Survival Mode to Self Confidence and So Much More

I will admit that I was on self destruct mode for the last 2 or 3 years most likely even longer than that. The last few years were not easy in all factors of life. I definitely put myself on the back burner to just survive, and it showed in everything I did. My running suffered, my weight, self image, my relationships, everything suffered!

My self confidence suffered, I was buying clothes in sizes that I’ve never bought before and I was getting slower in my running. Things that are not fun to see happen. I would wonder who would like me if I continued down this path. ย I would get my wits about me and be like “OK Kristin, this is the plan for this week…” and then it would go to hell and a hand basket by the second day. I would start other workout plans or ideas that popped in my head. And by day three, I would be on my usual plan and be stuck. Not fun if you ask me, but at this point I was just surviving.

Towards the end of 2016, I wanted to make a change, but still didn’t. I ran 2 marathons which were epic in itself, made more awesome running friends and I still did not make the change. I look at pictures from back then and have a hard time believing that I let myself get that far down the rabbit hole before I was ready to pull myself out of it. Again, this was all survival mode. I was lucky that the people in my life didn’t see my size or lack of self confidence. I guess this is where you could say I’ve learned how to put on a really good front.

2017 started and I’m doing my own thing and trying to decide what I wanted to do for myself this year. I knew I was running 1 marathon, maybe 2. But what did I want to do for me. Change needed to happen and it’s not something that comes easy. Most of us dislike change and therefore throw our hands up in the face of it to try to stop it. The rabbit hole had consumed me enough and I knew I had to make a change because I wasn’t being fair to myself anymore.

About 2 months ago, I sucked it up and contacted the nice people over at Macros and Muscles Nutrition because I had been to a talk they gave and was intrigued by the their attitude towards food and life. I had some questions, so I mustered up the confidence to email them since I’m no cross-fitter. I’m a runner, a gym going person (sometimes) and trying to get my confidence up to get myself back in the pool. How could this whole, If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), work for me? They were kind enough to get back to me, and since I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I figured why not. It’s a 3 month commitment and if I don’t like it or if it’s not working for me, I can cancel at that point. So I filled out the questionnaire and sent in all my info and pictures. Insert shocked face here, because the measurements were definitely an eye opener. WOW! And not to mention the picture I sent it. Holy goodness…not what I expected either. Now more than ever, this change needed to happen.

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Yeah, being completely real here.

So what is this, IIFYM stuff? It’s actually quite simple. I have a certain number of grams of fat, carbs and protein that I need to get to every day. So I can still have my Wine, Thank you!, and can eat whatever I want, as long as it fits my prescribed amount of Macros. So I waited a few days and I got an email back from my coach and everything I needed to do just for 1 week. Which is where I feel if you break it up in 7 days, it is just that, 7 days. Let me tell you, that first week was tough, it was one of those where I could not eat enough to hit the numbers I needed. And still most days I have to come home and have a glass of wine to get close to my carb number. HAHA.

During the whole process of starting this new way of eating, my training was starting for the Chicago Marathon. Within the first week, I saw things improving greatly. I was running at paces I haven’t run in 2-3 years. I was eating better and I could tell that it was helping me out. Meanwhile I have spreadsheet that I contribute to that my coach can see and it has all my Macros on it along with what my workout was, hours of sleep, energy level and any feedback for my coach. I also send an email to her every week that has that week’s photo and any feedback from that week. What went well, what didn’t go well and such. She’ll then get back to me with what goals I should try for the new week and where to go from there. There have also been weeks where I’ve emailed her back and forth during the week about options and new ideas.

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Still a work in progress!

Since starting this process, I’ve lost just about 15lbs and a total of 15 inches. I definitely couldn’t do this on my own, I would have no where to begin and just like the many times I’ve started in the past about changing what’s going on, it would go away on the 3rd day and I would be back to my normal habits. Now, I’ve had a few cheat days where I went a little overboard and then paid for it the next day when I stepped on the scale. HAHA oops, time to start again and go from that point on. But, I don’t wallow like I use to and just keep going back down the rabbit hole like I once did.

I continue to work on me and be the best version I can be. I’ve still got some way to go since I let myself travel down this rabbit hole. Things will never be easy and most certainly they will be challenging. If it wasn’t a challenge then would you feel like you’ve accomplished it? Change isn’t always a bad thing but you have to want it enough to make it happen.

 

****All thoughts and opinions are my own and just wanted to share the awesome journey I’ve been on for the last few months. I was not compensated for this post.****

Marathon Training – Not All Sunshine and Rainbows

I’m the first to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with running. I use to cry when I would have to run for swimming. It was the DEATH of me. Somewhere I started to hate running a little less and starting to find the beauty of it. I don’t know when that changed but it did.

3 Years ago when a coworker asked if I would consider signing up for the Marine Corps Marathon, I didn’t hesitate. I said “Yes” right away. It was only after that I signed up that I began to think “Oh biscuits, what did I get myself into?”. ย The reality set in that I was going to run a marathon. Who was I? Who was this person that hated running and yet she signed up for a marathon?

There were lots of trials that went with that training. The wrong shoes were a big part of it. I was dealing with a lot of knee pain and didn’t know if I wanted to go through with what I had said “YES” to. I can, still to this day, remember my longest training run of 2013. 20 miles. 6.9 miles more than I had ever gone in a race. I had diligently mapped out my route and knew where these 20 miles were going to take me. I had chosen to run alone in 2013 because I was “slow” and because who else wants to spend 4-5 hours running on a Saturday morning. I walked in from that 20 miles, and my poor mother got the brunt of my tears and frustration. I walked the last 8 miles home. I still got those 20 miles, but in the process got blisters on my feet. I was maybe 3 weeks away from my race and I didn’t know how I was going to conquer these 26.2 miles. Luckily, the people that came out to spectate and my coworker helped get me through the first 10 miles. The last 16 were on my own since I started walking more. I would cry every time I saw my Mom and Sister along the course. I ended up walking the last 6 miles and still finished. I got that coveted medal.

Fast forward 3 years to 2016 and yet again I find myself training for a marathon (or 2). I am now looking for people who will run with me to help keep me accountable. I have my mainstays and definitely look forward to running with them. I’m slower than I was before, but you know what I’m still running. I’ve been laid up this past week with a hurt foot but hope to get back out there soon. I have races to run. I have my moments where I’m ok with my runs and other times, I’m thinking to myself, why am I doing this yet again. 13.1 or less is just fine. HAHA. I got new shoes, so I’m hoping that that was the issue that caused my foot to hurt and cause me to not walk all of Saturday after I came home from my 8 miles. And yes, I did everything you hear not to do and run injured. I totally knew my foot was acting different and ran anyways. OOPS!

So I’m planning to get back on track this weekend after a few days off. I know I’ve been struggling with staying up late watching the Olympics and then shutting off my alarms to get up early to sleep a bit more. Anyone else having that issue? Once swimming is over, I’ll try to be better about going to bed around my normal time so I can get up to go run.

Let me fill you in…

So last year in 2014, I signed up for the Marine Corps Lottery and got in! Go figure. I had just bought my first home and so I probably shouldn’t have even tried to get into the marathon. I had run it the year before and it was awesome! A super fantastic experience especially for my first marathon. Hard to believe that it was in 2013 that I conquered my first marathon.

Right after running that marathon in 2013, my boss changed at work and things got super stressful. I started to lose sight of why I was running these races and became a huge slacker. I wasn’t motivated and work was really stressing me out. I’ve always been a hard worker and tried to succeed to the best of my abilities and if I didn’t know a solution, I would find a way to find out so that I could learn. I was constantly told that I was always doing something wrong even if we came to the same result. I was told I wasn’t a hard worker or that I worked too hard and still was not an effective team member. Needless to say it was not the best work experience and I learned a lot.

I was slowly losing my mind, but also losing my ability to believe in myself. I was so close to quitting my job because of it. ย It started to affect my health and mentality and it was not the best situation around. I found this company online (totally don’t remember how I stumbled across it) called Momentum Jewelry. It’s an awesome company. I ended up getting a wrap bracelet that says “Believe in yourself”. It’s a constant reminder that I need to believe in myself and that I’m doing the best I can with what I’m given.

Needless to say I dropped down to the 10k last year from the marathon. My mind just wasn’t in it. So it was the best decision for me. I got to run with a great friend of mine and she did awesome! I’m sad I won’t get to run the 10k with her this year. When we go for longer distances in the future, I’ve told her that I will see her at the finish line. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fast forward to this year, I’m running the TCS NYC Marathon. EEK! I wear my “Believe in yourself” bracelet every day! I mean every freaking day! I’ve gotten so may compliments on it and people are always asking questions about it. I want another but haven’t decided which one, because there are so many! And I was thinking of getting a custom one to commemorate my 2nd marathon. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll get it after I finish the marathon since I know at that point I did finish it ๐Ÿ™‚

I need to get my training back on track for it. I will struggle but I will finish ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s to the last month of training…and to finishing the marathon! I believe in myself!

My Momentum Jewelry wrap bracelet with my road ID that I wear as well!

My Momentum Jewelry wrap bracelet with my road ID that I wear as well!

****I was not paid for this post, it is simply my view and opinion and life EXPERIENCE.

Without Further Ado….

Life got in the way again. I picked up another part time job, coaching starts in just over a month, my full time job got a little crazy and oh yeah, I’m training for a marathon.

My full time job is great. All the stress is gone and am loving who I’m working for again. Now if I could get the security guy to stop turning on the air conditioner that would be even better. He freezes us out every day! So needless to say I’m happy to be back on track at work.

Part time job #1 that I picked up a few weeks ago is going great! I will have some early mornings come the winter when I’m up late for swim practices but they are working with me and I can’t ask for anything better. It’s great to have some extra cash as well. Who doesn’t like a little slush fund?

Swimming is starting to gear up and I have to say, I’m super excited about our volunteer coach this year. It should be a good year, 9 meets = 9 chances for my kids to make states. It will be another great year for sure.

Now comes the harsh truth of training for my marathon. YIKES…I was reading a post today that it was 40 days away! I’ve had some very sporadic training and for the most part my weekday training has gone to the wayside. I’m trying to get that back, but that’s been proving difficult now that the sun sets even earlier. My weekend runs have been good. My max mileage has been 12-13 miles and so I know I’ll finish my marathon. It won’t be fast, but I’ll finish. This weekend I’m going to have to get out in the afternoon and get some miles in to try to get back on track. I’ll be ok. If I can make it to 18 – 20 miles max I know I’ll finish. But I’m not going to lie, I am kind of starting to freak out.

I had 1 races this past weekend and did great. It was the Dulles Day 10k where we got to run on the runway at Dulles Airport. It’s such a fun race and I remember when I ran it last year that I kept thinking when is the runway going to end to turn around. You just keep running and running and then about 3 miles down the path, you turn around. You never imagine that it’s actually that long. Although, it’s probably 2 miles for the actual runway. I was able to run the first 2 miles and then I ran/walked the rest of it. I tried to keep on a time, but my head was feeling funny. So I did what I could. I met up with some of my Instagram friends. Sadly we forgot to take pictures! next time we will certainly take some!

The Color Run is back in DC this weekend! YAY! I can’t wait to be back there and have some fun. It’ll be a great day and it will be more for fun than anything else. I might be able to get my miles in on Sunday and be good to go, but we will see for sure. M is joining me and another friend and her daughter. It’ll be great!

Anyone else loving the weather! It’s fantastic and it certainly makes my long runs go so much better than having it hot and humid. I really hope that my marathon is a “perfect” weather day. That would be fantastic. Can I just place my order for that now?

I hope you all have been well!

Cheers!

Happy Sunday!

Well here it is Sunday evening and I feel like I haven’t lived in my own place for the last month. Oh that’s right, it’s because I haven’t. I’ve been fortunate enough that people have trusted me with their animals and houses to let me stay while they have been on vacation. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I was lucky enough to have a day with my mom, which we haven’t had for awhile. Well since we drove to the Cape together. But after church, I went over to her house to talk about the coming week and what my day’s plan might be. So many options….might need a new car, so might head to the dealership, wineries? since I had wine pickups, moving furniture (I’ve been in my place for over a year and have yet to move everything over) and so on. SO MANY OPTIONS! So, what did we choose?! We choose to go do my wine pick ups!! The most important thing ever! I belong to 3 wineries here in Northern Virginia and absolutely love their wine. Some of it does not last long in my house while others, say a 2001 Merlot from Breaux Vineyward, I’ve kept forever! Anyways, so my mom and I started off on the adventure.

The first stop was at Dukenie and we hadn’t tasted there in a long time so we got to taste some new wines there. And our person that was helping us kept saying that I looked familiar. That can be dangerous, and I hope they remember me for the good things. It turns out that it was a classmate of mine from high school who was a year behind me mother that was helping. Ironic! She also knew some friends of my mom’s from church so we were talking about it all.

The next stop was Breaux Vineyard. They recently opened their new tasting room and club room and it as gorgeous! I hadn’t been there since April and it was so nice to see the progress. We tasted there and really loved the new Sav Blanc that they created. And before we knew it we also tasted a Merlot from 2010. Agh…delicious!

On our way to my last pick up we stopped at the Stoneybrook Farm Market in Hillsboro. We always pass it but it’s always closed since it’s usually a Saturday that we are passing through. Ohmgeee…this place is amazing! The organic market is so cool and they have things that you don’t see in the food market. I was so stoked that we stopped. Then my mom and I saw the sandwich menu. We were hungry and we probably needed food so we ordered a sandwich and sat looking in aww of what was going on around us. Well, we got our sandwich and everything changed. IT WAS SOOOOOO GOOD! We could not stop talking about this sandwich. Turkey and Swiss on a poppy seed bun with sprouts and tomato with pesto! Please take me back there some day! After we were finished with this sandwich, we got in the car and still could not stop talking about it. It was so good.

The next and final stop was Sunset Hills. This has always been one of our favorites and I always love going there. We tasted and then got my pick up before leaving. I will have to go back at some point and get more wine…do we ever have enough wine? Um that would be a no! I know I need to take the boyfriend there. I just need to get him out here in the country to take him ๐Ÿ˜‰

The rest of today has been pretty chill. Did some cleaning (Who likes to clean?) and then now just enjoying my balcony before I go back to work tomorrow. It’ll be a short week for me. Thursday I leave for my grandmothers funeral and will be gone through the following Tuesday. So please forgive me and my non blogging abilities in advance.

I hope everyone had a great weekend! And has a great start to the week!

Cheers!

Do you ever…

Do you ever feel that everything is just imploding and nothing seems to be going the way you want. GAH. Let me get you caught up….

The end of July was our yearly family vacation to the most gorgeous place on earth. No, not Disney, that’s the happiest place on earth. ๐Ÿ™‚ My mom, sister and I make the trek to Cape Cod every year and have since I was young so it’s like going home almost. So we started out way. My mom and I drove up…we started at 3am and did fine until we needed to get onto the Cape. And if any of you know, that can be a nightmare. This time it was a nightmare. But we had several funny moments happen while we were trying to make our way. I mean, have you ever seen a cars hood pop up while someone was driving and they kept driving the vehicle…no?…me either until this trip. HAHA.

My sister was flying in and so she got there later. We had a good time and the next morning started out on our long runs that we had to get done. Mine was 9 miles and hers was 14. She was nice though and hung with me for the first 4 miles and then she took off…literally took off. She’s so much faster than me and so I more like jog and walk when I can, ok more like want. But we couldn’t go out on our long run and not take a selfie at the beach. So we finished our run and then we walked around town, did some shopping and then just relaxed the rest of the day.

I flew home early so I could go back to work. (Anyone else feel like work gets in the way of all the fun? No, just me. ย Ok. :)) It was nice to have a few days and just relax and read all day if you want, or take naps. Naps are my favorite.

So I get home and start to get back into a routine before I start house sitting/dog sitting. I love that I’m able to do this so that others can have peace on their vacation. Or somewhat peace with some accidents. Meanwhile we found out that my grandmother had passed. She lived a full life of 97 years and still in her own home. So we’ve been planning her service and coordinating travel with everyone and who is staying where and when are they getting in. Things like that. Sounds like fun right?

So needless to say, I’ve had a few things going on lately. Just a few. I missed my 10 mile run this past weekend. My foot was feeling funky and I needed to get it feeling ok so I didn’t derail my training for the marathon. I’ll get back on track this week and should be good to go. My long runs are definitely getting longer and the feeling of training for a marathon is becoming more real.

I’ll leave you with this quote that I found since life seems to be in a constant state of change here lately.

“The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

Sorry for the break…Here’s a quick recap!

I’m sorry for the break. Lots of things have been happening and had some family visits that needed to take priority. So I hope that I can return and continue documenting my journeys here.

First I took an impromptu trip with my Mom to Swarthmore, PA 2 weeks ago. My very young (96 years young) grandmother wasn’t doing so well and had been in the hospital. So Saturday morning my mom and I drove up to see her and to see how she was doing. My 1 Aunt lives next door and the other drove in from upstate NY. So much fun to see them. And as a surprise, my cousin from WV drove over and we got to hang out which was also fun. He and I haven’t had that before since he’s 10 years older than me and so we’ve been at different points in our lives until recently. It’s always nice to be around family. My grandmother is doing OK and we were able to help out a little bit. For being 96 she’s doing quite well, still in her own home, but now has a lot of help that comes in.

While I was up there, I had a 7 mile training run to complete. I got it done, but holy hills. IMG_5645I didn’t realize how many hills that small town had. It was quite amusing though, Friday afternoon, I was Google Mapping my plan of attack for the 7 miles and it wouldn’t let me put in any more points or change the route and I only had 6.5 miles. So my mom and I went for a drive that Saturday afternoon, to try and track the 7 miles and see how far I would actually have to go on Sunday. I got up on Sunday and started out. I stopped several times to take pictures. I don’t know how many more trips I’ll be taking up to PA and so I wanted to get things that would remind me of the quaint town. And I walked way more than I wanted, but I got the 7 miles in and even though it was a very slow 7 miles, it was still 7 miles.

IMG_5680Last week was filled with lots of Orangetheory Fitness. And I started going Monday through Thursday to help with training for the marathon. They were also having a Dri-Tri this past weekend and I had signed up for it only thinking after the fact and thinking what in the world did I get myself into. The tri consisted of a 2000 meter row, 300 body weight exercises, and then a 5k run. It took me about 56 minutes to complete and I got my legs back around 2.5 miles of the run. It was a fun experience for sure. I definitely had to pace myself on the row, and I’m a horrible rower, but I’m getting better. The next one will be in September so we’ll see if I venture that way again.

Today I had the distinct honor on being featured on my fellow Sweat Pink sister’s blog. You should go check it out here.ย She even spells her name the correct way, with an I-N, instead of E-N. Although I’m sure we’ve both had our fair share of misspellings. I love her blog. It’s been so much fun getting to know her and what she likes. Go check it out!

I hope you have an excellent start to the week. Sorry for my absence. Here’s to another week of marathon training and cross training. I have to build up my mental attitude for my 9 mile run this weekend. That’s going to be fun! It’s going to be in the best place ever! Cape Cod!

May Totals

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So May wasn’t the best month for me and my workouts. But that’s OK because June is going to rock! I had a total of 42.44 miles for May. Yikes…how is the marathon training to going go? It’s going to go well. It has to go well. It can’t be anything but including the good days and the bad days. My goal for June is 65 miles. 65 is totally doable and with my new motto…accept no limits…it will be done! And I’m going to be doing more of what me awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

What are your goals for the month of June? A certain number of miles? A new workout routine? Meditation?

Inspirational Wednesday

I wanted to start a new thing on Wednesdays, since it’s the middle of the week and to be positive how about Inspirational Wednesdays! So last week I posted my first one here in case you missed it.

So drumroll please…here’s your post for inspirational Wednesday…

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Weekend Festivities

Wow…what a weekend it was. Saturday morning was spent picking up packets for my 5k on Sunday that I was running with my sister. Then to come home and start my 13.1 mile run for a virtual race by noon so that I would meet up with my friend who was joining me at mile 4.5ish for 5 miles of my 13.1 mile fun. I knew there was something wrong the moment I started my run. My feet were feeling funny and not in a good way. I also knew that without having really been training for anything of significant distance, I wanted to take it easier. So I started on my journey of walking 1/2 mile and running 1/2 mile. My feet really hurt, but I knew I needed to get this run completed and it was going to happen whether I liked it or not. So I met up with my friend M, who is running Disney Princess Half in 2 weeks. (I’m super jealous! That was my first ever race so it will always hold a special place in my heart). We were running out our local trail and came upon this gentleman who decided to run with us for 1.5 miles or so. He’s training for an ultra marathon, 50k, and was out there by himself. Major props there! I could’t do that. It’s hard enough for me to get out there when I’m training for a half or full. So it was nice to have the company and distraction. My feet were feeling ok as M and I approached our turn around point and our running friend kept on going. I stopped to get a gel in me and that was the beginning of the end. ย My feet were in so much pain from that point on it wasn’t even funny. I was able to continue my 1/2 mile run/walk through the end of the 5 miles with M and 9 almost 10 miles for me. Just a little bit more to go and then I can rest. Well I was able to get to the local 7-11 since it was huge Powerball potential winnings. But that was even torture standing in line waiting. It was around 10.5 miles at that point and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to run the 3 miles back to my place. I was thinking of everything, somehow getting to my Mom’s house and she can take me back or just find a way deep down to make it and not break down on my way back to my place knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get back up and walk if I stopped.

So I kept trudging along. I got to mile 11 trying to figure out how far it was going to be for me to make it back to my place. I was going to come up short by just over 1/2 mile. I was taking some side streets on my way back so that I wouldn’t have to circle my building as many times and by this point it was all I could do to keep it together and not break out in some embarrassing crying action. Luckily I had some great support coming in over my phone via texts and I couldn’t be luckier and yes I did get some tears in my eyes when I was reading the texts because someone saw in me what I didn’t see in myself at that moment. I knew I was crazy to think that this 13.1 was a good idea. And I did finish. It wasn’t pretty as I crawled into my condo that was 3 flights up and tried to get my shoes off. I couldn’t put any pressure on my feet so it was tough to make it to the shower to just sit in there. SAD I know! So I’ve been using my frozen water bottle to help with the pain and rubbing it out as well as icing them.

Sunday, wasn’t so bad. I had a 5k to complete and didn’t know if I would able to run after my horrible 13.1 the day before. But I was feeling ok, So I did run and finish with not my best time but I did finish. So that was a good thing. My sister did amazing as well and we had the best parking spot right at the finish line. So it was easy to just jump in the car and wait a bit for most of the participants to get off the course so we could leave. ย I ran more than I probably should have but that’s ok. I will keep on streaking this week with some low mileage before I have my 10k on this coming Saturday. I’m looking forward to the 10k, it will be slow but I’ll be good as long as I can get my feet in order. HAHA

What did you do this weekend? Anything fun?