About one month ago (July 1st) I started a diet called the Metabolism Miracle. Now, let’s get one thing straight: I hate the name of this program. It’s pretty dumb. BUT it’s working, so we’ll just call it The Program and go from there shall we?

So, The Program is aimed toward people with diabetes (which I don’t have) and other co-morbidities (that I don’t have) but the whole point is that not everyone has the same metabolism and so not every weight loss plan works the same for everyone. This I can attest to. Cutting calories didn’t help. Weight Watchers helped and then it didn’t. My Fitness Pal, same thing. My problem was that even though I would keep my points/calories/whatever in check, I was eating all the wrong foods for my body. Thus I would lose maybe a pound or two and then nothing. I would get frustrated, then backslide. Over and over again.

So I hit the books. I read tons of food books. All veggies, no wheat, all raw, etc. etc. All the books had good ideas, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to commit. Each plan had some kind of snag that I knew I would not be able to get over to be successful. And the last thing I wanted was more backsliding. Now that’s not to say that The Program is the be all end all of food management. I’m just saying that this is what has worked for me so far, so I wanted to share just what I’m doing and some highlights of The Program.

It has three phases. The first phase is 8 weeks long and very low carb. As in < 5g every 4 – 5 hours. And let me tell you, there is almost nothing that is < 5g of carbs. At least nothing that I used to eat. So I knew that this would be a complete revamp and overhaul. I had to take to the pantry and gasp throw unopened food away. Because I knew that, no matter how off limits, if they were in there, I would eat them. So, I scoured and researched and made a list of foods that were “allowed” and I bought them, and I ate them, and I’m doing pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

At my one month mark, I was down over 10 lbs, and 29.5 inches. Yes. 29.5 inches. INCHES. That’s almost 2.5 feet. And you know what’s sad? Is that it’s pretty difficult to tell. I can tell that some of my tighter pants feel more comfortable, my ballet gear is a little less embarrassing, but I still have a way to go.  I’m more than halfway through phase one, so in a few weeks I’ll be able to add more carbs back into my diet, and won’t have quite as many restrictions.

The beauty of phase one, for the people affected with metabolic disorders, is that without carbohydrates, your pancreas doesn’t release insulin. And according to the book, this resting of the pancreas allows your body to break down fat for fuel to feed your brain (and since fat is “bigger” than muscle that’s why it looks like I’ve lose more weight than what shows on the scale). It also resets your metabolism and stops your body from being bombarded by an overproduction of insulin, which it can become resistant to. Thus, when you add the carbs back in, which is slowly and methodically, you won’t have the extreme highs and lows that come from uncontrolled blood glucose. Plus you’ll have a great jump start from your 8 weeks of success and newly refined eating habits to fall back on. At least that’s what I’m hoping.

I’m the kind of person who needs structure. I need lists of things I can and cannot do. If I can put some foods on a list that are “not allowed” and some foods on a list that “are allowed” then I do much better than if I have a list of foods that are “recommended” or allowed “in moderation”. I have no concept of moderation. I eat my feelings. I do not stop eating when I’m full. I know, it’s a problem. So for me, eliminating “bad foods” for a period of time is perfect.

For the first few days it was really hard. And I’m not going to lie, there are times when I really miss stuff. Like candy. I miss candy. And fruit. But I can’t complain. Because I feel great and I’m doing so so well. And I can have all the things that are really important. Like coffee. And steak. And cheese.

So I’ll be updating on my progress. And here’s the link on Amazon for The Program. I bought it on my Kindle and then wanted a hard copy for the recipes and such. So I actually have two of them. Plus the cookbook. Which I basically bought for desserts. Which are a lot of trial and error. So if you’re struggling, check it out. Or don’t check it out. Do whatever your little heart desires.


Let’s Hit the Barre

I mentioned to Joel that I wanted a ballet barre at home. I found a couple of links from Laughing Abi and The Adult Ballerina Project to help him on his way. I followed everything they said to do except that I used handrails instead of dowell rods. They were a bit thicker and only a little more expensive.

So in the time it took me to assemble this:


Hey there, dinner

Joel put together this:


Woo hoo! Ballet in the dining room!

I haven’t painted it yet, I’m going with Green Apple, but it’s great. We cut everything at the store so once we got home all we had to do was assemble. And it literally took him 20 seconds.

I also bought a new pair of canvas shoes for class. I bought leather when I went back because they feel like butter (Capezio Juliet II, this is the regular Juliet), but they stick to the floor in the studio. So I wore my Bloch Pro-Elastics to class last week and they’re so big that I almost pitched them and went back to the others.

Of course the one pair I picked of the ten I tried on didn’t have the elastics pre-sewn (Bloch Pump), so I had to do that, which I haven’t done in a long time. So I made some rookie errors, sewed them too tight, and when I redid them you can see the line of silver Sharpie from where I marked them.


Half inside out, waiting for strings to be taped down


And now I'll remember my size

We also got news that our class is going to go from 60 to 90 minutes starting in August! I might lose my mind from excitement.

I also made a skirt (tutorial), but it didn’t look that great so I’ll put up a picture when I make a better one.


City Lovin’

I wanted to post some pictures from this project I’ve been working on. My friend Ashley, over at The Wine Stain came up with #30DaysofCityLove as a way to explore her city and her relationship with it. It has morphed into a very cool exploration of city dwellers points of view from around the world. Pretty sweet, eh? I will admit, I’m a city basher, but like she talks about in her post, I am one of those people that doesn’t do anything in the city, so I probably shouldn’t bad mouth it. I thought that this exercise would get me out into my city to maybe discover some things that I like and maybe find some new stuff to do. So far it hasn’t. So far I’ve taken pictures of stuff around me, but haven’t made it a priority to get out there and find new things. Mostly because I’ve been working a lot, and like I’ve said before, I bust my ass when I’m at work, so I don’t want to do anything when I’m off. But tonight I’m going out to dinner with some friends downtown, so I’ll take a lap around while I’m out. Here are some of my pictures (follow me on Instagram!) so far.


This is my hospital!

This is my hospital!

This is a fountain!

This is a fountain!

This is a backroad!

This is a backroad!

This is Abe Lincoln!

This is Abe Lincoln!

And here's some art!

And here’s some art!

Some other updates:

  • We got a new kitty! I’ll talk more about her in her own post but here’s a sneak peak of her precious little face.
This is Peppermint Patty!

This is Peppermint Patty!

  • I was doing an at home ballet class today and did a double pirouette! I don’t think I’ve ever done a double in my life. I’ve noticed some great changes in my abilities from taking class once a week, I wish I could take it more often.
  • I’ve started a new way of eating two weeks ago and it’s been amazing. I am waiting just another couple of weeks to go into detail about it but lets just say that I’ve seen very, very positive changes and I’m loving it.

Talk to you soon!


On a Cloud!



Friends, I’m here to tell you that my ballet teacher told me tonight that I had beautiful control in my jumps and that it looked like I was landing on a cloud! Can you believe it?!

She came over to me after class and started with, “I didn’t want to call you out in front of everyone, but…” and I’m not going to lie, I was praying for a compliment! And I definitely got one!! Like for serious. I’ve never given my jumps a second thought, other than wanting them higher or my legs straighter amiright? But that was such a beautiful thing to say.

I’ve been loving ballet. I wish it was more often. Like 100 times a week. Not that I can even go that many times. But I would love love love a weekend afternoon class. We’ve also switched to just tap instead of tap and jazz and that’s been fantastic too.

Just great dancing all around. So stay tuned for more!


Mental Skills

I took care of a patient recently who made me question my skills, but not in the way I typically do. Typically I think things like, “what if I don’t recognize something that I should and they decline?” “What if I miss something crucial and they code?” “What if I’m going to the bathroom and they code?” etc., etc. Typically with very physically ill patients, I panic that I will kill them faster, or miss something that will lead to an irrevocable fatal event. But what about mentally ill patients? I’m not talking about patients that whine and are annoying who sometimes might get called “crazy”. I’m talking about patients with actual mental illness, possibly undiagnosed. How do I help them? What if I miss some kind of warning sign and they become a threat to themselves or others? What if they get hurt? What if get hurt? How can I care for them wholly, not just addressing their physical ailment?

In my psych clinical in school, I spent most of the time terrified. Huddled in a group of people, I feared that if I somehow angered a mentally ill patient that harm would come to me and my classmates. So much of that is from a stigma that has been perpetuated through the years of deranged and violent “mental patients” in the media. Every movie or TV show that depicts a mental health facility is, in a word, scary. And lets face it, the facility where I did my clinical time was one of those places. This facility had been around for a century, with very few updates from waning mental health budgets. The staff was fantastic, but they can only overcome so much, and I felt that if I were a patient there, I would not be able to heal. Thankfully they have moved to a new facility since then, but I have not been back to visit.

Very few patients have made me feel that fear since being out of school. During report you hear things passed down, but I never had any incidents with anyone that made me afraid. Until this patient recently. This patient ended up in our care for a physical condition, that may or may not have been brought on from treating a mental condition in an unsafe way. At one point in the shift, the patient became agitated and hostile, jumped out of bed and came at me, which I was obviously not expecting. And what did I do? I panicked. I didn’t hit the staff assistance button, I didn’t call for help in the hallway, I panicked and stood there, trying to talk to my patient so that they would calm down. I had already called security for another reason, but they happened to show up at that time. Everything was alright and the patient calmed down, but I walked out of the room and burst into tears.

My ears and throat were pounding and I could feel the fight or flight adrenaline surging in my body. I couldn’t sit down and do anything, all from a minor occurrence with a patient becoming agitated. I felt relieved that nothing had happened, but I felt sad that I could not help my patient in the way that they needed. Sure I can do a Q1hr neuro assessment until I, and they, are blue in the face. Yes, I can sink a foley, start an IV, toss in an NG, and shit, why don’t we intubate and line while we’re in there? Toss in an EVD and a Udall so we can start CRRT, too. But can I provide that extra therapy? Can I help repair my patient’s spirit? Their feelings? Their identity? All of those things are what helps our patients once they leave the hospital, but what are we doing about them while they are in the hospital?

I know that my friends on the unit provide all that they can for their patients, typically at our expense (both mentally and physically), but is it enough? Are we covering everything? Should we even be responsible for covering everything? Is it actually possible? I’m not sure. These are all just the kinds of thoughts I’ve been having since my brush with psych nursing. And I have to say, god bless psych nurses, because I’m definitely not one of them.


Candy in My Heels

*My formerly squeaky clean slippers! Although since they are leather they are still actually squeaky…*

Man did I have a great dance week! On Monday for jazz and tap we didn’t have our regular instructor, which would normally make me nervous, but the owner of the studio taught our class and it was great. It really reminded me of classes that I remember, instead of just learning a routine, which makes me think of a rehearsal. So the talented Clemmy Ann ran us through a thirty minute warm up, then we worked on jazz pirouettes, then tap fundamentals. Having some structure was really great for everyone, and Clemmy Ann is a very passionate teacher.

What I think we really liked about the tap portion was that she would teach us a step and then we could add on, whereas our regular teacher just kind of teaches us a dance routine and peppers some instruction in there. This way we felt like we really learned something, instead of a combination where we don’t actually know any of the names of the moves.

And then Thursday came and I had BALLET!!

I loved ballet. Although it really wasn’t what I remembered… So let me clarify the last time I took a ballet class… I went to Indiana University for one year, prior to transferring to Purdue University, from where I would eventually graduate. Indiana has an amazing dance program (Violette Verdy, hello!) to go along with the rest of their incredible performing and fine arts programs. I mean, they even mention it in Center Stage so it has to be legit right!?

So the last time I took a ballet class (some, ahem, ten or so years ago), it was in a place that looked like this:

*actually, I couldn’t find a good picture so I found an actual video filmed in IU’s studios*

So that’s why I was a little taken aback when some people had to use chairs because there were only two portable barres, which did not have enough space for everyone.

*This our actual studio, with one of the portables. Source.*

Then I thought about it and realized I was being a little judgmental. The floor is fine, there are enough mirrors for people who want to use them (I avoid them, personally), and what does it matter anyway? I still think it’s weird that the “studio” is in front of an office incubator, but it will be fine for my first foray back into this crazy world. I know it’s mean to already be planning to switch studios, but maybe I’ll change my mind after the next seven weeks.

My reasons for choosing this studio in the first place were: 1. It has a summer class, 2. It has a true beginners class, 3. It’s for adults, 4. The owner is a friend of a friend. I’m wary of taking an adult open class because if I’m the only beginner I’ll get overwhelmed. Then frustrated. Then I’ll cry. So maybe I’ll take those classes after this. Or maybe I’ll just try to take privates somewhere. But the kind of education that I want may need to come from the actual ballet schools here. There are two that are home to actual companies. Hell, maybe I’ll just take class with the kids. But let’s get through the summer first!


Also, the title of the blog actually comes from Center Stage. The song “Canned Heat” from the final number was interpreted by my friend and I as “got candy in my heels tonight baby!” We are special.

Recharging Batteries

Let’s just jump into this like I’ve posted in the last six months…

I got home from a wonderful vacation yesterday and have spent today relaxing and recharging. I got an email reminder from my calendar that I have to work in the morning and I almost threw up in my mouth. Not from disliking work, but my coworkers and I have agreed that the longer you are away, the harder it is to come back. I think that goes for a lot of things, which for me includes working out. I resisted returning to running for months because I knew how out of shape I would be. I put off returning to dance because I’m overweight and not nearly as flexible as I used to be. I’m terrified going back to work after being off for greater than seven days because I know I will be off my game.

It’s hard to organize your day if it doesn’t start off perfectly. And having a day start off perfectly in the ICU is definitely a rarity. Even if it’s your third day with the same patients, getting report from the same nurse, there’s always something that can go wrong or throw you off kilter. And for a lot of my friends and I, it’s typically happening to us! We just have that gift I guess.

But if I’ve learned anything from my bumps and tumbles, it’s that I’ve gotten better at rolling with the punches. I’m not the best, but I’m getting better. My biggest problem is that I feel I need to control everything, and let’s be real, that shit is not attainable.

It’s with this mindset that I am finally, after many, many years, returning to the world of dance. I can’t control everything. I know I’m going to look and feel like an idiot for many classes. I KNOW that I do not have the strength or flexibility that I had ten, fifteen years ago. BUT, and here’s the big one, I WANT TO DO IT. I LOVE ballet. I love watching it, I love reading about it, I love pretending I can do it in my head. And if I think about it that much, I would be stupid to not pursue it, right? Right. …I think.

My first step was getting a group of friends together for a more informal dance class, and it has been an absolute hit so far. We do jazz and tap for an hour once a week, and it is so much fun. Not a lot of girls in the class have dance experience, so it’s very informal and we are all there just to have a good time. Good times aside, while I was organizing this class, in the back of my mind was, “man I want to do ballet…” And I could not rid myself of that nagging thought. So now I’m at a point where I feel comfortable enough to take that leap into ballet class, and I even managed to talk a couple of other people into it with me, so at least I won’t be alone!

My first class is this week, but it has been an excruciating wait! I’m not sure what to expect from this studio (it’s different than my tap/jazz studio), but I’m heading into this experience with an open mind and my head held high. I’ve drawn quite a bit of inspiration from some other adult ballet students in the blogosphere, and I’ll list them here as my closing sentiments. I bid you adieu, and hope that with more activity and less control, I’ll inspire myself to post updates regularly.


Adult Ballet Bloggers!

The Adult Beginner
The Remedial Ballerina
Pointe Til You Drop
Ballerinas by Night (this is their YouTube channel, but the Facebook page has updates as well!)


Ballet Shoes and Bobby Pins


Wednesday's Workout

Wednesday’s Workout

I’m a few days into my challenge and I’m feeling great. I’m doing really well with getting active every day and making mindful choices about what I put into my body. I’ve had a few indulgences, sure, but I haven’t gorged to the point where I feel bad physically or mentally. I know that it has only been a few days but this has been a very good jumping off point for me. I can’t wait until my Shakeology comes (either Friday or next week, I’m guessing it will depend on this crazy weather we’ve been having) and my new program as well, so that I can really get busy.

I’m not going to share the program until I can show some results, which will really force me to adhere to the schedule and eating plan. I’m determined to make a change in my health, that will help me on the inside as well as the outside. Since I have shared that I’m restarting Shakeology (which I cancelled before based on budgetary concerns while I was still in school), you probably guessed that the program I am starting will be a Beachbody product as well, but that is where the clues end!!

One thing that I have found that does not work for me is restricting foods completely or changing to a “healthy” version of them. I’m not talking about organic things versus conventional, but fake foods that are just made from chemicals and additives. I would rather eat real food in a smaller amount and prepared in a more healthful way, than to fill my system with diet foods that taste like nothing. That is why I have such an issue with a lot of plans out there. I want an egg, I don’t want a bottle of egg white product. I want cheese, not a fake cheese spread. See what I’m getting at here? So while I am being careful of portions and how many grams of carbs/protein/fat I’m taking in, I’m not restricting myself to certain brands or weird food that I don’t like. How can I sustain a food plan if I don’t like the food in it? I like eating, and if I’m miserable doing it, I’ll just go back to what tastes good, even if it isn’t actually good for me.

I’ve also been doing great with my only spending money on essential items goal for the month. I love saving money! It helps that I have a lot of gift cards from Christmas that I can use instead of my income, to save a little bit. Now let’s just remember how great it feels to save money the next time I walk past a Finish Line… I’ve also been thinking about switching over to a cash system, or to only use a credit card (once I pay them off) and pay down the balance every month. All things that can be decided in time, but for now I’m just paying down my debts and cushioning my bank account a bit.

How is your January going? Are your resolutions still holding up?



I had been bothered by the look of my blog for a while. It seemed too busy but I hadn’t found a free substitute, and I wasn’t blogging enough to really do anything about it. So this little number fits the bill. It’s fresh and light and not bogged down by boxes and lines and things. Huzzah.

Speaking of fresh, I am good to go on this new year as of right now. My physical checked out and my doc is going to review my previous workup, and I’m going to get some blood work done next week. I feel better having talked to someone, especially a doctor that I trust. He said that my blood pressure is fantastic and I can just keep doing what I’m doing.

Which means – another challenge! A friend from high school, who is a fitness instructor and definite healthy living enthusiast, does these accountability groups and thirty day challenges monthly. I’ve mentioned her before when I participated in one (and failed), but I feel like I’ve hit a new low in my fitness and health and am determined to make a positive change.

Maria is a great motivator. She has lost, and kept off, 35lb and is such a positive pilar in the Indianapolis fitness community. I don’t feel like, with some other coaches, that she is just a salesman trying to make money. Obviously she wants to make money, we all do, but that is not the main focus behind her healthy living campaign.

The most weight I have lost has been about 30lb, of which I have gained back about 15. I was on a roll on Weight Watchers. A roll that I have not been able to hit since. I’ve seen success after success with the ladies I work with, but have not been able to make the connection that I once had with the program. Myfitnesspal, I’m convinced, made me gain weight. Lost It! as well. I’m on the lookout for a simple, hopefully free, program that will help me count calories and keep myself in check. Maybe I just need to come up with an algorithm myself. Yeesh.

Another fresh look that we’re trying to take is that of our budgets. Neither Joel nor myself have been the best with budgeting money. We’re not reckless spenders, well, he’s not anyway, but we need to reign in some savings. He came up with a budget spreadsheet thing but it doesn’t make sense to me, so I’ll have to figure out how to do mine in a way that makes sense to me.

My small change for this month is only spending money on necessities. I’m really good at talking myself into “needing” something, when I very well know that I don’t. I’m also going to go through all the stuff that I already have and weed out what I can get rid of. But that doesn’t mean I can replace! I think I could do a lot of good for myself with understanding moderation in all aspects of my life. Other than love. Love in moderation is kind of lame.

So how are your resolutions going? What aspect of your life could use a fresh look?




2013 was a big year for us. Here’s a little list of accomplishments that I can toot my own horn about, in no particular order:

1. We bought a house!
2. I started work as a real life nurse.
3. I finished a half marathon.
4. We went on vacation!
5. I started and quit weight watchers at least twice.
6. I read 23 books. Which is pretty lame, but we shall shoot for more!
7. We finally finished painting the downstairs of our house.
8. Joel pretty much nailed his brisket recipe.
9. I FINALLY made a pecan pie that didn’t leak everywhere when I cut it. Plus probably the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever made.
10. We got the best coffee maker in probably the history of man.

I’m making my resolutions just like everyone else, and I’m trying to keep them realistic. I need to help myself out a bit, but first I’m going to the doctor tomorrow to make sure everything is good to go. I’m not getting any younger, and honestly after the weird stuff I have had happen to me after a lot of exertion I just want to make sure there isn’t something going on that could hurt me. Once I’m cleared I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with some crazy fitness scheme. A friend told me that fitness is a gift we give to ourselves, and as much as I don’t want to admit it, she’s pretty much right.

As far as resolutions go, I’m going to approach this year like I have approached work. Every month I focus on one thing that I need to remember to do. This can be anything: printing and posting strips, putting in co-signature notes, having my morning charting done by 1000, remembering to stock the room for the next shift, etc., etc. Sometimes things are crazy and you have no control, but for the most part I have been able to make positive changes to the way I get things done and I don’t feel like I’m forgetting a ton of stuff when I go home at night. I do this every month because a week just isn’t enough time. When you’re only required to work two or three days a week, that just isn’t enough time to make a habit out of something. A month is much more appropriate. So that’s how I will approach this year. I will make twelve positive changes about my life and lifestyle. Twelve things that may be small or seem insignificant, but will help me to be happier, healthier, and have more confidence in myself.

Sounds great doesn’t it? Haha, I’ll attempt to keep you abreast of the progress. One of the goals is to consistently blog, especially since I like blogging, and it helps me work through some shit.

How are you approaching this new year? Already have your resolutions planned out? How did 2013 treat you?


I Got to Go Home Early!



So instead of having another title like, “I’m Back!” or, “I’m the Worst Blogger Ever!” I would just like to move past that and pretend that I’m a great blogger and not promise anything for the future. Sound good? Kgreatthanks.

I did a lot of soul searching this weekend, mostly because I had a sinus infection of death, and I came around to a few conclusions. I was really toying with the idea of not participating in the Disney Princess Half in February because I have had no desire to train for it. I was going to sell my bib to a friend under the table and just move on with my life. People withdraw all the time, people get injured, people don’t show up, etc. etc. I really was more worried about paying for a Disney vacation on top of running a race I don’t want to train for. (Still worried about that, btw.) But then I looked at a calendar, and I realized that I can do this. And it will be better than the Iron Horse. Because I’m determined to have more fun and to be in better shape for this race. I’m not worried about time. I just want to have fun. And I want to run a race in a tutu, dammit.




But, having come to that conclusion, I’ve also come to another: running isn’t my favorite thing. Yup. I said it. It’s just not. I will use it for cardio, and if there are some good looking 5k or 10k races in my area I’ll consider it, but I think this may be my last half marathon unless something, or someone, changes my mind down the road. My heart just isn’t in it. I like the way that it makes me feel afterward, endorphins and all that, but it’s really not a passion that I can continue to pursue. Even when I was running regularly, and got faster, I still kind of disliked it. So, this is kind of my running as a regular sport retirement speech.



One thing that does get me moving, and excited, is dance. Which is why I think I was so drawn to Zumba at first. But the environment for these Zumba classes leaves much to be desired. I still have a punch card, so I’ll probably finish it out, but I’m not like gonna drop beaucoup pesos on some flashy cargos with tassels if you catch my drift.




But that got me thinking, why can’t I take dance classes again? Why can’t I see what’s going on in Lexington dance for grown ups? So I started looking. And I found some promising classes. But then I was all, “Oh man, it’s been almost 10 years since I’ve taken a dance class! Plus I’m a fat kid!” But then I replied to myself, “Who gives a shit?” And that was settled.


The only issue is that these classes are sometimes more expensive than say, joining a gym or something, but a lot of places offer a punch card type deal as well. So you pay for what you use or come to, and you don’t have to pay out the nose if you know you’re going to miss class every other week. Anyway, this is all semantics, and I’ll fill you in more later, when I actually get to take class next year. Since everyone is on Nutcracker/winter break. But I’ve been doing some pilates to gear up, and I’m pumped.


See what I did there?


Last thing I really need to talk about is work. Yeah – I totally got to go home early today! We cleared out/discharged a ton of patients and I got to leave! It was awesome! Since I’m back at work tomorrow, I used that time wisely: I trudged out for a terrible run, where I met a cat, and then ate some steak with Joelle. Yay! The only other note that I want to bring up about work is that I plan to really reflect on where I am and make some goals, some confessions, and to hopefully admit that I am further along in my nursing practice than I think I am when I am in the thick of it. My start date at the hospital was at the end of January, so I will probably get something ready around that time.



How often do you go to Disneyworld? Any tips on saving money while staying on the property? Have you done any soul searching recently? How did that turn out? I can’t wait to hear about it!


Iron Horse Half Marathon Race Recap


*Charlotte and I getting ready to cross the mat.*

Because of how much everyone emphasizes the beauty of this race I really wanted to take a ton of pictures of the course. However, due to how badly I undertrained and how frequently I thought about giving up and turning back, I figured stopping at all would be detrimental to my progress. As in I wouldn’t be able to keep going. This is a badass course, don’t let anyone tell you differently. But it was insanely beautiful. Like horses trotting up to you while you run by beautiful. Rolling country hillside beautiful, emphasis on the hills.


I don’t think the hills were as much my downfall as the distance. I knew it would be mental, and I knew it would be difficult, but I didn’t know how much so. Plus where I was running alone it really started to get at me once I hit those super lonely last few miles. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

As a rookie will do, I started out way too fast. I started slowing down and slowing down and pretty soon I was only surrounded by a few people, most of them walkers. Which was discouraging because I can’t walk that fast, and I thought surely there would be people slower than me. And while there were, it was pretty much all old people, which was pretty discouraging too. I know I’m being too hard on myself and the point is that I finished, but when this sport is at least 50% mental, that shit starts to weigh on you.

About mile 2.5 was when people started to pass me in the other direction. The course is two out and backs, so I knew I would see the front runners, I just didn’t think I would see them that soon. (The winner finished in 1:16 by the way.) So we get out to the first turn around and it was already way further than I thought it would feel. But the volunteers were so friendly and encouraging I didn’t feel like much of a slow poke as I was.

It wasn’t until mile 6 or 7 that I had to start walking. At that point my notifications on my app had stopped, well, notifying so I was running blind at that point which was infuriating. But I was ahead of the cut off pacer so I guess that’s all that mattered. Anyway, so I started walking and it was really hard to start running again. It was like my body forgot how to work. My legs and knees felt weird and off kilter. I felt like I was lopsided and was going to fall over. I didn’t, but still.

It wasn’t until about mile 8 or 9 that I started walking more consistently and prolonged. But I just wanted be finished so badly. I started jogging again at the second turn around and kept saying, “I can’t be last, I can’t be last.” About mile 12 my calf seized up and I almost started crying. I was just so tired and beat that I wanted to sit down, call Joel and tell him to pick me up on the way home. I told myself I couldn’t cry because I had to conserve what little hydration I had left, and I knew that I had just done 11 miles and could do a couple more.


*Sierra and Ellery coming down the pike with me. If I ever questioned whether or not I was a heel striker, I’m pretty sure this answers the question. *

Once I turned the final curve and saw the finish line it was like a dream come true. All the self doubt and worry were gone as I saw my family waiting to run in with me. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to be alone anymore! Which I had been for three hours, other than the middle stretch where Joel hung out with me for a few yards, which was also fantastic. I don’t want to do these things alone anymore. It is so mentally challenging on its own, let alone if you have to fight those thoughts by yourself.




My final, and I think official time was 3:11:18. No where to go but down right?



Oh yeah, that’s Jeff Galloway, no big deal.



Undertraining the Day Away

My doormat, which signifies taking the first step out the door. Even though I go through the garage.

My doormat, which signifies taking the first step out the door. Even though I go through the garage.

I’m on track to post about once a month, so I better make this good, right? Mmmkay. I had a loosely sketched out, bare bones plan to get “ready” for this race on Sunday. The culmination of which should have been yesterday’s 10 mile run. That’s right. 10 miles just 7 days prior to the 13.1 mile race. Taper be dammed. Well don’t worry, it didn’t go down like that. Last weekend we painted all weekend, so needless to say I didn’t feel like making training a priority. So the furthest I’ve run is ~7 miles. Yup. 7 miles, give or take, as training prior to a half marathon. Foolish? Maybe. But it’s what I’ve got.

I also found the hole where Christopher Lloyd comes through to terrorize Dennis the Menace's town. True life.

I also found the hole where Christopher Lloyd comes through to terrorize Dennis the Menace’s town. True life.

When discussing this with some friends who have a few races under their belts, I didn’t feel so bad. “Life happens,” they said. Sometimes it’s injury. Sometimes it’s a new job. Sometimes it’s a family emergency. Either way, you aren’t as prepared as you wanted to be, but you’re still healthy enough to at least attempt your goal. Even if you won’t PR. But let’s be real, this is my first race ever, so it’s going to be a PR so long as I finish. Boom. The only thing standing in my way, other than rolling hills and a finnicky heel, is the 7 mile cut off. In order to finish the race in the designated area and along the planned course, you have to keep at least a 14 minute mile for the first 7 miles. I’m 95% sure that I can do that. All of my training that I’ve done since I found that out was to try to keep my miles under 14 minutes. Which is fine, as long as I don’t have to take any prolonged walk breaks. I’ve been averaging about 12-13 minute miles, but I’m not sweating it if I hang out around 13:45-13:55 because I only need 14. And that’s only in the first 7 miles! So I’m good right? I’m good. I’m slow, but I’m good.

Don't mind my headphone cord...

Don’t mind my headphone cord…

Skinny Runner said to take the first half of the race slower than you planned if you undertrained, just to suss yourself out and give yourself time to acclimate. So I was thinking I would aim for 13:00 instead of 12:00 for the first half, but my concern with that is that by the second half of the race I’ll be too tired to try for the 12:00. Eh. I don’t know. Either way I just want to finish. And finishing will give me a PR, so it’s a win win.

This guy has a new PR every week for hours slept during the day.

This guy has a new PR every week for hours slept during the day.

Let’s go back to the ~7 miles I ran today. They weren’t that great. I think because I went for a quick run yesterday, and I never run on consecutive days. But yesterday felt super awesome. I took off a little too fast and thought to myself, “man I better slow down because I can’t maintain this,” but then I thought about it for another couple of seconds and was all, “wait a second – yes I can! I can keep this up for a mile and then who cares? THIS WILL BE MY FASTEST MILE EVER!” and it was!! Hahah, and then I was gassed and had to walk for a bit. And then it started raining at my turn around so I jogged back home, tired and happy, accomplished and beat. It’s the little victories folks, and mine is a 10:47 mile.


So that’s my running life for now. Maybe I’ll be able to update after the race – hopefully I’ll be alive! xoxo