Ragnar: The Adventures Outside of the Race

Ragnar weekend simply had too much going on to capture in one post.  I try not to be to wordy (SERIOUSLY, I try) and hitting all the highlights of the weekend would have made yesterday’s post too long.  Plus, I can’t focus on that much info at once.  #ADHDProbs

I started out the trip with my Shiner. #likeaboyscout #alwaysprepared
I started out the trip with my Shiner. #likeaboyscout #alwaysprepared

Fredericksburg: Just drink beer

When we arrived in Fredericksburg early Thursday evening, there wasn’t much time to do anything except drink beer and eat.

In Fredericksburg, it is legal to walk around drinking.  When this was discovered, Dara and I had to buy a beer to drink while we searched for a restaurant.

Always a good beer to start out on.
Always a good beer to start out on.

I can’t even remember what I ate.  I remember it was some pizza joint and I didn’t have pizza, but for the life of me I can’t remember what I ordered.  I’ll blame it on the beer.

My RE bunch stalked me on Facebook and caught up with me at the pizza place….so much fun and it was the first time for me to meet many of them.  I look forward to the next time we meet so that I can hopefully spend more time talking to everyone! 😉

I may not have taken a picture of my food, but I took a picture of my next beer.  Sadly, I can’t remember what it was, either, although I am fairly certain it was also a porter….I do remember that it was extremely tasty!  img_8319

After the Race

Massage – what a great idea!  NOT

My pre-massage happy hour Austin hotel beer.
My pre-massage happy hour Austin hotel beer – not a fan of Amber.  Wouldn’t care to have it again. 

I know what you’re thinking.  WHAT A BAD IDEA!  Yes, I know massages post-race are no-nos.  Yes, I know they aren’t good for recovery.  Yes, my brain was detatched (once again) from making coherent decisions.  But a massage sounded so divine!  I shouldn’t have mentioned my hip flexor issue….

Actually, it felt REALLY good.  When I got up, though….the fact that this was all a mistake was confirmed.  He must have irritated a nerve or something.  I could barely put weight on my leg at that point.

I had a choice.  I could be angry and continually mad at myself for all the stupid decisions I make (at least my coach keeps me from making as many stupid decisions…he really has his work cut out) or I could just deal with it and enjoy what was left of the trip.  I decided to enjoy the rest of the trip.  I know I will be back to normal in no time and I have to accept that I can’t save me from myself every time.  Wasn’t that grown up of me?!? 🙂

BBQ – It’s what’s for dinner

After our massage, we went back to our hotel to change and get an Uber to our place of dining, Scotty’s BBQ.  Apparently Scotty’s has quite a reputation in the Austin food service industry.

Let me preface this next paragraph by saying that it had been rainy/raining on and off all day.  Our Uber driver rolled up to a lot (NOT in the best part of town) with picnic tables littered about and food trucks lining the boundaries.  It took a minute to process what was going on, and I laughed a bit when our drivier said, “this is the place?”img_8467

We got out of the car, ordered and started praying that the coming rain would hold off until we got our orders and had time to eat.  It started sprinkling about the time we got our order – I have NEVER eaten a meal so fast in my life!

Best cole slaw I've ever had! And the pulled pork was good too :)
Best cole slaw I’ve ever had! And the pulled pork was good too 🙂

Honestly, we swallowed our food whole, just in time for Uber to pick us up before the bottom fell out of the sky.  The experience was unexpected and way more fun than going to some stuffy restaurant!

Twitter friend meet-ups

Our Uber driver dropped us on 6th Street, where we were planning to meet up with an Austin Twitter runner friend, Kolbe.  We ended up going to a couple of different bars for drinks.  After the rains subsided, we ended up on a rooftop bar overlooking 6th street.  It was just beautiful, and I was too tired by that point to care about snapping a pic.

I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we thoroughly enjoyed meeting and spending time with Kolbe.  She is absolutely amazing and a beautiful soul inside and out.  I will definitely try to connect with her next time I’m down in Austin! img_8481

While we were strolling up and down 6th Street, we couldn’t help but notice Voodoo Donuts.  This had been a place the girls in our van wanted to visit before going to the finish, but it was too far out of the way.  OF COURSE we stopped and got some!!  What kind of quesiton is that?!?img_8469

All I know is that the top right was called "Old Dirty Bastard" and it was by far the best donut in this box.
All I know is that the top right was called “Old Dirty Bastard” and it was by far the best donut in this box.

Time to head home

I MUST mention Dara.  She packed like a Girl Scout and everytime ANYONE needed something this weekend, she would always chime in, ‘I have that.’  Seriously awesome, even though I have to admit I was a little concerned about her baggage!  I HAD to take a picture of her bag of chargers.  She was totally and absolutely ready for every charging situation imaginable!img_8472

We had breakfast before hitting the road home early.  We wanted to get a head start on traffic and I knew that heavy rain showers were forecast to be moving through our path on the way home.  Of course, I should have known how the day would go when I had to endur this:img_8473

Smucker’s peanut butter.  NOT Jif.  I put A LOT of strawberry jam on top of the PB on my English muffin and it made it barely edible.

We made very good time until we got to Waco, then the heavens opened up on us.  At times, we were driving around 45 mph.  We made it home safely, though, and that is all that counts!!

I’m still playing catch up!  I could sleep for days, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything!  Loved this race and I hope to do it again!

Happy Hump Day!

Jen

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All the things I’ve been too busy to blog about

Training and running Dallas took most of my attention and focus until just recently, but our family has experienced some amazing and notable events as well!

I am the mom of a college graduate

Let me say that again.  I am the mom of a college graduate!  I have always been beyond proud of Taylor.  She worked so hard and graduated Magna Cum Laude and only missed Summa Cum Laude by .10%…..and she is mildly dyslexic (although she has NEVER let that get in her way).

My math major in front of the Mathematics banner
My math major in front of the Mathematics banner

She has decided to go ahead and get her Masters, and will be starting that journey in January at Texas Tech!  She is already and amazing coach and I know that she will be just as amazing in her teaching career.147

We ate at LSA Burger in downtown Denton after the ceremony. What Texan wouldn't use the billowing flag in the background for a photo opp?
We ate at LSA Burger in downtown Denton after the ceremony. What Texan wouldn’t use the billowing flag in the background for a photo opp?

Checking items off the bucket list

Taylor, Alli and I LOVE to go to the NCAA DI Volleyball Championships.  We have settled into a pattern of going every other year.  Two years ago we went to Seattle, and that city still stands out as one of my favorite places of all time!

This year, the championships were held in Omaha.  Going to a Nebraska game has been on my bucket list for quite some time.  Honestly, I still want to go to one in Lincoln, but I was happy to attend a Nebraska game in any part of the state!  I am a fan of the Huskers (and Coach Cook)!  Plus, I love the way that their fans wholly support the program.  Oh, and I love the way their fans are so knowledgeable about the sport of volleyball – you definitely can’t find that everywhere!

My friend, Mark, lives in Nebraska, and by extension, is a HUGE Huskers fan.  We discuss volleyball quite a bit…OK….ALL THE TIME.  When I learned the championships were to be in Omaha, I immediately asked if he planned to go.  We decided to buy tickets together so that we could enjoy the games together!

I REALLY wanted Nebraska to made the Final Four, so that I could see them play in person.  Of course, I am a Texas fan first and foremost, but I questioned their ability to win Regionals this year….and they barely did in a thrilling 5 set match with another of my favorite teams, the Florida Gators.  (Side note: I love Mary Wise!!!  She is always the last woman coach standing in the tournament.  I sooooo badly want her team to make it to the Final Four so that SHE can make it to the Final Four!)  I get so side-tracked when discussing volleyball!

Texas made it to the semifinals as well as Nebraska.  I honestly thought Texas would get knocked out my Minnesota in the semis (OK…..Hugh McCutcheon….ANOTHER of my favorite coaches!) but Minnesota played worse than Texas passed on serve-receive, so Texas was on to the finals.

Nebraska rolled over Kansas fairly easily and the Longhorn – Husker final was set.  I was torn.  At this point, I knew Texas had NO CHANCE of beating Nebraska, despite their 5-set win over the Huskers at the beginning of the season.  I could go into all the reasons, but I would bore all but one reader and you would all be confused anyway.  Plus, Huskers had home court advantage and their fans are INSANE!!

My dad played football at Kansas, so I was hoping they could give Nebraska a run for their money in their first Final Four appearance.
Kansas vs. Nebraska semi-final match.  My dad played football at Kansas, so I was hoping they could give Nebraska a run for their money in their first Final Four appearance.
Horns Up!
Horns Up!

The finals match was very close during the first couple of sets, with Nebraska edging a 2 point win over Texas in both sets.  (Again, I could comment about how we were in the same terrible rotation at the end of each of those sets, but I’ll refrain.)  In set 3, Nebraska hit their stride, Texas started shutting down and it was all over except the roar from the Nebraska fans.  They really are amazing fans.img_6618

While in Omaha, we visited the zoo, which thankfully had several indoor exhibits because it was COLD!!

Taylor and Alli did not do well getting close to the peacock
Taylor and Alli did not do well getting close to the peacock

Saturday morning, we went to Union Station, which is now a museum.  It also lays claim to housing the largest indoor live Christmas tree.  This tree was apparently planted some 40 years ago locally, and had long ago outgrown this woman’s yard.  There was also a large train exhibit as well as a cool photography exhibit.img_6592

I ate like this THE ENTIRE TIME.
I ate like this THE ENTIRE TIME.

I can’t blog without discussing running

Last week, I took recovery VERY seriously.  I didn’t do ANYTHING….not even foam rolling or stretching….and I enjoyed every minute of it!  I wasn’t that sore after the marathon, actually.  My left quad and one of my left hamstrings were cranky, but otherwise things felt really good.  I could tell, though, that it would have hurt if I had gone running (it actually DID hurt when I had to run back to my car at the airport on Thursday).

My first scheduled outing was a 30 minute easy run on Tuesday.  All went well (except for the technical difficulties that were all my fault) and my legs felt sooooo good!  Now the problem is that I am antsy and I don’t run again until Sunday!  I’ve been filling my time playing with Logan’s weights, trying to figure out what I’m going to do for weight training going forward.  (Can you believe I didn’t add it during taper?!?  Me either.  Miracles never cease.)  I have also gotten back on my yoga and foam roll schedule.  Doing my stability routine for the first time was…..disheartening.  It’s amazing how much you lose in 10 days.  But day 2 the hips were much less wobbly and I know I’ll be stronger by Cowtown than I was at Dallas, so no worries there.

My wish to everyone is for you to have a wonderful time with your family during this holiday season!

Jen

Hello, Texas Humidity!

I just realized that I haven’t posted this week!  What on Earth has come over me?

It has been a busy week, to be sure, but the busyness has turned out to be very manageable!

Mother’s Day was a great day.  It was rainy, but my house was clean which made the day so much more enjoyable since I didn’t have that hanging over my head.  My family knocked it out of the park again with my gift: a charm bracelet with the kids’ birthstones.

Taylor & Logan were born in November while Alli was born in February.  They were so excited to get a 2-fer on the November birthstone.
Taylor & Logan were born in November while Alli was born in February. They were so excited to get a 2-fer on the November birthstone.

Monday evening, I was privileged to coach the JV girls in their Spring league games.  In Texas, the UIL prohibits school coaches from coaching their own players except during the volleyball season.  I was so honored to be asked to coach!  Taylor was in town and came along, and I think we already know that she is a much better coach than I am!  However, I was pleased with the progress the girls made during the evening.  We practiced on Wednesday and this time, Taylor’s long-time friend and high school classmate, Mason, came to help.  He gave the setters some homework 😉Mason

We all know how much I love volleyball and this is going to be a fun group to work with over the next 3 weeks, because they are full of potential!

The run schedule was a little screwy again this week due to some factors outside anyone’s control.  I ran last night (solo) while Alli was at practice.  It LOOKS like a nice cool day from the pic, right?cloudy run

WRONG!!  It was so HUMID!  I don’t know what the actual temps were but I suspect somewhere in the 80s.  The air was so thick!  But it was good, because I haven’t worked out much in Texas heat this season and it will act as a nice segue into hot, sunny, humid runs.  I was to do tempos @ 10 and recovery @ 11:15, but I had a little problem in execution.  (OK I know this is nothing new….)Intervals

There was a loop of thoughts going through my head that kept me from completely focusing on my pace.  In addition, there is an area in this park where my GPS gets wonked up EVERY SINGLE TIME, so I don’t trust the pace on my watch completely.  The loop in my head: OMG it is so humid sweat is getting in my eyes.  I NEVER sweat that much.  What the hell?  Puddle.  Yay.  How wet shall I get my shoes this time?  Crap!  I’m going wayyyy to fast.  I can’t be going that fast!  Wait…breathing is harder.  YES YOU ARE GOING THAT FAST!  SLOW down Jen.  Slow down!  OMG I really need to pee.  I hope I can make it to the bathroom.  OK, I’ll slow down after I get to the bathroom.  If I slow down now it will take longer to get there and if it takes longer to get there I’m going to be in trouble.  (For the record, I BARELY made it.  I’ve never come that close! Whew!)

After the run, I sent the splits to partner/coach and he said – looks pretty good except for a few hiccups.  A FEW HICCUPS?  He had no idea.  The pacing within each tempo (and recovery) was all over the map.  Honestly, I am surprised I was able to hit them as close as I did.  But I got my work in, I wore myself out (I’ll blame the humidity) and all-in-all it was a good run.  I’m currently fighting tightness in my left glute, but what’s new??  I’m working to stay on top of it and hopefully it is just related to my return-to-consistent-strength-training. (Sigh…..yes I had slacked off a bit.)

Haha!!  Tired and sweaty!
Haha!! Tired and sweaty!

Overall, though, it was a very good week!  AND…..I have NO plans this weekend!!  Best feeling ever!

Happy Friday!

Jen

 

Sole sisters and beating the ITB

Friday was a really great day.  The staff at my school planned a spread just for the office ladies.  I have to admit I was a bit nervous, because spread food can be somewhat less than healthy.  Of course, everyone I work with knows my eating habits.  And this is just one reason I love working here….so many people brought “healthier” versions of food – just for me! 🙂  I was also blessed with this note from a coworker.  It completely made my day.  note

And then, if that wasn’t enough, when the mail came I was completely blown away again!sole sister

My Twitter “Sole Sister”, @karaokejennjenn had mailed me a package containing this coffee cup.  I absolutely LOVE it!!!  I have to say that I’ve had my coffee out of it for the past 3 days!

Friday evening, Alli and I made cupcakes.  One of her teammates was having a birthday on Saturday and requested our cupcakes. 🙂  She wanted red velvet, so it seemed like a good time to search for a good red velvet recipe (since I had yet to find one that I thought was satisfactory).  I am happy to announce that we found “THE” red velvet recipe.  It is soooo delicious!red velvet

I’m actually looking forward to whipping these up again, red finger nails and all!  LOL

Saturday morning I was out running at 6AM, in order to get my 10 mile long SLOW run in before the volleyball festivities of the day were to begin.  I know that no one would believe me if I told them I wore a shirt that said “Minnesota” on it, so I took a pic before heading out.  minnesota

I feel this needs some explanation…. A LOT of explanation.  Because everyone who knows me knows that I am a Texas gal through and through.  However, Taylor recently went to Minnesota to a National Qualifier with one of her club’s teams.  She found this running shirt in a store and bought it as a souvenir.  I actually really like the shirt, even if it does have a weird state plastered on the front of it! 😉

The run was amazing.  Absolutely amazing!  There really is nothing better than running when the sun comes up.  But the run wasn’t without its problems.  Last week, I suffered some ITB issues from mile 6 on (and it was a 10.5 mile run).  The rest of the day, my leg really bothered me.  I have been diligent with my foam rolling and strength training, so I tried my best not to worry.  (Those of you who know me know that I failed miserably at this attempt.)  It bothered me again just a bit on my next run, but got better each day.  This week, ITB started bothering me around mile 5.  I couldn’t believe it.  I tried not to get too upset about it, but with my history of ITB derailing my race efforts (and my first half marathon of 2015 coming up next weekend), it was hard not to let it get in my head.  However, something happened…..by mile 7, it had worked itself out.  I have NO idea how this happened, but this gave me hope that I am just working through some issues related to the distance increases.  The miracle in all this is that my legs felt AMAZING Saturday afternoon!  I couldn’t believe how fresh they felt after driving the distance to the tournament location, then sitting as long as I did.  When they still felt so good on Sunday, I really began to get excited.  Maybe this actually is related to the distance increases and not the beginning of more problems!

Alli’s team played in the North Texas Region tournament this weekend, in the 12s division.  The teams in this tournament were vying for a bid to next weekend’s Region Bid tournament, so they were a higher caliber 12s than we typically play.  The girls didn’t play well on Saturday in pool play.  We dropped 2 sets (we never drop sets in pool play) and ended up seeded 2nd in our pool, but still earned our way into the Gold bracket for Sunday play.

Sunday morning we faced the Texas Image 12 National team that handed us second place in our first tournament of the year.  They beat us 22-25, 23-25 in the finals that day and our girls were so upset!  Every single tournament, Alli has asked if this team will be playing in it because she wanted a rematch!  The girls seemed so nervous when they found out who they were playing, but they stepped up their game when they went out onto the court.  We lost the first set 24-26, after being up 24-17.  Heartbreaker….we SO should have won!!  The second set we rallied and closed out the set 25-17 to force a tiebreaker.  We went point for point in the last set, but ran out of steam and ended up losing 11-15.  The girls had nothing to be ashamed of – they were playing against giants!  playing against giants

You can see the size difference in that picture! LOL

I was so proud of Alli this weekend.  She really stepped up her game in getting to the ball and rarely called for help.  It has been so much fun to see the improvements with all the girls on the team this season!  We are now finished with USAV tournaments and can focus all our efforts toward AAU Nationals (and beating the Puerto Ricans) in Orlando in June!

Happy Monday!!

Jen

Honored to be honored and sunny runs!

I’m not one to toot my own horn.  I’m the type of person who is happy doing my thing, whatever that is, without needing any attention or accolades.  Having said that, I was given the honor of being the Paraprofessional of the Month for the school district in which I work (which is layman’s terms for non-teacher employee of the month! LOL).  Most of you know that I am an introvert at heart, even though I’ve adapted to life enough to pass as an extrovert.  Having said that, I was as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof!  Before accepting the award (at the school board meeting!), my principal read what my co-workers wrote when they nominated me.  (And then added, “Jennifer does all this inbetween running marantons.”)  I was BLOWN AWAY.  It is a wonderful feeling to be appreciated.

My loving sister posted this terrible picture on Facebook.  I figured, why not extend the humiliation to my blog?  I was laughing about something....
My loving sister posted this terrible picture on Facebook. I figured, why not extend the humiliation to my blog? I was laughing about something….

And in case you didn’t realize how talented I am; I ran between work and the board meeting.  Used a shower wipe to clean up (in my office), along with copious amounts of deodorant and perfume.  Can you believe how great my hair looks??

My award, right next to one of my favorite pictures!
My award, right next to one of my favorite pictures!

So I ran Monday and Tuesday.  I just thought Monday’s run was hot at 77 degrees.  Yesterday’s run was 82!  I am NOT complaining.  It has been AWESOME!  However, running in the sun with compression socks on Monday already gave me a bit of a tan?!?  By the way….Monday’s run was longest since injury – 5.75 miles!!  And my body is handling the increases just fine!  SO EXCITING!!!

Look how white those calves are! LOL
Look how white those calves are! LOL

Tuesday’s run was so gorgeous.  I love running at this park near Alli’s practice facility.

I.  LOVE.  TEXAS.
I. LOVE. TEXAS.

Alli LOVES Panda Express. Honestly, I die a little bit inside every time I take her there.  For one, there is NOTHING nutritious about their food, in my opinion.  Secondly, they are AS SLOW AS CHRISTMAS!  I tweeted this yesterday while waiting in line.blog

But, I DO eat the fortune cookies and this was mine:Panda Express

I translated this to mean that I will get my HM goal by then! 🙂 #winning

And in the words of my friend, Carmen: Happy Hump Day!!

Jen

Squashing that “voice”

Stolen from my cohort in crime, Carmen, who posts Hump Day pics EVERY Wednesday!
Stolen from my cohort in crime, Carmen, who posts Hump Day pics EVERY Wednesday!

In my heart of hearts, I’m a realist.  When I assess situations, I see them pretty much as they are, mainly because I view the situation without allowing emotions to weigh in.  Even so, in most situations I try to lean toward the side of the optimist.  I want to see the good in the situation and focus on the positives.  Life is too short to dwell on the negatives…..and the negatives depress me. But sometimes I give more lip service to the positive side than I actually feel internally.  Say it long enough and you’ll believe it, right??

I haven’t been completely honest with everyone about how I have felt coming off my injury.  I wanted SO badly to be well.  I wanted so badly to be brave about it.  I wanted so badly to beat that voice in my head kept telling me I would NEVER be able to run long distances again.  But I didn’t feel “well” and I didn’t feel brave at all and I COMPLETELY bought what the voice in the back of my head was telling me.  And while I am mostly glad that I was injured in the dead of winter, being injured in the dead of winter was also a curse. I have a tendency to lean toward depression in the winter.  There is too much darkness and not enough sunshine to feed this Texas girl’s soul.  Add being injured on top of that and it’s mentally hard to dig your way out.

The Texas sun is shining on me again and I love it!
The Texas sun is shining on me again and I love it!

Having said all that, I have seen great improvements with my fitness and running.  The strength training has definitely made me stronger which, in turn, has made me feel better.  Slowly and surely I have made progress with my running.  All this gave me hope, but in the back of my mind the voice was still telling me that I couldn’t do it (and I was listening to it).  Plus, I was still having nagging issues (on my left side, mostly) and those issues gave the voice credibility.

But if you keep saying it, sooner or later you might buy into it.  So I kept saying it (but not believing it).

A week ago Friday, I ran my intervals (TOO fast).  I even pushed the pace on the last  interval.  (I know: stupid.  I guess Crazy Jen found the damn key.)  Then, I worked a big volleyball tournament over the weekend.  By the last game, I was really hurting from my hips down – dull, constant pain.  (The voice was screaming at me, “I told you so!”)  I knew that the Friday evening run plus working all weekend was not a good combination.  Monday I was tight and sore and when I did my strength exercises, they were so much harder than usual but I chalked it up to being exhausted.  By Monday afternoon, my left SI joint was burning and I barely slept that night because the pain was so bad.  This REALLY frightened me, because even with my injuries, I had never hurt this way.  I continued foam rolling and stretching, but decided not to do any lower body strength work until I started feeling better.  I did hop on the TM mainly to see if running made things worse. Thank goodness it didn’t!  Wednesday morning I was better but still not feeling great but went ahead with the first scheduled run with my new partner.  The run caused no issues but walking after a period of inactivity was still painful.  Thankfully, my myofascia guy was able to accommodate me for a 2-hour appointment and things felt better….for a little while.  I was diligent with the foam rolling and stretching.  And I decided that as long as running didn’t make it worse, I wouldn’t skip any runs.

After our first run went so well, it was kind of assumed that we would continue running together.  (Maybe I should tell you that my partner’s name is John….for future reference;) )  Upon John’s recommendation, I decided to try a pair of Newton’s.  (I’ve had a nagging feeling for quite some time that I needed to make a shoe change, but I wasn’t sure exactly what change needed to be made.)  He suggested that I take some time to transition to them, because they are different from the Asics Nimbus and Kinsei that I have been wearing.  He still didn’t think transition would be difficult since I already had a midfoot strike.  OH.  MY.  GOSH.  The first run in them on Saturday was AWESOME.  And since I didn’t have any issues with my calves or my feet, I wore them again for Monday’s run.  Still no issues, so I ran in them again yesterday!!

"The" shoes: my Newtons
“The” shoes: my Newtons

With each run in these shoes, my body feels better and better and better.  By the way, I do realize that a large part of this is directly related to having a running partner who isn’t afraid to make me run slower than I’m used to, but I think switching to the shoes is going to go a long way in keeping me on the road injury-free!

All this to say that I think I may be FINALLY putting the voice to rest.  During the last 10 days of running, I have begun to genuinely believe that I CAN run distances again – healthy and free of nagging pain. (I am confident enough that I signed up for my first race post-mara: a half marathon on 5/3!)  Three things happened:  I now have a partner who can pace me appropriately; he recommended a shoe change that has been nothing short of amazing and I realized that I have what it takes to deal with issues as the arise.

It feels great being a grown-up runner!  And it feels great to really believe what I’m saying 🙂

Happy Hump Day!

Jen

The “Spring Break” Break

Soooo….I’ve been off for Spring Break this week.  And even though I’ve not done much, I haven’t had time to do much, if that makes any sense.  So I haven’t had time to post a blog entry OR clean house OR do any of the things on my to-do list.

Aaaaand, I haven’t felt quite myself.  I haven’t slept well and although my stomach isn’t upset, it isn’t normal either.  I’ve also had some nagging soreness in my left SI joint…..an after effect of officiating 16 volleyball matches over the weekend, I suspect.  I have gotten a couple of runs in, though; my last one was yesterday and THIS happened.HR

You read that right.  Max HR was 149!!!!  AND that was on 15:1 intervals!  Even better, that sore SI joint doesn’t hurt at all during runs.  So even though things aren’t perfect, they are pretty darn good right now.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably already know that I found an egg in my silverware drawer Sunday morning.  egg

Before you make any assumptions or comments; yes, this is strange for even my household.  My biggest concern was that I was responsible for this, because I hadn’t gotten eggs out in days which would have meant the egg was there all that time and I never noticed it.  But, after an investigation that would rival the FBI, I uncovered evidence in the form of witness testimony.  Taylor spent the night at home on Friday and Bobby cooked her breakfast before she left Saturday morning.  Still not exactly sure how the egg got into the silverware drawer, but I know that I’m not the cause which means I’m still hanging on to my slither of sanity.

My friends at work affectionately call me the “Food Nazi”.  People ask me all the time about running and how I maintain my weight.  My approach is pretty simple.  I try to avoid sugary drinks (except wine….wine is delicious!) and I want my food as close to the way it came from the Earth as possible.  I don’t eat fried foods very often, but I don’t deprive myself either.  Believe me, I eat PLENTY of cupcakes!  Anyway, I’m always happy to help hold people accountable, because I think the biggest problem is that people just eat….without any thought going into what they are putting in their body, or how much they are putting in their body.  Within the last 2 days, I’ve gotten ALL these comments!  Josh

First, one of my friends sent me this.  I don’t see him much, but I do know he has adopted my English muffin with peanut butter and honey for breakfast. 🙂carmen

Then, my friend Carmen, tagged me in this Instagram pic and even called me the food nazi!  LOL  Carmen is one of my dearest work friends, and she works so hard to eat healthy, although I’m proud of her for indulging herself when she wants!  Then, Donna commented on Carmen’s Facebook post.  donna

I’m not sure I’ve ever knocked food out of anyone’s hand…..but I do know Shannon HID from me one day when she brought back a bag of FRIED everything from Sonic! (Of course I caught her!)  Seriously, I think that when you start to view food as FUEL for your body, you want to put GOOD fuel in your body.  And putting less than great fuel in every once in a while is OK.  It’s all about balance.

Many of you know that I traded cars recently.  Of course, I immediately ordered replacement running stickers, but the weather has been so bad that Friday was the first chance for this to happen. TX runner

Isn’t that beautiful!!! ❤

Happy Thursday!!!

Jen