Monthly Archives: November 2012

Giving Tuesday

Did you know today is Giving Tuesday?

If you aren’t sure where to start, I have some ideas for you….

  1. Girls on the Run
  2. American Cancer Society
  3. San Antonio Food Bank
  4. Punjammies (This one is actually retail, which means you get a really cool pair of PJ’s and help out with the International Princess Project at the same time. Score!)
  5. Trades of Hope (Another retail site that supports an initiative to empower women to get out of poverty)
  6. American Red Cross

There are a million ways to celebrate on Giving Tuesday. Just look around your community and help someone carry a bag, open a door, drop some change in a bucket, buy someone a coffee…the list goes on. Just do something. Do something today. If everyone gives just a little of anything, imagine the whole impact that is made! The possibilities are endless.

Superstar!

Look at this Superstar!

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Running alongside my sister on Turkey Day was incredibly special and I can’t tell you enough about how excited I am for her. Eek!!

The rest of the weekend was filled with lots of family including matching Thanksgiving t-shirts, road tripping, Christmas tree decorating, state park hiking, date night cooking and a whole gamut of emotions. Including some conflicting emotions about those matching T-shirts.

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Oh, and that date night dinner…Mmmm, that was all about my son cooking for his girlfriend. While I love his courageous servant heart, which also included serving me and cleaning up the kitchen, I’m not sure how I feel about being asked to let him serve me in my bedroom so he and the girlfriend could have some privacy. Ha!

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Do you see the table only set for two? One of those was NOT for me. But, I guess I’ll take it for that scrumptious meal.

So, this week is back to the grind and regular workout routine. After a 4.5 mile hike, Sunday the rest of the week is shaping up nicely:
Monday- lunch time strength finished up with crashing this dudes P90x ab ripper workout at the workplace gym. Thank you, random guy for letting me join you!
Tuesday- lunch time spin class and GOTR
Wednesday- 3-4 mile run
Thursday- 3-4 mile run
Friday- rest
Saturday- Either run or early morning spin class

How did you spend your Thanksgiving holidays? Did you do a Turkey Trot somewhere? Maybe get banished to your bedroom while your teenager entertained?? Or am I the only one???

AAAABSolute Admiration

Continuing on in the spirit of giving thanks, I have to add a few more things to the list.

As I rolled out of the bed yesterday morning my intensely sore abs reminded me of how grateful I am for Barbie and her crazy core class at Lifetime Fitness. My hips and knees express the sincerest gratitude for the effort of keeping that core strong.

At the RNR I was handed about a gazillion packets of Downy Unstopable Scent Boosters. Have you tried these things? My workout clothes and anyone’s nose I come near post-workout thank you, Downy!

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Post-edit. I’m thankful for mobile blogging, except when I accidentally hit post before I’m ready.

This week has been a return to regular workouts after a light recovery last week. Here is the plan for the week:

Monday- 1 mile run to the gym, Barbie’s crazy core class, 1 mile run back to the car
Tuesday- GOTR Practice 5k day!
Wednesday- Stretch and Strength
Thursday- Therapeutics Turkey Trot with the sis!
Friday- Rest
Saturday- 6-8 mile run

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy

It’s time for giving thanks!

Are you one of those people who have committed to the 30 days of thankfulness on Facebook, Twitter, a blog, or whatever your social network of choice? I admire you so.

My person goal is to take some time each day for reflection on things for which I am thankful. There are seasons of my life in which I am much better at this than others, and unfortunately I think this year has probably been one of those less disciplined seasons. Never the less, I believe I’ll share a little with you.

A few things I am thankful for:

  • Thanksgiving! Heck, for almost an entire month people are just nicer. Although, Black Friday can make all of that niceness disappear faster than you can blink. It’s no coincidence that when our focus is shifted to something other than ourselves, we tend to be more likable, relatable, and genuinely happy.
  • Thanksgiving, again. Oh, the yummy foods!
  • Amazing grace! Because, what in the world would life be like without it.
  • Music. All kinds of music, but especially those artists that get my feet moving. These songs got me well past the 5K mark at RNR.

  • My family; my support system.
  • My crazy pup. She’s always there. I mean, ALWAYS. I can’t get away from her, but I love that girl!
  • All God’s creatures; great and small.

  • Girls on the Run. This organization is changing the lives of so many girls, including mine. I leave my heart with these girls every time I get to see them.

  • The American Cancer Society and Team DetermiNation. Although there will no longer be a team here in San Antonio, I am so grateful for the experiences I have had and so admire ACS.
  • Those who serve this country. Wow. Words do not express my gratitude.
  • An amazing restoration of my soul. The journey I have been on this year has felt long, but each step has made me a stronger woman.
  • Run skirts, tech shirts, compression socks, event coordinators…all things running.
  • Speaking of running, more of that great playlist that got me through the RNR 2012.

  • Food. I love all of it and I am so thankful to be able to purchase good quality, fresh foods nearly all of the time. I had a grown up grilled cheese sandwich tonight for dinner. Maybe I’ll share that recipe with you in a future post. Did you know it is possible to permanently lose your sense of taste? It breaks my heart that there are people out there that do not get to enjoy the flavors of all they eat.
  • Cold weather, winter boots, tights and big fluffy sweaters.
  • The beauty and intricacies of our natural world. From a clear night star-filled sky to the enormous ocean that moves with such grace and power as it ebbs and flows from one shore to another. How can we all not just be in awe of the world we live in?

  • Nina Simone singing New Day. There isn’t much better for turning your spirits around.
  • All of the amazing people I have met since moving to San Antonio a little over a year ago. You’ve made the transition so much easier.
  • Great schools with enthusiastic and caring teachers. All of you. Especially the ones that have endured my child.
  • J.T. We’ve been having a love affair since I started running a few years ago. You had me at SexyBack on my very first playlist. Thank you so much for getting me over that finish line last Sunday.

This list could go on and on and on, but I’ll wrap it up here. Besides, it’s nearly bedtime and I AM thankful for my bed. So thankful that I plan to get in it early this evening.

Oh, I almost forgot about Turkey Trots! Do you have one planned? I do! I do! It’s an extra special year because I get to run in the Triangle Therapeutics Turkey Trot with my sister which will be a first. What are you doing on Turkey day? Will you be hitting up the gym or participating in a Turkey Day run somewhere?

Sunday was a Funday!

Sunday morning came early and I woke up with that feeling of excitement that comes on race day morning. It’s only that kind of adrenaline fed excitement that could ever get me out of the bed at 4:45am. Plus, I think my new blue compression socks had a little something to do with it…

I could tell you all about the problems I started having a few weeks ago with swelling veins and pain, but I’d just be telling you that I am getting old and my body is starting to fall apart. So instead, I’ll just tell you that I bought these fun colored compression socks by CEP that changed my world Sunday.

Last year I barely arrived in time to get to my corral before the race started, but not this year!  We were super early and had the chance to go hang out at the start line before the crowds really started showing up.

As much fun as it was to be there early, it also allowed more time for my excitement to be blurred with some anxiousness. Before too many nerves set in though I had fun meeting up with all of my co-workers, other ACS teammates, and coaches. Plus, the bonus to this was meeting  in hotel lobby where we all got to use a REAL restroom before the race started. What a treat! 

And on that note, I’ll jump ahead for just a second and tell you how you can spot a rooky at a race, they complain about nasty port-o-potty’s. I got a good giggle out this about mid-way through the race. Hahahahahaa!

As we all dispersed to our various corrals, the nerves started ramping up. Tears welled up in my eyes as thoughts of freedom and thankfulness for all of our Veteran’s pressed on my heart when we said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the National Anthem.

This is a view from corral 11 out of 30 something corrals. It was a new feeling for me to be so anxious about a run, but I was ready to puke right about this time.

I was scoping out the crowd for some of the fun famous faces that were there, but I never saw any of them. However, it was very cool to know I was running alongside Jo Dee Messina, who was headlining just after finishing the half <—crazy lady! and Biggest Loser Winner Dan ran on behalf of Team Future.

And just like that the elite runners in corral 1 were off and every 36 seconds, another group was off. As I neared the start line, I started my playlist and headed out. The anxious nerves and nauseousness waned as I got going and as always I had to fight the normal mind battle for the first one or two miles.

“What are you doing, Amy? You’re not really ready for this. You have heavy legs already, just think how mile 3-13 are going to feel.”

“Shut the heck up, Amy and keep moving!”

It always goes something like that. This will not be a mile-by-mile recap but I’ll do my best to squeeze in some highlights.

At the expo I saw a t-shirt that said “I run because it’s cheaper than therapy.” There is no truer statement in the world, friends. As I ran the course, it was no different from any other run I have set on, except maybe on a grander scale. I pretty much evaluate my whole life and how I have gotten to where I am and dream about where I might be going. This is fun sometimes and sometimes not so fun.

Since I had not really made it to many of the organized practices, I made it a point to stop and introduce myself to anyone else in a Team DetermiNation shirt. Everyone had a great story of inspiration, whether they were cancer survivors or running in honor or memory of a loved one, each one encouraged me immensely.

Yesterday I was reflecting on the overall experience. I knew my training hadn’t been quite what it should and so as friends asked prior to race day whether I had a goal or pace I was shooting for, I kept saying “no, just to finish the race.” But disappointment set in immediately as I crossed the finish line because I knew my pace was slower than the year before. Although, I had said just finishing was my goal, there was a hope deep inside that I might could pull off something just a tad better than last year.

And then someone handed me Refuel Chocolate milk and I forgot all about my dispair. I’ll run for chocolate milk anyday.

Seriously though I realized, I just ran 13.1 miles and THAT is something that makes me happy! Plus, I had the best looking supporter out there. Thanks Rock N Roll and Competitor Series for a fun time and some great memories!

I loved my playlist. I’ll share it in a future post, but just to peak your interest, I’ll tell you I timed it just right so that T.I. and J.T. were telling me I was “Winner, Winner, Winner” as I was crossing that dadgum finish line. Do you have a fun inspirational song you like to power you through the last stretch of a run or race? I’m always looking for some good ones.

One day away…

…and it’s GO time!

Last night I went down to the expo to pick up my shirt and swag bag. My biggest fan came along with me for moral support and to be my cheesy picture taker.

This years shirts are soooo much better than last years. I “heart” the Texas flag theme going on here. Don’t you?

Griffin found some entertainment of his own. In fact, he might consider running an event with this kind of inspiration.

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This afternoons agenda includes sitting on the sofa resting up the old legs, making a fun playlist for tomorrow, resting the legs some more, and team dinner which I’m sure will include pasta. Because everyone needs a good pasta dinner before race day. All followed up with more leg resting in the sofa. This is my kinda day!

So, good songs for the playlist. Any ideas? I’d love your help putting it together.

Lessons learned on the dance floor

On Friday night I reluctantly took the hand of a studly 24 year old cowboy from Fort Worth after a girlfriend of mine walked right up to him and told him I needed to learn how to dance. With no hesitancy on his part at all, he firmly grabbed my hand and lead the way. For about 3 minutes he twirled me all around while Pat Green serenaded in the  background.  In that very moment I learned two very important lessons.

Lesson #1- Never, never, never lie about not knowing how to dance.

Let’s first discuss the irony of this story, which really not what I wanted to write about, but it’s necessary to get it out of the way.  Earlier in the evening an older, much less handsome gentleman asked me to dance and I  told him I  had no idea how to dance. In his persistence he commented on my boots and I countered with, “you have no idea how popular and fashionable cowboy boots are right now, do ya?”

 

There is no dancing around this…I told a lie. Not  a big  fat lie, but a lie none the less. And I paid for it. Apparently dancing was in the cards for me Friday night whether I liked it or not.

 

Lesson #2- Let the worry go and just go with the flow!

At first I was a bit wobbly on my feet, or that may have been a wobble in my weak knees at the sight of this curly locked cowboy (wink, wink), and it really wasn’t working out in my favor. The fretting immediately started to set in as I began to worry about the count of the music, whether I was going to squash his handsome toes, or miss his hand in a turn.(Can toes be handsome? If they can, I’m sure his were.) I’m sure you can guess what happened.  I stepped on his handsome toes, totally messed up a simple two step, and missed his hand in a turn. But in  that very moment, I looked straight into his face with his cute dimpled smile and heard him say, “no problem, let’s try it again.”

In an instant the thought entered my head to just stop thinking so hard. Just. Let. The. Worry. Go. And so I did.

I relaxed, staid in close, and just let him lead for the remaining minute or two of the song. And guess what?  No more squashing toes or missing turns. Success!

 

Lesson #2 was definitely the one that has stuck with me. As the days have passed and I think back to my evening with good friends, Pat Green, and the handsome cowboy from Ft. Worth, I can’t help but think how life is so similar to those two minutes on the dance floor. I so often get caught up in worry of  stepping on toes, and missing the next step in life, that I just screw it all up.  But when I relax, take a deep breath, and just follow where I am lead,  then things all seem to work out so much easier and better than I could have expected!

Even when I am running, I sometimes think more about how I am going to make myself get to that last planned mile or keep my tracker from telling me my pace is slowing. Those runs are usually the ones that are less  successful. But when I turn off the noise and stop planning a distance or worrying about the planned distance, then I am a better runner.

With this in mind, I reflected on my San Fran Run and my Saturday morning run. During San Fran, I did listen to the little voice telling me how far I had run and my time, but I was so taken in by the sights around me that her voice was distant. It was more of a comfort that someone, even if she was a virtual someone, knew where I was in a foreign city and state. This last weekend, I turned her down and just ran. On the heels of a lot of work frustration, I headed out with a tentative plan to not run more than 7 since next week is the race. But it was just a “not more than”, not “an I have to do at least.” Plus, I turned down the little virtual person voice that gives me my stats. And guess what?  I ran 5.2 miles in 47:07. That’s an average pace of 9:04. WHAT?! Who’s that girl?!

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So hats off to you, handsome cowboy from Fort Worth, for being an instrumental part of a life lesson reminder in those three minutes we spent together. What a sweet memory to re-visit each time I need a reminder to just slow down, let my worry go and go with the flow!

The American Cancer Society needs your help and I am calling you out!

According to my WordPress stats there are about 25 of you that read each post from this blog. I’m not calling you out or anything, but I know your there…and I need your help!!

You’ve been a great support just by reading up on how my training is going. In case you didn’t know it, ever time I head out for a run I think about all 25 of you. It may sound sad, but it’s true that my brain turns into WordPress mode. It’s weird. I’m weird. But, you keep coming back to read about my weirdness.

Now, I am going to ask for a little more. Just like my running was suffering for a bit, so has my fundraising. Things are different this year and the American Cancer Society and Team DetermiNation are changing things up. This will be my last year to fundraise for ACS and run the San Antonio Rock N Roll event with Team DetermiNation as they will be limiting the races they work with in the future to the New York Marathon, Boston Marathon, and Chicago Marathon.

This link right here, click here, is all you need to help support me this year though. Go ahead and click on it. Now. Then pull out your pocket-book and give the American Cancer Society a little change, won’t you? Any denomination is acceptable…$5, $25, $100…you know the drill. Guys, this is a tax-deductible contribution and the end of the year is creeping up faster than you can say December 31st.

By my count, I do owe a BIG THANK YOU to about 5 of you FABULOUS readers for the donations that have already been received. Here is a virtual hug to you. Squeeeeeze!!!

So what do you say? I do all of the sweating and you just click a button and make a quick donation. It’s a fair trade-off, so help a sista out!! giving you the link one more time —> TeamDetermiNation link.