Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to lace up your sneakers.

If you clicked on this link thinking you'd find a tutorial on how to teach your children (or students) to tie their shoes... um... Sorry. This isn't the blog.  I did  teach a lesson on tying shoes during my undergraduate days BUT that was another life (maybe i'll dig up that lesson plan and blog about that if my life gets boring!) anyways!  Today, i'd like to share with you a couple of my tips for lacing up my sneakers and heading out the door. Ooookay, if you are following my #weeklychase  you might be asking why I'm blogging about running and not actually - you know - RUNNING!

Truth is, this is a topic I've been thinking about for quite a while.

Alright, raise your hand if you've ever struggled with motivation. That little tiny desire to actually put ON your  running shoes and head out the door.

We've all seen this pin.

... and this one. 


So, why do we struggle with motivation? 

I don't know.

That's right ... you read all the way down to this point for me to tell you that I have no clue!  It's true, I don't know what motivates you to run, but here are some tips that have helped me regain the strength to tie my shoelaces and walk out the door. 

Tip 1: Allow myself time to rest. 

Yep. If I know myself, I know that if I feel pressured or like I "HAVE" to do something, I begin stressing out about it (maybe even obsessing a little?). So, I allow myself time to rest.  However, do NOT allow this "time of rest" to become a month of rest! (ahem ... might be a little guilty!!)

Tip 2: Re-read comments, blogs, letters, and other encouraging communication.

This has been a HUGE motivator for me. The day my husband and I got home from the Disney Princess half, we found letters from my whole family in the mail box. My family sent hand-made cards COVERED (like COVERED) in Disney stickers. Inside the card they had written encouraging notes to us. I treasure those letters because they remind me that even though my family may think this running thing is a little crazy, at least I know they are supportive (and love me!)

Seriously, when you are in a funk with running. Remember, you have so many cheerleaders and it's important to give them something to cheer for!!

Source: tumblr.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Tip 3: Remember when... 

All runners will tell you that running can be mentally challenging. Sometimes to get out of the running funk, we need to think about where we are and where we have been. My first "run" was ...over 18 minutes. Yeah, I. was. SLOW! Who cares if I was slow, I was out there! Sometimes when I have a bad run, or just feel like giving up on this whole running lifestyle I remind myself of what running has done for me.

Running has given me so many opportunities and I am always grateful for the way it changed my life. The other day someone told me they went running because I inspired them too... Well, to be honest. You inspire ME!!

So the next time you lack the strength to lace up your sneakers, or the ability to leave the comforts of your home for a run. Pause for a moment and think. ...

 Have I allowed myself to rest? 

Do I really have all of those people cheering me on? 

Remember how far I've come. ... 

If you make it through those mental exercises, I know you will find the courage to get out there and run. If not, maybe you really do need to take a little break from running and rest.

These are just a couple of exercises I do to help motivate me to get out the door and run. I am just a girl trying to figure out how to balance life, love and running one day at a time.

Have tips or a post on motivation, share it below!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekly Chase - March 25

Hello Friends, 

It's that time of the week again!! Yep, another special shout out to Mindy and Molly for hosting the Weekly Chase. Honestly, I LOVE the weekly chase so much. Please, head on over to their blogs for more great chases. 

Last week was a little rough for me. I didn't get much sleep and it felt like everything in my life was moving way too fast! But, the week is over and NOW it's time to come clean on how I did with my goals! 

How did I do? 
1) Paint my nails. - YESS!!! I finally painted them. Actually, I tweeted to Mindy as I was giving myself a manicure. (Are you following her on Twitter, blog, instagram? She's so great!) 

2) Run one of my #13in2013 Virtual Races - DONE! I was a day late, but... I got it done. Proof Post!

3) Re-arrange the living room.  - not really. BUT, that is because Mr. Handsome and I thought through every possible arrangement and decided that for our purposes (netflix, and fitness dvd's) the living room was at the best arrangement for the space. We DID spend the time to move all of the furniture and vacuum those crazy dust bunnies that hop into my house. 

4) MAKE IT HAPPEN GOAL! (Clean out my closet) - I was going to do this on Tuesday. However, we ended up taking dinner to my in-laws that evening, then Wednesday was church, and Thursday was my sister in law's singing competition, and Friday was Youth Group, and Saturday was other chores, and Sunday was ... (You get the picture!) Anyway, I didn't exactly clean out the closet, BUT I have a pile of clothes that are to be donated. 

So, despite a CRAZY week, ... I did pretty good! Here's what I have in store for THIS week! 

1) Clean my bedroom (Put away clothes, dispose of clothes that are too big, dust)

2) Run on Tuesday / Thursday 

3) Wash the dogs (Wednesday)

Make it Happen Goal! 
Take the items to donate to goodwill! 

There are my goals! I ask you to PLEASE help keep accountable!  Tweet to me and ask me how I'm doing with my chase! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

13 in 2013 - St. Patrick's Day Virtual!

In honor of my St. Patrick's Day virtual 5K, please notice I have changed my text color to GREEN! St. Patty's Day is one of my husband's favorite holidays (no, we are not known to be found in the party-scene.. BUT for some reason, ... he just loves the holiday!) [His Recent Postanyways!  I was very excited that one of Jill Conyers 13 in 2013 Virtual races was a St. Patrick's Day theme!! I had BIG plans! Mr. Handsome and I were going to run the race together, we were going to eat some corn beef and wear green (blah-blah-blah). Well,... life sometimes happens and we aren't always able to accomplish our plans. 

Life was so busy I didn't even get to do the race during the scheduled time! (I was one day late.)
I tagged Jill in a photo on Instagram and asked for her forgiveness, and of course (being the fantastic lady she is) she gave it! 

She reminded me that "It's all about the run". So, thank you Jill for the opportunity to virtually run with you and so many other fabulous people! 

So, how was the weather? 
I'm sometimes torn when I think about the weather. On one hand, it's SO ridiculously HOT for being March. When I left my house for the run it was 82 degrees outside. Seriously? It's MARCH! On the other hand ... I see my blogger / twitter / instagram friends bundled up praying for some sunshine. So, I'd decided YES, it was absolutely ridiculously hot out there. BUT I'd rather have my sunshine than a treadmill. ... (p.s. treadmill runners inspire me!) 

And how about that run?
It wasn't a PB or anything, BUT considering I haven't had a chance to run at all this week, i'd say it was pretty good. I was able to maintain under 16 minute miles. Considering I'm not really much faster than that on a good day, and it was 82 degrees and sunny ... I'll TAKE IT! Besides, I felt so relaxed and happy during my run. All of the stresses simply melted away. (p.s. PB = Personal Best NOT Peanut Butter). 

Anything else? 
Yes! Our microwave officially died this morning (remember when I recently cleaned it?). So, my darling husband and I are going to go pick out a new one this afternoon. We are ALSO going to use one of our groupons for wine tasting this afternoon. I'm pretty excited! 

How about you? 
Are you doing the #13in2013 challenge, or did you participate in a St. Patty's day run? 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekly Chase

Monday, Monday!

Now it's time for another Weekly Chase!! Thank You   Mindy & Molly for hosting the weekly chase each week. It really helps keep me focused on my goals!

Road Runner Girl

Last week, I had every intention of sleeping, running and eating. Remember ...   Well, lets re-cap! 
1) Sleep 7 Hours per night.  - No. Ugh! Sooo Frustrating!! My neighbors were up late playing the bass most nights. So, even though I'd go to bed on time ... I didn't get any more sleep than if i'd stayed up late and watched movies! 

2) Actually follow a running plan. HAHAHAHAHAHA (Okay, I didn't follow the plan... - I only ran once!)

3) Rest - YEP! totally rested! 

4) Paint my nails - NOOO (so sad, I didn't paint my nails.) 

So, here's the deal. I didn't actually do very well with my goals - BUT I had a great week!! 

Now that I have openly and honestly confessed that I didn't exercise that much last week, I will also gladly admit that I cleaned my bathroom, mopped my floors, kept up with my meal planning, and spent some quality time with my husband.  Living a healthy lifestyle isn't always about exercising, it is also about taking time to find balance and spending time with those you love. (That's how I'm making myself feel better at least). 

Sooo, here are my goals for this week! 

1) PAINT MY NAILS! - Seriously, I WILL paint my nails. 

2) Run one of my 13 in 2013 Virtual 5K's! 

3) Re-arrange my living room

Make it Happen Goal - Spring Cleaning!!
Organize my clothes - get rid of clothes that are too big. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Recipe for Chili-fied chicken Salad

Yesterday I made chicken salad and it was DELICIOUS!

I'm posting from my phone, but will update this post with a picture tomorrow evening!

Chicken breast (I used 3)
Chili powder
Quarter of an onion
Honey crisp apple

Cover chicken with chili power and bake.
(Let cool)
Finely dice onion
Chop apple
Chop chicken
Olive oil Mayonnaise (I just put a little bit - but whatever you like)

(It made about 4 large servings)

That's it!

Suuuuper easy, and suuuuuper yummy! I ate my chicken salad inside a spinach and herb wrap - it was delicious!

What's your recipe for chicken salad?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Goofy Girl!

It's official, I'm going Goofy.

On February 27th, 2012 there was NO way I was expecting to be thinking about running a Marathon in January of 2014. I mean, lets be honest. ... training for the 5K was challenging (see proof post!) BUT, in less than 1 year I did run a Half Marathon and my running confidence level is kind of high right now So ... Why not?

The first step to going Goofy was to request budget it out with Mr. Moola-Man. Once we made a plan to save for the week at Disney (on property - no off property deals for me!) Mr. Moola-Man turned BACK into Prince Charming and we moved on to step 2.

Request the time off of work ... 

On Monday I was approved for the time off.

Say WHAT? (pretty sure that was how I reacted.)  I was SO excited I wanted to go for a run (To be honest,  I had a feeling i'd get it off, my office is SO supportive of my running!!) The only problem was, Monday was my rest day and I'm really trying to stick with my rest days and work hard on my run days. I think it will help me be a better runner, and also help keep me motivated!

So, it is Tuesday and I overslept so I had to wait ALLLLLLL day to go home and run. [insert fake tears].  Prince Charming and our two little rats (Rat Terriers) joined me on my 4 mile run. I'm not exactly a fast runner, but I'm getting better and I was really proud of my 4 miles.

I used Galloway's Run/Walk method to help get me through and I felt GREAT!

Unfamiliar with what the Goofy Challenge is? Read about it here and follow my Journey to Goofy on the blog and on Instagram!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weekly Chase - March 11 Edition

Another week, another chase. Shout out to Molly and Mindy for helping me make weekly goals, and CHASE them! Need to catch up? Here is what I chased last week

Road Runner Girl

Accountability Time:
1) Meal Plan - Done. I was very proud that we stick with our meal plan too!
2) Run only 1 time - well, I went out for a run on Saturday and ended up walking and talking with my husband instead. (The intent was there though!)
3) Do push ups two days this week - Done! 

Also I felt a whole lot better by Wednesday. Thanks to everyone who expressed their concern. Sometimes I feel like I over do it (Staying up too late, training hard, and NOT resting enough).

My next Half Marathon is coming up, and I need to get back to training. I won a registration on Mindy's (Mindy's Fitness Journey) blog, and i'm really excited for the run! So, here we go with my goals! 

1) Sleep a minimum of 7 hours per night. 
2) Actually follow my running plan (Run Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday) 
3) Rest on my rest days (Monday / Friday)
4) Paint My Nails - I've been putting that off. 

Make it Happen Goal
Calorie Count. I really need to focus on my weight loss goals. I've gotten a little lazy, and I need to pay attention to how much I'm eating. Sometimes I eat too little and other times I don't eat enough! It's a constant struggle. So,... back to counting calories and keeping track of my calories burned! 

Be sure you check out Mindy and Molly's blogs for more great link ups! 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lessons from my Rat Terrier.

I've heard it said that when you have children you understand more fully God's love. I've heard that you understand and know unconditional love in a more real way, I've heard that as a parent you learn lessons in the most unlikely situations. I am not able to confirm that to be accurate as I have not been given the gift of children. I have adopted two very special Rat Terriers who keep me busy and sometimes -when I least expect it - teach me a lesson or two.

I'm going to be honest with you, sometimes it's hard not to play favorites with my dogs. Romeo is the neediest dog EVER and with his big brown eyes, and silky soft hair and plump belly how can you resist allowing him to cuddle up on your lap or playing a quick game of chase?

Juliet is the complete opposite. Her hair is course, she's very skinny and more often than not she prefers to to be alone. That's right, Hello Ms. Independent - She's the one searching for adventures and she just doesn't seem to need affection as much as Romeo. Therefore, I'm a little embarrassed to admit - Romeo gets a little more affection.

(Read about one of her Adventures Here!)

Today my dear Juliet schooled me in the area of forgiveness. My husband allowed me to go to a girls movie day with some ladies from my church and he stayed home and did the laundry, dishes, AND some organizing.  When I got home, I began to assist with some of our Saturday chores. I washed the dogs and began to scrub the floors. Just as I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor I see this girl (Juliet) PEE! Yep. She peed on my tile (that I was CLEANING!!!) Horrified, she ran (UP THE STAIRS) and hid. I (of course) chased her screaming her name and freaking out. I searched all over our second floor for this dog (screaming her name the whole time). Finally, I quieted myself down to hear a weak little wimper.

There she was... Trying to hide behind the shower curtain. She had jumped into the tub and was crying.
I picked her trembling little body up and held her until she calmed down. As pathetic as this may sound, my heart broke for her. I knew she'd need to go outside. I knew Saturday's get her off her schedule and she needs more walks than usual, and I knew it was my fault. (kind of).

Chris put the leash on and took the two pups for a walk while I cleaned the floors. Now instead of just the tile, I needed to clean the stairs and landing outside the bedrooms upstairs (just in case!)
 It is. What it is. ... 

But how does this teach me about forgiveness?

First John 1:9.

No, my Juliet didn't speak to me and say "I'm sorry Erin, I didn't mean to pee on the floor". But I believe she knew she did wrong (why else would she tremble and hide?).  How often have we been caught in the very act of sin and then moments later found ourselves forgiven. Isn't it beautiful that He is faithful to forgive us, if only we come to him and confess our need for it?
Thank you Juliet for reminding me of the beauty of forgiveness. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Destination Tampa & a 5-by-the-5th Challenge!!

Who can turn down a challenge? I know I have trouble. I also am pretty good at finding ways to spend money on things I love (a.k.a. running). That's why I am thankful that Laura over on Mommy Run Fast is hosting a monthly challenge to run with a 5K OR 5 Miles by the first of each month!  This also helps me accomplish my goal of 13 races in 2013 (hosted by Jill and Marathon Mom)! The commitment to run 13 events can be a little pricey, SO running free virtual races is a GREAT way to stay motivated and involved with the running world!


On the 24th of February I ran my very first Half Marathon and THAT was Uh-MAZING! Alright, ... so here's the truth. ... I was a little scared that after I made it to the goal of 13.1 I wouldn't want to run anymore. I was also afraid that I'd run terribly my first run out. One of my new health goals is to think positive. It's so easy to get caught up in negativity, but there is not reason for it. I am very blessed and who am I to spread negativity, I don't believe it is honoring to the Lord. SO,  I laced up my shoes and prepared for my 5-by-the-5th 5K!

Mr. Scholar had class in Tampa, so I had the opportunity to run through some of my old stomping grounds. The weather was glorious! It was a sunny, cool morning and I was feeling great! I started with a short walk but struggled to walk, I wanted to RUN! (Let's be real for a second, my "running" isn't THAT fast lol so when you see my stats, you can't laugh too hard because you were warned!)  [back to reality]

It was the most wonderful 44 minutes. I didn't think I could enjoy the run so much, but I did - and you know what? My fear of falling out of love with running after the half did NOT come true. I still love it, and can not wait until my next half (coming up soon! 4/14).

Here are some images from running through my neighborhood.  See that tower? One time in Middle School, we got to climb it!

It was so cool, my mom even climbed it! ALSO, it was SO great because she's SUPER afraid of heights but ... she conquered it!

To my mom - YOU GO GIRL!

After the run my sister and I went to an Art Festival in Downtown Tampa.

We enjoyed walking around looking at all the art, and of course eating lunch and exploring an old bookstore.
It was a fun day and I was happy to explore some parts of Downtown Tampa that I hadn't been too in a while.

Don't my sister and I look alike? (Hint: You can say no - She looks more like my Mom and I look like my Dad!)

Anyway. Also pictured are my splits (okay, stop laughing, I warned you!!)

After we ran around the art festival we had some coffee and then returned home to play with our 4 (F-O-U-R) dogs.

My two (Romeo & Juliet) + Her (Chloe) + My dog - that lives with my parents (Whatleigh)

So, that was my Virtual 5K and Super Action packed weekend.

How was your weekend - explore any new territories?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Weekly Chase - March

Shout out to Molly and Mindy for helping me make weekly goals, and CHASE them! Last week was absolutely NUTS trying to recover from the Princess Half and I never actually got around to setting my goals. To be honest, if it weren't for my sore throat I probably wouldn't have gotten my goals posted today either.

So, I am home from work today. I'm bundled in bed with a lap top and my iphone. As of 9:30 a.m., I had already woken up and fallen back asleep 3 times. I gotta tell you, I'm pretty sure the worst feeling in the world is post-nasal drip combined with sore ears. Seriously, I forgot how this feels - and would like to soon forget again. Alright, this is getting boring. Back to my goals!! (The fun stuff).

Molly has given us the challenge of "Make it Happen". This goal could NOT have come at a better time for me. The goal that I want to "Make Happen" is healthy eating.  IN 2012. I lost 60 pounds through exercise and hardly changing much of my eating habits. The truth is, I still have a while to go before I hit my goal and running alone won't get me there. THEREFORE, I must change my eating habits.

So, my make it happen goal will begin with meal planning.

1) Meal Plan - Include Low-carb and high vegetable options.
2) Run only 1 time - I need to recover from this sore throat business, and running in the cold won't help.
3) Do Push ups two days this week - I was noticing that my arms are pretty weak, and would like to start working on making my arms strong for summer!

alright.  I think three goals are good enough for my this week. Hopefully by next week I'll be feeling better and I'll make more goals to crush!

Is Robert is Here really the Disney World of Fruit Stands?

After your visit to the Everglades National Park in Homestead, you are not  going to want to miss Robert is Here.   Located not too far fro...