I won my first race!

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My shiny new medal!

This weekend Tricia and I ran the Livvy’s Love 5k out in Stone Mountain, Georgia. It was neat running a race so close to Stone Mountain, even at a mere 27 degrees. Yes, it was 27 degrees when we ran our race! When I woke up and saw how cold it was outside, I honestly thought of canceling. Then I remembered what the race is all about– giving back to the community after a little girl lost her life in a tragic school bus accident– And I knew I couldn’t cancel. I layered my clothes like crazy and put a smile on my face. My asthma is triggered by the cold, so this was a concern for me during the race. I simply walked when my wheezing and breathing got out of hand. Asthma wasn’t keeping this chick down!

Running the race with Tricia was really fun. She’s a bit faster and has better breathing than I do, but she’d say, “how about we run to next tree” or say, “how about we run again” to get my back from walking faster. She encouraged me to run more at the beginning of the race, but she suggested running at a slower pace so we could walk less and run more (good idea!). By the time we turned around at the half way point, I had warmed up and we sprinted to the finish line. I was so surprised when we ran the race in 35 minutes!! We ran a 11 minute mile! When I ran my last race in October, I was at a 15 minute mile. I was so excited to see how well we did. When I saw the numbers at the finish line, I pushed to finish at top speed.

Before the race began, a local Zumba instructor warmed up the crowd. She also held Zumba classes during and after the race. There was food and a meet and greet after the race. While it was still super cold, I wanted to stay and soak up the amazing atmosphere a little longer. I wanted to feel the energy be around everyone who cares so much about the cause of the Livvy’s Love foundation. I encouraged Trisha, heavily encouraged, Tricia to stay just a little bit longer for the award handouts. To our amazement, they called my name for first place in my age group. Trica won second for her age group! We both thought it was hilarious, because we totally didn’t think we’d win. We called her mom after, and she asked, “Were you the only ones in your age group?” Maybe, but we still won!

I was amazed at how much faster I ran from October– seeing my new pace gave me the confidence to get back outside and run again.

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Before the race… So cold!!


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Trica receiving her medal from the founders of the Livvy’s Love Foundation. Such amazing people! I can’t wait to run next year!

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Running Start

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Today Jessica and I (finally!!) took the Good Form Running class at Big Peach Running Co. I mentioned wanting to go before I started training for my half marathon, and I really wish I had taken the class before I started running to prevent the shin splints I had at the end of 2013. The class was super informative, and we both learned what we need to work on to be better runners. I learned I was running with a heel strike, and I need to stretch more to loosen up my calf muscles. I also surprised myself that I have more muscle than I think I do and having a weak core is not my issue anymore. By the end of the class, the instructor said I was running with a mid-foot strike. Success!

We went over the four basic principles of proper running form, which are posture, the mid-foot strike, cadence, and lean. I’ve watched video after video after video trying to achieve this running form, but I couldn’t put the skills into practice on my own. For instance, I couldn’t figure out how to get my body to run in with the mid-foot strike. In class, our instructor had us practice marching in place so we could feel how our feet should be hitting the ground. Then we starting running from marching, and we instantly had better running form. He instructed us to practice this move outside of class. A good trick is to march while waiting at a stop light to keep yourself moving and to remind yourself of the proper foot strike. For more information on proper running form, check out the Good Form Running website– I have it book marked!!

Jessica and I go back in two weeks for the second portion of the class. In the second class, we’ll go over proper stretching and core building exercises (which include one legged squats!). I am excited for the second class and to try out my form next weekend at my 5k. The timing on my classes couldn’t have been better.

Here’s to my running start on 2014!

… And my fantastic lunch today!

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“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” ― Benjamin Franklin (Food prep every week!)

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My weight loss habits are starting to truly become habits. Working out and eating healthy have become normal parts of my life. I went to my Blast 900 class three times last week, and I worked out once with my trainer, Cecilia. That’s a lot of weight training and cardio! After my circuit training class at Blast 900 on Saturday, I was so worn out! It was a good worn out, though. I am consistently eating better and keeping up with food prep, as well. I feel like I’ve gotten the basics down, and I am starting to learn about how the body burns fat. I am starting to learn what food actually does to your body when it breaks down in the digestive process. I am starting to form my own opinions on what is healthy and what is not healthy, instead of simply mimicking my peers.

Also, everyday things that were difficult before are becoming easier. For example, before I started working out, if I tried to put on a sock or shoe by balancing on one foot, I’d wobble all over the place. If I carried in a ton of groceries all at once, they’d be super heavy. I don’t notice these things anymore. I am started to get stronger, and I am starting to become a little coordinated.

Progress, folks. I’m seeing progress.

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Winter Wonderland

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The morning after the Thanksgiving race, I woke up incredibly ill. I had a fever for days and a bad sore throat. I am just now starting to feel better, but I’m still a little congested. I decided not to work out while sick in order to let my body rest and heal. I was really upset about it, though. I had just started rebuilding my endurance back from my cold last month. However, I did do daily yoga and a little Zumba to try to keep up some of my endurance this time. I do think it helped, because I worked out with my trainer today. I did get out of breath from being congested, and from the cold, but I don’t think I totally lost all my endurance this time around (hooray!).

Cecilia and I met up at the park. It was 43 degrees and wet out from the rain. Yes, I totally fell at one point! We did drills and ran a bit. I’m glad I met with her, because I wouldn’t have pushed myself nearly as hard with still being a little sick. Plus, we work on my coordination, which I really love. I am the most uncoordinated person ever. No joke. No really… It’s bad! She noticed I am becoming more coordinated. It’s been a slow process, but it’s excited to really see progress. If you’re naturally athletic, you’re super lucky! I’m just going to fake it until I make it, though. 🙂

In other news, my friend Tricia and I signed up for a 5k in January. We’re going to start running again! This time, though, we’re going to slowly increase our milage in order to prevent injuries. Maybe I’ll be a runner one day after all!

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Food-wise, since I couldn’t work out, I made sure to food prep. I finally tried meat loaf muffins. They’re totally yummy and easy to transport to work. Totally making them again!

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Jessica, Christina, & TJ Did It!!!

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Yesterday, at a mere 32 degrees, Jessica, Christina, and TJ (and maybe a few thousand others) ran the Atlanta Half Marathon. Excuse me, I mean, they killed the Atlanta Half Marathon! Not only did they run 13.1 miles, they ran 13.1 super, super, super, crazy hilly miles! Jessica’s boyfriend, my boyfriend, and I went out to cheer them on. It was awesome to see everyone come over the finish line all excited. I was also amazed to see a huge number of senior citizens running the race. I was awestruck to see so many senior citizens celebrate at the end of the race. It was totally worth getting up early and having a freezing face! And, who knows, maybe I’ll run next year! My Blast 900 class is whooping me into shape! 

Check out Jessica finishing the race (look how great she looks after running a half marathon!) and a few other Race Day photos!

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I’ll leave you with a photo of me getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner (so much to be thankful for this year!), and a photo of what happens when you don’t invite a certain very, very spoiled dog (Sophie *cough, cough*) to Thanksgiving dinner!

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Feeling Thankful

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Jessica is right. It is important for athletes and runners to see the crowd cheering them on during a big race. It is also important for me to be able to cheer on others who I look up to for their strengths and abilities. Therefore, I am going to cheer Jessica and Christina on at the finish line at the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day. They were also so patient with me while I was starting out, and I am very thankful for their kind words during my time of struggle. I hope my cheers help them just a little bit to finish the race on their big day. I also hope the other runners are happy to see the big crowds, too. I made a Thanksgiving themed sign. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Please remember what’s important during this time of year– tell everyone you care about you love them and appreciate them– and do your part in inspiring others, as well!

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Cleansing the Soul

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Over the weekend, I started taking the Vitamin Code Raw One for Women daily vitamin created by Dr. Jordan Rubin. Vitamin Code Raw One For Women is uncooked, untreated and unadulterated. It is RAW, gluten-free, dairy-free and contains no binders and no fillers. It’s a little spendy (buy it online!), but it’s the only daily vitamin I’ve tried that doesn’t hurt my stomach. Vitamins are so important! Even if you eat right, most health professionals recommend extra vitamins. I am partial to gummy vitamins (what?!? they’re almost like candy!), but I’m making an exception for superior quality.

I’m also checking out their Perfect Cleanse. Now cleanses kinda, sorta, really scare me. I tried one from Whole Foods one time, and it made me so sick. My stomach hurt for days! I haven’t had any issues with the perfect cleanse. I’m on day 5 of the 10 days cleanse, and it seems to be doing it’s job well without any pain or discomfort. It really is a new way to cleanse! I must admit, though, one of the steps is a powder. They give you the option of drinking it with water or juice. I highly recommend drinking it with juice or almond milk. It tastes absolutely disgusting in water! Don’t do it!! Anyhow, I am excited to remove toxins from my body and give it a fresh start. Here’s to a happy colon!

On a good note, I am still Blasting away, and I’ve been meeting with my trainer, too. My coworkers and friends are starting to really notice my weight loss (how cool is that?!). I’m definitely noticing my muscles! It’s weird having muscles when I’ve never, ever had any definition anywhere before. Anddd I officially have 202 blog followers! I was so surprised to see that today. Howdy, all 202 0f you!!

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Having a blast!

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This week I finally tried the Blast 900 class my friend kept telling me about, and it’s hard as hell! The Blast 900 website describes the class best, “BLAST900 is a fat shredding, muscle toning, personalized group exercise class in which people of every fitness level alternate between cardio on a treadmill and strength training on the floor, each working at their own pace to reach THEIR maximum effort. Our specific formula for creating our class structure is what guarantees each client THE ULTIMATE WORKOUT and will forever change how you look, feel and perform.” Everyone is supposed to burn 900 calories by the end of the class, and I believe it! The picture above is immediately after my first class. I was completely covered in sweat! By my third class, I was able to run at the 7 speed on the treadmill (which I’ve never done), and I was able to walk at the 21 incline setting. The weights are intense, too. There’s absolutely no way I won’t get into shape (score!) if I continue with this class. It’s super intense with non-stop movement for a hour. After my third class, I could really feel the muscle soreness. I’ve been tired since yesterday morning!

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I also bought a Fitbit Flex this week. It’s the neatest little device, and it’s awesome to see how sedentary I am during a workday. I saw how few steps I take on a normal day without working out, and it’s actually really crazy how little I move around. The Fitbit also tracks my calories, sleep, water, food intake, and I can track my friend’s progress, too. It’s really neat! I’m looking forward to tracking my progress throughout the next couple of months.

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Food-wise this past week, I did pretty good. I had a lot of protein shakes, protein, veggies, and fruits. Eating healthy is getting easier, but I am not perfect. I am starting to see results. I took a picture (below), and I was surprised to see I am slimming down. I guess there’s a part of me that still doesn’t believe all of this will work, but it’s starting to show. I’m glad I don’t have to cut my calories super low to lose weight, because I do enjoy food too much to do a super low calorie diet. It may take me a while longer to lose weight, but I am proud of doing it the healthy way. textScreen Shot 2013-11-17 at 6.41.42 PM

Moving Forward

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Well, I have to admit I won’t be running the half marathon on Thanksgiving. It was too much on my body, and I worried I’d cause permanent damage to my ankle. It started to get to the point where I never felt rested, and I wasn’t building any endurance or strength. I may go back to training somewhere down the road, but for now, I need to accept I’m starting from the beginning. I’m still working out and eating right, but I’m running less. I was really sad at first, but I have to be realistic with my body. I may have been too ambitious, but I am still chugging along to get healthy. I have plenty of time to try and run a half marathon. 🙂

I’ve started working on the weight machines at the gym by myself, which I’ve always been too embarrassed to do. I really enjoy lifting and the weight machines. I’d pick lifting over cardio anyway! I made a yummy hummus wrap for lunch tomorrow, and I can’t wait to eat it! Also, I officially have a boyfriend. I just thought I’d throw that in there. 😉

Running… And Laughing!

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My trainer and I had had some fun while running at Piedmont Park today. Gotta keep it fun!!

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