Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!

I hope everyone is having a fun and safe one. Over here in my world it is kind of blahhhhh!! I had a great day off yesterday but it has left me in all sorts of ways today. My stomach is kind of yucky, probably due to the most amazing sangria ever! And my knee was bothering me while I slept last night, so it kept me up.

I didn't sleep great and just woke up exhausted. Like I mentioned before, work is crazy and it just seems to be getting crazier. I am working and traveling all weekend and today it kind of just hit me. I had a plan to run and go to the gym after work, but man I got home and the couch was just calling my name. I knew this week was going to kick me straight in the face.

So I plan to make a great dinner, watch a Scary movie with James and get a good night sleep. I need it. Then tomorrow I plan to double up with a run and a gym work out, which I know my body needs that too.

A nice relaxing night and some serious couch time is what I really need!

Have a fun filled evening and weekend!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Catch Up on the Week

Good Thursday Morning!!

One I can not believe that it is the end of the month already, one more day to go and October is over with. Geez where did it all go??!! But I have to say October has been my favorite month of the year!! As you can imagine.

I am off from work today, which I am extremely excited about. It has been a rough week and like of course mentioned before, it is only going to get tougher, especially next week. I am traveling for work a bunch next week, which a 8 hour work day, turns into 10 hours, for 3 days straight. I will be really forcing myself to get my runs and work outs in. Which by the way are doing okay.

I rested on Monday, after my overaly stressed day and then Tuesday, I had a long work day and when I got out of work, seriously all I wanted was a nice glass of wine. I tell ya, for going months with very limited drinking occassions, now I am really enjoying a glass of wine after work. Listen, I have no shame in admitting, this might just get me through the holidays.

I met James at CD Roma's for probably the best sangria I have ever had. I mean, I couldn't stop drinking it. It was phenominal. It is 9:00 am and I am wanting one now.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere right?!!

I kid!!

I went to Weight Watchers actually before meeting up with James, so I could weigh in. I have moved my weigh in day back to Tuesday, since that normally is my rest day, since I don't have to run a ton of miles on that day anymore. The meeting time isn't until 7:00 pm. Which kind of sucks, because I usually get out around 5ish and have to wait another 2 hours to weigh in and of course, I am usually starving in that time frame. But I sucked it up and waited.

I lost 2.6 pounds. I can not tell you how happy that makes me feel, considering Aunt Flo was here to visit and my snacking was all over the place at times. I know my metabolism took a distract change when I marathon trained, so it is still hard to keep that snacking at bay. I can say, there are days, I am hungry all the time, like yesterday.

But I will take that 2.6 lost as a huge win. I really just want to loose a little bit each week. I am not looking for huge losses or distract ones, I just want to get back on track. And I am really feeling like I am these days. I have been listening to my body when hungry and saying no, when I really do not need anything. I am slowly getting back into my running and work outs. Well, to be honest, it has just been my running lately, I am going to add more cardio and weights this coming week.

My running has been getting faster and stronger. Last night I ran 3 miles and I actually ran the whole 1.5 without doing any of my walks. Pretty happy with myself with that one. I ran after I got home from work, it got pretty dark quick, but it was nice to run in the twilight, that wasn't a god awful early morning. I love night running, because it gives me a boost in the evening and really helps me sleep.

I am still having some calf pain and strain, but working through it and resting when I can. I went all through marathon training with no injury, no point in hurting myself now. I do have a little bit of a Post Marathon, Post any Race blues. This time last year, I was training for the Women's Running Half Marathon, so I was consumed with that and well we know all the training I did this year. So it is hard for me to not have a goal or race in mind. I do have the back to back Gasparilla distance classic, 4 races, 31 miles in February, it seems far away, but really isn't.

I won't be able to really concentrate on that race until right after Christmas. But I am happy to say I will be doing the Thanksgiving until New Years Runners World Running Streak again. I loved running at least one mile every single day. It really helped with my state of mind and mood and even weight loss. So I guess for now, I can just enjoy it.

I am sure your getting sick of hearing me say that over and over. But believe me, it is weird not having anything going on. I complained that I had too much, now not enough lol.

Also I won a 50.00 gift card to Victoria's Secret through being an Influenster!!! How amazing is that! I got it from the VoxBox of the Victoria's Secret SportsBra one I was in. I can't even explain how awesome that is. I am really hoping I get it before Black Friday, so I can treat myself to a pre Holiday treat.

So that's where I am at this week so far. I am off today with the lover and we are going to see a movie, some grocery shopping and probably an afternoon nap!

Happy Thursday!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Case of the Monday's

So this is how I felt today after work..

Yup and that's exactly how I felt with zero *beeps* given! And that is how my day started! I woke up late, which just set my whole day off and I just felt very overwhelmed. As much as I tried to catch up, more piled on and in reality it will be like that for the next few months! Sigh, the reality of retail!

I probably should have worked out tonight or ran but I just couldn't wait to just lay on the couch and veg out. Because at work I had so much going on, I didn't eat much, so when I got home, carrots and laughing cow cheese was the best snack and one too many pistachios.

And now enjoying the Monday night football

He is lucky I love him so much. Having him home now and we are watching football, is making my night even better!!

Hope everyone else's Monday is much better.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Best of Me, Panera and Running

Good Sunday Evening!!

Had to post because I had another pretty fantastic day off today and got my mind frame back in action!! 

I hit up Bath and Body Works after my last morning. Darn them and their awesome coupons they send me. I hate to see a coupon not be used 😉

Then I went to Panera Bread for lunch. I really wanted the Autumn Squash soup but I looked up the points and it is 7pp for a cup!! While it is delicious, for a lunch 7pp for one item is a bit high, since I wanted a salad too. I had originally pre-tracked my lunch. Woohoo for me getting back into the swings of things.

I had picked the Fiji Apple salad but when I walked in, I saw on the pick 2 you can now have the power chicken hummus bowl as a YPT!!

What!! I was ecstatic! It is one of my favorite salads. The hummus is soooo good! I immediately went with that choice and chicken noodle and an apple.

After I had my love affair with Panera I went across the street and took myself on a date to the movies to see Best of Me. 

I snuck in snacks..

Good tip.. Bring a lollipop!! Way less points and calories and last a long time! My new favorite movie snack. The popcorn was perfect and I measure out 2 cups for 4pp. And my pop for 2pp. I did buy a Diet Coke. 

The movie was great!!! Really, really good!! I read the book awhile ago and it was just like it. I cried, it is a tearjerker!! Bring tissues! I love going to the movies and so glad that there are some really good movies out there AND I have gone twice in a week, that never happens!!

Gone Girl and Best of Me I both amazing movies and books, do yourself a treat and see the movies AND read the books!

After the movie, a tad bit sad from it, I came home and took an afternoon na. Yup, no shame! The. I woke up and ran. I still got my run in.

Each time I'm getting a little bit stronger and faster and feeling better. The marathon two weeks ago has left an imprint on my heart and my life. Every time I ran while training, I visioned what it would be like to cross that finish line.. Now I think back to how amazing it felt.

Those miles changed me in so many ways. It showed me everything is possible and I can get it done. 

I'm forever changed! 

I'm loving these 3 mile runs. I will go further but right now I'm happy with getting back to it. I have the turkey trot next month and would love to do it under 36 minutes, so I'm working towards that goal, I suppose! 

My day off attire! Hope of you were off you enjoyed yours also!  Here's to a good week!

Sunday Smiles

Happy Sunday Morning!!!

It feels amazing again, sleeping in a bit and just brewing a cup of coffee and relaxing in my Pj's! I love my Sunday morning long runs but I am really enjoying these easy Sunday ones too. James and I even sat on our back porch this morning and had coffee together. We have never been able to do that!! It's these little moments that make my heart sing!!

I will get a run in later after I enjoy my afternoon seeing a movie and a little shopping. I vowed to take at least one of my days off a week to just let myself enjoy whatever!!

Some other things that made me happy this week are...

This 5pp dessert. I sautéed some honeycrisp apples in coconut oil and cinnamon and then crumbled 

3 pretzel crips and some cool whip! Heavenly

Putting my magnets on my car! Makes me feel very bad ass!!

Still have my timing chip on my shoe. I think I might leave it on there forever!

Got a free NatureBox code and trying it out!! Those cookie crumble cashews taste awesome, going to give this subscription box a try!

Bath and Body Works have their fall items at 50% off now! Great deals on some awesome scents! 

I won this through a like, share comment post on Facebook! What awesome timing! I can't wait to wear it!

I had James go to Costco to get these for me when I saw someone posted on Instagram! You can find them only at Costco I believe! They are delicious!! I love fall BUT I LOVE the flavors and everything about Christmas!


The fact that the weather is just perfect enough that the sun is warm and I can still wear scarves!! Bring on the awesome Florida weather I love so much!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Got 3 Runs In

Alright I survived my first full week back in the real world.

Meaning, getting off of the cloud 9 of my marathon.

Hahaha. Who am I kidding?? I sat on that cloud all week and then some. My Proof pictures came in, I got frames at work and have been putting up pictures all over the apartment. Thankfully James really doesn't care how I decorate or what I do with the apartment.

I decorated for Halloween and he didn't even notice one bit. So me putting up pictures, here and there, he wont even notice. I am seriously obsessed with the fact that I have ran a marathon. I want everything and anything 26.2. Hint, Hint to all my friends and family reading :0)

I did go back to WW this week. I weighed in on Tuesday, bad idea, it was not the best weigh in. I gained. BUT not as much as I thought I would. I have been working hard this week to get back on track, but good old mother nature invited Aunt Flo over for the week. I mean really??!!!

And Aunt Flo is a total Beeoch!!! I tried to go back running on Wednesday. I made it to a little over 1.50 miles and I started dry heaving, as stated in previous posts. Then Thursday, I had the problem with Subway. So Friday, I woke up with cramps like you wouldn't believe and then bam it all made sense. I always get like this before my period and sure enough. Yesterday, feeling like absolute crap, I mean so bad. I didn't run. I mean I was doubled over in pain and had to get Midol.

This morning the same thing. I woke up out of my sleep with the worst cramps, that I couldn't even fall back to sleep. I couldn't even move out of bed, I just laid there. I wanted to run in the morning because the weather is so nice in the morning. But I just couldn't. The weather has been so nice and cool, so I knew after work, it would still be worth it.

I love being able to run after work now without the heat. The only problem is having the drive to want to do it. I tend to have a little bit of a slower pace at night, but it is nice for me to just unwind and clear my head after a long day of work. I usually get 2-4 miles in, I like to sit in the 3 miles. Today, I got it done. I went out and just took in the weather and ran. I am not using my GymBoss for the time being. I am just running and enjoying it and walking when needed.

It wasn't too bad getting out there again. My legs still feel a bit heavy, but I am getting a bit of speed back, which is throwing off my breathing, but gosh it is so nice to just go. I do love the idea of being to sleep in now and just heading out after work, it just seems to work for me.

My plan this week is to run 4 days and then 3 rest days or 4 run days and one gym day and two rest days. I think the second one will work, but no pressure too it. I am also going to use the gym after my runs too, since it is right on our property.

I can say, I am getting back to normal, slowly but getting there!

Happy Saturday.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tips For First Time Marathon Runners

Alright so it has been almost two weeks since I ran my first full marathon and to say I am still sitting on cloud 9 is an understatement. I am constantly thinking about it still. It was such an amazing experience and weekend and day for me, I seriously do not think I will ever forget it. And when I look on Instagram, I get all of these warm and fuzzy feelings about it again, because so many people I follow and are friends with are gearing up to run their very own full marathon also soon. Such as the NYC Marathon on November 2 and my dear friend, Nanci, running her full on November 30th. I am so excited for all my friends and cant wait to see how their experience was, hoping it is just as fantastic as mine.

I figured, since I am now a Marathoner, I can give some tips that helped me have a wonderful weekend and even better Marathon experience. Now, again, I am not an expert, these are my opinions, based on what I experienced. They might not work for everyone, just some tips and tricks to have a great 26.2.

1. Clear your mind. Go into the weekend or the few days before hand, just plain excited. There is no reason to be nervous, you did all the hard work for months now, training, practicing, putting in the miles. This is the time to just focus on your self and how much fun you want to have.

2. Have fun at the expo. My expo was small, very small. But we had a blast. We took pictures, shopped at the little tents and I bought all the 26.2 items I wanted to get. Take advantage of any deals they might be having. If for instance there is a change in climate, this is the time to maybe pick up something to help you in the marathon. Such as a long sleeved shirt or gloves. I picked up a hat, but opted to use it a later time, since I didn't train with it. This is also a great time to get any of your fueling options, such as GU or Shot Blocks, in case you forgot them or packed to light. REMEMBER, do not buy anything you haven't trained with. 26.2 is a lot of miles to try and use something new you are unsure of.

3. Carb load all day and HYDRATE. I made sure I had bottles of water every where I went. I didn't care if we had to pull over a million times. I also made sure I was eating every couple of hours and had a big breakfast, lunch and made sure my dinner was what I always ate before my long runs. For me that was bread, salad and spaghetti with sauce. I didn't try anything new or different and it worked out perfect. I started carb loading a couple of days before because since I was traveling, I was out of my element a bit, but adjust to your surroundings. Don't give in to temptation if you are not used to it. Carb loading doesn't mean go crazy with food, you don't want to make your self uncomfortable, you want FUEL your body.

4. Do Not consume alcohol for days before. Unless you are used to that and your stomach can handle it. Believe me, I wanted a pumpkin beer or a glass of wine with dinner so much, I was around family and friends and celebration was so needed, but I knew it would dehydrate me, so I opted out. That's what the after party is for anyway :0)

5. REST!!!! This one was hard for me, because my mind and body were going a million miles a minute, but even if I wasn't sleeping, at least I was laying down and that is all that mattered to me. I just let my body unwind. Take a bath, read a book, have a cup of tea or watch a movie in bed. I did all of those things, and I can say it really made me feel great. Especially the night before, I turned off my phone and all social media for the hour before bed, I just took a nice bath, with Epsom salt and unwounded, didn't turn on the tv and just laid in bed, it was heavenly.

6. Lay out your "flat" self the night before. So in the morning, all you have to do is do what you normally do. If staying at a hotel, ask the front desk what time is breakfast, that way you can get your fuel and have it ready to go. Ours was at 6, but because I had to leave before then, they gave us to go bags and let me sneak in for a bagel and peanut butter. I should have grabbed something else too, because 2 hours later at the start I started to feel a bit hunger.

7. That lead to this, make sure you pack enough fuel!!! I dropped two of my items, and had to text my BFF to bring me some more. Our marathon wasn't giving out GU or anything, it was just what cheering squads had. Thank god for the lady with the Swedish Fish, that sugar rush was perfect. I wasn't prepared for losing my fuel, but I quickly found a solution.

8. If you have family and friends coming, see if they can see you not only at the finish line, but along the route. It REALLY helps to see someone you know, especially around that 20 mile marker. I started to hit the wall at that point and seeing my BFF at that moment, with water and fuel, I can't even explain. If you don't have spectators, ask family or friends to text you messages of encouragement and support, so maybe during that "wall" you can see the support and help you carry along.

9. Take in the surroundings. Enjoy the views and the cheers and spectators and those around you. Talk to people running in your pace group or section, even saying hello or hey you got this, it goes along way. I made sure, if I saw someone struggling to just say congrats, because you know what even if they didn't finish, they had the courage to be out there at that point. And I know it made a couple of peoples day. Take pictures. I took pictures of mile markers, the beautiful day, funny signs I saw or shirts people were wearing. I wanted to remember every single moment!! Take it all in, have fun with it. Also text a family member or friends to see what side of the finish line they are on, that way when you can close you know where to focus.

10. And my last advice, run that last .2 for you. Dedicate each couple of miles if you want to people who are important to you or moments in your life. I did that and broke it up into 4's. But really that last 1.2 mile, well that was all for me. I was going to savor in that last mile, like no other. Run that mile with your heart, forgot the pain in your legs or all over. Run from within and run with a purpose, run for the fact that you made it through and you are stronger than you ever thought possibles. Remember how awesome you are. If you are a crier like me, let it all out, you earned those tears and those miles. Smile big, jump, throw your hands up, however you want, get over that finish line STRONG!!!


I learned a lot about myself from the marathon experience. I learned I really loved running and no matter the pain, I was so happy to be doing this. I never wanted the feeling to end, I really was getting upset that the whole thing was ending. I hope these tips help, ease your mind, enjoy your taper and enjoy it all.

Someone said, the 26.2 is your victory lap, go out and get it!!!

WIN Review & A Giveaway

This post is sponsored through WIN detergent and SweatPink. I was given 2 bottles of WIN Detergent for testing purposes. My opinions are 100% my own.

Having a healthy lifestyle can be smelly. Training for a marathon and running a marathon, lead to clothes that just darn right stink and are caked with sweat. And when traveling for a marathon and leaving your stinky, VERY Stinky clothes in your suitcase, amongst other clothes, leaves so stinking too. That's where WIN Detergent came in and saved my smelly clothes.

My clothes were so bad, that it made all the other clothes in my suitcase just reek. I wasn't sure how I was going to get the smell out of them. WIN Detergent has made that possible. My boyfriend golfs and he can work up quite a sweat, and it worried me how I was going to get our clothes smelling good again. Because even in the regular laundry, that sweat smell really never comes out, especially when it is caked on.

After unloading all my clothes into the washer, I used the first load with the green bottle. The green bottle is Fragrance and Dye Free, since I was mixing multiple colors and pieces. The Blue bottle is the same formula, just better bottle, and doesn't have the dye or fragrance free. I didn't really see a difference between the two bottles, but we are not sensitive to detergent. But if you are sensitive to detergent's, then the green bottle is for you. The detergent is HE friendly and only a small cap full is needed for your load.

After my clothes were clean, they came out looking amazing and smelling great!! Just a clean, fresh scent.  I mean even the clothes that were thrown in the laundry along with my athletic clothes were perfect. Because lets be honest, if you had seen my laundry pile, I have NO time for sorting. 

This detergent is safe for all those problems. It eliminates all the odors from my clothing and doesn't mix it with the other clothes. I know can throw everything into one and get on with my life.

I have never really thought much about my running clothes and how they smell. But man, after cleaning them with WIN, it is a big difference. I know longer can smell that lingering stench that gets stuck in that Wiking material, you know that underlining smell of the fabric. I always noticed it in my Boyfriends golf clothes, you know that smell. NOT ANYMORE!!!

You can buy WIN online through Amazon here WIN

Plus as a reader you can get $1.00 with the code WINGIVE1

If you work out hard, Sweat Hard, make sure your clothes Stay Fresh, so they can last as long as you can.

Here is a chance for you to win 2 Bottles of WIN!!

Good luck and Smell Great
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Another Date Night and First Run

Last night after work, I opted to surprise James at Happy Hour. We haven't had a night of happy hour or me enjoying dinner with a beer or wine in FOREVER!! I always said no because of the training. Last night after work, I had a bit of a craving for a ice cold beer. So I gave in and met him for dinner and drinks.

I had a blueberry ale with fresh blueberries in it. Amazing by the way! And grilled chicken breasts for dinner and maybe 1 too many pieces of bread. We had a great night and our good friend, Larry joined us too for the fun.

After dinner and probably because I hadn't had alcohol in forever, I was pretty exhausted and went to bed around 10:00! Super early for me! I figured since I was going to bed so early, I would be up today at 6! 

Yeah, I ended up sleeping in until 9:00! 11 hours of sleep! Granted I felt great today from all the sleep and finally felt well rested. So I set out to do 2 miles. 

My first post marathon run!! It felt good, I wasn't sore but getting my breathing back was different and it is still so hot here. At my 1 mile turn around, I headed back and then all of a sudden, I had stomach cramps and started dry heaving. I mean really bad! It was kind of scary.

I walked the rest home, still dry heaving and trying to calm down. I got home rushed to the bathroom and chugged a lot of water. I think I was dehydrated. 

I hadn't had anything to drink in over 12 hours really was not a good idea and didn't sit well. So my first run back was not great at all. I'll be back to it tomorrow and more water!!

I'm gonna attempt another 2 tomorrow. Just getting back to running and working out is gonna be tough but I'll do it, no plans just loving it.

The endorphins did feel really good though and sent energy right through me! I loved being back out there for sure.

Now a closing shift and my day off tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Awesome Sunday, Date Night and Soup

Well I can say I am feeling pretty good this week so far. After my amazing day off on Sunday, I mean it was amazing. I went and got a massage, which was a gift from my Mom and my Aunt for completing the marathon. And when I tell you it was fantastic, isn't even a lie. But I will post about that later, because it is worth a post all its own. After feeling so relaxed and my muscles nice and warm, I went and got a pedicure, which oh man did I need one. I seriously don't know the last time I got one, it has been that long. Then I spent the after relaxing, laying on the couch with a book, Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult, which is one of her older books, but it is really good.

I have also been sleeping great lately. I mean so good, that is getting harder to get up. I have been so tired in the morning and I think the reason is because last week was so busy, I mean I had no down time last week after the marathon, I was a busy bee. So I think it is all catching up with me, which I expected a whole lot. I knew it was going to sometime and it has. But I am working my way through it.

Monday, I was thinking about running, but I had to be to work early and since I hadn't been there in quite sometime, I needed to be there bright and early. James and I decided since we both work retail that our date nights happen during the week, rather than on the weekend. So, last night we had the best date night, it was perfect for a Monday blues, or Monday craziness. I didn't even feel guilty about running, this is the idea of sometime off, just enjoying the little moments in life.

We went to Panera Bread for dinner and I had their Autumn Squash soup and the Turkey and Cranberry Flatbread sandwich. Which that whole combination was amazing!!! That soup is to die for. Seriously, if you love Fall items, this is the soup for you. It was creamy, a bit sweet and oh so delicious. I paired it with the Whole Grain Sprout roll they suggested and the flatbread sandwich was pretty good. I felt like it was missing something though, it had turkey, spinach, cranberry and light mayo. Which it was tasty but the flatbread seemed a bit much, I might try it on a whole wheat bread next time. 

Seriously get the soup..

I am already thinking when I can get it again.

After our dinner we went to the movies. HELLO, a MOVIE NIGHT, for us is a big deal, we couldn't even remember the last movie we saw together was. That's sad. I love going to the movies and James not so much. We went to see Gone Girl, which was amazing also! I mean just like the book. The characters in the book and the actors portrayed them perfectly. The images I seen in my head were exactly what played out on the big screen. 

Ben Affleck was a perfect Nick Dunne and Rosemund Pike was a great Amy! I mean she did awesome. I loved the movie from start to end, James wasn't all too impressed with the ending, which if you read or saw the movie, you know the drill. But I was in love with it, well done!

We enjoyed some awesome movie popcorn, no butter and had a great date night. It felt so nice to get away from our norm. I believe you should do this at least once a week, something different, we are really working on this and it is helping our relationship a lot.

So today, I have committed it is back to running. I WILL run after work today, the weather is better and I can run after work and not die of heat anymore.

Hope everyone has had a great start to their week also!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Getting Back to "Normal"

So I had this crazy thought, that once I was done with the marathon, my life, energy, etc would all go back to normal. Like, I would bounce right back....

Yeah, that does not happen. This whole week I have been dragging for sure. Not that I have had much rest anyway this week. Right after the marathon and days after, we were on the go, still on vacation. I have had one full day of rest, which was Thursday, which by the way was fantastic! I mean I laid around all day long, napped, and laid around and caught up completely on my DVR. It was glorious.

And then Friday, bam right back to work. Friday was a travel day at another store and it ended up being a 10 hour day. And then Saturday, finally back in my home store, with another 10 hour day. My body felt it yesterday. I am not sure if it was because of the flats I had on or just my tired legs, but they were killing me. I mean sharp pains up and down my left calf. It hurt so bad, I was hobbling around my store and had tears in my eyes. As many of you know, I work retail and we work a lot of single coverage, which means, I am the only one in the store and we NEVER sit down. Once the girl came in at 5:00, I sat down just to regain some strength in my legs.

I think I need to wear my sneakers for a bit, to get my feet back to normal. It was crazy, at that moment, I could tell, my legs needed more rest. They just weren't back to normal. I wish I could be one of those people, who can run a marathon and then the next day run more and just keep going. There have been days this week, I have struggled with walking and the idea of running, I just knew I would never make it. But I am not stopping. I told myself, I would give myself a full 7 days off of running and exercising, to build me back up and just get my mind straight again and it has been working.

Today, was the first Sunday in probably 6 months I have not had to be woken up by an alarm to run or a special engagement. Every Sunday for the last 6 months, I have either ran, worked or had a day after a wedding event or something going on. This is my first Sunday, completely off from anything and everything. It feels pretty damn amazing. I mean I love my Sunday runs, I really do, but I love to sleep in on Sunday's too and just stay in my PJ's and lounge around.

But the beauty of Sunday's from now on, is the weather is changing here in Florida, so I can sleep in and not feel so bad going for a run later on because it is much cooler, which oh man I love. I will still do my early morning runs on Sunday's but now to have the option is glorious. I have been thinking and I am liking the schedule of a run 4 days a week and then a gym day one. Or a run 3 days a week and gym two days. Its a schedule I can work around, it fits my schedule with my life and work. Plus it keeps me on a routine, which from the marathon training I have grown to love.

Also this weekend I have noticed besides the whole getting my body back to normal, trying to get my hunger back on track too. I have been doing pretty well with my points, I mean I have tapped into my weeklies a bit, but I have done quite well in my eyes. My problem is when I come home from work, I am starving and well I love to snack. And even though I am eating like pretzel thins or not full fat chips, I measure them out, I always want more. Before it didn't really care because I was running it off, now I know I have to watch myself much more.

So back to baking and my Hungry Girl books to keep me on track. So be prepared to see much more recipes coming this way :0)

Now off to get a massage and a pedicure!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Now What??!!

So now that the marathon is what???

It is weird but this is the longest I have gone with out running in probably over a year and all I have taken off what 4 days. I feel okay, I think probably because I am on a runner's high still from the marathon. I still feel like I am flying from all that I accomplished and did. But one nagging thought is now what?? What do I do now?

For months and months, I have dedicated every single moment to training. I had a routine and I had schedule. I never questioned what the day was going to bring or how it was going to play out. My life was nothing but running. And now, I don't have a goal or dream to strive for.

I guess that seems a little harsh, of course, I have goals and dreams to strive for, but nothing big like the marathon. I mean that training and big day was so far out of my comfort zone, where do you go when you reach the top???

I need to refocus on my weight loss for sure. I need to tone up what I have lost and get back to where I was before marathon training. To say marathon training made me loose weight is a complete lie. I gained during this process, 90% muscle but I did gain 7 pounds over the course of the 6 months, but if I am being honest, I probably have gained almost 11 this past year. Yes, a lot of it is muscle, I mean I have been running and running all year. I did the 2 day, 3 race day in February, then Iron Girl and then right into Marathon Training. Lots of intense running, which brought on intense hunger.

Did I always make the best choices or say I can eat this because I am running like crazy this week??!! Umm, I sure did, but now I have to retrain my body and mind to go back to how it was before, when I didn't eat all my activity points or weeklies. Or I didn't snack as much. To say it will be easy, again is a lie, but I am giving it my all. I am continuing with Weight Watchers for the rest of the year, then I think I might try counting calories or Macros, which I hear is quite successful. I am contiuning on with WW for the rest of the year because it is easy and I want to finish through. I have busy few months coming up with work and the holiday season and I know WW works very well for me during that time of year.

But I will need something new, something fresh. It is good to switch it up. So right now I am sticking with my 26 points a day, until January and will cut my ties with Weight Watchers after that. Not leaving the program completely, just taking a little break. I just don't want to live my life counting points all the time, you know. It was nice this week to take a little break, but I am not fully there yet, I have many flaws.

And as for running, well my focus right now is just to enjoy it. The weather is becoming amazing here in Florida and that is where I fall in love with running all over again. I want to love it all over again. No more training times and if I want to only run 3 days a week, or run just for two miles one day, then I will. I also will utilize my gym more in our apartment, focus more on stretching and yoga also. I do have the Turkey Trot in November and I want to focus on really hitting that sub 30 minute 5k. Starting back at the  beginning, where all my love of running began.

I do have that sad feeling of now what? But I know I will continue to run. I plan on a nice 3 miles on Sunday, but if I want to run for a long distance just because well then I will, no pressure. I know I love running, I love long distance running and sure I hit my long distance goal, now I am just running to keep me loving the long road.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back to Florida...

So our vacation is over. We just got back to Florida today and now we are back to our lives and work. I am lucky enough to have tomorrow off, so thankful for that because I plan on using that day to catch up on my DVR, drink lots of coffee and tea, catch up on some blogging stuff and most importantly relax. Ever since the marathon we have been still on the go and my body kind of hates me for it!!

Monday, we went up to our College again so we could check out the book store and grab some Keystone gear. James spoiled me this whole trip and that day was no exception. We went a little crazy in the book store and I love him for it. Then we decided to spend the afternoon at the casino. Wasn't exactly something I wanted to do, I would have much rather been relaxing in the hotel or getting a pedi but it was feeling good being out, with no real plans and moving around.

I was soooo sore on Monday. I mean my Quads were on fire!!!!!! It hurt to sit down, it hurt to get up, it hurt to walk and stairs and curbs were even worse. It was just painful, but not enough to keep me down, I just kept moving. I won about 50.00 bucks at the casino and then I had to call it quits. My body was not resting and it was angry and I started to feel sick, I needed to lay down and even though it was 7:00 at night, I laid down and passed out for a good two hours. Once I got up, I was hungry and continued to lay in bed.

Yesterday, we left Scranton and head down to Philly for the day. We had our hotel booked already and wanted to get some sight seeing in. Sad to say, we only did a little bit, we did get to eat a Cheese stake which I was thrilled about and it was delicious. But James wasn't feeling great, I was still sore, so walking was a task, so mad that we weren't doing the whole tourist thing, we went back to the hotel and relaxed, I again fell asleep. We were bummed that we didn't go out and do more, but we had such a busy week and well running a marathon knocks you out and when your body screams stop, I have to listen to it.

Today, we left early and now we are back in Florida. James and I had an amazing trip together, it was way better than I ever thought it was going to be and besides not really getting to do a whole lot in Philly, I wouldn't change a thing.

So there is where I am at, I have a lot more to discuss about the marathon and all my feelings after, I'll get to that soon, right now, the couch and American Horror Story are calling my name!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

I am a Marathoner

Alrighty so here I go with my marathon recap. I thought I would get it done right away, because we have a day today of exploring and well resting. I have had my coffee in me and I am ready to recap the action. Please beware of my grammar, spelling and long winded sentences, when I am excited about something I go on and on and to be quite honest I could care less about grammar, which if you have read my posts before you know that lol. This will probably be a long post, hold on though, this is the last leg of the journey.

So I suppose I should take it back to the day/night before, since I didn't post anything then. The day before (Saturday) James and I had a day together. We started at the Expo, which was quite small in comparison to other Expo's I have done too, but it was enough for me. It was inside a High School and they did have a lot of running stuff to purchase. I made sure to get a hat, a t-shirt, two long sleeves, two headbands, a running beanie hat, I picked up some Gu's and Shot Blocks and of course my iconic 26.2 magnets and stickers for my car. James paid for everything for me, as a treat, I swear this man is my rock.

I was so nervous picking up my packet. I was shaking, it was real, very, very real at that point. My bib number was 63.

There it was, right out in front of me. AHHHH. I calmed down and knew I was just really excited to get it done with and become a marathoner.

After the expo we went to our College, to walk around and go back. We had a wonderful carb filled lunch and then headed back to our hotel. James's friend Rick came up from Maryland for the day and we hung around until my mom and Aunt made their arrival. Once they got here, I said goodbye to James, and went off shopping with them. We ended up going to the Christmas Tree Shop. We do not have one of these in Florida and I love that place. I got a lot of goodies, I can not find in Florida. I also picked up KT tape because my calf was really, really hurting me. I mean it was all I was thinking about, even if I wasn't showing it.

It felt so strained, no matter what I put on it. I had heard a lot about KT tape, so I picked it up because it was a good price and hoped for the best. I am so glad I did.

After shopping we went to dinner for pasta and then I called it a night around 9:45 after a nice relaxing bath. Yes, I went to bed before 10:00, all the running around knocked me out. My flat Angie was all laid out and I was ready to run. I slept pretty good, I did wake up every 2 hours, looking at the clock, but other than that I was well rested. My alarm was set for 4:45, which is late for me for a long run morning. But the race wasn't starting until 8.

I got up, I got dressed and went downstairs to the lobby to get my breakfast. They gave out little goodie bags for those running and then let me go in and get a bagel with Peanut Butter. I forgot to grab a banana. I went to my mom and Aunt's room and ate and they were going to drive me to the bus pick up area. We laughed and they calmed my nerves for me for sure. It was amazing having them with me this weekend. We got to bus line up quickly and I was able to hop on one right away. It was freezing yesterday morning, so cold. Umm like 37 degrees. This Florida girl was in gloves and  my running attire and a sweatshirt.

The buses were kind of warm but because of my nerves, I was shivering. I ended up sitting next to a guy, who has ran this marathon numerous times and has ran 56 total!!!!! 56 marathons!! Crazy. He went on and on about races and advice and other things, it was nice to talk to someone, but I kind of wanted to be in my own zone, just focused, but him talking about how great the course and experience is here, made me feel better.

Once at the starting line, you head into the Forest City High School, where you could keep warm. They had some coffee and snacks for us. I did not eat anything because I did not want to upset my stomach, due to nerves and water, I went pee 3 times, I did not want to chance it. Once standing in line, I hoped in the 13 minute pace group, the last one. I wanted to be in the back so when others passed me or when using my beeper, I didn't want to annoy anyone. I found others doing the same thing as me, but doing 5:00/1:00's. I was comfortable being in the back and made some friends and found my rabbits to focus on.

The starting was of course sang with the Star Spangled Banner and the gun that went off wasn't a gun, it was a cannon! So cool, but being so short, I forgot to get a picture. I had my Garmin already to go but because I was talking to someone, I forgot to hit start right away. The first part was straight downhill and I could feel it in my thighs already. I ran the first mile, without using my run/walk. I threw away my gloves and then around mile 3, so did the sweat shirt, I started warming up.

There were not a lot of people in the back with me, which was nice, but it got lonely for sure. One gentleman was doing 3:1's and we chatted for bit. The area we were running, had limited service, so my Pandora wasn't working. I ran about the first 6 miles without music, which was different for me. But I just listened to my breathing and other runners and our foot steps. Another gentleman was around me and he had a neck brace on. This was his 36 marathon and he was going in for surgery tomorrow. They told me he could still participate if he walked it all. He was a trooper. I also had an older gentleman around me, had to be in his late 80's. He became my hero.

We ran through a bunch of towns and before I knew it we were at the half way point. Time was flying. I took a picture and sent it to my family. But when I did that I lost my Shot Blocks, they fell out and I didn't realize. I started to mini freak out because I lost my Sharkies at the beginning and all I had left was my GU. Because they weather was cold, my GU was cold, which I loved, but I hadn't done all my runs with just GU. I texted my BFF, Lea Ann, because she mentioned seeing me at mile 19 and asked her to bring me some chews, or a granola bar and water. She said Yes.

Now I had something to look forward too. For a good 6 miles we did trail running. It was absolutely gorgeous! I mean breath taking but the thing I didn't like was how long we were in there for. It became too much for me, it was boring and I was by myself with no specters. I was starting to hit the wall for sure. Never doubting what I was doing, but just becoming anxious. I looked at my phone at every walk, to change music, do something else, it was boring. But once I got out of the trail, I felt much better, tired and sore, but better.

Then I knew I was going to see Lea Ann. I turned a corner and I see her jumping up and down and running to me. I, of course, being an emotional wreck of a person I am, starting sobbing. Not because I was tired, sore or hurt, just happy to see her. She gave me some gummies and water, kept telling me I was doing it and gave me a kiss and sent me on my way.

I was so thankful to see her and her boyfriend at that moment, it was the boost I needed. Oh and I forgot a little bit back was a family handing out sugar. Hahha. Skittles, Swedish Fish, candy, I needed it then. I knew I hadn't trained with it, but I needed something to boost me, I took the swedish fish and it was heavenly. After mile 22, from seeing Lea, my stomach rumbled a bit and I knew I need a bathroom. So I stopped, I had only stopped once more to pee. I was quite proud about that.

Mile 21 seemed to take forever, I swear it did. Then 22 was fast and before I know it was mile 23. I was now entering a zone, I had not completed me before. I was almost there, 3.2 more to go. That was it. I did all that in training before, now I was in the home stretch. I started to see many more people, as those starting to drop off or drop back a bit from being tired. I knew I wanted to get there under 6 hours and my body was responding perfectly. The run/walk method really was working because I was able to recover.

I did walk a bit in mile 24 because I knew I had time and I wanted to finish strong and there were too many hills. I mean rolling hills, one after another and winding hills. It was a cruel joke. I ran my 2 and then walked a bit, I didn't care, I was in it to finish. The crowds were much more encouraging now as we getting closer and I could see more of Scranton. The emotions in me at this point were unreal. I mean unreal. I texted my boss and her and my work BFF sent me a video, which I choked up with, telling me I got this. Mile 25 looked so beautiful to me, except it held the straight up hill. No shame, I walked that bitch, I was spent.

My legs were wobbly and sore. I got to the top and ran it home. I was done with music and started listening to the Rise and Grind Nike Motivational video. I was so close and those words, in my ears over and over got me home. I could see the finish at 26 and everyone yelling you there, go. And then the water works started coming. I was sobbing and crying. I couldn't believe I had done it. I really did it.

Then I saw my family and they are jumping and yelling. I waved to them through tears and I knew I didn't look pretty haha. I was crying not in pain but in happiness, I really did it. After all those hours of running, training and I really, really did it.

I heard the announcer say my name and put my hands up in the air and I crossed under that finish line.

I became a MARATHONER!!!

I can not explain that feeling. Crossing under it alone, the relief, the emotion and everything rolled into one. I was given the mylar blanket, but I didn't need it, I was warm and felt good. Then she put my medal on and it congratulated me. I downed a bottle of water that tasted amazing. I felt my dad with me the whole time. I know he was running beside me. It was a gorgeous day, he made that happen. He pushed me along when I felt tired. He carried me up and down those hills. Everyone in my life alive or in heaven, we crossed that finish line together!!

I turned a corner and then saw my mother running towards me. I was sobbing seeing her. It made it all worth it. James and Lea and My Aunt were right behind her. Congratulating me and my Aunt kept saying over and over unbelievable.

I really did it. I ran a full marathon. I survived without injury. I survived, I never gave up, I didn't stop once. I just kept going until the end and I finished under 6 hours. My goal was complete. And my family was there to witness it all.

We took lots of pictures and I hung on to that medal with such pride. My legs were starting to get sore and my feet were so heavy but I felt amazing, almost like it never happened. We went out to lunch to Ruby Tuesday's and I had a ice cold margarita and a burger. It was heavenly. I didn't even change because I didn't feel all that bad, plus I was afraid to change and never get back up lol.

Lunch was great and we had lots of laughs and my family let me bask in my glory. They left around 4 and I went back to the hotel and crashed for a good hour. I showered and then tucked myself into bed. My body was tingling, which woke me up. I spent the rest of last night, looking at pictures, sleeping with my medal and eating a salad with chicken and soup. Back to the good choices and not so much bread and carbs haha.

I had a wicked headache because I had no caffeine all day, so I had some coffee to settle it, it worked for me. I passed out early with such satisfaction, even if I put it into words, it wouldn't convey how I felt. I really did it. I did it.
I am looking for inspirational quotes before I sign up for marathon #2....

This sums it up perfectly. I was a girl who weighed 234 pounds. I was overweight and never ran a mile in my life. I dedicated my life to weight loss for the last 3 years. I took up running on a whim and fell in love with it. Then I ran some half marathons and realized, I loved long distance. I never thought I would run a full and then the bug of it settled in and I took the chance and signed up.

Have the courage to start something, sometimes it's all you need to get going. #support #havecourage #startsomethingnew

Then I dedicated hours, days, months, my whole life to this half of the year to training. Then I got up, got it done and I can say I gave every ounce of who I am and what I have done to those miles. I gave it 150% and I finished.

If you ever think you cant run a marathon, please think of me. I was never a runner, I was never born into this, I didn't have a body for one, but I made sure I was going to get it done. I broke the rules and doubts of my own mind. I pulled deep and I did it and so can you!

And now I can earn this...

Marathon, then try an ULTRA! 50k, 50 miles, Double marathon!!!! JUST RUN!

Thank you for being a part of this journey...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I DID IT!!! I finished 26.2 miles!!!

Okay amazing day!!!! I finished and got my medal and the honor to call myself a marathoner!!! I will post a super long post about today but right now I'm just gonna share some pictures. I'm beat and my brain is all over the place but I have never felt more amazing!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

How & Who I am Running These Miles For...

Okay, two posts in the same day, this is crazy of me, but something came up and I just had to get it out on the line. ( major high fives if you know what movie that is from ).

When choosing my marathon, I put a lot of consideration to it. Even though the idea of the Steamtown Marathon seemed so perfect, there are a lot of different aspects that make it PERFECT for me in particular.

One because it was where I went to College for 4 years and then lived for a year after college. My first and favorite apartments were there. I had a lot of different firsts there. I graduated from there. I had my first real retail job here. Most of my amazing memories of my early 20's were in this area. I am an extremely emotional person, so stuff like this fuels me, it pumps me up.

Second, I knew it would be a place my boyfriend would love to go and have a mini vacation with. He has a lot of friends still around these parts, since we went to the same college and like myself he hasn't been back here in 6 years and we really loved it here.

Third, my Best Friend lives here. Lea Ann lives here and being able to have my Best Friend of twenty something years, at the finish line, cheering me on, well you know!

Fourth, its gorgeous this time of year around here. It is so different from Florida, its challenging in the hills and the cold weather, but this weather I was brought up in, it is my home and running in it, awakens me, it makes me feel strong and alive.

And lastly because my family only lives a few hours away, so this could be the one race they would be able to see me at. And what better then a FULL marathon. My mom and Aunt were on board of course right away and then I told my Poppy, Uncle and cousin, Savanna and they too were of course, we will be there. I love every single one of my family members so much willing to make the trip and spend money to see me accomplish this. They have been at every single one of my life's big events and this one is a big one for sure.

So here is the bad news....

My Poppy cant come. I am sure if you know me or have been reading with me for a while now, you know how much my Poppy means to me. I mean that man is my lifeline. Every part of who I am is because of him. I know the reason the person I am today is because he took me in and raised me as not only his granddaughter but as a second chance at raising a daughter. He is my strength, my heart and soul. He has been at every one of my big events and this one even though he isn't there, I know he is there in spirit.

It still hurts me know he wont be there. I was banking on seeing him over in the crowd, cheering me on, seeing his face and how proud I have made him. He said to me when I was home, how proud he was of me for attempting this, taking the time and dedication to follow through with the training and never give up. Well, I am not giving up now. Now, knowing he wont be there, fuels me even more. It will light a fire under me to get through those miles because I will send him a picture saying I made it. I want to earn that phone call telling him I am a marathoner.

I could hear it in his voice he was upset and I held back my tears and told him it is okay because honestly it is. I don't want him coming if he isn't a 100% because it would break my heart again, if I saw him standing there in pain but did it just for me and he would do that. He is stubborn. So for him to bow out, I know he isn't feeling well and all I want is for him to get better. All I ever want in life is for him to be okay. He has some really bad back pain and it isn't giving him the quality in life he deserves, so he needs to rest and trust his medications and get better.

But now, there is a little hole in my heart. But I will give this marathon everything in me now to finish. I WILL NOT QUIT!!!! I run for those who cant run and I run for those who wont be able to be there. I am running for all my guardian angels, in heave and on earth, I run for those who mean the most to me.

The first 4 miles are for my Grandpa Joe & Uncle Ralph
Mile 5-9 are for my Grandma Angelina, whom I am named after.
Mile 10-14 are for my Nanny, Poppy's late wife, my late Grandmother on my Dad's side
Mile 14-18 are for my Poppy, these miles were the miles in training, I really knew I could do this.
Mile 19-22 are for my Father, those are my toughest miles, I know he will carry me through.
Mile 23-25.2 those are for my friends and family. The friends that trained with me, via Facebook and Instagram and this blog. The friends who listened to me on the phone at work when I said I was tired, the friends who I trained with physically on those morning runs (Nanci, Jen, Jacke, Corina, Mike) we run those together, that is uncharted territory. These miles are for the family and friends who are waiting for me at the finish line, the ones who made the trip to support me in everything I do.
Mile 25.2-26.2, that mile is for me! I run that mile all for me, the final loop, the final 4 laps, the give it all I got. I run that mile like it is the very last mile I will ever run and I will take all those people and bottle them up. I will tuck them in my heart until it is just about to explode and use it in that last mile. I run that last mile for me, for the strength I have and the determination and dedication I put into this whole journey. I run that mile sweetly for me and the satisfaction of knowing I will get there no matter.

I believe in the idea that people go to heaven after they past, maybe it is not a spirtual heaven, but some place special and they are all together. In my mind, I know there is a finish line in heaven that my family members are watching anxiously. I know they are on the side lines and each of them are taking turns getting me through the miles. Sending me little signs of hope and push. I believe that they will all stand together, and embrace when I cross that finish line. I know my father will be on my back the whole time, I know he will be running right beside me. I believe this all to be true. I know I am one lucky girl to have two finish lines to cross, the one on earth and the one in heaven. I am blessed to have tons of people supporting me, even if I cant see them, I can feel them.

Thank you for reading this post, this is a post I have wanted to write forever, now you know who I run for and really what fuels my fire.

My Last Marathon Training Run...

So it is official, I have finished my last training run on my marathon to finish training plan with Jeff Galloway. This training plan has changed my whole outlook on running, exercising and life in general. It gave me structure, routine and seriously a purpose each and every day. I stayed to that plan through all the heat, the humidity, the early, early mornings, the runs before work, after work and all that happens in between, like life, love and vacation time frames.. Sure, I complained at times, but that never stopped me from getting out the door and hitting the ground running.

The mornings, I wanted to just sleep in or the cross train days, where the idea of having to do something other than running made me cringe. The days when I did walks and I really wanted to run. I believed 100% in his program. His book I bought along with it, I drank the Kool-Aid and the Kool-Aid saved me. Every day I had something to do in the beginning and as the miles increased, I had flexibility to make the training more my own. I eliminated some cross train days and just ran, which is really all I want to do. I increased my rest days when needed and learned to recognize when I am being Lazy and when I really needed REST.

I understood not just with the running what my body was capable of but what my body needed to sustain the miles. I did lots of test runs and had lots of failing ones. But I nailed it down and know what will carry me to the 26.2. Also I learned what I eat during the week, not just the day of or while I am running, really does matter. Having some drinks the night before a run, is not the best idea. Or trying a new energy bar, or a new pasta sauce or not eating enough. Water is everything and anything to me and this is coming from someone who hated drinking water, now I choose it over my beloved Diet Coke.

I learned what my body craves after a run and how it reacts to the long mileage. What to wear and how to overcome those runs where you feel like you just cant make it through.

The  best thing I learned from this training plan is how tough I really am.

I grew up in not your average household. I have seen a lot and been through a lot. I have always considered myself to be a tough person BUT marathon training has taught me how tough I really am. And taught me the strength inside of me is stronger than anything I ever thought I had. I NEVER knew going into this I would come out a different person.

I often thought how was I going to get past those 13.1 miles. Then when it came to the day, I got through them and then more and more and completed my longest of 23 miles, which I am so glad I did, I know that will make all the difference for me on Sunday, having that little trigger in my head, knowing I just have to 3.2 more. The training plan kept me on track. It kept me focused, it kept me putting one foot in front of the other and I know I sound cliche, but believe me this is really how it feels.

I sit here, 2 days before the big day at awe at myself that above all of this, I made it through 5 1/2 months of the grueling conditions and I made it out alive and never once did I give up. And the best part, never did I once want to give up either. I never wanted to turn around and go back, or skip the miles. I always wanted to keep going forward because this training wasn't about getting me to the finish line or the starting line at that, it was about me setting a goal, a dream and succeeding it to the end.

I trained for close to 700 miles of a combaintion of running, walking and biking with roughly 600 of that was just running alone ( I will have the exact number when I get home ) and for 168 days and it will all lead up to the final 26.2 in 2. Thank you so much for reading along to every single one of my marathon training posts. The posts that changed my life or the posts I just wanted to update and let you all know how I was doing. Thank you for the comments and likes or just for stopping by. Thank you for helping me get to this starting line.

And now for the next two days is rest and pampering and just getting ready for the big day on Sunday!!