Monday, August 31, 2015

Whole30 Recap

I wanted to do a write-up of something I tried over this past month. I don’t necessarily care if anyone reads this, but it’s more for my benefit. But if you want to continue reading, be my guest!

I have drastically reduced the amount of running I have been doing the last few months. Partly because I was done with marathon training and just needed a break and partly because I just simply haven’t been motivated. However, a side effect of not running, for me, is gaining weight. My weight had been creeping up and up for the past six months or so and I really wanted to get a handle on it. I struggle with nutrition and had to somehow get a handle of what I was eating.

I had seen several blogger and FB friends who had completed the Whole30. Since you rarely hear about 100% improvement from everyone who tries it, I figured I had to look into it.

It appealed to me for several reasons:
  1. It’s not a “diet”. This program is meant to change the way that you view food and the way your craving work. It is not necessarily intended to be the way you will eat forever (although you could). It is mostly just a 30 day “reset”.
  2. It gave strict rules. I’m kind of a black or white person. Any diet that preaches “moderation” probably won’t work for me (or at least wouldn’t have *more on that later). I appreciated that it said exactly what I could and could not eat
  3. It focuses less on weight loss and more on health-both physical and mental. I know that I didn’t have the best relationship with food. I’m an emotional and boredom eater. Whole30 focused on getting rid of my cravings and helping me find a way to get control over what I ate.
  4. It was only 30 days. If I could eat this way for 30 days, I would at the very least be proud of myself.
So I went for it. Here’s a summary of how I ate for the last 30 days:
  1. No added sugars (real or artificial)
  2. No grains
  3. No dairy
  4. No legumes
  5. No alcohol
  6. No carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites
  7. No re-created baked goods, junk foods, or treats

Yes it was difficult. No it was not impossible. In fact, I found it easier than I thought it would be. I’m a planner by nature and that really helped me. I had to plan out my meals and prepare every night.
In the end, it was 100% worth it. I feel a lot better and healthier. Most people can point to one thing and say “Whole30 cured this!”. I’m not necessarily like that, but I know that I am healthier. I had a doctor’s appointment a week ago and all the tests came back perfect. I also lost 10 pounds.
Most importantly, my relationship with food has changed. I am much more in control. I’m sure I won’t eat this strictly for the rest of my life, but I think I’m in a much better place to make informed decisions about what I am putting in my mouth. I’m no longer a slave to the ice cream that will inevitably be sitting in the freezer at some point, but I may still have some :)
If anyone is interested in more information, you can find all the resources here:

I also have a copy of the Whole30 book if anyone wants to borrow it.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon Recap and I'm Back!

Hey y'all! After a long hiatus, I finally am back so you can read all about my exciting life :)

So here's a brief summary of the last month or so:

"Oh, I should probably run because I signed up for that half marathon in July"
Saturdays: "I'll do a long run, as far as I can!" (farthest I went was 7 miles)
Tuesdays: "Ok, I need to do some shorter runs this week" (usually only ran on Tuesday)
July 19th: "Shoot. Now I need to run a half marathon and I have NOT trained one bit"

Basically, I didn't do what I should have but in the end, I'm kind of glad I didn't. I had gotten so down on myself especially in the running department. After not being able to run the full marathon, running just wasn't fun anymore. Even a training plan didn't really get me motivated. I was officially burnt-out.

I went into the race this weekend knowing that I wasn't prepared, but hoping that I could just finish. I wasn't going to worry about time and I wasn't going to worry about how I felt. Just finishing. Turns out, this no pressure approach made it much more fun!

Race Recap:

So because this race was in Chicago, it also meant lots of family time! So for the expo me, my mom, and my brother ventured downtown to McCormick Place to pick up the packet. Let's just say that Chicago is waaaay more complicated than Nashville to navigate! However, the expo was a lot of fun and I enjoyed more than my fair share of Dunkin Donuts iced coffee samples. I also won the race before it started, so that was convenient.

Race day was warm, but not nearly as hot as it has been in Nashville. My family didn't believe me, but it was actually a nice break from the extreme heat. 

The first couple of miles felt fantastic! I had super fresh legs (aka no training) and lots of coffee! However, around mile 4 I realized that my Garmin had somehow gotten off (it was showing 5.5 miles) so that was a little disappointing. However, I continued to run/walk and just plug away at the miles. It was so fun to run through one of the best cities in the country! 

I had one major complication in this race. My marriage really started to feel restrictive. Totally kidding! Kind of...  This is a picture of me running up to my husband to try to get my ring off my finger because it was cutting off the circulation to my hand. My fingers had swollen so much that I could barely get them off! It was a strange problem that I've never had before, but I was thankful he was there to hold them for me until my hands went back to normal :) 
So to summarize: this was my second slowest half marathon ever. I was exhausted and really had no business running a half. However, I finished my sixth half marathon and I think this will go down as one of my favorites ever. Having my family there was truly special to me! Running through Chicago was special to me! And maybe most importantly, I'm learning how to believe in myself again. Marathon training took a toll on me, but it's not going to keep me down forever! 

And in case you are wondering: yes, I am incredibly sore. Yes, I look like a toddler learning to walk. I'm proud of every ache! 

I'm going to take a week or so off from running and then hopefully start training for another half in November. I'm starting now so that I can train SLOWLY and hopefully maybe enjoy a little bit of it :)

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 1, 2015


Sorry for the lack of blog posts! I'm sure y'all have been going crazy not knowing every little thing that happens in my life!

So here's a quick summary of my last two weeks:

Week 1: RICE (Rest, ice, compression, elevation) for my stupid ankle part 2
Week 2: Trying to kinda do stuff and doing a 5k.

This sprained ankle is nowhere near as bad as the first time (thank goodness!) and I am not wearing a brace or really a wrap anymore. The plan is to get back to normal this week and get a few miles in. I'd still love to run the half marathon I'm signed up for in a month and a half.

Brad and I were already signed up to run the Titans 5k this past Saturday, so of course we still did! This race rocked last year and this year did not disappoint.

I love that the race starts and finishes at LP Field and the runners can sit in the stands. It's a really fun experience for those of us who love running and football!

At the start line, you run  through a tunnel of Titans players and get to give them high-fives as you start! (Of course it'd be better if it were the Denver Broncos, but the Titans will do for now).

The finish line is probably the best part. You run out onto the field and loop around to finish through the same tunnel that the players come out of on game day! The Titans cheerleaders were there to greet us.

And the second best part of the race: Papa John's Pizza at the finish line. Worth every step.

I'll be honest, I think I maybe ran .25 miles of this 3.1 mile run. We took it way easy and walked it. This was beneficial to my ankle, my brain, and my husband :) It was a great day and a great race. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who lives in Nashville!

I'll be posting all the pictures from this event, as well as a video of the finish line to my FB page later today.
Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Stupid Ankle Part 2

Recap of the week:

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 1.5 mile run + strength
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: 2 mile run + strength
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Personal Training
  • Sunday: None
Well the hits just keep on coming! For those of you who have been reading my blog for a few months, you'll remember that I sprained my ankle last October. Well we are back to square one. 
(My stupid ankle and some Wrigley butt)

At personal training on Saturday, I was walking and my ankle decided to roll a way it's not supposed to. So while I'm not going to go to a doctor, I'm about 90% sure it's sprained again. After a couple very emotional outbursts, I think I've come to the logical conclusion that I need to strengthen my ankles. I think that running constantly is making any side-to-side movement really weak in my ankles because I don't use those muscles when I run. And both times I have sprained it have been after some "moving" around that my ankles aren't used to. 

Here's the question of the day for y'all. I need a better story though. I mean, the first time I sprained it, I was doing step ups. This time, I was literally walking. Who wants to write a more epic story to how I sprained my ankle twice? It would be much appreciated :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Training in the Summer

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 15min eliptical, 30 min strength (LiveFit Day 1), 20 min lunch walk
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 1.5 mile run on treadmill, 30 min strength LiveFit Day 2, 20 min lunch walk
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 4 mile run, personal training
Sunday: Rest

I'm extremely proud of this week! I'm trying to incorporate running back into my life as well as strength and low-intensity fitness. I'm also trying to eat healthier (I feel like I say that everyday) because marathon training did a doozy to my nutrition.

There has been one new, major development this week though. Heat, humidity, and sun. I love these three things in general! I've been eating my lunch outside and taking lunchtime walks because I absolutely love the heat. Here's the issue though: my runs suffer big time in the summer weather. Here are some tips I have picked up through reading blogs and my own personal experience with dealing with summer running.

1. Early morning is my friend. I am a modified morning person. I enjoy being up and going in the morning, but that somehow doesn't include wanting to run in the mornings. So I need to get better at that so I can at least mostly beat the heat.

2. Drink lots of fluids. I'm much more conscious of my hydration in the summers. I know I need to drink water constantly and some kind of electrolyte after a hard run.

3. Wear the right stuff. I make sure that I am wearing sweat-wicking clothing and not much of it. (don't worry, I'm not usually indecent). I also try to wear compression shorts/capris because shorts make me worried about chafing (although it doesn't actually happen very often). I also wear a hat and sunglasses. Some advice that I should head is to wear sunscreen. I'm really bad about that and pretty much burn every time I'm in the sun. Whoops.

4. Be ok with not running. This is rarely an issue for me because I give myself all kinds of excuses to not run. But if it's too hot out, don't go running. If I do go, I make sure to tell someone where I will be and when I'll be back. Heat stroke is real and it's no joke. Treadmills=just as many miles. As does horizontal running.

5. Slurpees. Unfortunately there are no official 7-11's here in Nashville, but an Icee is pretty close. It's the perfect after summer run snack.

Hope y'all have a great week!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Recovery and a Birthday!

First my recap of my week:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 30 minutes walking on treadmill
Wednesday: 30 minutes cycling
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Walked around dog park (more on that later)
Sunday: 2 mile run

It was great to have a week that was no pressure and no schedule. I did what felt good and when it felt good. I'm going to try to add one more cross training day this next week, just to keep myself motivated!

My one run this week was with gorgeous weather and it felt great!

I made sure to stretch extra well, because my legs are still a little dead from last week.
Introducing: My new shoes! I'm trying out the Brooks Launch 2 because I've heard so many good things about them. Don't worry, they aren't replacing my Ghosts. The Launch are much lighter and I'm going to do short distances/speed work with them. I'll still use my Ghosts for long runs and long races.

Now to the real news: this past week was Wrigley's 1st Birthday!
He got two new toys including a Pound Puppy! (I love the Pound Puppies because we always read their book when we went to Grandma and Grandpa's)
We also went to a super cool dog park in Nashville to celebrate. It was probably the size of a couple football fields and all fenced in. Needless to say, our little dude had a ton of fun and was a little sleepy when we got home :)

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Next Step

The natural next question is, so what now?

I want to preface this post by mentioning that these are my feelings as of right now. I purposefully waited a few days post-race to write this because I wanted to have a clear head.

My first instinct was to never ever run again because it hurt and I failed. I know that isn't pleasant, I'm just being real.
I did quickly get over that sentiment because I do love running. I just didn't particularly like it on Saturday. So then my next thought was, 26.2.
I know that finishing a full marathon would be an awesome experience. I know that it would take a lot of work and a lot of dedication. I know I would have to take more time than I did this training cycle. However, the question keeps coming into my head: "do I even really want to?". And since I've always been fairly honest with you, right now I don't want to. This whole experience of training and running the marathon has not been a great experience. That's why for right now, I want to focus on the half marathon. I want to get my time to where I want it to be. I want the half marathon to feel "conquered" before I try to push out a full marathon again.
Run a marathon they said..
As for the next few months, I want to run a couple 5ks and shorter distances just to keep some running base. I will probably start training for the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon in about three weeks. I hope that training and race goes really well! I'm also signed up for the Zooma Nashville Half Marathon in November. I'm going to try to run both of those, but I need to shift my focus away from training like a crazy person. I need running to be fun again because until I really enjoy it again, I'm not going to even think about 26.2.

Thanks for all the support! I'm blown away by how family, friends, and complete strangers follow my story and actually care. It means the world to me :)