Welcome 2017

Happy New Year and a big welcome to 2017! Can you believe it, 2016 has ended and we are embarking on a fresh new year? How exciting. I love the promise of a new year with all the goals we think about and the many things we hope to accomplish over the next 365 days. The new year can really give people hope about what’s to come and it allows you to shed what was and embrace what is and hope for what’s to be.

I received a text yesterday from a good running friend and she was super excited about how this would be the year she is turning her health around and slowly but surely going to pick up her running again. I felt so happy for her because that is a great feeling when you feel like you finally have the opportunity to make the change and you have a renewed attitude to see you through it. I’m excited for her and for all of us because we all have that opportunity. And we don’t just have it when the calendar turns the page we have that same opportunity every single day. We can wake up and start new.

The end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 were really hard for me. I was in a very awful spot and was struggling to just make it through the day. I decided to make changes and when I did, it made all the difference. So if you’re stuck in something or find yourself in a situation that no longer serves you or makes you happy, I encourage you to take the steps to change it.

I know that is easier said than done because often the problem is that we want to change so badly but we simply don’t know how. That was my situation last year. I didn’t know what to do to make the change but with the help of family and friends and support of my husband,I decided to have a little faith and to start making the changes I needed to make me happy.

I quit a job that I hated, put some hard hurt feelings behind me so I could start healing, I ran…I ran a lot, I found a new job that I really like, and I moved on and slowly restored my spirit. The year ended so much better than it began and I learned so much along the way. So I welcome 2017 with open arms because our year and our life is what we make it. Happiness is a choice…choose wisely!

I wish you peace in the new year and I hope whatever your goals may be, that you run happy!

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New Training Cycle

Hello! Welcome to a new week. Mondays are hard, especially rainy cold Mondays! So wake up and do something small that you love. I love having a nice cup of coffee and typing up a blog post. We are on a rest day today and that worked out just fine with the rain. I had no problem staying in bed.

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I have a confession to make about the Runners World Run Streak I talked about in my last post. I was all set to participate again this year and then the next weekend I took a rest day and completely forgot about the streak!!! I didn’t realize until the next day! So my streak came to an end. However, I encourage all of you to keep at it if you’re participating. While I took a rest day, I have been running or working out all the other days.

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I even got to join the YMCA through my work! I tried it out this week. I watched an hour of Fixer Upper over lunch while I walked on the treadmill. I am going to figure out some type of routine schedule to get over there during lunch or in between work and evening meetings when I stay at work. Maybe I can find a class or something. We’ll see but I’m excited about it.

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The other thing going on that will require more deliberate rest days, is that we’ve decided to train for the Lancaster Marathon! I don’t think that is the official name, I think it is called the Garden something or other. There is both a half and a full marathon option. My plan is to train for the full and then make a decision closer to the date. We decided to do a long run and see how we felt. We agreed if we felt good at 13 miles we’d move forward and start training. Well we only actually ran 11 or 12 miles but we felt good and so we’re moving ahead. I have an appointment with the doctor this week to follow up with my kidney and as long as I’m good there, I can start documenting the training cycle.

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This training cycle I am going to really focus on hydration and nutrition. I want to see how the proper attention to both helps in race day performance. I already know that strength training and rest also play a major role in training so I will be focusing on those items as well. The marathon is in April, so we will have hit or miss weather for sure, but I think as long as we’re well prepared we will just have endure whatever conditions we’re dealt.

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Yesterday we did a 13 mile early morning run in chilly 24 degree temps. The run felt great though.

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Later in the day the whole family participated in a little run called the Santa Scurry. Excuse the blurry picture!

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It was so fun for the boys. Josh walked and stayed with Brooks as he ran on and off. Nolan ran the whole thing! I couldn’t believe it. That was the furthest he has ever run and he was a hurting turkey by the end but he dug deep and finished strong. I was so proud of him. Not only because he had just run a little over three miles, but because he didn’t give up even when his body really wanted him to. The race raised 525 pounds of food for a local food pantry!

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Well I hope you make it a great week. I love this holiday season and looking at lights on my tree!

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Staying on Track This Holiday

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I started writing this post the day before Thanksgiving so it was written in anticipation of the big day…figures I am just finishing it up now. This is my favorite week of the year and although I can’t believe we’re here already, I also can’t believe how much my whole family needed this break! It seems long overdue. I love Thanksgiving. I love thinking about everything I’m thankful for and remembering all my blessings. I’m so much more aware of them all during this time….and then of course I love the turkey meal- my all time favorite and I love football games and colder weather (for a little bit), parades on TV, and what’s not to love about all the turkey trots! So as you can tell I’m anxiously awaiting the upcoming festivities.

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I’m suffering from a minor knee injury so I had to take a few days off from running. I have no idea what I did to my knee. I ran on the treadmill Monday night because this guy asked if we could.

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He also asked me to put this Momentum Jewelry charm on his shoe…a man after my own heart. The charm says “dream big”.

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So I ran and then I did some kettle bell lifts on the Bosu ball. I’m not sure what I did but I’m assuming the injury I sustained happened on the BOSU although I felt nothing initially. It wasn’t until later when we were watching Monday Night Football that I started to feel like my knee was bruised. It got worse through the night and when I woke up for boot camp at 5:00 a.m. it was as stiff as could be but felt like an external injury. I did boot camp just no leg work or impact and then iced it and took Motrin. It bothered me all day so I took Wednesday off from running and this is what it looked like on Wednesday night…ignore the pasty white legs!

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It felt slightly better as the day went on and with some more ice and Motrin I could only tell it hurt if I touched it. Oh and it was warm to touch.My sister thought I was bitten by a spider. It didn’t stop me from getting up and running on Thanksgiving…I had to get the turkey trot in…couldn’t miss it. Too much good eating had to go on later that I needed the run in the morning. I was a stuffed bird by the end of the night though and after Nolan suffered a major meltdown after dessert we called it a night.

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So many of you know that this time of year people start talking about how the average American gains 6-10 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s and then the day after New Year’s everyone goes out and gets a gym membership to shed the holiday pounds and make good on their resolutions (even if it is only for the first two weeks of the year or until that free month membership expires). Wouldn’t it be great to not get so far behind the eight ball? It would be so much easier to just be mindful through the holiday season so that when all is said and done you’re not really any different than when the season began…other than hopefully mentally reset and ready for a new year. We all hear “everything in moderation” and I think if we take that approach to the holiday season we won’t feel like we’ve fallen off the wagon and gotten run over by it come January 2nd.

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This year I’m going to approach the holidays with a non-stress attitude. I’m going to spend more time with family and friends and less at the stores shopping.

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I’m going to spend less time checking off items on my “things to do list” and more time enjoying my little boys.

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I’m going to run more and worry less, and I’m going to soak up all the joys of the season so that my heart and my soul feels happy and ready for the next year ahead.Merry Christmas!

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Oh and if you’re interested I’m going to do the Runner’s World Run Streak again- log a mile everyday from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. This is a great way to keep yourself in check over the holidays. If you do join me and you follow me on Instagram hashtag #milestohomestead and #RWRunstreak.

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How many of you participated in a turkey trot this weekend?

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Finding Balance

So we’ve made it to November…how did that happen? I love November. It is one of my favorite months and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love that it isn’t too cold yet and we haven’t quite hit the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, there is just something so special about this time of year. I try to think about that when life gets super crazy. I try to remember what a great time it is even when I’m busy and stressed. Slowing down for even a few minutes in the morning before I start my day can be a game changer. It’s all about finding your balance.

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Right now my work life is super crazy. I’ve been busier than ever. I know it is only temporary but in times like these you have to do a little shifting in order to maintain your balance. Balance is not a static thing, it is always evolving based on your circumstances and sometimes our priorities shift and therefore so does that balance. I keep thinking about the Corona commercials where they say to “find your beach”. So true.

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Finding balance is probably one of the most elusive goals we can try to achieve. Balance is different for everyone but it always centers on our values. What we value most in life and what is truly important to us is always at the center of our quest for balance because that is where we derive our happiness. Whether that be family, church, exercise (running), work, or any other activity we find important to us, we have to figure out a way to make time for all of those things. We have to prioritize. I read somewhere that the first step in doing that is to rule out things that are just not going to work for you. Even though you think you could possibly squeeze it in you just have to accept that sometimes you can’t do it all.

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The thing that I have finally accepted for me is volunteering to be a homeroom mom at my sons’ school. Every year the flyer comes home and every year I stare at it tempting myself with the idea that I could squeeze it in. Then I think about it a little longer and realize I could probably squeeze it in but at the expense of what? So this year I decided I was going to stop beating myself up about it and I was just going to simply offer to help when I can and accept the fact that being a homeroom mom is just going to be one thing I cross off my list of things to do. It felt great to finally shorten the list.

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I read a good article on this subject from the Huffington Post. Some of the tips the author gives for finding balance are:

  1. Define what a balanced life means to you
  2. Create boundaries
  3. Say No without explaining
  4. Keep a journal
  5. Understand & accept that you’re not a superhero

A few other tips I read and have heard from numerous people are:

  1. Turn off the computer and put down the phone long before you head to bed for the night
  2. Wake up a little earlier each day and try to enjoy some quiet time on your own
  3. Read the Bible before you go to bed or when you wake up or both
  4. Become an expert in time management and set goals for all areas of your life
  5. Learn how to adapt-be flexible

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You need balance in running too. You have to mix it up. You can’t always be running for endurance, you can’t always be training for a marathon, and you can’t always be increasing your speed. You have to incorporate other facets to your workout so that you have balance. Adding in a strength training session a few days week, stretching, hill repeats, swimming, cycling, or some other form of cross-training will help you have more overall fitness. Running can really be a metaphor for life-right? The past few weeks have really made me think about the tremendous amount of stress we put ourselves under and how that can secretly reek havoc on our health and well being. We shouldn’t wait until we’re faced with serious issues before we make changes, we should really make our own happiness a priority and we should resign ourselves to start today.

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Have a great weekend!

 

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Happy October & 1st 30+ Mile Week

Hey everyone…Happy Weekend! I love weekends and I love Octobers. It has been such a beautiful week weather-wise here and I know I probably say it too much or post it too much on Instagram but I love running in the Fall! It just feels so good to be out there enjoying nature and taking in all the beauty around us.

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Maybe that is why I had my first 30+ mile week last week for the first time in what feels like forever. It probably is the first time since the Spring when I was home and had way more time to run, prior to the last round of kidney troubles. I was super excited about my progress…although I did have a very sore hamstring, which I’m sure was a result of the increased mileage. But regardless, overall I felt good and strong. I am relieved because in my last post I was pretty much saying the complete opposite. That’s the thing with running though, you’re constantly battling yourself and there are good runs and horrible runs but for some reason we keep coming back. I guess because you feel so great when you have a good run!

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We mixed it up this week too and added some new moves into our boot camp tabata circuit. We tried these side planks with a leg step out and pull in that I swear left me sore for the past few days. I was actually beginning to think I injured myself doing them but I feel pretty good today so I guess it was just that soreness…you know the good kind.  Here is a little visual that I got off of Pinterest that explains the move I’m referring to.

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You should try this move, if I feel this sore I’m thinking it must have really worked!

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In other life happenings, the car I showed in my last post has been fixed and should be ready for pick up today! Oh how I’ve missed my Subaru. I cannot wait until we’re reunited. Our patio is just about complete so I will post some before and after pictures next week…maybe.

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And this little guy turned 6!

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He had a cute little party with all of his little friends and then a second party with all of his cousins. We wound up celebrating him all weekend…which was good because the joy he brings to our family is worth celebrating multiple times!

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Well I hope you make it a great day and have the opportunity to get outside and enjoy this fabulous season (although maybe not today since it is going to be rainy and windy. We’ll be spending our morning freezing at a football game…’tis the season!

 

 

 

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Running Life One Mile At a Time

Sorry for the repost but we are trying to figure out my notification issue so I am re-posting the same entry from the other day.

Hey there! Happy October! I’ve been trying to get on here and do a blog post but I keep getting side tracked and I’m not sure what I feel like writing about as of late. I am finally embracing the new season even though I didn’t want to let go of summer. But now the house is decorated and the temperatures are a little cooler and so I think it’s time.

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One of the best things about change of season is the perfect conditions for running! I love running in the Fall! However, running has been extremely challenging lately. I can’t seem to break out of this running slump no matter how hard I try. My runs have been labored and hard and I find myself walking so much. I’ve also noticed that I’m totally calling the run out in my head before my feet even start pounding the pavement. I will be lacing up my shoes in my garage and I’ll start thinking about how I’m not going to be able to finish this run or make it that long so I need to be prepared to stop and walk or maybe even cut it short. How I know this before even stepping foot out the door must be a certain gift I have or something because just like that, the run unfolds exactly as I expected.

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To be fair to myself though, this past month has had its share of challenges. I started a new medication that is supposed to control my kidney stone issue. Yes, my doctor thinks she’s found the answer, which is actually awesome…but the medication is not. Let’s just say it doesn’t make me feel great. She warned me that this might happen and that I might find myself unable to run everyday. The medicine makes me dizzy and shaky and just fatigued. It lowers your blood pressure so that has something to do with it. The good news is that it is going to hopefully put an end to the stone issue and also keep the calcium from leaking out of my blood stream, which I’m sure my bones appreciate. The other bright side is that I think the side effects are temporary and that my body is adjusting. Of course I was instructed to up my dose two weeks into it, so the side effects are back but I think they’ll subside soon. So the meds have posed an issue with running.

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Then about two weeks ago I had a car accident. I was hit by the pizza delivery boy on my way home from work, only a few feet from my lane! Thankfully no one was injured but I was extremely sore and had to take a few days off to let my body recover. My Subaru Outback, that was less than a year old, didn’t fare too well in the whole ordeal.

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Then when I did set back out for a run, I had the unfortunate experience of witnessing a grown man going to the bathroom on the side of the road in the ditch…and he wasn’t peeing. Lucky for me I noticed him well before he noticed me and I was able to turn around and run in the opposite direction as fast as I could! I was so disgusted, annoyed, freaked out, all of the above. I ran home thinking that the odds were against me and that maybe I should hang up my running shoes, but I decided to just put them away for the day. I figured that I should get a grip, its only running and who cares if I feel like I stink at it.

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Then this week I started the increased medication dosage and came down with a nasty head cold. So my plan was to race this weekend in a local 5 mile run but with my cold and not feeling well coupled with the rainy damp weather this morning, I decided to meet up with the Stella’s group to run. And guess what…the run felt great! So maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel after all. Maybe I need to change my thoughts about this running slump and stop listening to the voice in my head that is predicting how my run will go. I know I preach it all the time, mind over matter, now I need to practice it.

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We can overcome anything we put our minds too. Things don’t always go according to plan, even running plans, and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches, readjust the sails, and continue to move forward- pretty much the tag line of this blog, Running Life One Mile At A Time! 

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