New Year, New Gear for 2013!

Anybody else get SO stinkin’ excited about the New Year?!  I absolutely love the new year. Almost as much as I love Christmas. I like the fresh start. The sense of renewal and new chances for new adventures. A clean slate! Really each day could be seen as that. With each new sunrise it is a new day! But there’s something fresh about a whole new year.
I’m not even sure where to start! I must have about one-hundred goals and resolutions for this upcoming new year. But in reflection, 2012 was amazing!  I remember thinking I wanted to run a marathon by 2013 or 2014…well I met that goal in 2012! So many awesome things like that and scoring PRs and age division awards. I met all of my goals and logged over 1200 miles this year. And on a personal note I became the most content I’ve ever been. Content as a single parent and woman.
My son has also had an incredible year! He ran his first Fun Run in February, swam like a champ over the summer, read chapter books like they were going out of style and has completely wowed me in so many ways.
Work life has been crazy but that’s why maintaining a positive attitude while on the job is one of my 2013 resolutions!
My big focus as far as running goes is the OKC Marathon in April and the inaugural Asheville Citizen-Times marathon in September. Running OBX in November would be awesome again but like I’ve mentioned in the past, financially I can only, barely, swing one good trip.
I also must admit, I want to be faster. I daydream about running Boston more than any normal human being should. Even though given my past marathon speed I have my work cut out for me!  That may take another year or two or three…but that’s why we keep on keeping on!

So since I like lists and I need to organize this a bit,

2013 Goals:

Have a DAILY devotional time with the kid (was way too off and on last year with this)
Run at least two fun runs with the kid
Organize our closets…yay fun.
Put our swim/run, all things active scrapbook together (I have all the pieces sitting in a pile needing to be put together!)
Limit tv/movie time and add extra board games or crafts
Food prep and cook more. <–this one scares me the most!

Maintain a positive attitude and breathe!
To not participate it any gossip whether it be true or false. Talking bad about people is just wrong. Period. We are to speak life and encouragement!
Be more grateful daily for a job.
Read more CEs. Like actually read them. To actually learn. Not skim them and answer questions as needed.

Count my fruits and veggies daily! There were many days this past year where I only ate like ZERO real whole foods.
Practice Yoga/Pilates at least two times each week (I was way too lazy on this last year…)
Drink drink drink my water! I cut our diet soda during the last phase of my marathon training, but snuck a few after. This year I want to cut it out totally! I feel so much better without it.
Read 10 books this year. 10 whole books. I don’t read much and I feel this should change. Maybe I will pick some good running reads. I’d like to read The Long Run by Matt Long. I’ve read so many awesome things about this book. Reading inspires, enriches and grows the mind. My poor brain could use some of that. Ha!

To run OKC and see my family!
A sub-4:00 marathon!  I will have two chances!
Get a 5k under 24 minutes
Get as many fun runs in with the kid
Keep running happy and strong!

And I have so many more goals, I know I do but I will keep this list for your boring reading pleasure short and sweet!

So you see my pretty little picture? I scored a Fuel Belt for $15! Have you been to Marshalls?? I strongly suggest you check it out. There was only one Fuel Belt. Ladies size small. Perfect for me! I tried it on in the store and ran around with it on. (Because I’m cool like that) Stayed put and didn’t bounce. And those bright colors should get me going!  There’s something about bold colors that make me feel like a rock star. Note the bright colored socks as well!  I’m excited about having some new gear for this upcoming marathon training cycle!

**So what are your biggest 2013 goals??**

Happy (&Blessed) Running!!!

#Elf4health Chocolate&Peanut Butter Microwave Cake

Hey there again! So I got this original recipe from Melanie at Happy Being Healthy. And it is so, so easy that I could do it!
But I had to tweak it a bit because I realized there was no cocoa powder sitting in my pantry.  I’m grossly understocked in the kitchen. So I substituted with one packet of 10 calorie instant hot cocoa mix and it worked like a charm.  I left out the sweetner and cocoa powder and in place did the mix.  In cooking it is allowed to experiment!  I also used almond milk since I don’t use moo milk for anything anymore. So it mighty not look too pretty but it turned out quite tasty!  Great for a quick sweet tooth fix. The only thing I regret it not having any strawberries to top it with.  I did use some vanilla greek yogurt on top and it was scrumptious. All in all it really makes for a satisfying and filling treat!  Enjoy!

**Any quick recipes you enjoy via microwave?**

Out of Hibernation and #Elf4health

Yeah, Yeah I know.  I’ve been MIA again.  Well, REAL LIFE is busy ya know!  That and I finally had a day off when the library wasn’t closed…that and I’ve had writers  block…I’m sure I could come up with some more excuses.  As a warning, this post may go a little something like this; blah blah blahdiddy blah.

Thank You Lord for having sent Your son to save us so we may celebrate Christmas …but Thank YOU LORD I can now take my tree down!  That tree was down Christmas day after all was said and done.  A little rest was good. Even though I wasn’t happy about it I’m glad I chose to put the treadmill away for the Christmas season. It forced me to slow down and take a breather. I went a little crazy I believe and discovered just how reliant I had become on needing to run. I need it like a crack baby needs crack.  But I’m well rested and ready to GO!
So anyway…
My game plan for the next two weeks is to build my mileage back up a little before the next round of marathon training begins, which will be January 7th. That’s also when the kiddo goes back to school, so it works out perfectly. This time I’m going with a different game plan. I really liked RLRF (Run Less, Run Faster) plan because of the lower mileage and only three runs a week but, since I didn’t cross train really much at all, I’m going with a higher mileage with a mix of yoga and pilates. OKC Memorial Marathon in April I’m coming for you! I can not wait to see family again…
So having said all that…I came across a fun #Elf4health challenge about a week ago and thought hey this would be a great way to stay healthy this season. Only I’ve failed terribly so far.
The challenge goes a little something like this,
Each day of the week you are challenged to do or try something you may or may have not tried before or may have just not “had time for”.
Monday’s challenge: call up an old friend. Well Monday I worked, went straight to get little man, got showered for our church’s Christmas Eve service, straight to church, straight (as if I could’ve gone crooked…ha) to our family’s gift exchange for the kiddos, then home and had to get Santa ready and by that time it was about 9:30 pm.  So no, I didn’t call a friend. BUT I did text one…I don’t think this counts.
Tuesday’s challenge: take a walk with a friend or family member.
Well it rained. And rained some more.  So no, I didn’t walk. Gah I’m a terrible elf!
The other part is your “Elf”. You are matched up with another elf to help encourage you along the way.  There’s also prizes and what nots for best elf etc etc.
Wednesday’s challenge: find three things I like about myself in the mirror and show it off! Okay so I didn’t take of picture of me.  You’ve seen my face before.
  • I like my eyes. God gave me deep blue ocean eyes.
  • I like my heart.  Because Jesus is in it, it loves deeply and beats strong for my runs!
  • I like my legs. Of course 😉 because well, I run. So they’re just smokin’ hott! Ha!

Thursday’s Challenge: write a list of 20 things I am grateful for.  I did manage to get this one done!  I wrote it in the back of my 2012 runner’s journal so I can remember it for years to come. 

Friday’s challenge: Make a healthy mug cake.  Did not happen.  Worked over late because work was crazy!  Wow, I am full of excuses aren’t I?? So I googled a recipe and I will try it this weekend!  Does thinking about making one count??  No. No it doesn’t.  ha!  Cute mug!


And for the weekend?  I am to take some time for myself.  Hmm… I did get a face mask for Christmas.  Maybe I will pamper myself tonight. Maybe even paint my nails!  What?! I never do that.  Never time!
Well happy weekend friends!  Make the best of it and keep on keeping on.  Take some time out this weekend for you! 

Happy (&Blessed) Running!
**So…anyone failed any challenges lately? Or proudly finished any?  Share please!**

Tell Me About Your 2012

So about this past year…how’d it go for you?
Thought this was a clever idea and a great way to connect with other runners/bloggers. I have had a blast getting to know so many runners and reading their blogs. I’ve learned so much and its also just so much of a comfort knowing we can have a huge support system. Even if its “virtual”!  Thanks to technology, and a wise use of it, we have the ability to connect with others and share our stories and help keep each other motivated and accountable!  These questions courtesy of Miss Zippy! Go check her blog out. Good stuff. She had this post idea and asked us to share. I like to share. 🙂 So does Christine at Dream Big Runner, another awesome blogger. She’s the one I heard about this little questionnaire from originally.  So lets hear it from you!

  • Best race experience? Hands down the OBX marathon!
  • Best run? I’m going with the DuPont trail race.  I used it as a training run during my marathon training and had the time of my life!  You just can’t beat trail running!
  • Best new piece of gear? At the beginning of the year I splurged on my Garmin 110!  It’s simple, basic and cute! Works perfectly for me.  I feel lost without it on.
  • Best piece of running advice you received? Run from the heart and trust your training.
  • Most inspirational runner?  Every runner I’ve ever met has inspired me in some way.  I could go on and on about who and why they inspire me. 
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? A new beginning.  This year I felt like the real Jessica was unleashed!  NO more excuses or hiding in life.  I went out and ran and conquered my past fears. I became okay with me.  Well, not just okay, I became happy with the life God gave me. 
**So now it’s your turn!  Answer these questions and link back to your blog or answers in the comments below!  I want to know how your year went as well!**

**Happy (&Blessed) Running!**

Wisdom Wednesday: Time in Technology

Last week I didn’t post one blog post.  And for a day or two I got rid of Facebook.  *Gasp!* But it didn’t last too long.  I missed all my friends.  However, I felt the need to step back and get some perspective. Life can get overwhelming real quick when you’re trying to keep up with everyone else.
On average how much time a day do you spend in technology world? Cell phone, computer, internet, social media, tv, tablet…etc etc…

(Photo from Time management Ninja)

What if we tracked every hour we spend a day?  How many hours would that give us to run?  Exercise?  Play with our kids/dogs/cats/spouses(insert whatever you have here)?  Clean house?  Visit real face-time friends and/or family?  Volunteer?  The list is endless. I include myself here.  I realized I was spending way more time than I thought I was.  I’m not suggesting that social media is bad. In fact it is a very good and useful tool. I have learned many new things, been inspired by others, made new blogger friends and won some cool freebies! (Including Kara Goucher’s book Running for Women from Fit For Moms!  Go check out her blog! She’s always got useful tips and encouragement!)
But rather I’m suggesting that it can be a total time-sucker for other wonderful things in “real life”.  It’s about balance.  Ah, the great balancing act.  I am still a work in progress with this!
So I challenge you to pick just one day this week and track every minute you spend glued to some form of technology and write it down. Then make a list of what you could have accomplished within that time frame.  Writing things down has a way of making things more concrete. (Also works for running goals!  Write them down and you’re more likely to succeed.)
Feel free to share what you’ve learned. Or if you have a great time-management skill, share what works for you to keep things balanced and in check.

So as far as 12/12/12 I got in my 12.12 miles today in honor of the last repetitive date. An amazing run!  A much needed amazing run.  I felt like I was on cloud nine the whole run and cloud 12 after.  Definitely a huge difference from yesterday.  I was reminded how blessed I truly am.  Sometimes all it takes is some time to reflect and regroup.  Time to vent.  Time to stew about things.  And when it’s all said and done you come back refreshed and ready to take on the next thing in life.  Life’s a road.  Run it.

  **So, how did you run the day?**

Happy (&Blessed) Running!