Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Lessons Learned on Saturday's Run

In less than two weeks, I'll be running the Glass Slipper Challenge (a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday) during runDisney's Princess Half Marathon weekend!  As I mentioned yesterday, I haven't done a very good job of exercising lately, which means that I haven't done a good job of sticking to my training plan.

Knowing that, I've just been focused on getting in some of my training runs and not beating myself up over ones that I've missed.  I've consistently gotten in 2 runs each week, but completing my long runs on the weekends has been hard.  Increasing my mileage means being gone for a longer amount of time.  That's been hard to do when I want to use my weekend time to play with my baby girl!

Well, on Saturday, I did get in one of my long runs, and I learned a lot about running and about myself doing so.

-It's so much easier to run in cooler weather!
After running in the year-round humidity and heat of Florida for 3 years, it was SO NICE to run in 45-50 degree weather!  It was easier to breathe, and I was able to maintain a much faster pace than I'm used to on long runs.

-Just getting out and doing it makes me feel so much better.
One reason I've missed so many long runs is that I put them off for later in the day.  With an infant, things get more and more unpredictable later in the day, and that often means my long runs don't happen.  Well, on Saturday, I almost put it off again, but once M went down for her morning nap, I got dressed and went out the door right away.  I felt so, so great after running and getting it done!  I need to remember that feeling and make my long runs a priority early in the day on my weekends!

-I can be strong mentally throughout my run!
Running is such a mental sport, and normally I'm not good at keeping a strong mentality throughout my run.  However, I was ON mentally Saturday, and it's crazy how much easier the run was!  I focused on the music, I set goals for my run/walk intervals and stuck to them, and I pushed myself to finish strong. Seeing that ability in myself made me feel really good about my upcoming races, since finishing strong has always been tough for me.

-I ran my fastest 4-6 mile run EVER on my RunKeeper app.

Everything just came together, and Saturday's run was actually my fastest run of this distance since I've been tracking them with RunKeeper!  I was also really excited to see my mile splits.

A sub-10:00 pace and my fastest split for the last 0.3 miles of my run?  Go, me!!

My success with Saturday's long run gives me hope for my next half marathon training cycle.  If I'm having that kind of success with inconsistent training, then just think of what I can do when I fully stick to my plan!  For now, though, I'll be tapering until the Glass Slipper Challenge and adjusting my goals for the two races based on my inconsistent training.

I'm linking up with ErikaPatty, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run!
Tuesdays on the Run

Question for you: What's a lesson you've learned from a recent run?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Coming Out of My Rut

Well, hey, everyone!  Long time, no see!  It seems the calendar turned 2016, and I just forgot all about blogging.

Truth be told, I've been in a bit of a health, fitness, and faith rut pretty much since the beginning of 2015.  Between the third trimester of my pregnancy, having M, moving, adjusting to life as a mom, and going back to teaching at a new school, I really wasn't focused on myself.  I was just focused on doing what needed to be done to take care of my family and things for work.

I don't know that I'd call it postpartum depression, but I just wasn't taking care of myself, especially in the areas of healthy eating, fitness, and my faith.  Considering that's what this blog is about, I really haven't had much to say on here!  I didn't want this blog to just turn in to me talking about M, so I figured silence was better than "fluff" posts.

The good news is that I believe I'm coming out of that rut!  I'm realizing that if I can't take care of myself, then I'm not going to be able to give 100% to any aspect of my life, which will ultimately hurt every aspect of my life.  I also want to set a good example for M as she grows up, and the woman I was this past year is not who I want her to become.

With that, I will be back to blogging!  My goal will be to post 3 times a week, though I will hopefully increase that to 4 times a week before the year is out.  I want to ensure that my posts are quality, though, so some weeks I may not reach that goal.

This week, however, I will have 4 posts for you (including this one).  Check back tomorrow where I'll be sharing about my runs from this weekend!

Question for you:  How has your year started off?
Hopefully in less of a rut than mine has!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 Goals: Year-End Reflection

At the beginning of each year, I like to set goals for myself.  I did just that in 2015 and reflected on those goals after each quarter of the year.
Quarter Year Check-in
Mid-year Check-in
Three-Quarter Year Check-in

It was tough to set those goals, not knowing what life would be like once Baby Fish joined us.  I tried to set goals that I thought would be attainable, so let's take a look and see how I did overall!
1. Memorize 24 verses of Scripture through the Siesta Scripture Memory Team.
Grade: F
I only selected 4 verses and memorized 3 of them.  Once I slipped up on the 4th verse, it just all went downhill from there.  After reflecting on my goals each quarter, I planned to get back on this and just never did.

I have no reasoning for why this didn't happen.  It just didn't because I stopped making it a priority.  I hate that I did that, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it.  The Living Proof Ministries community does this each odd year, so maybe I'll try it again in 2017.

2. Be the mother God would have me to be.
Grade: A for effort
This one is hard to grade.  I guess I'd need God to give me a report card on this one!  However, I am putting being a mother first and am prayerful about it.  So, I'm going to give myself an A for the effort.  I hope that effort translates into being the mother God would have me to be!
I do know that I am thoroughly enjoying being a mother.  I never imagined all of the things that come with being a mother, but it is truly a great feeling watching Baby Fish grow each day.  She's so cool!

3. Run the Richmond Marathon in November (or PR in a fall half marathon if not).
Grade: D+
I did not run the Richmond Marathon, nor did I run a fall half marathon.  However, I'm giving myself a D+ because I was flexible with this goal, as I wanted to be.  Baby Fish was my priority, and I needed to spend the fall focusing on adjusting to life as a mom over committing to training for a race.  So, I'm giving myself some credit for adjusting this goal, even though I did not meet either part of it.

I did race 2 10Ks this year, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I'm hoping to commit to training more in 2016 so that I can possibly meet the goal of the Richmond Marathon this November!

4. Take care of daily chores first.
Grade: B-
I did not do this at the beginning of the year (third trimester laziness hit me hard!), but I did start doing it after Baby Fish arrived.  I have done a much better job of taking care of things before I get sucked in to relaxing each day, and it has made me happier overall.  I plan to continue focusing on this in 2016!

5. Meal plan to ensure healthy eating and save money.
Grade: C
Again, this didn't happen at the beginning of the year, but I did much better with this during the second half of the year.  I'm giving myself a C because we didn't always stick with the meal plan, meaning that sometimes we wasted some produce I planned on using.  I really don't like wasting food, so moving into 2016, I want to actually stick with the meal plan so that doesn't happen.

Looking at my grades on my goals, it seems that I "failed" at meeting my goals overall.  However, I did make progress toward each of them (except my first goal), especially in the second half of the year.  Once I adjusted to my "new normal", I really did do a better job working toward (most of) these goals, so I won't count these a failure.

I do hope that I will be much more successful overall with my 2016 goals, though!

Question for you: Did you set 2015 goals?  If so, how did you do with them?

Friday, January 1, 2016

Highlights from 2015

Happy New Year!  I hope that 2016 is off to a great start for you and your family.

Before I completely shift my focus on to the new year, I wanted to take a moment to look back on 2015.  It was quite a big year in our lives!  Let's look back at some of the highlights of 2015:

Baby showers!
In preparation for Baby Fish's arrival, several groups of co-workers, friends, and family showered us with love!  I am so appreciative for their love and support.  It meant (and still means!) so much to me to have such great people in my life.

Joe's graduation from chiropractic school!
He did it!  Joe finished school and became a doctor on March 27th.  I originally wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it to the graduation (my due date was March 29th), but thankfully I was there to celebrate this huge accomplishment wit him!  I'm so proud of him for finishing school, finding a job so quickly, and transitioning into the "real world" with ease and success so far!

Baby Fish's birth on April 7th!
After waiting about 9 days past her due date, Baby Fish finally joined us!  It was so exciting to finally know that she's a girl, and she is such a blessing in our lives!

Moving back to Georgia!
It was just 11 days after Baby Fish's birth, but we packed up our life in Florida and moved to south Georgia for Joe's job.  I'm happy to be back in Georgia, and we are adjusting well to our new area.

Running the Peachtree Road Race
This July 4th tradition in Atlanta is a race that holds a special place in my heart.  I'm so happy that I was able to run it just 2 months postpartum!  It rained the whole time, but I was so excited to cross that finish line.

Starting a new job back in the classroom teaching high school math.
I've really enjoyed being back in the classroom!  I missed teaching and having my own group of students, so I've had a lot of fun this semester.  It was a little bit of a rocky start, but I'm ready to have an even better second semester!

Lots of visitors...
...and a few trips!
Between people coming to help with Baby Fish and traveling for some fun events (a few days at the springs, Richmond, Atlanta, and the beach), we've seen a lot of our favorite people!  It's been fun introducing Baby Fish to everyone, as well as having people come see our new home in southern Georgia.  We love it!

But, most importantly, we've had so much fun learning to be parents and watching Baby Fish grow!
She really is the biggest highlight of 2015!  Her arrival in our lives in April certainly changed our lives in the best way possible.  She is such a fun little baby, and we are enjoying watching her grow, change, and learn each and every day.  What a blessing she is!

Wow, quite a year!  With everything that happened in 2015, I'm really excited to see what 2016 has in store for us.  It's sure to be a good one!

Tomorrow, I'll share a reflection of my 2015 goals, and next week I'll be sharing my 2016 goals!  Have a great New Year's Day!

Question for you: What's a highlight of 2015 for you?