Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New Gear for 2013!

Anybody else get SO stinkin' excited about the New Year?!  I absolutely love the new year. Almost as much as I love Christmas. I like the fresh start. The sense of renewal and new chances for new adventures. A clean slate! Really each day could be seen as that. With each new sunrise it is a new day! But there's something fresh about a whole new year.
I'm not even sure where to start! I must have about one-hundred goals and resolutions for this upcoming new year. But in reflection, 2012 was amazing!  I remember thinking I wanted to run a marathon by 2013 or 2014...well I met that goal in 2012! So many awesome things like that and scoring PRs and age division awards. I met all of my goals and logged over 1200 miles this year. And on a personal note I became the most content I've ever been. Content as a single parent and woman.
My son has also had an incredible year! He ran his first Fun Run in February, swam like a champ over the summer, read chapter books like they were going out of style and has completely wowed me in so many ways.
Work life has been crazy but that's why maintaining a positive attitude while on the job is one of my 2013 resolutions!
My big focus as far as running goes is the OKC Marathon in April and the inaugural Asheville Citizen-Times marathon in September. Running OBX in November would be awesome again but like I've mentioned in the past, financially I can only, barely, swing one good trip.
I also must admit, I want to be faster. I daydream about running Boston more than any normal human being should. Even though given my past marathon speed I have my work cut out for me!  That may take another year or two or three...but that's why we keep on keeping on!

So since I like lists and I need to organize this a bit,

2013 Goals:

Have a DAILY devotional time with the kid (was way too off and on last year with this)
Run at least two fun runs with the kid
Organize our closets...yay fun.
Put our swim/run, all things active scrapbook together (I have all the pieces sitting in a pile needing to be put together!)
Limit tv/movie time and add extra board games or crafts
Food prep and cook more. <--this one scares me the most!

Maintain a positive attitude and breathe!
To not participate it any gossip whether it be true or false. Talking bad about people is just wrong. Period. We are to speak life and encouragement!
Be more grateful daily for a job.
Read more CEs. Like actually read them. To actually learn. Not skim them and answer questions as needed.

Count my fruits and veggies daily! There were many days this past year where I only ate like ZERO real whole foods.
Practice Yoga/Pilates at least two times each week (I was way too lazy on this last year...)
Drink drink drink my water! I cut our diet soda during the last phase of my marathon training, but snuck a few after. This year I want to cut it out totally! I feel so much better without it.
Read 10 books this year. 10 whole books. I don't read much and I feel this should change. Maybe I will pick some good running reads. I'd like to read The Long Run by Matt Long. I've read so many awesome things about this book. Reading inspires, enriches and grows the mind. My poor brain could use some of that. Ha!

To run OKC and see my family!
A sub-4:00 marathon!  I will have two chances!
Get a 5k under 24 minutes
Get as many fun runs in with the kid
Keep running happy and strong!

And I have so many more goals, I know I do but I will keep this list for your boring reading pleasure short and sweet!

So you see my pretty little picture? I scored a Fuel Belt for $15! Have you been to Marshalls?? I strongly suggest you check it out. There was only one Fuel Belt. Ladies size small. Perfect for me! I tried it on in the store and ran around with it on. (Because I'm cool like that) Stayed put and didn't bounce. And those bright colors should get me going!  There's something about bold colors that make me feel like a rock star. Note the bright colored socks as well!  I'm excited about having some new gear for this upcoming marathon training cycle!

**So what are your biggest 2013 goals??**

Happy (&Blessed) Running!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

#Elf4health Chocolate&Peanut Butter Microwave Cake

Hey there again! So I got this original recipe from Melanie at Happy Being Healthy. And it is so, so easy that I could do it!
But I had to tweak it a bit because I realized there was no cocoa powder sitting in my pantry.  I'm grossly understocked in the kitchen. So I substituted with one packet of 10 calorie instant hot cocoa mix and it worked like a charm.  I left out the sweetner and cocoa powder and in place did the mix.  In cooking it is allowed to experiment!  I also used almond milk since I don't use moo milk for anything anymore. So it mighty not look too pretty but it turned out quite tasty!  Great for a quick sweet tooth fix. The only thing I regret it not having any strawberries to top it with.  I did use some vanilla greek yogurt on top and it was scrumptious. All in all it really makes for a satisfying and filling treat!  Enjoy!

**Any quick recipes you enjoy via microwave?**

Out of Hibernation and #Elf4health

Yeah, Yeah I know.  I've been MIA again.  Well, REAL LIFE is busy ya know!  That and I finally had a day off when the library wasn't closed...that and I've had writers  block...I'm sure I could come up with some more excuses.  As a warning, this post may go a little something like this; blah blah blahdiddy blah.
Thank You Lord for having sent Your son to save us so we may celebrate Christmas ...but Thank YOU LORD I can now take my tree down!  That tree was down Christmas day after all was said and done.  A little rest was good. Even though I wasn't happy about it I'm glad I chose to put the treadmill away for the Christmas season. It forced me to slow down and take a breather. I went a little crazy I believe and discovered just how reliant I had become on needing to run. I need it like a crack baby needs crack.  But I'm well rested and ready to GO!
So anyway...
My game plan for the next two weeks is to build my mileage back up a little before the next round of marathon training begins, which will be January 7th. That's also when the kiddo goes back to school, so it works out perfectly. This time I'm going with a different game plan. I really liked RLRF (Run Less, Run Faster) plan because of the lower mileage and only three runs a week but, since I didn't cross train really much at all, I'm going with a higher mileage with a mix of yoga and pilates. OKC Memorial Marathon in April I'm coming for you! I can not wait to see family again...
So having said all that...I came across a fun #Elf4health challenge about a week ago and thought hey this would be a great way to stay healthy this season. Only I've failed terribly so far.
The challenge goes a little something like this,
Each day of the week you are challenged to do or try something you may or may have not tried before or may have just not "had time for".
Monday's challenge: call up an old friend. Well Monday I worked, went straight to get little man, got showered for our church's Christmas Eve service, straight to church, straight (as if I could've gone crooked...ha) to our family's gift exchange for the kiddos, then home and had to get Santa ready and by that time it was about 9:30 pm.  So no, I didn't call a friend. BUT I did text one...I don't think this counts.
Tuesday's challenge: take a walk with a friend or family member.
Well it rained. And rained some more.  So no, I didn't walk. Gah I'm a terrible elf!
The other part is your "Elf". You are matched up with another elf to help encourage you along the way.  There's also prizes and what nots for best elf etc etc.
Wednesday's challenge: find three things I like about myself in the mirror and show it off! Okay so I didn't take of picture of me.  You've seen my face before.
  • I like my eyes. God gave me deep blue ocean eyes.
  • I like my heart.  Because Jesus is in it, it loves deeply and beats strong for my runs!
  • I like my legs. Of course ;-) because well, I run. So they're just smokin' hott! Ha!

Thursday's Challenge: write a list of 20 things I am grateful for.  I did manage to get this one done!  I wrote it in the back of my 2012 runner's journal so I can remember it for years to come. 

Friday's challenge: Make a healthy mug cake.  Did not happen.  Worked over late because work was crazy!  Wow, I am full of excuses aren't I?? So I googled a recipe and I will try it this weekend!  Does thinking about making one count??  No. No it doesn't.  ha!  Cute mug!


And for the weekend?  I am to take some time for myself.  Hmm... I did get a face mask for Christmas.  Maybe I will pamper myself tonight. Maybe even paint my nails!  What?! I never do that.  Never time!
Well happy weekend friends!  Make the best of it and keep on keeping on.  Take some time out this weekend for you! 

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

**So...anyone failed any challenges lately? Or proudly finished any?  Share please!**

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tell Me About Your 2012

So about this past'd it go for you?
Thought this was a clever idea and a great way to connect with other runners/bloggers. I have had a blast getting to know so many runners and reading their blogs. I've learned so much and its also just so much of a comfort knowing we can have a huge support system. Even if its "virtual"!  Thanks to technology, and a wise use of it, we have the ability to connect with others and share our stories and help keep each other motivated and accountable!  These questions courtesy of Miss Zippy! Go check her blog out. Good stuff. She had this post idea and asked us to share. I like to share. :-) So does Christine at Dream Big Runner, another awesome blogger. She's the one I heard about this little questionnaire from originally.  So lets hear it from you!
  • Best race experience? Hands down the OBX marathon!
  • Best run? I'm going with the DuPont trail race.  I used it as a training run during my marathon training and had the time of my life!  You just can't beat trail running!
  • Best new piece of gear? At the beginning of the year I splurged on my Garmin 110!  It's simple, basic and cute! Works perfectly for me.  I feel lost without it on.
  • Best piece of running advice you received? Run from the heart and trust your training.
  • Most inspirational runner?  Every runner I've ever met has inspired me in some way.  I could go on and on about who and why they inspire me. 
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? A new beginning.  This year I felt like the real Jessica was unleashed!  NO more excuses or hiding in life.  I went out and ran and conquered my past fears. I became okay with me.  Well, not just okay, I became happy with the life God gave me. 
**So now it's your turn!  Answer these questions and link back to your blog or answers in the comments below!  I want to know how your year went as well!**

**Happy (&Blessed) Running!**

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday: Time in Technology

Last week I didn't post one blog post.  And for a day or two I got rid of Facebook.  *Gasp!* But it didn't last too long.  I missed all my friends.  However, I felt the need to step back and get some perspective. Life can get overwhelming real quick when you're trying to keep up with everyone else.
On average how much time a day do you spend in technology world? Cell phone, computer, internet, social media, tv, tablet...etc etc...

(Photo from Time management Ninja)
What if we tracked every hour we spend a day?  How many hours would that give us to run?  Exercise?  Play with our kids/dogs/cats/spouses(insert whatever you have here)?  Clean house?  Visit real face-time friends and/or family?  Volunteer?  The list is endless. I include myself here.  I realized I was spending way more time than I thought I was.  I'm not suggesting that social media is bad. In fact it is a very good and useful tool. I have learned many new things, been inspired by others, made new blogger friends and won some cool freebies! (Including Kara Goucher's book Running for Women from Fit For Moms!  Go check out her blog! She's always got useful tips and encouragement!)
But rather I'm suggesting that it can be a total time-sucker for other wonderful things in "real life".  It's about balance.  Ah, the great balancing act.  I am still a work in progress with this!
So I challenge you to pick just one day this week and track every minute you spend glued to some form of technology and write it down. Then make a list of what you could have accomplished within that time frame.  Writing things down has a way of making things more concrete. (Also works for running goals!  Write them down and you're more likely to succeed.)
Feel free to share what you've learned. Or if you have a great time-management skill, share what works for you to keep things balanced and in check.

So as far as 12/12/12 I got in my 12.12 miles today in honor of the last repetitive date. An amazing run!  A much needed amazing run.  I felt like I was on cloud nine the whole run and cloud 12 after.  Definitely a huge difference from yesterday.  I was reminded how blessed I truly am.  Sometimes all it takes is some time to reflect and regroup.  Time to vent.  Time to stew about things.  And when it's all said and done you come back refreshed and ready to take on the next thing in life.  Life's a road.  Run it.

  **So, how did you run the day?**

Happy (&Blessed) Running!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2013 Goals and Holiday Blues

Well, it appears I've disappeared from the social media scene for a while. Even been completely off Facebook. Gone.  I've fallen off the face of the planet.  Contemplated getting rid of every social media account I have. But, I reasoned with myself that would be silly.  Maybe it was the past 8 straight days I just worked...and now I'm so tired I can't even enjoy my day off... I feel like everyday I got home from work I was falling apart. I am falling apart.  Emotionally, physically and spiritually.

This is me this Christmas Season ha! okay not really me.  But it was funny.
There have been other personal things I've had to deal with this season that have had me absolutely tore up in a mix of anger and serious frustration. I can't seem to get my act together.  I feel like such a butt! I'm generally working different shifts daily and dealing with human beings who aren't well and I have to solve all their problems.  I may be exaggerating ... but just a little.  I just got burned out. Trying so hard to live a full life and keep up with tweets, posts, blogs, workouts, can be mind draining. And I'm not even exactly good at any of it. You know the whole not having a computer thing and trying to do all things social from a stupid "smart phone".
So this gave me time to reflect. Time to think. To find out why I feel what I do is never enough. Never good enough.  Winter and the holiday season can be difficult for some.  And I'm no exception.  I won't bore you with my whole life story (but I will say I've never had a stable life growing up as a child going through 4 step dads, moving countless times and never getting to see my family in Oklahoma because we got moved out here to NC.  Then I got married, had a kid and divorced yada yada...see I told you it would be a long, boring story) but running has been my one vice. My one help during these times. Where I feel free and at peace. But at this moment I feel like it isn't helping.  The few runs I can get in feel hard.  I'm just sad. Really, really sad. I feel lazy and unmotivated. This blog is supposed to be Flying Feet in FAITH. Where has it gone?  Another reason I took time off of the social media world. To try and spend more time with the One source who can heal all broken, lonely and sad hearts. I still can't seem to shake this funk. Usually setting some sort of goal helps. I regret to say I couldn't stick with the #RWRunstreak due to the Christmas tree.  :-/  I really can't run on my lunch break because we have no showers or similar facilities to clean up and I'm sure my co-workers wouldn't appreciate that...
And so it brings me to think of my goals for next year. I can not function without a goal apparently. Since being an adult I have discovered that having, setting and achieving goals brings so much satisfaction in life. I have been reading about some pretty inspiring goals such as 13x13.1 races in 2013. My problem?  Even thinking about affording 13 races!  Races fees can range from $25-$100+ depending on race and distance. (Another blueish kinda thing creeping up this season..trying to afford daily living and Christmas for the kid, nephews, nieces etc etc) Fun runs are generally cheaper. Maybe I could do 13 Fun Runs with my kid! ....hey. now that's an idea. If I can sucker my little guy into that. Ha!
So now that I may have totally depressed you all with my blue Christmas spirit... I just had to get it out of my system. Lord help me get through this.
What are you goals for the new year? I have a crazy one or two. Break 22 minutes in the 5k. My fastest official time for 2012 was 24:02. I told you it was crazy.  But my main goal is to run a sub-4:00 marathon. I think I can do this. My training plan will take full swing in the first week of January after the kid goes back to school and I can revive my treadmill!

This is my Crazy reach goal for the end of 2013.  My first was to break 30, then 25, then maybe 20???

For anyone else who struggles here is a link I found:
I came across this article from Psychology Today and found it very helpful and full of practical tips- "Running Away from the Holiday Blues" from the article,  "It's the marathon that has taught me these techniques, and I have to believe they'll work for others. In a 26.2-mile race, the last few miles can feel grueling. Unlike the first miles, when a runner feels her strongest, the last miles break her down, just as the last months of the year tax the verve right out of many of us."
That hit home for me.

**Please someone, anyone, out there tell me I am not alone in these feelings during the holidays??  Does setting goals help you cope with life? Or am I just a weirdo?  Don't feel obligated to answer that last question.**

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Feet of a Deer or Elephant or Bull or ... 19 ~
"The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights."

Have you ever felt like you were just gliding effortlessly through a run?  When your feet were light and the steps went quickly and all was right with the world?

Maybe once. But I can't remember.

I feel more like a drunken bull in a china shop.  I can never manage to run in a straight line.  Have you ever seen a deer run?  They're swift and graceful. But my name isn't Grace for a reason. About two years ago I was told I was a goofy runner from a good friend (good used lightly here) but at work yesterday I had a compliment from a customer who sees me running through town often. She says that I look "beautiful and just so fast" when I run.  That absolutely made my day. Especially when I don't feel that way.  ESPECIALLY during the winter time when I feel extra "fluffy" and not as motivated. So called friend of mine. I'm no longer a "goofy" runner. But I'm beautiful and fast. According to my new favorite customer. 
So this is my prayer today. That God would strengthen me and make my feet like a deer.

**So what about you?  How do you feel you look most of the time when running?**

Ps- how do you like my art skills with my little bull running? Ha!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Treadmill Hibernation In the Spirit of Christmas

Warning: this was all typed up from my phone so there may be misspelled words. *gasp*

So it looks as though I won't be running on the treadmill much for the next 23 days. Which means my runs will be few and far in between. But sacrifices must be made for the kid and the spirit of Christmas. Our home is so tiny we had no other space for the treadmill or tree. So there it is. In their seperate corners with their lights.  If I were to run on the treadmill I'm pretty sure that all the ornaments, including our angel (we can not have a fallen angel!) would come toppling down.  Siiigghhh....the treadmill has been such a lifesaver as a single momma...

Oh and the Reindeer Run went well. I was just excited to be there and running! A whole different experience. I beat my course time so that was cool. Previous was 27:07 and this run was 24:31.  (7th female/173 and 38th overall/278). But I must point out there were many youngsters there from Girls On the Run and some other kids. They started at the front and sprinted out then about a mile in I almost ran over a few. I felt awful!  I remember only dreaming about getting under 25 minutes last year so this was a pretty good feeling! I also remember last year struggling to finish up that hill but this year I was able to sprint up to the finish. That was awesome!  I like the challenge of the course. It's always such a great event.  But yet I find myself still not satisfied with my time...never good enough! Geez. And I'm guessing this break from the treadmill isn't going to help any. Oh well. Life needs balance. January though IT IS ON!!!! My training plan for the OKC Marathon starts as soon as the kid goes back to school after Christmas break!  And so does the desperate savings of monies...

**So how are you running this season?**