ran at a pretty good pace, I also was beat after those 6 miles. Not sure if I will ever try running after happy hour again, but I am glad I fit in a run yesterday.

I also happened to try GU the other day. I have heard wonderful things about it and I decided to give it a try. I immediately had a lot of energy. My runs have been much longer and stronger with the GU. I really wish I would have tried it sooner!

August 17, 2009

Day 3 Off the Poison

Today is Day 3 off of my International Delight Vanilla Poison Creamer. I am not going to lie and say my new soy milk tastes super fantastic. I miss my creamer, a lot. Do you see the picture? When I (used to) pore my creamer into my coffee, this used to happen. The world lit up with stars and ice cream cones and whip cream would sit on clouds. Well, not really, but it really comforted me in the mornings. I used to light up when I pored my creamer because it was so good! Once I realized that my creamer intake was almost 25 percent of my daily calories, I knew I needed to make a change. Since I don't care for the vanilla soy milk as much as my creamer, I have been drinking about half the amount I normally drink. I used to just drink coffee to drink coffee. I loved the taste of my coffee. Now, I don't crave my coffee as much as I used to.

The way I look at it is, I am doing something good for my body, that is a reward in itself. Running has taught me to take care of my body. I only have one body and if I don't take care of it, I am not going to be able to run in the future. Everything I consume will have a direct effect on my body. Whether it be fueling my muscles or adding to my love handles. My runs are directly linked to what I fuel my body with. I can't eat a greasy cheeseburger and then hit the pavement for a run because my body will not move as fast. Eating a piece of whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter and a banana is better for my body and is better for my run.

Once I became a 'runner', I stopped thinking about what I was 'craving' and started thinking about what would be good for my run later. I never understood when people said they 'eat, sleep and breathe running." How do you eat running? Well, now I understand. Every time I eat, I think twice about how it will affect my run later in the evening. I don't eat to eat, I eat to fuel. What does creamer do for me. It certainly doesn't fuel me or fill me. It brings me comfort in the mornings, but that's about it. "Comfort in the mornings' certainly isn't going to help me run faster in the evening.

Sorry creamer, aka poison, I no longer need you :)

August 16, 2009

Soy Milk vs. Creamer

I have talked a lot about my struggle with Vanilla creamer in my coffee. I am very convinced that my problem with creamer is holding me back from my running goals and my lifestyle makeover. I have tried Half and Half, Splenda, honey and pure vanilla extract. So, I went to the store and bought Silk light Vanilla Soy Milk. I like this in my coffee, but its not sweet at all. I am wondering if I bought the regular Silk Vanilla Soy Milk if it would have a little more taste. I think i will finish this carton of soy milk and maybe try a different brand of vanilla soy milk to see what I like.

I think the soy milk is a great alternative for my coffee creamer. A whole cup of this soy milk is 80 calories, where as the creamer was 45 calories for a tablespoon. The soy milk has lots of fiber and tons of protein. I am definitely going to have to train myself to like the soy milk rather than the creamer. If anyone knows about good, sweet tasting vanilla soy, I would love to hear about it.

Also, I am loving the Chia seeds. I am eating 300 to 500 calories fewer everyday since I have started eating the Chia seeds. I don't feel the need to munch between meals and I feel a lot fuller faster. I would definitely recommend these seeds! They are great!

August 14, 2009

The Runner Club


Happy Friday Everyone! Yahoo! I want to blog about runners, not running, runners. Runners have always intimidated me. Not really sure why. They are not only physically strong, but they are mentally strong as well. When I began running, I didn't really want to talk about it. I was running a 12 minute mile and was ashamed. I thought other runners would think they were better than me and make me feel lazy for running so slow. Its like runners had their own club. Have you ever noticed that runners tend to have TONS of running friends all over the world? Intimidating. Runners were like the popular group at school. I always admired them from afar but was way to scared to talk to them. They know everyone and everyone loves them. I was very intimidated by runners.

Now that I am a 'runner', I have joined this so called 'runner club'. The club is much different then I ever imagined. Runners are the most friendly and outgoing people. The runners in this 'running club' are not judgemental. It doesn't matter how fast you run or how far you run. We, the people of this 'running club', share one thing in common, we LOVE to run. We all run for different reasons. We are all different ages and come from all walks of life. We are here to support one another and cheer each other on. Runners like to look on the bright side and like to be optimistic.

Although most of my running friends are on the different side of the country, I feel very close to them. I am so thankful for the people I have connected with on twitter, facebook, dailymile.com and on this blog. I will forever be so thankful for all the support I have received. Sometimes, a lot of time, they are the people who motivate me to get outside and run. I may not have a running partner, but I definitely have the 'runner club' to motivate me.

I am so happy to be apart of this so called "running club". :)

Ch-Ch-Ch-CHIA!

Took me a while, but I finally came up with a few short term goals for myself.
  • Run my first race (pedicure and manicure)
  • Sign up for the Seattle Marathon (not sure yet)
  • Join a running group (not sure yet)
  • Lose 5 pounds by October 1st
  • Lose 10 pounds by Christmas

Theses are my main running goals. I have a couple other goals for myself as well that have to do with nutrition. Today I was drinking my coffee and I picked up the creamer container. 45 calories for one serving. One bottle of that poison has 65 servings. 65?! Wow, I go through a whole bottle of creamer a WEEK. 65*45=2925 calories. That is almost a whole pound (1lb = 3500 calories). I would lose almost one pound a week if i just cut my creamer from my diet. Wow. I have no problem eating healthy, but this creamer is really getting the best of me. My goal is to slowly cut creamer from my diet. I hope to use less and less everyday and slowly start using half and half and honey instead. When I go to Starbucks, I always get an Americano with Half and Half and a tsp of honey. Why can't I do that at home too? If I have creamer in the house, I am going to use it. I just don't have enough will power right now to totally cut it out of my diet, because honestly I love the taste and its a comfort thing for me. So my ultimate goal is to be able to have creamer in the house, but not feel the need to use it, except for an occasional Sunday morning or so.

I also discovered the magical powers of Chia seeds. Yes, the same chia sprouts on Chia Pets. I have read that one tablespoon of Chia seeds will sustain and individual for 24 hours! These seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, calcium, iron and zinc. When the chia seeds sit in water (or in the stomach) they form a gel. This gel helps slow the process in which the digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and turn them to sugars. This helps prevent some of the calories we consume from being absorbed into our system. I have also heard that these seeds help curb your appetite as well!

I decided to give these seeds a whirl. I put them into water first, but, I just couldn't get myself to drink the seeds. I decided to mix in the seeds with my home made raspberry jam and spread it on toast. Not going to lie, it looked like kitty litter on top of toast with jam. I was pleasantly surprised. The seeds had NO taste and just added a little more crunch to the toast. The seeds were very good. I don't feel like a super woman after eating the seeds, but I have heard that after a couple weeks of consuming the seeds, people notice a difference in their weight and appetite. No matter if they help me lose weight or not, I am going to try to eat these chia seeds every day because I know they are good for me! I paid 10 dollars for a 10 oz bottle, which is on the expensive side, but I would say it was well worth it!

**EDIT: I have received negative feedback because I am "counting calories". Repeat, I am NOT and never have counted calories. I am just trying to live a healthier life and eat more natural and unprocessed foods. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be more conscientious about what I eat. Please, leave your negativity home and please do not bring it to my blog. Thanks - Jess :)

August 11, 2009

17 Miles to Start the Week

Last week was bitter sweet. Although I fell off the running wagon, I had a great birthday week. Now that my birthday week is over, its time to get back into running. I lost motivation last week. It was as if I forgot why I fell in love with running. I let too many distractions get in the way, and I really lost sight of my goal. As much as I love running alone, it makes it really hard to stay accountable. I really needed a swift kick in the butt last week to get me going. I really struggle with motivation lately. I constantly feel like I don't have time to run which is so not true! My birthday was last week, and I move in two weeks. I have a lot going on, but I definitely need to make time for running. I need to just schedule time for running, just as I would for a friend.

I went full throttle yesterday and ran 17 miles. The temperature was in the 60's with light rain, it was perfect for a long run. Although 17 miles sounds long, it actually was refreshing and came pretty easy. I had some leg stiffness due to not running for a week, but I felt pretty good. I did the 17 miles with an average pace of 8:31. I ran through a very hilly residential area which really tired my legs out. I did walk a tiny bit, which threw off my average pace. Overall, this was a great run. It was just what I needed to get me back on track! It is runs like this one that show me I should never doubt myself. An awesome run to start off my week.

I really hope I don't have another week like the one I had last week. I felt guilty all week. I often compare running to a relationship. I felt like I was cheating on running. Maybe, when I was ready to see running again, it wouldn't want me back. I want to be with running forever, I don't ever want to break up with it. We have been through a lot together and I really don't know what I would do without it.


I was reading a fellow blogger's blog (Jen) the other day. She set up mini goals for herself and picked out rewards for herself when she reached the goal. What an awesome idea!! Although I think running is rewarding in itself, I think it is a great idea to set up smaller goals to help yourself reach the bigger goals. Its great to look at the big picture and your main goal, but it is nice to have smaller goals to help keep you on track. In the next couple of days I am going to make a list of my smaller goals. I think seeing them on paper will really help me out. I will post these goals on here to keep me accountable.

August 7, 2009

DailyBurn.com

I need help. I am really having trouble with this lifestyle makeover. I just forget to pay attention to the foods I put into my body. I can honestly say I have really cut down on the amount of food I intake, but sometimes I don't keep track of the types of food I eat. When beginning this lifestyle makeover, the plan was to never count calories. I want to just listen to my body to determine what to eat. Sometimes my body tells me to eat Cheetos rather than carrots. So, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot only rely on what my body tells me, but I have to mentally track what I eat.

I decided to sign up with http://www.thedailyplate.com/. This web site was so hard to use. I could blog on the site, post pictures, meet 'friends', and track workouts. Not really what I was looking for. So I signed up with http://www.dailyburn.com/. I like this site better than the first one, but it is still hard use. I don't always have my computer at the tips of my fingers to record every single thing i eat. When I cook, do I have to manually find every ingredient? No thank you. I don't have time for that. I just want a tool that will help me track what I eat. Maybe a food diary on a plain piece of paper would be better. I am still not sure what to do, but I do know I want to be accountable for what I eat.

I never wanted to ever have to calorie count. Calorie counting makes me really not want to eat at all. I feel super guilty eating things when I know how many calories it has. I logged on the http://www.dailyburn.com/ today to record my breakfast. It informed me the the amount of creamer I used in my coffee today total was over 130 calories of pure fat. Awesome. While it is good that I am aware of this, I really am not willing to give up my creamer at this point. I guess this tool will inform me of what I am eating and help me make conscientious choices when it comes to eating.
Times like these make me wonder, how does everyone else stay on track and eat healthy? I would love to hear tips about how to stay on track and how to track what I eat. At this point, I just really need to be accountable for the foods I eat. I need to shed a couple more pounds to be able to shed a couple seconds off my mile time. I want to do it in a healthy way by eating smart and exercising.

Its All In My Mind

Just to warn you, the thoughts below are a bit scattered. I am not going to lie. I have not run all week. I have not had any motivation. I have really tried to spend my week thinking about why I run and what made me love running in the first place. There are so many people in the world that are too sick to run and some that can't even walk. Why do I take running for granted sometimes? I should be so thankful that I can run in the first place. I should be so thankful for all the good things running has done in my life. I need to spend more time with running, just so it knows how much it knows how much it means to me.

**I have a goal. My goal is to run the Seattle Marathon in November. Training alone has been very difficult. Although I prefer to run alone, I also would really enjoy having a running partner. Someone to keep me accountable and help me stay on track. Once again, this is another one of my lousy excuses for not running. I am sure if I had a training partner, I would come up with a different excuse. So, why all the excuses? I think I am very afraid I am going to fail. I am afraid I will not be able to run a marathon. I really can't sit around and not run due to my fear of failure. I am only hurting myself by having negative thoughts. I was talking to a friend last night about the importance of positive thinking. Its funny, I can sit around and tell everyone else to think positive, why can't I take my own advice? Negative thoughts will only hold me back from my goal. It is not going to get me anywhere.

"Fear less, hope more. Eat less, chew more. Whine less, breathe more. Talk less, say more. Love more and all good things will be yours."

"Once you replace the negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results."

Like I have said many times before, my mind is so powerful. I need to use it for the greater good. I really want to eliminate all of my negative thoughts and fears about running. I am not going to fail. I am going to run this marathon because I know I have the mental and physical strength to conquer whatever I set my mind to. My initial goal was to run the marathon at a specific pace and not walk at all. Since this is my first marathon, I just want to cross the finish line. I want to have the privilege of calling myself a marathoner. I want to know what it feels like to complete a marathon. I am a runner, next step is a marathoner. I will do it, because I know I can.

OCD UPDATE: I have had very positive results this week. Whenever I get a 'bad feeling' I quickly shut it down with a positive thought. Negative thoughts are not going to rule my life. I always drink my coffee in the same recliner every morning while i watch Sister Sister (haha). I never recline the seat, but this morning I decided to. The moment I reclined the chair, I immediately thought of a stretcher. Why? No clue. But, that to me, was a very bad thought. Was I going to wind up in a stretcher later that day? I quickly stopped those thoughts. I reclined my chair anyways, and so far, nothing bad has happened. By the way, right now I am getting bad thoughts about writing this. Like I am going to now have something bad happen to me. I am going to post this anyways. I have just been trying to do anything I can to show myself these 'bad thoughts' are just a pigment of my mind and very irrational. I love the picture on this post, "In my mind", that's what I keep telling myself.

August 6, 2009

Road ID

I began running as a treadmill runner. I love running outside, there is something about running with my hair flowing in the wind and my feet on the pavement. But to be honest, I have always had a fear of the road. It would be so easy for a car to pull up and snatch me away or better yet, get hit by a car. As much as I would like to think we live in a safe world, we don't. I don't want to be a naive runner. When I run outside, I try not to run the same path everyday, I try to run when it is well lit and where there are sidewalks. I run with bright colors and with my mace in my hand. Although my mace makes me feel a little safer when I run, it still doesn't eliminate my fear of the road. I normally run with my mace in one hand, my cell in the other hand, and my ipod on my arm. I am not going to lie, I really hate running with my hands full, but it is a sacrifice I make for my safety.

Today, as I was reading a fellow blogger's blog, I stumbled upon a picture of her "Road ID". It is just a cute little bracelet that you wear on your runs and it has contact information on it. Although this Road ID isn't going to save me from being hit by a driver or being snatched on my run, it will help me feel a little bit better about running outdoors. You can order them from www.roadid.com. I am definitely going to order myself an ID. They are only 20 dollars and they could really help save your life. Such a great investment. They also come in many cute colors too!

I would really like to hear from other runners about what you do to stay safe when running. Please leave comments! :)

August 5, 2009

Piece of Mind

I have been lacking some motivation lately. Sometimes I look for other peoples words to inspire me and to light a fire. Here are some words that really caught my eye and sparked a fire for me.

"You don't stand in front of the mirror before a run and wonder what the road will think of your outfit. You don't have to listen to its jokes and pretend they're funny in order to run on it. It will not be easier to run if you dress sexier. The road doesn't notice when you're not wearing make up. It doesn't care how old you are. And you don't feel uncomfortable if you make more money than it. The only thing the road cares about is that you pay it a visit once in a while" - NIKE

"All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will tell you you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough, they'll say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. They will tell you no, a thousand times no until all the No's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. They will tell you no. And you will tell them yes." - UNKNOWN

YOU KNOW YOU'RE A RUNNER WHEN:

  • your first thought when you look at the weekly weather forecast is "when can I fit my runs in?
  • your treadmill has more miles on it than your car.
  • at least one of your websites user names or email has the word 'run' or 'runner' in it.
  • you know exactly where one mile from your front door is (in all directions).
  • you hear PR you automatically think Personal Record, not public relations.