Stop! Zoodle Time!

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Good evening, y’all. Well, good morning to some of you all. It’s Tuesday morning in Kentucky and Tuesday night in Daegu. I LIVE IN THE FUTURE! It’s actually really interesting being 13 hours ahead of a lot of my friends and my family. I experience an intense amount of jealousy on Sunday nights as it is only Sunday morning, but I also experience a weird amount of excitement on New Year’s Eve when it’s the next year in Korea and it’s still the year before in the US.

Before I continue with this blog entry, I just wanted to let you all know that I am still trying to find my footing when it comes to writing these blog entries again. I sort of feel stunted and nervous trying to do this again. I know I’ll find my groove and my voice again, but right now, if the entries aren’t as fluid as they used to be, now you know why.

So, full admission here: I’ve been insanely lazy since Saturday and I feel like I have a good reason for that. My body is STILL sore from our hike. My calves feel like they’re in a fuckin’ vice and I have no willpower to do anything, especially exercise. My sunburn seems to be healing nicely, but I would rather have heat radiating off of me like some sort of mutant sun than have my legs still be this incapacitated. I am hoping that by tomorrow I will be healed enough to run a couple of miles and get back on the half marathon training schedule I started last week. It’s a 16 week training schedule that has me running 3 times a week with two days of cross-training, which can be anything like riding my bike (hey, Mav) or playing soccer with the ladies of Daegu on a Tuesday or Thursday night. Although I am shit at it, I really do enjoy trying to kick a soccer ball around these days. I’m thankful for an active community that is constantly climbing mountains or playing sports or just enjoying the chance to sweat. It gives me a fuckton of opportunities to get involved and get healthier throughout the year. One of the major issues I face, though, is finding a place where I am comfortable running in Daegu. I used to have these solid running routes in Richmond, but I still feel nervous when setting out for a run here. Sometimes, I run down the street to the elementary school behind my apartment building and run the track, but I feel like the track is not an accurate representation of my speed or my endurance as it’s very easy to fall into an steady pace. I’ve found that if I’m only training on a track, my performance on a street run is not what I expect. Of course, I could also be using this nervousness as an excuse to just… not run, which is entirely possible if I’m truly honest about my tendency to self-sabotage.

Anyway, for the past few months, I’ve been dicking around with a low carb/high protein & fat diet, which really seems to be working for me. I’ve stopped having stomachaches, I’ve been losing weight, and I don’t feel as lethargic as I used to feel. The problem is I seem to get stuck in these food ruts where I only eat the same thing for days in a row, which is fine, I guess, for people who don’t like variety. But, I fuckin’ love to eat all kinds of foods, so I get bored and eventually, I break my cycle of cooking for myself and end up at a restaurant drowning my guilt in Korean dumplings. In the past few days, I’ve been bound and determined to branch out and try to make some new foods that are nutritious, delicious, and fit my goal of low carb eating. One of the ways I’m accomplishing this is by using the website iHerb to order foods I cannot find in Korea (or I can find and it’s just too expensive). For example, I purchased two jars of Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter because I love peanut butter, but I want it without hydrogenated oil. I also bought coconut oil and protein to start making protein shakes and homemade protein bars in my house as I have recently discovered just how insanely easy it is to make your own protein bars. Take a look at THIS nonsense here, y’all. I will be making these immediately upon receipt of my iHerb order. Another way is buy trying some of these newfangled foods that I keep hearing everyone talk about. The food of this week is the glorious zoodle! Now, I’m sure everyone already knows what a zoodle is, but in case you don’t, it’s a noodle made out of zucchini and it is all the rage in the low carb world, I tell you what.

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I think there are all kinds of zoodlers out there, but my friends Matt & Stephanie allowed me to borrow their hand-held zoodler and as you can see, it was pretty amazing.

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That’s all that is left of the zucchini once it has successfully been zoodled. Robert promptly ate this.

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After a zoodle photoshoot, the zoodles went into a pot and I started preparing the homemade sauce. I cooked mushrooms, garlic, and onion in olive oil for a few minutes

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then, I added two cans of diced tomatoes, fresh basil from our rooftop garden, general spices, tomato paste, and fresh goat cheese.

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I was insanely proud of the results! It was tasty, filling, and best of all, I knew it was healthy and low carb.

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Of course, after eating, I wanted something sweet. I had peanut butter in the house, so I googled “coconut flour peanut butter cookies.” Lo and behold, the first recipe that popped up was the winner as I had EVERYTHING I needed in the apartment to make a batch. So, I fuckin’ did, son.

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This is just peanut butter, coconut flour, an egg, some milk, vanilla, sugar, and some salt. I then put some butter on a pan, because I AM Southern, and ladled them onto the pan.

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And holy shit! They came out so well!

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I have been an absolute MASTER in the kitchen this evening. It’s amazing how far a little motivation and the right ingredients can go. There you have it– I satisfied all of my cravings without compromising my desire to remain carbohydrate deficient. Man, I am just so damn proud of these cookies, y’all. This is a fucking gamechanger!

The plan for the rest of the week is to get a couple of runs in, even if my calves are still sore tomorrow. At some point, I have to push through the pain and get back on track. I also need to run through some kettlebell exercises and probably ride my bike more as I think Maverick is feeling rather neglected. One of my main goals this week is to work through the desire to be lazy and demolish my progress. I want to find where that comes from and start chipping away at the source instead of working through surface problems. I know this is quite a large undertaking, and possibly the key to the universe, but I need to remember that nothing worth doing is easy… unless it’s eating tacos. Eating tacos is always easy and always worth doing.

Speaking of tacos, Kentucky! I’ll be in you this coming September from the 15th-29th. Get at me if you want to grab a beer, a burrito, or a bourbon! Or you know, a roller coaster.

This is me getting my life together. This is me trying to change. I know I can do it– I just have to stop myself from stopping myself.

Stay healthy, y’all.

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Derby Day Stakes: The Day “I Won’t” Became “I Kicked Ass.”

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most of the time, i have t push myself to do anything productive. while i try desperately to push against the grain of my being, i am one of those  people who is content with doing nothing. i honestly think it stems from the many years i spent in school with guilt sitting on my shoulders, but i derive great pleasure from simply just existing. it’s a pretty shitty way to live, but this was the personality i was given by the universe when i was created. i’d like to think i’m one of those people who can just wake up and find something interesting to do, but honestly, i really just enjoy spending time in my head and having quiet time to myself. i want to be content with this part of my personality, but ultimately, i’m not, which is probably a good thing. i want more from my life than sitting and existing. there is a strong desire in my hear to just LIVE, but that voice sometimes cannot be heard over the general sounds of my laziness. i am a fucking lazy ass human being. i won’t ever deny that to you.  but, today, i challenged my laziness and found that if i just pushed through the difficulty breathing, if i just pushed through the thoughts which threaten to undermine my progress, i can achieve great things. i understand this is not a new concept and many of you may be rolling your eyes at how long it took for me to grasp this concept, but some of us are just fucking slower than others when it comes to making changes. if you want to help someone change and better themselves, the first thing you need to realize is it doesn’t happen overnight, there are slip-ups, and your time frame or expectations DO NOT APPLY. they don’t apply to this heavy chubster anyway.

there is a point to that tirade above and it is this: when i woke up this morning, i accepted, and told myself, that i would be walking most of this 5k. i have not been running regularly; this week has been a test of my limits as far as my eating habits go, and honestly, i was fucking lazy this morning. my allergies were giving me a bit of trouble, but it wasn’t anything a seasoned seasonal allergy sufferer can’t deal with. but i used it as an excuse to fuel my laziness. but, when we finally reached our destination, registered, and i pinned my bib to my shirt, i truly began to believe there was absolutely no way i could just walk a 5k. this wasn’t my first 5k– i had trained and ran one before. the kicker, personally, was the moment of silence for Boston and feeling the wind whip across my face waiting for the race to start. i had no excuses– i have two fully-functional legs, i have lungs, and i have fucking determination. so, i ran. and i ran. and i ran. and when the race was over, i was left with a personal record (PR) for my 5k. i had taken down the beast in 39 minutes, probably sooner according to my watch, and i am so fucking proud of myself. i woke up thinking there was just no way i could run, let alone finish running, and i set a record for myself. i am capable of great things, but man, my fucking laziness is the tendon in my Achilles. i realize laziness is an obstacle i must combat. i cannot be defeated before i even started, and that’s what almost happened this morning. i did not give myself a chance to succeed and almost lost a chance to set a record for myself. moral of the story– just fucking do it, y’all.

i did have the great honor and fortune of sharing a trail (at least some of it) with two girls, one of them being my very, very good friend Catie, who were running their first 1ok.

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they finished a minute and 45 seconds below their goal time. they were a huge help, personally, as i struggled in the car on the way to the race with the idea of walking. they never said out loud that i should run, but i could feel their encouragement. they knew i could do it– the only person who doubted me was me. i am so thankful i ran this race today, especially with these two women. it was a joy to share the experience, some delicious breakfast, and make for a great Saturday. in these moments, it is easier to forget the laziness and focus on what i have already accomplished. i can do anything i want. i just have to stop being so fucking lazy and halfhearted about it all. i fought a little harder today and the laziness couldn’t keep up.

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stay healthy, and not lazy, y’all.

P90X: Introducing the Sadist, Tony Horton, into My Routine

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i just really fucking hurt.

let me preface this entry with a statement: i have never been gifted in the upper arm strength realm. i have always been too fat and too weak to perform pull-ups, climb ropes, or do anything that relied heavily on lifting myself based on the strength of my arms. i can hold yoga positions; i cannot, however, do fucking push-ups. fuck you, tony horton, you spritely, peppy, push-up masterfuck.

for a few years now, i’ve been hearing about this phenomenon called “p90x.” it’s basically, for those of you unfamiliar with Tony Horton, a 90 day program meant to get the user in the best shape of their lives. there are basic minimums you should meet before starting (i don’t, by the way) and the program utilizes “muscle confusion” to achieve quicker, more noticeable results for the user. the program is split into twelve individual workouts which focus on different parts of your body. today was day one and we, me and Tony Horton, focused on the chest and the back today. let me tell you something– i don’t even know how to do a fucking push-up, let alone perform different variations, which are more difficult, for extended periods of time. today, i learned diamond push-ups, military push-ups, dive-bomber push ups, and some sort of wide fly push-up. THEY ALL SUCKED.  but, i broke a serious sweat and i already feel the tension in my arms to tell me that i have been working. another problem is i do not have resistance bands, which i think would be more helpful than the pull-up bar. and my dumbbells are only 5lbs each. i may need to step it up and have a set that’s a tad bit heavier, just so i feel more of a resistance when performing actions which require the use of dumbbells. resistance bands and dumbbells. my arms hurt. either way, it was kind of fun and i think i’m really going to like it. apparently, tomorrow, the dear plyometrics session, is hard, too. i noticed there are some fucking jump-squats in there, so that should be splendid. i love/hate you, tony horton, but thank you for challenging muscles i did not know i had today. again, i kind of hurt. i’m sure it’s only going to get worse.

now, onto more serious matters. bashing tony horton is fun and all, but there are pressing matters facing our nation right now. as everyone should be aware, there is very serious news coming out of boston. if anyone doesn’t know, boston was the site of an attack against runners, civilians, americans. it was an attack against all of us. many people expressed their concern for me because i consider myself a (struggling) runner, and it has taken me a few days to really articulate what i felt. i feel like attacking marathoners is the wrong group of people to attack. these people have qualified for this race, trained for this race. they eat, breathe, sweat this race. they also eat, breathe, and sweat determination, perseverance, motivation, and self-control. these boston marathoners have overcome setbacks, they have experienced triumph, and their spirits are unwavering. yesterday, i ran 2 miles and dedicated my run to boston. while it may only be 2 miles, which is 24.2 miles less than a marathoner runs, i focused on how fortunate i am to have my life, my safety, and the ability to get out on the street and run. i have security that i am relatively safe when i run distances in my hometown and that is a feeling that was stolen from the city of boston and from the marathoners running the race. running is hard for me; i have a real hard time getting motivated sometimes. i love running races; i love how running makes me feel. but, fuck, man, it’s so hard while i’m doing it. but, i had a purpose on thursday– i was thinking of boston and of those people who may never run again, people who have been traumatized, people who lost their lives. muscle fatigue and sweating is nothing when compared to the drive of the human spirit and it was alive within me on thursday.

i love the running community. i love being a, albeit slow, runner. i love races. i love the spirit. i love the drive. most importantly, i love the human compassion that comes from the running community. there is such a desire to lift others up, to support others, to push others to achieve every goal. the safety and spirit of boston may have been diminished, damaged, but there is a country of people waiting in the wings to run for boston, to think of boston, and to stand behind boston. yesterday, i was boston. i will probably never approach running the same way again.

stay healthy, y’all.

I Walk the Line: Introducing Other Activities

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i look like a hobo. sad.

i look like a hobo sometimes. i have accepted this fact about myself. today, i woke up with two of the sorest thigh muscles i have ever had. i had barely moved after i woke up when i knew it was going to be a difficult day to even walk. so, i abandoned my ideas of running and instead, i went for a one hour walk with one of my good friends. we chatted, laughed, and got some exercise in, too. i have to give her a shout-out, though. 

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big sister, catie!

when i was in college, i was in a sorority and the girl in the picture behind me is my big sister, catie. recently, she decided she wanted to get healthy and start running. this girl has lost 30 fucking pounds from running and eating well. she very rarely eats out anymore and has quit most bad habits that still run rampant in my own head. she is a huge motivation for me, especially recently, because she is on fire for what she is doing right now and is full of this great attitude that is incredibly infectious. i just had to recognize her for my recent burst of motivation and trying to get my health together, truly, for the first time in quite some time. i am so thankful for her, especially the past few days. it’s been super rad to have someone to look up to when i’ve been struggling for the past few weeks. 

i realized today that walking also counts as exercise. it is not as high impact as running and it may take longer to burn calories, it is a nice way to get some calories burned and miles it. it also helped my thighs from being so fucking sore. but tomorrow, i am going to go to the gym or suck it up and run outside and get a mile to two miles in– nothing intense, just a couple of gentle miles to build my habits back up. the first week of my running plan is creeping slowly upon me and i have to be conditioned to be able to run 5 miles by then. i know i can do it– i just have to stay motivated and consistent. 

basically, what this comes down to, more than anything, is i miss my favorite pair of jeans. i will get back into those jeans. i feel good about myself. today, i feel good. stay healthy, y’all. 

A Revival: Here Comes the Heavy Hipster!

I’m back! Here is the video of my newest blog update: The Heavy Hipster Lives!

I did a video update instead of my regular update today because I am feeling a bit lazy and a bit strapped for time. Regardless, Kara Lairson is back and ready to lose the last 47 pounds of this weight! I am ready to achieve my goals. Thank you all for always being so supportive of my needs, my flaws, and my successes. If it wasn’t for the strong support system I have, I do not think that the 40 pounds I have lost would mean as much as they do, or would have even been possible. Stay healthy, y’all.

It’s Been a Long December: The Revival of the Heavy Hipster

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sweat!

happy winter solistice, friends! it is around 55 degrees in the state of Kentucky right now. needless to say, it does NOT feel like the winter solstice. this time last year we were enveloped in a white, wintry goodness and this year, we’ve been plagued with rain and mild temperatures. i cannot complain, though. these mild temps got me out into the streets and running again, which was exactly what i needed to boost my personal morale and self-esteem. i was struggling a bit for awhile, but i’d like to think that i am officially on the track to get better mentally, physically, and emotionally. it has been a rough couple of months for me and exercise and fitness has taken a backburner. but, starting today, i am going to move forward toward my goals and get back on track to becoming healthier.

i have been on some adventures in the past couple of months; i have also been in a few dark places where i wondered what exactly i was doing with my life. i have been happy, sad, scared, and frustrated in the past couple of months and i worried that i would never feel the way i used to feel– motivated, inspired, in control. there were some weeks i spent every single night at the bar; other weeks, i barely ate anything at all. the semester was coming to a close, i was stressed about my grades, and i felt like everything around me was spiraling out of control. finally, i feel like i have my head above the water.

in the past few months, i have spent time with friends

birthdays!

reunited townies

BROW DOWN

spent time with family

E & Ang
Lucas & Dad

and have kept my fitness in mind by leading a yoga class and running a 5k on thanksgiving!

sweet yoga bags
thoroughbred classic 5k!
leading morning yoga for the VM retreat!

i came to the end of my teaching career. that’s a video by the way.

coffee & stress!

and i participated in a flash mob!

flash mob!

those, again, are videos. while my life has not lacked in excitement, it has been lacking in structure, which is why i am returning to this blog. my blog motivates me, keeps me going, and holds me accountable when i simply cannot. today, i ran again for the first time in almost a month. the wind on my face, my feet on the pavement, and even the stitch in my side were all reminders why i do this, why i continue helping myself become the best i can be. this blog is a reminder of how far i’ve come and i refuse to lose sight of that now. i have a half marathon in March and i fully plan on kicking its ass so hard it can’t walk straight for a week. but, in order to do that, i have to recommit to myself and to my goals, no matter how sad i may feel while letting go of vices and habits i love so much. i just need to realize that my life means more than a couple of cigarettes and beers on a monday night.

i’ll be updating again soon with some New Year’s Resolutions, no matter how corny that shit is. it’s always fun to think about goals and such. i hope everyone is having a great holiday. stay healthy, y’all.

Expecto Patronum: Dinner for My Parents, Review of Goals, and a Goodbye to My Childhood

Harry Potter Day!!
the day has come, friends. the sad and exciting day of the release of the final Harry Potter movie. this moment will bring to a close years of books and movies and i am feeling incredibly sentimental about it. yes, i drew the Deathly Hallows symbol on my wrist and yes, this picture is from Instagram. i just jumped on that train this week! anyway, i wish i could fully articulate just how much these characters and this series has meant to me for the past 12 years. the excitement they have brought me is beyond measurable. i didn’t initially get into Harry Potter; i thought it was for children and at the ripe age of 12, after 4 of the books had already been released, i kept putting up a fight. but, finally, good friends, who knew my tastes, wore me down and i started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. i was transported into a magical world and sat with Harry, side by side, as he discovered he was a wizard, boarded the Hogwarts Express for the first time, came face to face with the cruelty of wizards in the form of Draco Malfoy, and slowly began to learn of the evils of Voldemort that had infected his past and altered his future. i have grown close to these characters; they have become my friends. now, with all 7 books out and the movie series coming to a close, i am experiencing a deep sadness at the loss of these characters. i know i can watch the movies/read the books whenever i feel like it, but i will never again experience the excitement of waiting for a new book to come out or buy tickets months in advance and wait, impatiently, for the day when the movie arrives. well, it’s here, and i am going to the midnight showing, just as i have done for every movie starting with the Goblet of Fire (i was too young to go by myself at midnght for the other three haha). i’m going to cry like a baby tonight and probably be somewhat depressed tomorrow and i’m ready for the haters; i’m ready to sit through people making fun of me, people who don’t understand the magic that is Harry Potter, i’m ready for it. i don’t care what you think of me.
now, onward to more Heavy Hipster related items of interest! i remembered i needed to take my measurements and reevaluate my goals for August. it’s already halfway through July, so i am going to stay the course i am on right now and pick up some goals for August. here were my June goals:
  • SURVIVE BONNAROO. (i survived and survived it well. i kicked Bonnaroo’s ASS.)
  • lose 4-7 pounds by June 31st– (Not so much… )
  • only weigh myself twice this month– once after Bonnaroo; once at the end of the month. (i’ve been weighing myself more than i should.)
  • finish C25k and begin bridge to 10k in preparation for the 5k in July. (i may not have finished, but i’m back running again!)
  • swim laps in the outdoor pool at least twice a week (it’s a lot harder to find time than i thought.)
  • be kinder to myself and my mistakes (slowly but surely, i am learning to be nice to myself.)
  • 8 glasses of water a day (water is my friend!)
  • accept my new age of 24 when the day comes (June 19th!) (i probably accepted it a little too easy. i got too drunk.)
  • read at least 10 books (i’ve already got 2.5 down!) — (i made it through The Kite Runner, The Road, The Reader, and Eat, Pray, Love. this month, i read Of Mice and Men, started Everything is Illuminted, and re-read The Deathly Hallows).
  • continue to keep parking farther away from the doors at grocery stores/the gym/etc. (i’m actually really good at this!)
  • walk to work (i know it’s hot) at least once a week. — (nope. it’s hot. i’m lazy.)
  • finally, keep a food journal and write down why i crave a food, what triggered the food craving, and find an alternative to that craving that is both satisfying and healthy. healthy habits are formed in these small choices! — (no food journal yet, but it’s one of my ultimate goals.)
so, as you can see, i did not do as well as i would have hoped as far as my goals go. but, i’m going to take some time, think of good goals for August, and post those here once i find the right goals. i want them to be attainable, yet challenging, to keep me on my toes. i feel like i’m skimming through my missed goals, but honestly, i’m so full of energy and motivation right now it’s hard for me to look at my failures and really contemplate them– i just want to succeed.
last night, i made dinner for my parents. i made homemade refried beans, which were delicious. they started like this
beaaaaans
then i added onions, green pepper, and serrano peppers
seasonings are delicious

made some homemade guacamole

tasty guac

shrimp enchiladas with homemade jalapeno cream sauce

yuuum
the enchiladas were filled with dry coleslaw, spinach, shrimp, and some reduced fat cheese. the cream sauce was made with fat free sour cream and vegan butter. it turned out so much better than i would have hoped for! the beans turned out really well, too!
beans in da crockpot
my parents seemed like they were pretty impressed
dad!!!
MOM!
final product.
in other news, i took my measurements today for the first time since June 14th. they are as follows:
June 14th, 2011 Weight: 235.4
  • Bust: 39.5
  • Chest: 38
  • Upper Waist: 36
  • Middle Waist: 43
  • Hips: 44.5
  • Thighs: 26.5
  • Calf: 17.5
July 14th, 2011 Weight: 235
  • Bust: 39.5
  • Chest: 37.5
  • Upper Waist: 36
  • Middle Waist: 43
  • Hips: 44
  • Thigh: 26
  • Calf: 17
  • Arm: 14
i’ve lost about 2 inches around my body in a month’s time, which i feel pretty proud of because of my slacking off i’ve been doing. i’ve also maintained in a few places, but again, i am not disappointed because i’ve been slacking off a whole lot throughout the month of June and into July. i know i can do better, but it’s nice to know that i know how to maintain my weight and inches. i believe it shows i am truly learning. this kind of progress, no matter how small, keeps me motivated and i know i’ll eventually get to where i want to be! i just have to keep going and i cannot let myself backtrack or backslide too much. forward movement is the most important. we cannot achieve any goals if we remain static.
i have one more item to discuss and that is my sister
seeesters
my sister is a bad ass beyond epic proportions. she’s successful, has a beautiful daughter, and still finds time to crank out some serious fitness. she doesn’t take shit from anyone. plus, she’s fucking GORGEOUS, both inside and out. she ran the Warrior Dash a couple of months ago, endures 2 hour spin classes, wakes up very early in the morning to sweat, and has agreed to run the Iron Horse Half Marathon with me in October. this motivates me beyond any other sort of motivation– the idea of doing a race with one of my family members is something i’ve always wanted and Angela is helping this dream become a reality. she is a constant source of encouragement and because of her, i’m back running and and ready to seriously train for this race. it is going to be a long, grueling process, but i know she’ll be there with me every step of the way. i am capable of conquering this challenge and it makes it easier knowing i have family with me.
i’ve exhausted myself writing this entry. sometimes, i feel like i have too much to discuss and end up cramming a bunch of information into one blog entry. but, these issues and aspects of my life are very relevant and important to me. i have to consider every facet of my life in order to find the weak links and make them stronger. i am full of success; i just need to channel that into something positive and get moving! today, i ran 2 miles and it felt good. next time i run, i’m going to try for 2.25 miles and slowly start adding that distance on until i start serious training for the half in August. just knowing i am still capable of running distances makes me that much more confident in my ability. i hope everyone is having a great thursday– we’re so close to the weekend! stay healthy, y’all.