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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Guest Post: My Free Year

This month Brandi Jones, fellow 2015 Miles in 2015 team member, continues to share her experience with this challenge. She is totally rocking her miles, and far exceeded her goal this month. In the article below, Brandi discusses her interesting perspective on running this year, recaps a few of her favorite races from last year, and shares how the 2015 Miles challenge is going for her.
Have I said I REALLY like this challenge?
I am surround by powerful women working towards their goals this year whether it be a 5k, 10k, half and full marathons, or just to get rid of some extra pounds. These ladies help make my miles fly by. I also like having the option of running or walking. 
A friend of mine is training for a 10k  (which a half marathon is in her future also), and I did my first interval run with her. It was 20 minutes run – 1 minute walk – 15 minutes run – 1 minute walk – 5 minutes run. We did a 5 minute warm up and cool down also. Let me tell you that minute walking flies by! I was worried about my calves cramping up when we walked and they did a little but loosened right back up. I encourage everyone to try it. It’s nice to have a change in routine and try something new/different.
Motivated Ladies!

Last year I spent 80% of the year training and following a strict schedule. I successfully completed a duathlon (which I got 3rd place!), triathlon, and a half-marathon. Yes, that was all done last year. Plus some 5k’s, 10k, an awesome mud run and an adventure race (kayak, bike, run). I had a heck of a great year! So… this year is a FREE YEAR, free of training and free of registrations. Yes, you heard me right, no registrations! Don’t get me wrong I really enjoy doing them but I have never volunteered at any races. So, this year is my volunteer year; volunteer at races and volunteer to help my friends reach their 2015 goals. Yes, it will be terribly hard NOT to register for some of my favorite mud runs or novelty races but I will be there ringing my cow bell as a spectator or volunteering. Plus think of the money that will be saved! J
Yes, all my 13.1 miles were with soaking wet feet. We had a monsoon of a storm go thru. It was a 100% mental run! Hence the crazy lady picture!
Beginning in April I will be starting another new adventure….PiYo. This seems to be the new craze going on now. I have been hesitant to start it as you needed to buy the DVD set and do it at home on your own. I prefer group activity vs. on your own, it makes me more accountable and I seem to push harder. My good friend Jen with Schmitt Fitness or some may know her as just a mom giving it a TRI is starting PiYo Live in a nearby town. It will be every Thursday in April. I have done some PiYo moves at her 5am class and I have seen some YouTube videos, so I have an idea of what it is . With adding all these extra miles pounding the roads I’m looking for something less harsh and I’m hoping PiYo will do just that. Stay tuned for a post at the end May to hear how it went!
Jen and I at her triathlon last year.
I also got some new technology the end of the month. I’ve only used it a few times so I’ll give my review on it with my May post.

Look me up this summer if you are in town…swim, bike, or run I’M IN! Just don’t expect a PR, I’m a slow and steady person! J 172.31 miles total as of 3/31/15.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Literal Disney Meltdown

We recently took our family to Disney World and like the cliche implies, it truly was a magical experience that we will never, ever forget. We had so many favorite moments that it is difficulty to narrow it down to just a few, but I will try.

One of my favorites was watching my 4-year-old daughter meet the Disney princesses, Real Life Princesses according to her. It shocked me how emotional I became as I watched her hug them and see her listen intently to the princesses telling her stories. She gladly waited in line for an hour, with very little complaint, to meet Princesses Anna and Elsa. 

Another one of my favorites was meeting Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom. The Mickey we met talked with us, played magic tricks, sang songs with us, and was the epitome of what I imagine Walt Disney envisioned. When my 3-year old son, whose name just happens to be Walt, just like Walt Disney himself, first walked up to Mickey, my little guy started dancing and had the happiest smile that I have ever seen on his chubby little face. I choked up. It was truly magical.

My last favorite experience really had nothing to do with Disney princesses, characters, shows or rides. My last favorite experience has everything to do with the more realistic and less magical side of a Disney vacation. In fact, it is a very selfish favorite.

My final favorite was the fact that kids at amusement parks, although they obviously have fun, can be terrible, horrible, loud, tired, screaming, seemingly ungrateful monsters sometimes. Sounds awful, right? Why would this be one of the favorite things that happened during my trip? 

Well let me tell you.

Not only did my children periodically take turns having their monster moments, but every other child, and there were thousands of children around us over the four days we spent at the parks, had their moments too. It was such a good feeling, and I surprisingly feel little guilt admitting this, to see other kids throwing tantrums and other parents struggling to keep their sanity. It validates something about parenting that we all struggle with: Kids Behave Badly (even when at the most magical place in the entire world).

My favorite meltdown was a literal one and performed quite perfectly by my 3-year-old little "Walt" Disney...

While waiting for the rest of our group to meet us so that we could all go on a ride together, my thoughtful sister bought this massive brownie-ice-cream-fudge-whip-cream heavenly creation for the kids to share. This thing was about the size of a basketball and when she set it down and handed every kid their very own spoon, every child's (even the ones just walking by) eyes widened and huge smiles ensued.

Every kid accept my 3-year-old son, that is.

He didn't want to share.

He wanted his own. 

And he threw a pretty impressive tantrum. In his defense he was tired after a long day of being at the parks, but to everyone around us he looked like the most spoiled, selfish, indulged child on the planet. 

I was embarrassed but stuck to my guns. Per his stubbornness he never had one single bite of the sundae. After the kids all ate it, the rest of our group arrived and we went on the ride together as a family. Throughout this time my son calmed down, but every couple of minutes reminded me that he wanted his own ice cream sundae.

About an hour after the initial tantrum, and after continued begging, my heart cracked a little for him; he really wasn't able to go on as many rides as every one else since he is so young and short, so maybe I'd sneak him away and buy him the ice cream he wanted? I hate to give into begging, but it was Disney World, right? 

So I snuck him away and he and I went to the ice cream shop.

After waiting in line for a very long 15 minutes, with him asking every 30 seconds for his ice cream, he finally had his own Hot Fudge Sundae (not as big as the one my sister had bought, but still massive for just one 3-year-old to enjoy). My son was thrilled! His face was indescribably happy and I will never forget it. We found a little corner in the shade and he had a couple bites of this ice cream. He seemed to be enjoying himself. He was happy, I was happy. 

Then he told me that he had to go to the bathroom. 

But is wasn't like, "Hey mom, if you see a bathroom, I could probably go." Instead he started screaming, "I go pee! I go pee!" at the top of his lungs, creating quite a spectacle. 

The nearest bathroom wasn't near but off we went. I ran with him in his stroller, giving his ice cream to daddy for safekeeping as we passed him, and we somehow made it before my son peed his pants. Whew, crisis averted.

Or so I thought.

When we got back to daddy to retrieve the ice cream something horrible had happened: it had completely melted. His sundae had gone from a mighty 8 inches piled high to about 2 inches of melted messiness.

My son was not happy. He refused to eat it. He wanted a new one. 

Well that wasn't going to happen. I love that kid, but seriously, I was not buying him another $6 ice cream sundae; there were still a few really good bites in there and that was plenty for a 3-year-old toddler.

He did not agree with my evaluation of the situation and jumped out of his stroller and started running. And screaming. And crying. He threw a meltdown bigger than the ice cream had.

At first I was really embarrassed. I followed a few feet behind him, quietly mouthing an apology to every person that we passed. I begged my son to come back to me, I pleaded with him. But he kept running in circles and screaming that he wanted more ice cream. This lasted only for about 10 minutes, but felt more like an hour. It really was one of those humiliating parenting moments that I will never forget.

And then I realized something. 

When I looked at the faces of the adults around me, and most of them were parents, I saw absolutely no judgement. I think a saw a little relief in a few faces, that it wasn't their kid freaking out this time, but no one gawked or stared or really even paid attention to my son's horrendous behavior. It was almost like he was invisible.

And that is when I realized what one of my favorite things about Disney was: ALL Kids Behave Badly (even when at the most magical place in the entire world).

Eventually I calmed my son down. Although he didn't get a new ice cream, my husband and I did trick talk my son into eating what was left of his melted, but yummy, mess of dessert. And he ended up loving it and a few minutes after he ate it, he was in his normal happy-go-lucky mood again.

Disney truly was a magical experience, full of great memories that I will never forget. Not all memories are perfect, but neither are all children.

A wonderful lesson that my kids never let me forget.

The Ice Cream Sundae, pre-meltdown.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Not My Friend Anymore

"Don't forget, you aren't allowed to play with him on the Xbox the rest of the week. The last three times you have had him over you have had complete meltdowns. The way you were acting toward him was not kind, and not friendly. You may play outside or with toys, but not with the Xbox," I said.

"That's okay. We aren't friends anymore," my 6-year-old replied back to me.

"But that was yesterday, you can be friends today," I reminded him.

"Nope. Today at school we both agreed that we aren't friends anymore," he said, matter-of-factly.

I paused. I didn't know how to react.

"You are still friends," I said. "Just play outside with him and not on electronics this week, okay?"

This was a recent conversation I had with my son. It was a very surprising conversation because I didn't realize that he had reached this level of understanding how friendship works.

Now obviously, he and this boy are friends, and will be as they grow up; they play nearly every day, and have played together several times since this conversation happened. We live on the same block. But my son is starting to understand what it means to be a friend, and is holding offenses longer than he ever has before.

Normally my son would get in an argument with a friend and the two might appear to dislike each other for a few minutes, but then quickly they are friends again. Likely they realize that playing with someone is more fun than playing alone.

But not this time.

My son had held this grudge for over 24 hours, something I had never seen him do before.

As a college instructor of interpersonal communication I talk to my students about the various stages of friendship. We discuss friendship in very young children, where the relationship occurs simply due to proximity, like being at a play date together because your parents are friends. Then as we get older, we start to choose friends that can fulfill the needs we have, like they have a cool Xbox game or an elaborate American Girl doll collection. As children go through these stages, they often have lots of friends and forgive easily.

As kids get older, and we call them adolescents, they start to choose friends that have similar interests, and they tend to hold grudges and end relationships when arguments happen. This is practice for future adult relationships, and helps us understand the give and take required in a friendship. This is apparently the stage my son is starting to exhibit.

There are more stages that lead into the teen years, which are characterized by experimenting, cliques and trust building. Luckily I have a few years until those trying years.

I know my family is probably sick of my analyzing them and correlating them to interpersonal theories (my husband has said more than a few times over the years that I need to stop using terminology on him!), but sometimes I find it so fascinating.

There are so many lessons that we have to teach our children. How to be a good friend is another one of those important lessons that we cannot forget to nurture.

It makes me so sad that my son has reached this stage of friendship. Soon he'll be an adolescent, then a teenager, and not a boy- and I don't know what I am supposed to do with that.

Until then I will continue to support his social needs and decisions with encouragement and level-headedness.

And I'll definitely let him have his friend over the next time he asks ;)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Happiest 5K on the Planet!

I am so excited to announce that my fellow 2015 Miles in 2015 Team member Kate is going to run The Color Run 5K in Kansas City with me on May 30th! This race dubs itself as the happiest 5K on the planet and we are so pumped to find out if that is true!

We are going to rock this thing! I've ran The Color Storm and a few little color runs at my son's school, but I haven't participated in this race before.

I wanted to give a big shout out to Jen Schmitt of Schmitt Fitness at JustAMomGivingItATri  for raffling off my free entry (I am still in shock that I actually won something!).

I can't wait to share pictures of the event with you afterward!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Two Half Marathon's in One Weekend?!?! I got this!

As many of you know, I ran my first marathon last fall. It was absolutely amazing and definitely something I want to do again. In fact, I have decided that I will run another in 2016.

Although I have decided that marathon training is just too intense for me to do again this year, I am going to complete another pretty ambitious goal. This challenge will still require a lot of training but my practice runs won't have to be longer than two hours each. Running for two hours is easier to physically recover from, mentally not as demanding as four hour runs, and a manageable amount of time to be away from the family (important for all moms of young children who can't stay home alone yet).

To celebrate my anniversary of 2 years of being a runner (March 1, 2013 is when I started running) on Monday, March 1st of this past week I registered for my big running goal this year.

On the weekend of October 17-18, 2015 I will be completing the I 35 challenge, a challenge created by the Kansas City Marathon event planners and Des Moines Marathon event planners. Both of these races are held on the same weekend in October, but one is on Saturday and one is on Sunday. The challenge is that you run both races on the same weekend.

The I 35 Challenge has many options. You can run the KC full/DM half, the KC half/DM full, the KC full/DM full or the KC half/DM half. I have registered for the last option, the KC half/DM half option; one half marathon on Saturday in KC, and another the following day in Des Moines.

I am so excited for this challenge! The training will still be intense for me, lots of long runs and I have to somehow get my body so used to running halfs that I don't get sore the for the second one the next day. Because with marathon training you have to train doing four hour runs several times beforehand, I am opting not to run any of the fulls in this event. I can much more easily carve out time to train for several two hour runs than I can several four hour runs. I literally trained for six months for my marathon and that type of commitment is not something I want to do again this year.

I will start a training plan mid-summer, but I am sure I will write more about the challenge before then.

I registered on March 1st on the first day when registration opened and I am not turning back. Although I am still recovering from my stress fracture, I am not giving up on this goal.

And guess what? My brother, a pseudo-runner that cheered me on during my full marathon, has already registered to run the second half marathon with me! I have a had a few people interested in running the KC half leg too, so we will see what happens! I'd love to have all the support I can get at both races.

Two half marathons in one weekend? Yep! I got this ;)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Guest Post: A Devastating Diagnosis

A devastating diagnosis. My dear cousin Annie Smith, a school principal and mother of four school-aged children, was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She is one of the funniest, kindest, most sincere people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting- and I get to be related to her! Although she has been stricken with this disease, she doesn't complain- instead she fights back. Please read about her journey below.  

The first time I noticed that something just wasn't right was in the summer of 2011 when I was on vacation with my family. While staying in a cabin, my tongue and mouth started going numb. I attributed this to the new tube of travel toothpaste that I had bought. I made a mental note to never buy that kind again.  In early 2012, I woke up to my little toe again numb but noted I had had a pretty crazy night at a wedding reception and thought I must have danced too hard or someone had stepped on it! 
Then later that summer, while on another vacation, my tongue again went numb and quickly within the next two days it spread to my lips, then my mouth, and then finally the entire right side of my face was affected.  As soon as I got home, I made an appointment with my family physician who diagnosed me with an isolated case of Bell’s Palsy, but went ahead and scheduled an MRI just to be sure.  Within a few days, he had made an appointment with a neurologist for a second opinion and I had a feeling that something just wasn't right. 

I remember sitting in the waiting room of the neurologist when the nurse came in.  She asked why I was there and I told her that my doctor wanted me to get checked out for the Bell’s Palsy I had been diagnosed with.  She gave me a funny look and quickly added that I was also there to check for Multiple Sclerosis. 

I nearly passed out. 

I didn't really know much about it but couldn't believe what she was saying.  I looked at my mom who had joined me for the appointment and just started crying.

At that time I thought it meant a death sentence, so I had a really hard time controlling my emotions.  My mom was my rock during that time and she kept reminding me that we could get through anything.  After that appointment, my doctor told me to keep track of my symptoms and if I had any other numbness I was to make an appointment with him immediately and we would try to find an answer. 

Not quite a year later, my arm and fingers began to feel numb.  As soon as I made an appointment, my doctor scheduled another MRI and a spinal tap.  Within a month I was officially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  That was a hard pill to swallow at just 34 years old, a busy mom of 4 and working as a full time PK-12 Principal.  Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.

Annie, her husband Jake, and three of their four children.

In the last year, I have decided to fight this fight head on and take each day as it comes.  Some days are good days and some are not, but we get past the bad days knowing that better ones are in the future.

In 2014, my mom’s cousin Becky Kennedy was diagnosed with MS, as well as another cousin, Betty Kennedy.  This makes the fight to cure MS very personal and very real. 

Annie and Becky.

That's why I registered for Walk MS, an organization that connects people living with MS and those who care about them. When you participate in this community event, the funds you raise give hope to the more than 2.3 million people living with MS worldwide. Each step we take brings us closer to a world free of MS.

I am asking you to support me in Walk MS because this cause is meaningful to me. Millions of people are affected by MS and the challenges of living with its unpredictable symptoms, which range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS.


I don’t like to ask people to give to many organizations; I know that we all have our own causes that we choose to support. But I am, with complete humility and compassion, asking for your help. My mom, sister, niece and nephew, as well as myself and my own kids are walking in the Des Moines Walk MS on May 16th in support of Annie. PLEASE make a tax deductible donation to our team by clicking here. Right now I'm at $35 and I have a goal of trying to raise $250 for Annie. Whether you can give $5 or $50, any support you could provide Team Kennedys Kickin It is appreciated more than you can imagine. It only takes a couple of minutes to donate, would you please support us? If you could share this blog post on your Twitter feeds and/or Facebook pages I would be forever grateful. Feel free to include #walkms

Last year, Team Kennedys Kickin It, 2014 MS Walk in Des Moines.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Complaint Free World

For Lent this year I had a difficult time deciding what sacrifice I was going to make for God. My New Year's Resolution of eating a healthier diet was still going strong, couldn't pick that... I already exercise regularly... that won't work... Hmmm.... Caffeine? No I do that nearly every year and it never sticks. Eliminating caffeine always seems like it's more for me and less for God anyway.

I was stumped. 

Then I started thinking about something. Something terrible that I do all the time. Something that I hear others doing all the time too. Something that I feel guilty about every time it happens, and yet, I still do it constantly. 

I complain. 

At the beginning of every semester I joke around in class about how I complain about my life constantly and that my students are going to be sick of me by the end of it. Complaining is a fault that I am aware of, yet I never really try not to do it.

I decided that for Lent this year I was going to stop complaining, hoping to be a better wife, friend and mom. 

Last week, after about two weeks of trying, I noticed that although I was now more aware of when I complained, I wasn't really doing it less. I was starting to feel pretty awful that my Lenten sacrifice wasn't going very well.

Then I thought about a book sitting on a shelf in my office. 

About five years ago, I remember one specific student that I had. He was a man in his 40's that always payed attention during my lectures and was constantly smiling. One day after class we got to talking. Somehow we got on the subject of his past experiences. I remember that he disclosed that he was a recovering addict, which had impacted his career and his family drastically. He had lost his job, his home, his financial stability, and in doing so had lost his wife to divorce and his children were no longer part of his life.

I was shocked. 

This couldn't be the man before me? This man was put together; he was an excellent student and seemed like someone that everyone would love to be around.

Trying to hide my surprise, I asked him, "How do you stay so positive? You have experienced so much pain and loss?"

He said to me, "I try not to complain." 

His answer really struck a chord with me. A few class meetings went by, and whenever I saw this student I was reminded of just how his positivism had changed his life. He was truly an inspiration.

One day toward the end of the semester he walked up to me and handed me a small book, along with a purple rubber bracelet. I noticed that when he handed this gift to me he was also wearing the same purple band on his wrist. He told me that he wanted me to have the book, and I could read if if I wanted. Not wanting to hurt his feelings, I graciously accepted it, thanked him and gave him a hug. The semester eventually ended and I have never seen this student again since. I cannot even remember his name. Sadly, I also never cracked open the book.

The book and bracelet have sat on various shelves for 5 years. They sat on my shelf at home for awhile, and for the last three years they have sat on my computer desk at work. 

Last week I glanced up at the book and noticed the title, A Complaint Free World. I remembered what my student had said to me: I try not to complain. Maybe this was a sign. Could this help me fulfill my Lenten promise? 

I decided to read the book.

Turns out that the book outlines a 21 day challenge of no complaints. Basically a person taking the challenge wears a purple rubber bracelet on his or her wrist and tries not to complain for 21 consecutive days. The problem is, we all complain all the time, and every time we do, we must switch the bracelet to the other wrist, repeating this throughout the day whenever we catch ourselves complaining or gossiping.

The author says it can take months to be able to get through 21 days without a complaint, but it can be done. Every time you complain, you switch the band to the other wrist and you start over. Eventually you begin to train you mind not to let the complaint come out. Your goal is to be able to wear the bracelet on the same wrist for 21 days, signifying tangible evidence of your success and as a reminder to keep living your life complaint free.

When I started reading the book I set the bracelet on the table in front of me. After a few inspiring pages I put the bracelet on. Then I took it off. Then I put it back on. And I took it off again. I kept wondering if this was something I could do. Then I got to a line in the book:

"Change your thoughts and you change your world." 

I stared at that phrase. This phrase was familiar to me because it is embossed in my bathroom. When I moved into the house where I currently live, the previous owner had etched this phrase on the master bathroom mirror. I remember that I really liked it so I decided to keep it up. What a great quote to read every morning when you wake up, I thought.

When I saw that quote in A Complaint Free World I immediately placed the purple band on my wrist. 

I am just about a week into the challenge and I have yet to go more than a day with my purple bracelet staying on the same wrist. I am excited for and committed to this challenge though. I will make my world A Complaint Free World, even if only for 21 days.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hamburger Seeds and Orange Pickles

"I don't like those hamburger seeds."

"These orange pickles are nummy!"

I complain and poke fun at being a mom, but in all reality some of my favorite moments in life have come since I have had children. Sometimes these moments are the big things, like watching your child walk for the first time or seeing them off on their first day of kindergarten. Lately though it has been the little things that have been special.

I just love how my kids see the world. They look at life with such a simple, unfiltered perspective that it's hard not to notice how jaded and overly subjective we can become as adults. From my daughter picking out the craziest outfits to wear, completely uncaring about how stylish or coordinated her clothes are, to my youngest son wearing food all over his face all day long. Life sure would be easier if we didn't care as much about our appearances as we sadly do.

My kids also process emotions in such a basic, pure way. If I'm feeling sad, they notice and give me hugs right away, without me even asking for a snuggle. If my kids are angry with one another they might be pulling each out other's hair in one moment, but then reading each other books in the next. A child's ease of forgiving is truly a skill we should all strive for.

And their imagination is incredible too. I think I'm creative if I find a new way to organize my desk at work, but my children build glorious castles with chairs, blocks, pillows and blankets with so much care and detail that they put my meager attempts of creativity to shame.

I love when we are paying for something at a store, and they ask questions like, "Why do we have to give them money?" Or when we drive home from school and my daughter asks, "Why can't animals drive cars?" They seem to ask a million of the silliest questions. Although I often get overwhelmed with hearing the words, "But why mama?" over and over each day, I am thankful they are curious and seeking understanding.

Sometimes their basic comprehension can trip me up, like when my youngest son recently asked me where Elf on the Shelf went. I was busy when he asked and I started to say, "Packed up with the Christmas decorations." Luckily I caught myself just in time, glanced up at him, smiled and said, "He went back to see Santa. He'll be back again next Christmas."

The honesty and openness in how children describe situations can be very funny too. Last summer my oldest son said to me while we were swimming in the neighborhood pool, " Mom, these are called private shooters." I was very confused and had no idea what he was referring to. I said, "What do you mean?" He pointed to the pool's jets and matter-of-factly said, "These are private shooters because they always shoot my privates."

Sometimes their honesty can hurt, even though they don't mean for it to. Like when my daughter tells me that I "don't look very pretty today," or my "tummy looks fat" (sorry kid, that's what three pregnancies in four years will do to you!). My toddler likes to lovingly touch the crows feet (fine wrinkles) around my eyes and enjoys trying to find the increasingly gray hairs on my head, like he's playing a seek-and-find game.

I generally take it all in stride. Most of the time, my kids are just observing, they are not trying to be hurtful.

So when my oldest son blatantly tells me that he, "loves daddy more than me- but only by 2 inches," I try not to get my feelings hurt. Instead I enjoy the moment of comical description and remember that before I know it he won't be speaking his mind in this simple way anymore.

And if you are wondering, hamburger seeds are sausage pizza topping and orange pickles are cooked carrots.

What I found in my bed a few nights ago when they were all supposed
to be in their own rooms trying to go to sleep.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Over 1000 Twitter Followers!

Yay! I hit over 1000 followers on Twitter today! So happy to share my life journey with others. Family and fitness are so important, and I am thrilled my experiences can be enjoyed through humor and accountability with all of you.

Thanks for reading my humorous stories and running adventures!

If you aren't already, follow me on twitter @mamagottarun to receive notifications of my posts and retweets of inspirational quotes and articles related to parenting and running.

Have a great day!

Monday, March 2, 2015

February 2015 Miles Update

This month I've learned that I definitely take being able to run for granted.

February was a hard month for me. 

As you know, myself and two other women have agreed to walk/run a combined 2015 miles in 2015. That means that we need to accrue about 680 miles per person this year, give or take. When I initially signed up for this challenge, I was like, "No problem, I ran about 1000 miles last year, I can do this, no worries." I remember thinking that my role was going to be more of a leadership role, a support role. Someone who would keep my teammates, who don't accrue as many walking/running miles as I usually do, motivated to stay on track.

My how the tables have turned in just 6 short weeks.

During the third week of January I stress fractured my right tibia. In an air cast for 5 weeks and unable to really walk or run at all until this past month, my running world has been turned upside down.

Although I've been trying to do some limited walking with the aircast, some core training, and have been riding the stationary bike a lot, nothing is quite like running for me. I plan my work around running. I plan my sleep around running. I plan my meals around running. I even plan my showers around running. 

Let's just say this past month has been one of self reflection and awareness.

But do you know what has kept me going? The incredible support of my amazing 2015 Miles in 2015 Team. You know, those teammates that I was supposed to be supporting? They are now supporting me! They are helping me stay motivated to keep going.

Every time I walked a half mile, or rode an exercise bike at the gym this past month, they quickly 'Liked' my activity in MapMyRun. Oftentimes they would send me emails or texts asking how the injury was doing. We'd all chat in Messenger throughout the month, keeping each other updated on how our miles were coming. 

I have never really done a group challenge like this before and now that I am in one, I am convinced that the organized support of strong, motivated women is something I have definitely missed out on. The accountability, the kindness, and the inspiration that we all offer each other is one of the most amazing experiences that I've ever had.

Although my goal was much, much higher, the 15.03 miles I tallied in this month were the most supported miles I've ever accrued. Thanks ladies!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Guest Post: A Wow Story

Kate Fischer, a fellow 2015 Miles in 2015 Team member, agreed to write the guest post below. Get ready to be blown away by her honesty, courage and mental make-over.

Wow…is the word that comes to mind.   


What made me reach out to Traci and say YES?  Wow….I am scared.  Wow …I am actually doing this and I am actually succeeding!    

Let me put this into perspective. I am not an Eat, Breath and Love Working Out kind of person.  It is funny; I just received the, “Time Capsule” update from Facebook and the last time I worked out prior to this challenge was two years ago, and let’s be honest it wasn't a regular occurrence.   

But my mentality is slowly changing and it is kind of freaking me out!    

I think I can answer the questions from above, with how I feel today (knowing this may change over the next 10 months). But here it goes.   

How did I get myself into the challenge? I have no idea what made me reach out to Traci on January 9th but I did and I didn't hesitate, not even for a second. Brandi and Traci said, "Kate Fischer are you in?" My response, “Yeah I am in,” made it sound like I do this every day, like it was nothing, an easy challenge.  Then about an hour later the dread set in. How in the hell am I going to do this?  Why in the hell did I even respond to this? I would have smiled in the past and just watched everyone else respond and thought to myself, “Oh good for them, they are crazy but good for them.   

There are a couple things that come to mind that made me say YES.  First, I watched one of my best friends Traci run a marathon this past year, someone who hadn't been huge into athletics in the past, kick that marathon's butt and I remember that day saying to myself if she can do it, maybe someday I can.  I still can’t quite see myself doing a marathon yet but I was so inspired by her hard work over those months.  Second, I think my wedding played a big part in this; I needed the push to start doing something.  It is such a special day and I want to look my best and feel great.    

Also, my overall health. I am not going to beat around the bush I have a stressful job and I love it, but I don’t want to be diagnosed with my family health issues like diabetes.  The stress at the job is huge and I can’t tell you how much this has helped, it allows me a release that I needed.  I have one hour in the day that is just my time and can think of all kinds of things. I also stare at the treadmill counting the miles some days as well.  My overall health is always a concern and I want to have children so it was time to start thinking about taking care of myself and exercise is the best remedy.   

That is my rational on how I got myself into this challenge. 

Wow…I am scared.   

I am scared of all kinds of things too.  Let’s start with this blog for a second. This was my hesitation; I have never been very open with my thoughts on health and exercise, body weight, etc.  So this is definitely stepping out of my box. I keep thinking, Who really wants to listen to me just talk about myself?, but I also feel like I can relate to most of those that are not exercising regularly like I was.    

I am also scared of the challenge ending in December and me just going back to my old ways and not continuing.  I am scared that one day I will just say I can’t do it and quit like I normally do when it comes to health and weight loss.  I am scared of five miles, but two weeks ago I was scared of walking 4 miles... but then I remind myself I did it and I walk 4 miles weekly now.   

Tomorrow I will likely be scared of the thought of actually running but I think I just might try itbut if not today maybe tomorrow.  I was scared of my team mates because they are awesome at this; they are those crazy people that run like 10 miles at a time and love it and I don’t want to let them down.   

Kate enjoying an Iowa winter 

outdoor walk.

I have watched Brandi and Traci work so hard towards their own health and wellness it amazes me that they get out there and do it every day so I can’t be scared. I've just got to take one day at a time.  

Wow …I am actually doing this and I am actually succeeding!   

I know that is kind of a bold statement (that I am actually succeeding) but I count the little wins and each day to me is a little win.  I count making it to the gym a success and actually continuing with this challenge when I would have quit before three days in and I would have made every excuse in the book. But we have now reached two months and I have 75 miles under my belt!    

I think one of my biggest days of this process so far was February 10 when I clocked in at 4 miles and I thought it was such a fluke... I was wondering if I could do it... so I just kept walking and walking. And I did it!  I was dead that night and the next day but I did it and have continued it over and over.  It seems like a small task for some, but let’s be realwas not working out for years, which was just three weeks prior to that milestone, so I am going to count it as a success!  

Tomorrow when I record 45 miles for the month it will be the first month that I made my goal and I am pretty excited about that number! 

So that is my... "Wow Story."  

My story it isn't glamorous.  I don’t have brand new shoes and I take a plastic grocery bag with my gym clothes in it to the gym (I had to add that in because the girls at work think it is hilarious!) but I am making it, one day at a time.  

What is your...Wow Story!? 

Kate's survival pack: standard shoes, plastic bag for gym clothes, head
phones, and if she's on the treadmill, watching Ellen!

If you aren't tearing up after reading Kate's post there is something wrong with you! This lady is AMAZING and I am so happy we are doing this challenge together. I am thankful Kate said yes to this challenge back in January. I can't wait to continue to read about her journey this year as her, Brandi and I tackle 2015 miles together. Way to go Kate!