Thursday, April 17, 2014

MIA & My HEALTH

I am convinced that my blogging has slowed down since my office has gone paperless! Now there are no charts or schedule book. Everything is ONLINE!! I pretty much stare at a computer/ipad from the time I get there to the time I leave. Making me not want to sign on my laptop when I get home.

Sadly, I have missed my posts and catching up with my favorite bloggers. 

First up FUN THINGS to report!


Super excited to win an entry to this race. The Frederick Half is awesome and I had really wanted to run it this year. The only thing holding me back was the price tag! I won it through CareFirst on Facebook. I won a race last year this way too:)


I also won a $25 giftcard to Erin Condren!! I have mentioned several times how much I love my planner and I am so excited to order my next one. Thanks to this pretty lady!! 
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The American Odyssey Relay is just a few weeks away! I am getting really excited and just a little nervous. I know I will be happy when leg 2 is done since that is my night run. I have started to get a few things together/packed as I think of them.


Last Wednesday night, a few runners from my relay team did a night run. We did a quick 5k through the neighborhood. It was nice getting the chance to run in the dark and try out all of our night gear. I had my Knuckle Lights and the other runners had headlamps. We all had on some kind of flashing light that clipped to our shirts or waistbands.

 I know it will not be quite the same running alone in an unfamiliar area! EEEEEEEK! Since I have never run this relay before, I do not know if others will be running around me, but I sure hope so!! I do know the van will be no farther than 1/4 a mile ahead of me at all times. Just pray I don't miss a turn!

Having not run with any of them before, I was happy to hold onto a 10 minute mile the entire time. Running at 8pm after working all day is not easy! 
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Saturday morning I met a friend for a 5 mile run. She was running 10 so I planned to meet her right at the 5 mile point. It worked out perfectly. Saturday was gorgeous and SUNNY!
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That pretty much sums up my workouts for the past 10 days. Embarrassed to admit it. I have had plenty of other things going on. I have not been feeling myself and I could not longer take it. The fear that something was really wrong with me started to overtake my thoughts.

Last Monday, I went to my Eye Doctor for a complete exam. It had been a year since he last saw me. Everything looked fine and suggested that I purchase 1.5 reader glasses. My right eye waters EVERY morning for a few hours. He believes that I have a blocked tear duct and referred me to a specialist.

Then I went to see my PCP. Explained my symptoms (convinced she must think I am crazy).  This was then followed by an MRI of my brain Monday night. 

Then to the lab for blood work.

 Wednesday, I saw my endocrinologist. She was thrilled with my blood results and said that everything was stable and I was doing great. Yes, I HUG my endo when I leave her office because I honestly don't know where I would be without her. 

Lastly, I then saw my GYN for my yearly exam. Once again, everything appeared to look normal. I do have to wait for the results of my PAP and she also ordered my mammogram for late May. I see her every year and have my mammogram every year.

As you can see I have been to more doctors the past week than I have been to in a year!! Thankfully, all my results have come back NORMAL!!!! When I got the results back from my MRI yesterday, I seriously felt like I could fly!! 

John sent me this text after finding out my results were all normal. Sorry ladies... I have the best husband in the world....

I am not looking forward to all the medical bills that will be soon arriving in my mailbox, but I have to say, it is worth the peace of mind. I allowed myself to think the worst. I seriously could hardly function over the fear that I felt.

 I have always been healthy. Never smoked, done drugs and don't touch alcohol. I have never had high blood pressure or high cholesterol. 

I think as we age we realize how vulnerable we are. Something is going to eventually get me. I get that. I am 47 years old. I see changes on the outside for sure. Wondering what I could NOT see is what scared me!

 My health is more than a number on the scale or the size of my jeans. Sure, there are numbers that I like better than others, but this has made me more aware of several things. Even though I have done well taking care of myself, there are some things that are out of MY control. Our bodies are not meant to be abused. Sadly, many of us do not take care of ourselves.

Food is fuel.

 Our bodies are meant to move. 

My joy is found in my husband and family. I want to be around for a LONG time! I want to be active and healthy for as long as I can. That means taking care of this body that God has given me. What a gift it is to be strong and healthy. Never to be taken for granted.

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Have you taken your healthy body for granted??

Ever had an MRI before?






Monday, April 7, 2014

Amazing RACE

After work on Friday, I met a few friends and we took the metro into Washington, DC. We were all running the DC Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on Sunday. They offer packet pick up on Friday and Saturday. We knew Friday was going to be much easier and less crowded then Saturday would be.

National Building Museum 

How is this for a venue? Gorgeous, right??? This is my absolute favorite race of the year and favorite race expo. Not only is the location amazing, but they have some awesome vendors.


Packet pick up is always super organized and very fast. Giving us plenty of time to shop. I did purchase a pair of running sunglasses for only $25 (more of a knock off ). If I really like them I will probably invest in a better brand.

 I have never run with glasses before this past winter. All the constant snowstorms made for snow always on the ground. Making it SO BRIGHT outside! I usually run with a visor/hat in the summer. I actually like running with sunglasses now, but I needed a running pair.

I have to say that I was disappointed that there were NO giveaways. NO free treats! They offer the virtual goodie bag email, which is nothing but discount coupons. I WANT FREE STUFF! What happened to all the free stuff you use to get at race expos????

Lucky number 12991
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Saturday night we had a party to go to, but thankfully we were home by 10:30pm. I quickly laid out my clothes and charged my Garmin and ipod shuffle. The alarm when off at 4:15am! Wahhhhhh I honestly think I slept maybe 2 hours. I was afraid of oversleeping!!! I hate when I do that!

John and I met my girlfriends at 5am to drive about 30 minutes to the metro station. From there we took the subway all the way DC. This took another 40 minutes. Sounds like a lot of work, but it is really pretty easy. Trust me, know one is up that early on a Sunday!!


We came up from the metro station to this gorgeous view!! We had perfect running conditions. The temps were around 38 degrees. The sun was coming up and the city sky was gorgeous!!

We had about 40 minutes before the race started. This gave us plenty of time to use the bathroom more than once and get ourselves all ready to run. I waited until then to pin my bib on and get my ipod shuffle clipped and headphones set. I also ran with arm warmers for the first time and LOVED them. 

The race started right at 7:30am and it took about 10 minutes to get to the starting line. There were over 17,000 runners. This is a very crowded race. If you are looking for a serious PR or are super speedy then I recommend getting in the proper coral. Meaning get in the first wave. 

For a solid 10 miles I had runners all around me. It is that crowded. The course is amazing. Nothing like running along the Potomac River or over the Memorial Bridge and around the Tidal Basin. Not a cloud in the sky amazing. Sadly, only a few cherry blossoms were open. 

I do not think this race could have been more perfect! I felt great the entire race. 10 miles I ran and took 3-4 steps at the water stops. I just kept knocking off the miles. One by one. I tried not to focus too much on my Garmin. 

I knew my time from last year, and the year before that, and the year before that....I am always looking for a PR. Even if it is just seconds better. I always want to improve.

Mile 1-     9:51
Mile 2-   10:07
Mile 3-   10:01
Mile 4-     9:56
Mile 5-   10:18
Mile 6-   10:16
Mile 7-   10:20
Mile 8-   10:28
Mile 9-   10:35
Mile 10- 10:24

Average pace 10:13
Distance 10:10

Finish Time  1:43:07  PR 5 MINUTES!!!
Garmin 

Woohoo!!!!!

So happy to see the consistency in my pace. Just seconds apart. Not minutes.....seconds! Running is such a mental thing for me. To continue to push myself past what I THINK my limits are. I get in my OWN WAY!! Teresa needs to move over:)


By mile 8... I knew I was going to have an amazing PR. I could not wait to cross the finish line (which is all uphill) to celebrate with John. He never acts surprised! Always the proud husband:)

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Who else ran this weekend??

Do you get in your own way??






Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It's all about the PRESENTATION

Hello April!! The weather in MD could not be more Spring like! Absolutely gorgeous outside today. Hope the weekend is just as nice with DC Cherry Blossom 10 Miler this Sunday!
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On Sunday I spend most of my time in the kitchen it seemed. I had some meal prep for the week ahead. Lot's of clean eating leading up to the race. I do NOT want any tummy issues.


I love cute containers. Saturday I spend\t the day shopping with daughter's 2 & 3 and found some cute stuff! I thought this canning jar  $3.95 from Crate And Barrel would be perfect for my homemade granola. I saw this ceramic berry basket at Anthropologie, but passed on it because of the price. Happy to have found it for only $1.99 at Sur La Table in the mall. 



I am getting all fancy with my salads in a jar! Found these cute green mason jars at Target. A set of 4 for only $9.99. I like the glass better than the plastic.

This picture shows the green color of the jar much better!


My advice....if you add chia to your salads, make sure you have plenty of these in your purse!! Crazy how those little seeds get stuck all in your teeth!!
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Right after work I headed straight to the gym. Perfect time to go when NO ONE is there!! Early afternoon is awesome. I spoke to a woman in the locker room who was getting ready to hit the pool. She had massive amounts of curly hair. I stopped her and asked about her swim cap. She told me the best one to purchase. One step closer to getting out of my comfort zone.


Monday was day 4 of my weight training and I think it is going really well. Still trying to figure things out and my routine. I started out with 15 minutes on the stair climber. I was nice and sweaty and ready to hit the weight room. I was super sore the first week, but feeling fine now. I mentioned this to someone that lifts and was told I need to increase the weights!! Next time I will be add more.

I found this little book and thought I would try and record everything. I had been using loose pieces of paper. I knew that was NOT going to work.


I tried to write out the exercises beforehand and then bounced around the gym. I think this book maybe a little too small now. Going to try it a few more times and see how it goes. After 40 minutes of strength training I finished off with 15 minutes on the rowing machine.
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Today after work I stopped and grabbed a tea, then a quick haircut. Not the best picture with it wet, but I did have 3 inches taken off. My hair grows super fast so it will all be back in a few weeks! Best part about this cut was my stylist only charged me $20!! Apparently I have referred several new clients her way:) Woohoo!


When I got home I quickly changed to meet Krista for a run. I did not get a long run in this weekend with the torrential downpours we had. I rocked my new Gap capris. Everything at the Gap was 40% off so for $23 I figured I would give them a shot. I was worried how they would do, but now was as good a time as ever to try them out. All my running tights/capris are from Lululemon. I thought that these were so cute and loved the color (pretty blue with hot pink stitching) and the price tag. 

Just what I feared. Sweat marks!!! UGH!! Right in the crotch area!! What the heck?? 


7 miles and we were done. Much warmer then we thought it was going to be. The sun felt so good. I really need to invest in some running sunglasses. Wearing my Tory Burch shades are not cutting it.
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Any suggestions on running shades??

Who else has problems with sweat marks??




Monday, March 31, 2014

Project Repat Review

 My t-shirt blanket arrived on Saturday and I could not be happier with how it turned out!!!! Please check out this awesome company and tell them I sent you:)


Basement Gym

When I started running over 5 years ago, I thought using my race t-shirts would be fun way to decorate. Over the years I have continued to add one shirt at a time. Mile after mile they continued to add up. One wall, then another and another. Each one being a huge source of motivation to continue on my running journey.

A sense of pride whenever I entered the room. Proud of how far I had come in my journey. This journey covering the concrete walls. Crazy how a shirt can tell a story. Each and every shirt has one. No shirt is the same. No race is the same. 

So recently, when I decided that I wanted to change things up in my home gym, I knew I needed to do something SPECIAL!! Heck, I had not wore any of these shirts and many of them still had tags hanging off of them. The memories that these shirts held are hard for some to comprehend.

What to do with all my race shirts you ask?? 

Make them into an awesome lap blanket! I have heard about these blankets before and knew this would be the perfect way to preserve some of my favorite races. I found Project Repat online. I loved what the company stood for and how simple the process was.

I was very impressed with the pricing. I believe the pricing is as reasonable as it is, because YOU do some of the leg work! First, I selected my 12 shirts to be included in my blanket. Then I cut each shirt to separate the front from the back, then along the top of the shoulders.

They have an easy to follow video on exactly how they want the shirts cut. Basically, you now have just the front of each shirt.  Then YOU lay out/design how you want your blanket to look.


Here are my shirts all cut and placed how I want them sewn together. I then picked a gray colored fleece (they offer every color possible) for the back side of the blanket. After taking a picture and printing it out, I stacked the shirts in the proper order and included picture when packaging up to mail. 

There is the option for Repat to design your blanket if you choose.

For a fee Project Repat will send you the necessary packaging, along with a mailing label to send the shirts to them, makin the process even easier. I figured it would be cheaper to mail on my own, which it was. I went to my local post office and used a flat rate box.

LOVE LOVE LOVE

Less than 2 weeks later my race shirts were back!! I absolutely love it! The lap size blanket was bigger than I thought it was going to be. The blanket was beautifully sewn together. I will say, this is not a heavy blanket. This is not a quilted blanket as stated on their website. Most of my shirts I chose are the dry fit with a few of them cotton. 

 The lap blanket starts at $59.99. I sent them a friendly email asking for a discount code and had one within minutes. The customer service is amazing! They will give any of my readers 5% off by using  promo code morganton. So nice!!!


My one of a kind lap blanket!

Sunday night was the perfect night for me to try it out. With snow falling outside, I covered up and enjoyed a warm hot chocolate. I tried reading my RW mag, but kept being distracted by the memories that were now keeping me warm.

 This blanket is something I will have forever. I am so glad I decided to have a blanket made. As hard as it was for me to cut each shirt before mailing, I feel like someone has given me a beautiful gift.

I am excited about ordering another one! I am also excited to bring it with me on the van for the American Odyssey Relay. Super excited to share it with my running group:)











Friday, March 28, 2014

Midlife MUSCLE

I am determined to stay focused and consistent with my strength training. I stuck with my schedule of MWF. On these days I still manage to get 30 minutes of cardio in. 

With as sore as my body was on Tuesday, especially my legs I still headed
 to my favorite spin class.

 I decided to wear my heart rate monitor. I was drippin in sweat like crazy good! I loved seeing the sweat fall to the floor all around my bike:) Not only burning calories, but I also think that I work out all the bad stuff in my body in someway. 

I burned 565 calories. My max heart rate was 166 and average was 147. My bike watts were not as high as I hoped they would be considering my appearance when class was over!

 I was such a hot mess leaving the gym that I had to take a wipe (a clean one!) that we use to wipe the bikes down when we are done, to wipe off the mascara that was all over my face!! My ponytail was soaking wet and sticking all over my shirt and neck. Just not a pretty look!

Then I put my hood up and headed out the door! LOL.... now that is a good workout. 
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Wednesday Weigh IN 03/26/14

I just can't seem to get a grip on my eating. I was hoping that the new strength training would help get me jump started in someway, but nooooooo.

We were talking about this last Saturday during our run. How when we talk about food, our weight, how we are eating, especially when we are not happy with ourselves in these areas, most likely we are looking for a way to make us feel better. We want that friend/coworker/spouse to feel the same way! We want them to be going through the same thing so we are not alone.

This got me thinking. When I am focused and in control this is not even a subject I engage in. I don't even have that on the brain. I am in my healthy lifestyle living mode. Not the I have gained weight and need to loose 8 pounds mode.

So, therefore I will not allow this to occupy the space in my head!! I have to move on. Get past it. Tomorrow is a new day. RESET....
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Home gym.

Wednesday night I did my strength training routine at home. Here is a picture of my bib board that John hung for me. I still have much to do so I have no other pictures to share yet.

I was happy with how my workout went. I only had to modify a few things. My legs were still super sore. I think of it as soreness that will make me a stronger and faster runner:)
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Friday gym routine.

 Still trying to figure out how I want everything to roll. I like a schedule. Today I started off with 15 minutes on the stair climber and upped the level to a 7. Then I did weights for about 50 minutes. Then I finished up with 15 minutes of the rowing machine.

I put this pic on instagram and asked for suggestions on how most of you document your workouts. I have several pieces of paper that I have carry writing down exercise/weight/reps, but I think that I would prefer a spinal notebook or even note cards. 

I have received MANY suggestions and I have a few ideas that I am going to try! Thanks!!

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Pulled out some spring wear on Wednesday. Love a Peter Pan collar. I bought this blouse and cardigan from Forever21 last year to wear to my daughter Kaitlyn's bridal shower. I am so sick of my winter clothes! I dread getting dressed for work in the morning....

Speaking of Kaitlyn, we have a shopping date tomorrow. Excited to spend time with daughter #2. She will be celebrating her one year anniversary in just a few days! 
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MD is expecting heavy rain tomorrow.  How heavy will determine whether I run outside or inside tomorrow morning.  Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is next Sunday! 

What are your weekend plans??

Any upcoming races??




Monday, March 24, 2014

Marvelous Monday & ST

My Saturday started off bright and early with a 10 mile run. I was hoping that the weather would have been a little warmer then it was. I rocked my Lulu mittens and it was still quite chilly.


Several of us ran together and it is always a good time! We are all different paces so sometimes that means I speed up or slow down just depending on who I am running with. We had the usually hills and slight breeze. My ankle felt pretty good the entire 10 miles, but my legs started to feel really heavy by mile 7. The Cherry Blossom 10 Miler is just a few weeks away:)


When I got back to my Jeep this SWEET note was waiting for me! One of the women that I was running with headed back at the 6 mile mark. She then took the time to write me this note. Gosh, this honestly made me cry. We share so much with each other when we run. True, we only have known each other through running and yet it feels weird saying that. 

I LOVE MY RUNNING FRIENDS!!
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After my run I headed to do my usual grocery shopping. I had a bigger list than usual because we were having all the girls over for a Sunday Birthday Brunch to celebrate daughter #3 turning 24! 
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Saturday night friends came and picked us up for dinner. We went to Texas Roadhouse. Yes, a steakhouse and I ordered salmon. I enjoyed it, but it was kinda salty. Loved the plain sweet potato and steamed veggies. 


I also took the chance and wore my favorite wedges. For some reason the wedge style gives my ankle way more stability then a pump does. Happy to report that my ankle did great! I wore a favorite pair of Rockin Republic jeans and a beautiful mint green blouse that I borrowed from my daughter's closet.

While standing in the bar area of the restaurant I saw a woman approaching me with a small wave. I was pretty sure who she was from Facebook pictures, but this woman had changed!!!! We hugged each other and I was really excited to see her. I believe it had been almost 30 years!! I told her how wonderful she looked! She has lost 110 pounds!!!!!!!!

She has not posted any pictures on Facebook of her weight loss so I had no idea! Of course I asked how she did it, totally expecting her to say gastric. To my surprise she said the old fashion way.....living a healthy lifestyle. She lost it through a clean diet and exercise. 

 She asked if I would mind coming over to her table to meet her husband. She then said that I had been such a motivation to her through my Facebook posts. She said that she would see how much I was running or a race I had just completed. 

Here was a person that I have not seen in all most 30 years and she said that I INSPIRED HER!! I am so mad that I did not think to take a picture of us together.
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Sunday Birthday Brunch!!

Celebration beverages.

Presents for the birthday girl Kesley! Happy 24th:)

Baby Ty obsessed with the picture over the couch!
Momma! Momma!

Soon to be a family of 4!


The gang in the dining room.

John did most of the cooking. He loves breakfast and there was quite the spread! It was a challenge to get everyone's egg order and have everything hot when it was time to eat. Our family is growing and we could not be more excited!

Sunday family days are the best:)

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We had a great time celebrating Kelsey's birthday. Everyone headed out around 2pm. This left me time for a quick nap before heading out to another relay meeting.


We went over more details of the race. One of the team members ran it last year so I drilled her with several questions. We also discussed picking up the van rentals, decorating the vans, sign up sheets....I have to say that I am now more excited than nervous:)

So many details go into a race like this. I have seen many blog posts about them, but have never really thought of all the work that goes into it. All the volunteers that are needed, not only during the day, but at all hours of the night!! Talk about appreciation!
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Monday morning I packed my bag for the gym. Today is a new day. A new day for a new strength training plan. It is a must and something that I have wanted to focus on for sometime now. 


I worked until 2pm and headed straight for the gym. I quickly changed and got to work. I had an outline of what I planned on doing and then figured if I needed to changed things up then I would.

Not long ago our gym purchased two new stair climbers. I am pretty sure that's what they are called. As seen on the Biggest Loser! I thought it would be a perfect way to warm up. Everyone who has used them told me to start out slow. I kept it at a level 5 for 15 minutes. Holy stairs!!


For my first day I thought it went really well. I did 45 minutes of strength then followed it up with another 15 minutes on the stair climbers. I wrote down each exercise/rep/weight as I went along. Yes, I did have to change things up a bit, but I am fine with that. I figured this will be a work in process. 

I felt it in my legs for sure when I was leaving. Even doing the stairs at home feel funny. Tomorrow should be interesting. I have spin at 5:30 (if there is a spot left) and I just figured I would get a bike in the back row and take it easy, but I was not going to miss the class!!
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Any fun plans over the weekend??

Ever use a stair climber before?