Wordless Wednesday: Inspire Me!

It’s that time in the week when I link up with the Fit Dish!  This week’s topic is all about those friends, family members, running partners, etc. that inspire us to live healthy and happy!  Without the support of these people, we’d likely not achieve nearly or have has much fun!  I thought instead of posting why all these people inspire me to be healthy, a wordless-ish Wednesday seemed more appropriate!

These are the special people in my life that inspire me to not only be healthy, but to be my best, my happiest and me!

My family! 2014-07-25 11.47.51-1

My running family (and that’s not even all of them!!)

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Other friends we know through running!

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RunnerDude’s Pink Power Run (photo from Facebook)

And blogging friends!  Here’s just a few!

FLRunnerBoy

Taking the Long Way Home

Flying Feet in Faith

Stamped With A Heart

Fairy Burger

Road Runner Girl

Run Away With Me

Who inspires you to live healthy and to be the best you?  Share with me!

Check other posts at the Fit Dish Linkup and become part of the #fitfam by heading over to Jill Conyers at JillConyers.com, & Jessica Joy at TheFitSwitch.org.

Happy Week!

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A Letter To My Body

With the end of the year quickly approaching, many of us are celebrating all of our accomplishments and reflecting on where we started and where we ended up.  As I think about my year and all that’s happened, it seems fitting to spend just a minute thanking my body for allowing me to do everything that I have asked it to do and how together we’ve made some big changes!  Here’s my thank you letter to my body!

To my Strong, Beautiful Body:

It’s been a heck of a partnership!  Who knew small decisions to be a better me would lead us to this point?!  I loved you enough to quit smoking (nearing 6 years now on the 27th) and made big changes to become more healthy.  Remember that first time I asked you to run again?  You were not happy with me at all.  It had been so long since I had done anything like that to you and I’m so glad you remembered that you used to like to run.  You remembered before I believed it myself.

After those first few runs, we both felt happier and I could tell the change was going to be greater than I thought. I thought just physically, but later realized it was much more than that.  It wasn’t a change to just get me “from” something, but “to” something.  It took me to health, to friendships, to family, to living life fully, to me.  I was running to the become the best me.  Think back to when I had that crazy dream to run a half marathon and I asked you to run 8 miles without any training because my head needed to know that you could do it.  Thankfully, you didn’t let me down!  That was the beginning, the start of our true partnership.

It’s been give and take.  I take too much, you remind me to slow down.  I push too hard, you demand rest.  I think I can do it, you allow me to go for it.  I indulge in any thing too much, you give me heartburn.  🙂

Through it all, you’ve changed too.  When we started this journey 6 years ago, I wasn’t happy with how you looked.  When I looked in the mirror, all I saw were problems.  This was too big, this was too saggy…what was that and where did it come from??  Then over time, those problems weren’t really problems, they were reminders…memories even.  Each bump, mark and scar is something we did together.   How could I be unhappy with that?  How could I be so critical of you?

That stretch mark…that one right there, that is a reminder that I carried a sweet baby.   Those calves that are ridiculously huge, that is a reminder of miles run.  Those gray hairs, that’s a reminder of years of living.  I celebrate you more now, not only for what you look like but what you can do.  I love that my legs are muscular and my calves are kicking!  You can do a BodyPump routine like a champ, allowing me to add more and more weight, you can do 3 minute planks, and you can run for miles.  You can stretch and bend and move in Pilates or Yoga.  You sweat (a little more than I care for).  I’m happy when I look at you now and know that you are the best version of you right now.

Thank you for allowing me to beat you up and not be so kind, but then granting me the ability to fix and to change that.  Thank you for rebounding stronger than ever before.  Thank you now for allowing me to push you to your limits and for picking yourself up, for believing in and remembering me when I need it the most.  Thank you for 40 years and counting!  Thank you for continuing the partnership.  We have big plans and big goals and I can’t wait to see where it takes us!  I promise to love you more each day and celebrate you daily.  Not just today.  Not just at the end of each year.  Every day. You are amazing!

Hugs,
Mel

What would you say to your body?  What would you thank it for?

Care to share it with me? Comment below.

Tweet: Thankful for changes that didn't take me Tweet this: Thankful for changes that didn’t take me “from” something but “to” something #dishthefit #PYBCYE

I’m participating in The Fit Dish Link-Up! Visit Jill Conyers at JillConyers.com, & Jessica Joy at TheFitSwitch.org and see what other bloggers are sharing!

Happy Week!

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Weekly Rundown – Marathon Week 15

This makes me scared, giddy, nervous and excited! Only 3 more weeks until I run the streets of Raleigh.

Marathon Training:  15 weeks down and **gulp** 3 weeks to go!

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weeklyrundown

FITNESS

This week started off a bit rough!  After my 20 miler on Saturday, I felt great.  By Sunday though, I was not feeling good at all.  I was having some chest pressure and I felt really run down.  I had some indigestion and heart burn so I just assumed that’s what it was.  But by Monday morning, it was a little worse and I made a call to get it checked out vs waiting it out.  I had some tests done, all of which came back normal!  My heart was doing its thing perfectly, nothing unusual, but what they did find out was I have a very low potassium level, one full point below a low level.  The symptoms I was having were all due to that.  Apparently low potassium will mimic all of the same symptoms of heart trouble.  It was a scary few hours waiting for all my tests to come back, but in the end, I just have to be a lot more intentional when replenishing all my calories and electrolytes.  Hence the increase in avocados!  Bananas and I do not get along..heartburn city!

I was cleared to run and took it easy on Monday and Tuesday.  Yes, I did my one mile on Monday!  I ran a slow 3 on Tuesday in my neighborhood and by Wednesday, I was back at it.  I got my 8 mile tempo done with Cara’s company!  I was glad to run with her for my “come back” run.  Cara and I met on Thursday for a few easy miles and ended up catching up with Christie and Cindy!  Cindy joined us for a few more miles.  It was great to see them!

Saturday was the Cannonball Half!  I was so happy to be back at pacing and I had an amazing race.  While I had a rough time at Fayetteville and Raleigh, I nailed it and felt great!  Wearing my heart rate monitor totally helped and I am happy with the results by paying attention to it!  Sunday, I ran 3 miles solo along the Greenway and met friends for breakfast after their run.

 

MEAL PLANNING

We had a super week with our meals!  We had Grilled Chicken Caesar Salads with some good crusty Italian Bread left over from the ravioli stew on Sunday.  We made spaghetti on Tuesday with the leftover hot Italian sausage.  Wednesday was a make your own dinner!  I ate pierogi when I got back from running.  I grabbed take-out on Thursday after my run.   Friday was Mexican take-out!  I had my usual pre-long run meal, steak burrito with guacamole, rice and beans.  So good!

 

Happy Week!

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Fitness and Meal Plan

I’m looking forward to another week of tapering.  I really haven’t been getting too buggy yet, but I know the last week is usually the most difficult.  I’m super excited, only 3 weeks left til go time!weeklyfitnessbanner

FITNESS

Monday – 4 mile steady

Tuesday – 3 miles easy

Wednesday – 5 miles with 3 at tempo

Thursday – 3 miles easy

Friday – 1 mile

Saturday – 1 mile

Sunday – Myrtle Mini half marathon (training run)  Keeping it around 10:00-10:17 pace  I’m excited to run with my friend, Christine.

 

Meal Plan

I am really not motivated to figure out our meal plan this week.  I’m feeling a bit uninspired and nothing is really jumping out at me for meals.  I’m feeling a bit indifferent about meals and I’m hoping that I’ll amend this post maybe tonight.

Here’s a rough idea of our meals, but nothing is really definite.

Chicken Caesar Salads (it’s a staple!)

Pasta of some sort on Tuesday (carb loading)

Wednesday will probably be a “clean the fridge out” dinner

Thursday… hmm…

 

What do you do when you get in a meal rut?  How do you become inspired about dinners?

Check out other bloggers’ Fitness and Meal Plans every Sunday at Mommy Run Fast and Fitness, Health and Happiness.

Happy Week!

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Fitness and Meal Plan- Fall is here!!

Fall made its way here overnight and we woke up to cool temperatures!  Finally.  Although it looks to warm up a bit by the end of the week, we are taking advantage of the day and making some cool weather grub today and this week!

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FITNESS

Monday – 5 mile steady

Tuesday – 3 miles easy

Wednesday – 8 miles with 7 at race pace

Thursday – 3 miles

Friday – 1 mile

Saturday – Pacing Cannonball Half Marathon + 2 miles

Sunday – 1 mile

 

MEAL PLANNING

Today is going to be our first crockpot soup of the season!  I’m so excited.  We are making one of our favorite recipes, Italian Ravioli Stew.  We use cheese-filled ravioli and add in crumbled Italian sausage.  We like it to be a little heartier and the added sausage makes it awesome.

This week is a pretty normal week (yay!!) so I’m planning on doing:

Chicken Caesar Salads for Monday

Avocado Bacon Tuna Melts for Tuesday

Nick will make a crockpot of chili for Wednesday

Thursday might be a leftover or a clean out the kitchen night due to me having a late day at school

What’s on your fitness plan for the week?  Any awesome recipes to share?

Check out other bloggers’ Fitness and Meal Plans every Sunday at Mommy Run Fast and Fitness, Health and Happiness.

Happy Week!

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Weekly Rundown – Marathon Training Week 13

What a difference a week makes!  The tiredness I was feeling has subsided this week.  I knew that I was not running at my right paces for a lot of my runs and running too fast was wearing me out.  So this week, I threw on my heart rate monitor and wore it on all my runs and guess what?!  I had an amazing week!  All of my runs went off perfectly, even my long run, finally!  I mean it is week 13 (my lucky number), so it had to go well!

Marathon training:  Week 13 down, 5 more to go!weeklyrundown

FITNESS

Finally, finally, finally!!  A really great week for my training!  I wish I would have worn my HRM sooner for training.  I realized that all my easy runs were creeping into tempo range and my tempo runs were moving towards my 5K pace.  Bottom line, over training.  I was vigilant on all my runs this week to keep my HR in check to make sure all my runs were what they were supposed to be.  My easy runs were easy (under 13o HR), my tempo was right on (avg. HR 152) and my long run was perfect (avg. HR 142).  By adding that one little thing, I nailed all my runs!  The HRM is here to stay for the rest of my training and race day.  I have to keep my eye on the prize, that marathon in 5 weeks!  I have to run smart in the coming weeks to make sure I’m rested and ready to run those 26.2 miles.   I also made sure that I wore my water belt for my long run vs stopping at the water stops.  I have been training with Essentia water and I need to stick with that, even in a race.  I will be wearing my water belt for my marathon too.

MEAL PLANNING

The highlight of the week was our grilled chicken Casear salad pitas.  It was great to mix up our favorite meal and put a slight twist on it.  We also enjoyed pork chops and mac and cheese and cheeseburgers.  We went out to dinner Friday night with my sis’ family at one of our favorite places where I enjoyed a delicious Buffalo chicken wrap.

chickenpita

Fitness and Meal Planning

One high mileage week down, one more to go!  Taper time is almost here!  I’m so excited to start backing down, but the marathon jitters start.weeklyfitnessbanner

FITNESS

Monday – 70 min progression

Tuesday – 3 miles easy

Wednesday – staggered hills (4 miles)

Thursday – 3 miles easy

Friday – 1 mile easy

Saturday – 20 miles

Sunday – 1 mile

 

Meal Planning

This week is a bit different.  We have a lot going on and unfortunately, I’m not sure how our meals will go.  It’ll be a day of decision for most meals and I may have to shop or get take out.

I do want to make a pasta this week for us.  I might just keep it simple and just make spaghetti.

I’ve been craving a tuna melt on rye bread, so I might throw that in this week too.

And I’m fairly certain Chicken Caesar salads will come back around too! It’s one of our favs!

Show some blog love too and visit Mommy Run Fast, Jill Conyers (co-hosts) and Running with Racheal, where I linked my Fitness and Meal plan this week!

 

Weekly Rundown

Two Words:  I’m tired.  This week seriously kicked my booty.  With a marathon of a day on Thursday, I just never could rebound from it and it took a toll on me by the end of the week.  Hoping for a smoother week this week and some good sleep!

Marathon training:  Week 12 down, 6 more to go!

weeklyrundown

FITNESS

It feels like a repeat of last week.  I had amazing runs all week including my progression, which I nailed.  But then by the weekend, my long run is the complete opposite.  It’s a struggle.  I try not to over analyze it too much but after talking with several friends, I really think that pacing this weekend took a toll on me and because of that, I wasn’t able to get in all my extra miles.  When I run my long runs normally, I start slow and work my way up to a comfortable pace, which is usually 10:15-10:30 in the middle miles.  With pacing, I have to hit 10:15 out of the gate, which after a few miles feels comfortable, but to try and get in extra miles after, it’s tough.  I’m excited about this weekend’s long run since we’ll be running it at our normal long run paces. Cara and I did head out on Sunday to do a few recovery miles which felt pretty good.

MEAL PLANNING

This week was a score on meals!  We had some amazing good food this week and even tried a new recipe, Cheesy Skillet Gnocchi. It was a big hit with all of us!  We made the Bacon Pierogi Bake which came out amazingly well!  That meal didn’t stand a chance against us.  We ate the whole thing!  No leftovers!

pierogibake

Bacon Pierogi Bake

 

skilletgnocchi

Cheezy Skillet Gnocchi

Happy Week!

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Blogs to Love!

One of the great plus sides of blogging is all the bloggers you come into contact with online through linkups, comments and Facebook groups.  I find reading blogs, especially ones that have personal stories and race recaps so entertaining to read.   I often search for race recaps before signing up for new races to get an idea of what to expect.  Runner bloggers have a real honestly when it comes to the good, the bad and the ugly of running and races.  I also have stumbled upon some great blogs about food, fitness and life.  Here are five of the many blogs that I follow and read regularly!

Here are this Friday’s Five Blogs to Love:

Mommy Run Fast

I first came across Laura’s awesome blog over a year ago when I saw something posted on Facebook about a virtual race series for the Fall (run 5 or 10 miles by the 5th of each month).  Since I was in the heat of marathon training at the time, I thought it was perfect to help keep me motivated for my weekly runs.   The upside of taking part in the series was seeing my progress each month!  With each run I logged, I was noticing a huge improvement in my 5 mile time.  Since the last series ended this past Spring, I still head over to her blog each week to link up with other bloggers on Monday with my weekly fitness and meal plan.

Jill Conyers

I found Jill’s blog through Laura’s.  Jill co-hosts with Laura on Mondays.  I instantly felt connected to her blog.  She totally speaks my language and I love the combination of running, fitness, food, life and goodies that she blogs about daily.  I think that being a runner is more than just logging miles and she celebrates and brings some insight into the crazy mind of a runner.  I find calmness in a lot of her posts too and she makes me think.  I find inspiration from her blog in ways to become a better me.

Sarah ‘n Spice

I’m not sure how I came across Sarah’s blog, but I’m so glad I did!  Just one look at any of her posts, you instantly want to cook what she’s posting about.  I love the clear directions, pictures, and posted recipes (in blog post and printable versions).  I’ve bookmarked several of her recipes and finally made one of her latest recipes, Tater Tot Hot Dish.  It didn’t come out nearly as pretty as hers, but I know it was equally tasty!  It was a big hit at our house!  When I search for recipes for the week, I make my way over to Sarah’s blog for inspiration.

MCM Mama Runs

A fellow Sweat Pink and Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador, I found Erika’s blog through our daily link love posts in our ambassador group.  I was instantly drawn to her race recaps, which are honest and helpful.  I just recently stumbled upon her post about a half marathon race series and I’m already researching information about it for next year!   I find a connection to her blog also since she’s from DC and we’ve spent so many years up there visiting Nick’s grandparents, I love reading about races in and around DC, MD and VA.  I’m also pretty jealous of her upcoming Ragnar Relay Race.  I can’t wait to read about her experiences!

Taking the Long Way Home

Thankfully Wendy commented one day on a blog post and I followed my way to her blog!  We’ve communicated through comments and both of us are training for a marathon and we’ve both struggled with the same things in our last marathon.  I love the honesty of her posts.  She’s willing to just put it all out there and I find a lot of inspiration from her.  It always seems that she’s posting what I’m thinking.  I’m excited to virtually cheer her on when she takes to her next starting line in a few weeks.  I’ll be rooting for her!

Please show some blog love to these wonderfully inspiring ladies’ blogs!

And check out other great bloggess’ who are hosting this week’s Friday Five:  Mar on the Run, You Signed Up For What?, and Eat, Pray, Run DC.   All their blogs are entertaining and great reads!

Happy Week!

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Training Essentials

With marathon training over halfway done, it seemed like the perfect time to look at some training essentials.  Besides shoes, clothing, and a watch, here are some other training must haves that are just as important to me!

HYDRATION

Never underestimate the importance of staying properly hydrated.  I’ve posted about my love affair with Essentia Water before and it is still going strong.  I’ve upped my intake of Essentia now.  It’s the only water I use exclusively on my long runs and I now am drinking it every Friday and after my long runs on Saturdays.  As I get closer to my marathon, I really am contemplating wearing my water belt so I’ll have my bottles fillled with Essentia throughout the race.  After this weekend’s race in Fayetteville, I realized that the regular water and sports drinks available at the stops really weren’t cutting it.  I’ve run in conditions similar to last Saturday and didn’t have the break down with hydration that I’ve had before and I’m convinced it’s the difference that Essentia has made in my training.essentia

FRIENDS and FAMILY

Having a supportive group of people who are there to run miles with you, cheer you and support you through training is greatly appreciated!  For me, knowing that I’m meeting someone to run is such a huge motivator and it makes training fun!  I know that I’m fortunate to have a large group of friends who run and I’m thankful that I do.  I also love that Nick and Hayden are always encouraging me as I head out the door to hit the pavement on my weekday and long run days.  Knowing that they believe in me makes a huge difference!2014-06-07 07.08.28

HUMOR and FUN

You have to be able to laugh at yourself and have fun with your training!  I follow my training plan and do my best to complete all my runs, but sometimes you just have to laugh and have fun with it all and not take it too seriously.  Some days it’s just not happening and you’ve got to be willing to just go with it and turn it into something more entertaining or it will flat wear you out.  Cara and I were having a miserable time running Wrightsville Marathon in March.  We just stopped at a DJ station, started dancing and laughing at ourselves.  Why should we continue to feel miserable and beaten up?!  Just stop, breathe, and put some fun back into it.  Plan runs around events to make it more enjoyable!  We’ve run from yogurt shops, restaurants, our favorite breakfast places just to mix it up!2013-09-28 13.34.17

ANTI-CHAFING GOODIES

Something that’s not fun, chafing!  If there is one product that I’d recommend more than any would be an anti-chafing stick.  Holy smokes!  There is nothing worse than getting into a hot shower and finding out that your sports bra rubbed along your back for those 18 miles and left one nasty burn.  Whew wee!  That hurts!  I really would love to invent a contraption like a spray tan booth where runners can spray their whole body with a lotion to prevent chafing.  I’d do it in a minute before every long run!

A ROLLER, A STICK and A YOGA STRAP

The pain contraptions of training!  These are a lifesaver when you need to help loosen up an IT band, stretch muscles, roll out some hard spots on your calves, etc.  Stretching is such an important part of running and investing in any or all of these will be of great help at some point during training.  Truly they are helpful in working out any soreness or tightness!

Check out other training essentials over at Powered By BLINGPretty Lil Mudder, Half Marathon Mama,  Girl on the Move and The Runner Within for Let’s Talk Training Thursday! Jill Conyers and MCM Mama Runs for Tuesdays on the Run where I’ve linked up!

 

What are your training essentials?!  What gets you through your training?  Share!

Happy Week!

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