A Belated Blogiversary (and a Special Announcement)

Welp, it’s July, you guys! And you know what? Time has flown by and I just realized I never posted about my blogiversary.

It is hard to believe it’s been two years since I started training for races, running distances longer than 2 miles, etc. and of course, blogging! Reflecting on the past couple of years, I feel incredibly blessed to have come so far in such a short period of time, both in my blogging and running. I ran my first half marathon, then went on to run my first full marathon. Mostly, I have learned so much about myself (go figure).Me after I picked up my first race packet for the Houston Half Marathon!

Oh, and here is my super excited pace when I smashed my goal at the Hot Chocolate 15K earlier this year.

Through running, I have learned the value of hard work, commitment and perseverance. Pre-running, I was never able to stay committed to an exercise routine; not only have I gotten better at that, but I am also leaps and bounds better at understanding problems, and setting reasonable goals in order to solve them. Just this weekend, my husband and I proudly made the last payment on my student loans… We are now debt free! Of course, it has taken a lot of personal commitment from both of us to stay diligent together; I believe running has challenged me to be a better wife during tougher times, which has made times and accomplishments like these even sweeter. I could go on, but I will save the novel of words I could easily write for another time, because I have other exciting news to share this evening!

One of the highlights of this past year was running my first race in my new hometown of Austin, the Austin Half Marathon.

In light of my two year blogiversary, I have been aching to set a date for another race. While I don’t race THAT often, I do find that setting races gives me a solid goal to work towards. AND I really wanted to see what a difference nearly two years would make in my marathon time. I am excited to say that I’ve had the opportunity to sign up for not one, but two races on my list through BibRave.

The Nutrabolt Oktoberfest Half Marathon on October 16, 2016

AND

The BCS Marathon on December 11, 2016!

I am both excited and nervous at the same time, because I want to train hard and continue to set better records for myself. But I am mostly excited, because Aggieland holds such a special place in my heart (and the post-race party for the Oktoberfest Half will have special steins with 10 craft beers to choose from, so what’s not to like).

Right after I became a marathoner in Irving… Looking forward to doing that again!

Both of these races will take place in Bryan/College Station, Texas, which I am also super pumped about (’cause I’m an Aggie, duh)! Seriously though, Chris and I have been trying to find an excuse to take a weekend to go back, reminisce on our college days, and take part in all of the wonderful (and fairly inexpensive) things that there are to do in C-Stat. I plan to post info on things to do in BCS in a separate post from my normal reviews, so you can get a better idea of not only why the race is great, but why you should make a trip to College Station to run it.

Oh and then there are discount codes. If you already were planning a fall or winter half or full marathon, and this seems like it might be for you, you can use the code RAVE2016 (for the Nutrabolt Half Marathon it expires on 9/16 and for BCS Marathon, it expires 11/11). That makes the BCS Marathon $85 if you register before August 31, which is totally reasonable if you have been wanting to give it a go. If you think you might want to run either of these with me, feel free to ask any questions, or check out the race websites: nutrabolthalf.com and bcsmarathon.com.

What races are you looking forward to this fall?

Cheers to personal growth through physical fitness!

Eating Lighter on the Go with Luvo Frozen Meals

Disclosure: I received samples of Luvo frozen meals as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Being a busy young professional means working late and busy weeks are sometimes unavoidable. Being a runner means when weeks are busy, sometimes I have to go straight from work to the gym to get my workouts in. My weakness to avoid hangriness when life gets hectic is fast food (I’m looking at you, Chick Fil A). While that’s not a bad thing once in awhile, or in moderation, eating unhealthy can make me feel sluggish and foggy, which is not ideal when I need to function at a high level. Luckily, there are options available to keep at home, or in the freezer at work, when I need to fuel up quickly! I’m so glad I got the opportunity to try a variety of the Luvo frozen meals and flavors through being a Bib Rave Pro.

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Part of the Luvo philosophy is to “make it easy to make good choices by creating wholesome, nutritious meals that taste amazing,” which ties right into my desire to make healthier choices and avoid those dreaded hangry moments! Now that I have been able to try out a variety of Luvo flavors, I can truly say that I will be keeping a spare Luvo meal in the fridge at work for late nights. 

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One of the greatest aspects of Luvo’s frozen meals is the way they are prepared. For those of you that are concerned about the safety of microwaving food in plastic, you don’t have to worry about that with Luvo! You’ll microwave your meal for about 4-6 minutes (depending on the meal) in a brown, self-venting, microwave-safe bag. This method steams the meal in a way that is different from traditional TV dinners. You’ll let the bag sit for one minute after the the microwave stops, which helps lock in the flavors. Once the cooking process is completed (in under 10 minutes), you’ll “shimmy” the meal out onto a plate.

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The result is a fast and flavorful meal, and one that actually tastes fresh. It makes that late night at the office, lunch at your desk, or evening when you don’t feel like cooking, go much more smoothly. It means that I am less likely to cave in and eat fast food, run without being well-fueled, or drive home hangry.

The flavors I had the pleasure of trying were the Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, Tandoori-Inspired Spiced Chicken, Orange Mango Chicken, Chicken in BBQ Sauce and Chicken Chile Verde. They all tasted delicious, not like those bland, unhealthy chicken pot pies that got me through college (oops). My favorite was the Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, with the Tandoori-Inspired Spiced Chicken coming in at a close second.

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A few important ways that Luvo’s meals stand apart from other frozen options includes:

Low in sugar: the highest sugar in any meal I sampled was 16 grams, from the Orange Mango Chicken, which makes sense. The rest had less than 10 grams, and Luvo doesn’t use HFCS.

Low in calories: nothing I tried had more than 300 calories.

High in protein: each meal I tested had 12 – 25 grams of protein.

A daily serving of fruits and veggies in each meal: because I can’t be the only one who struggles to get these in.

Minimally processed/no artificial flavors and colors: it’s always nice to know your food isn’t swimming in chemicals.

luvoeatyeatsPrices range from around $3-$5… they are slightly pricier than other options out there; I think the price is worth it though, for peace of mind that you’re getting a healthy, fresh, flavorful meal. You can truly see and taste a difference in the ingredients. You can read more on the company and their values at www.luvoinc.com… and there are some coupons you can use to try them for yourself here: http://luvoinc.com/promotions/#iLc7P4qqii5c9c25.97

What healthy eating tips to do you have for eating right on a time crunch?

Cheers to delicious, nutritious frozen meals!

Training/Life Update: Free to Travel!

Man, oh man! The last 2 months have been SUCH a whirlwind. [I say this a lot, but] where has the time gone?! It’s currently April 10th, and I just finished the Cap 10K today. Once again, life has been crazy and I’ve been traveling a ton.

I honestly did not complete much formal training for the 10K. Really, I’ve only been running a couple times a week (at least 3 miles when I can get a short workout in and a 5-7 mile long run on the weekend). No real improvements to report, but I’m okay with that. The Cap 10K was my first ever 10K, so I was excited for the experience. It’s the largest 10K in Texas, with almost 20,000 participants. More on the race will come in an upcoming post.

Part of the reason for the absence of training updates/a consistent schedule is because I have been busy, busy busy, and traveling like crazy. So, instead of doing a training update, I’m going to spend time focusing on my travels over the past couple of months.

img_2732First, my trip to Waco and Magnolia Market! I took a day trip with some ladies I know through a mutual friend. If you’re not familiar with Magnolia Market, it’s the retail store owned by Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper. We arrived early on a Saturday, between 9 or 10, and were fortunate that the line was nonexistent. Inside was a shabby-chic decorator’s heaven. They even sell those custom signs you see on the show in practically every house they renovate. 

The market is all about the experience; I didn’t want to spend money on everything I saw, but I enjoyed the decorations and atmosphere (like this garden area – only Joanna could make salad look this pretty).

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After we had our fill (I bought a t-shirt and a cute milk glass vase), we grabbed brunch at Cafe Cappuccino, a local Waco spot down the way. I had the BEST sweet potato pancakes; highly recommend the place if you ever find yourself in Waco. Then, it was time to drive back to Austin. I can’t wait to come back to Waco when I have more time to explore, and a house of my own to decorate. Make sure you get to Magnolia Market early though – when we left, the line was wrapped around the block to the nearest stoplight.

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Then, in February, we went away for our anniversary to Cancun. I love all-inclusive, and this was no exception. It was the perfect temperature, the food was delicious, and the drinks were on point. One of my favorite parts of the week was our actual anniversary – we adventured into the water for a snorkeling excursion that was fantastic, and ended the day with a relaxing sunset massage.

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The only thing I would have changed was I wish we could have stayed a whole week, but I was so glad we got to go to begin with. That, and I was face down in the water so long for snorkeling that my backside got a bad sunburn (oops!). It was really nice to get away with no responsibilities. Just the beautiful white sand, crystal clear water, and of course, my wonderful husband.


Finally, my spring travels ended with a trade show in Chicago. I’d never been to Chicago and it was incredible. It reminds me a lot of New York City, but much cleaner and with friendlier people. I had a few hours off to explore one afternoon, so I got to walk from my hotel to The Bean/Cloud Gate. I looked like a total tourist, I’m sure, because I was taking pictures of the Magnificent Mile the whole time (see below). The architecture was just so cool – art deco details, classic sculptures, modern skyscrapers – there was a little bit of everything.

And then, there was the Giordano’s pizza. That was also fantastic. I’d sneak some back for every pre-race carbloading session if it were possible.

They even have a Garmin store – I’ve never seen one of those before!

Other than working and getting plugged into a church, that’s the majority of what I’ve been up to. I love to travel – it’s freeing to immerse yourself in another place – but I’m also glad to be home for awhile and continue settling in Austin.

Did you do any traveling this Spring? Where’d you go?

Cheers to exploring the world, through running and otherwise! 🙂

Exciting Times We Live in…

Hey y’all.

Fun updates ahead on what’s been going on with me lately – I have been working hard and have a couple of exciting opportunities to share (battling allergies/a cold this week, mind you, but still at it!).

  
First, I signed up for the Austin Half Marathon on February 14th, 2016! I am really looking forward to this race. There is an expo, and I have never been to one before. It will be the first time I have raced in Austin, and according to reviews on BibRave it’s a course with some nice scenery. It looks like the course is also a bit hilly, so that should be a fun challenge. Side note: I actually like hills because I feel like my knee doesn’t act up so much, due to the variation in muscle groups I’m using (sounds nerdy, but it’s true). We’ll see if I can squeeze out a PR, but I’m looking forward to it regardless.

  
Second, I was recently selected to join the 2016 BibRave Pro ambassador program, and I am kind of over the moon about that as well! As a BibRave Pro, I will have an awesome opportunity to try some new races and products, so I am super ecstatic about being able to share all of those experiences (with the training, racing and nifty products) with you. You should definitely check out BibRave.com… not every race is on there, but if you are trying to decide between two races, or you are on the fence about signing up for one, they have detailed, meaningful insight from other runners. Yelp and other review sites do not provide this information the same way, which is why I’ve been using BibRave as a resource for some time now. You also don’t have to have a blog to write race reviews on the site, so if you have done a couple of races and would like to share your feedback, that would be so helpful, especially as BibRave continues to grow and a variety of perspectives paints a balanced, accurate portrait of each race.

I have also been working on a gift guide and (wait for it) a GIVEAWAY! So, that’s what’s up… stay tuned for details within the next week or so.

Cheers to new opportunities in 2016! What are you looking forward to next year?

Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going

As I mentioned over a month ago, I was going to have some exciting updates. Little did I know how much those updates were going to rock my life.

We found out at the end of August that we had the opportunity to move to Austin, so we took it and ran with it.

Austin has a lot of great career opportunity, and my husband accepted a new job that he’s excited about. Combined with it being one of the best cities for runners, having a plethora of outdoor activities, constant live music, and delish food (!), making the move was a no-brainer.

Mid-September, we moved all of our stuff from our tiny Houston apartment to the 512/ATX. I’ve been tirelessly searching for a job, and barely able to fit in regular runs. It’s derailed my training a bit, but I’m proud to say I found a new job (yay paychecks!) and am refocusing now that we can plan ahead further than the next day. I’m currently staying with my parents in H-town to finish out a bit of work before I start my new job.

Living with your parents has its drawbacks, but it’s also been nice to spend time with them before the move, knowing this precious time is temporary.

After my last day on Friday, I have 3 weeks off before I start my new job… Woo hoo!

So, that’s the short recap of what’s been going on lately.

As for my training, I’m still planning to run my half marathon on October 25 (wow… I didn’t realize that was only 20 days away until just now).

Even though I wasn’t posting about it, I was pretty diligent with training until early September and finally starting to see results. When I found out we were moving, though, I had to job search in my spare time and lose sleep to find even more spare time to pack. I’ve been trying to put in as many runs in as I can in the weeks since.


Panic hasn’t overtaken me just yet, and I completed my 11 mile run tonight. On one hand, I feel good that I can miss as many runs as I have and still crank out 11 miles. However, they were slow, tough miles, and I think my speed goal is basically out the window at this point. Maybe I’ll surprise myself, but I’m not counting on it.

While I’m a fighter and don’t like to admit defeat, I’ve resolved that I will save my goal of 11 minute miles for the next race. I’m considering running the Austin half in February, which isn’t far off.

I can’t wait to share all of the posts I was working on before this interruption. Thanks for bearing with me and please keep the next couple of weeks in your thoughts and/or prayers as they are the last of my training.

Cheers to big changes and exploring a new city! It’s been real, Houston.

 

Meet Daisy, My Future Running Buddy!

Say “hello” to my big little furry friend! Chris and I recently adopted a dog, who we named Daisy Flores! If you have known me in real life for any length of time, you probably know how much I love dogs and how much I’ve wanted a pup of my own for basically forever, so this is a big freaking deal.


Long story short, Chris and I talked for a long time one random Thursday (about 2 weeks after the marathon) and finally decided we could get a dog. We searched for a week or so, which was both stressful, exciting and emotional, and found Daisy at the local Humane Society. She is perfect for our family in every way. She’ll be treated for heartworms over the course of the next 3 months and we are praying everything goes well/she is cured after treatment, so she can finally be my running buddy.

Daisy on her freedom ride:

A few fun facts about Daisy:
– She is an Aussie mix (we think).
– She has a lot of hair!
– She loves to snuggle with both furniture and humans and would let me rub her belly for hours if she could.
– She likes to give hugs – she’s not a jumper except when I come home from work, when she basically lightly jumps up on me and stays there as if giving me a hug.
– She is already crate and potty trained (thank God).
– She loves to chase squirrels.
– She doesn’t whine or bark; she just grunts, kind of like a pig, only cuter.
– She HATES baths and wet surfaces.
– She is the cutest dog ever to us because she is ours.

“What are you looking at?” Daisy after getting fixed.

My 55 lb. child dog being her snuggly self:

Searching for and adjusting to having a dog has been killer on my exercise and blog regimen, but I am finally getting back on track this week, now that we are in a new routine. Since the marathon, I’ve only run 4.5 miles total and worked out 3 times. I actually ran 2 of those miles last night (and boy, were they tough). These pictures basically sum up my life.

Pre-Daisy Rug:

 

Post-Daisy Rug (after vacuuming two days prior!):

I’m excited that we’ve adjusted to the new normal and am looking forward to sharing the other running/active-related posts I’ve been working on soon.

Cheers to puppies and the fun that comes with them!

Yes, running a marathon will change your life.

Around mile 17 of my marathon, the miles got hillier, seeming to drag on, and the spectators and energetic aid stations became more sparse, sapping me of my physical and mental energy. With nearly 10 miles left, I started to doubt myself.

Then, from the other side of the course, other runners began yelling to me, “you got this,” and “good job,” with a few thumbs up here and there. I thought it was strange at first, but soon realized how much their words were sinking in as truth. When I started running down the other side (around mile 18 or so), participants were still coming from where I just was. “If they are out there trying their best, running to the finish,” I thought,  “I can, too.” After all, they had even further to go than I did.

In that moment, I also made a decision to focus on encouraging them, which helped me shift my focus from my own personal struggle to something positive. The other miles flew by, to a point where I knew I could finish, even if I walked.

Then, another woman came up beside me and started walking and running with me. She told me her story – she had negative influences in her life and ran to overcome them, to do something positive for her health – which inspired me. We chatted and alternated running and walking the rest of the race. And then we crossed the finish line together!

It was nothing short of inspiring. The runners on the course didn’t have much of an audience, so we all had to step in and encourage each other. This wasn’t about who was running the race more quickly; it was about finishing and pushing each other to accomplish something we could all be proud of.

A little over a week later, that’s what has affected me most about the race.

A lot of this experience has been about pushing myself and my limits. I knew the hours I put in had to be done, but they pushed me in more ways than I thought. While I haven’t been alone by any means (I seriously have the most supportive husband, family and friends), many times the process still felt lonely; I had be my own encouragement and push myself during the hours of workouts, without much outside support. As an individual, training for the marathon was one of the most challenging experiences of my life.

What was life-changing about running the marathon was seeing the encouragement within the running community on the day of the race and realizing just how much I needed it to keep going. It helped me be at peace and gave me a deeper sense of accomplishment.

I was fortunate to share the joy of my accomplishment with so many of my personal friends, but I couldn’t believe the outpouring of support from complete strangers. Maybe everyone just had a “runner’s high,” but I prefer to think it was because we all needed each other.

Most importantly, it has been a great reminder of how simply being kind to others can make a greater impact than you realize.

I hope that everyone gets to experience this feeling. For me, it’s reason enough to run a race.

Thank you again to everyone who has supported me through this process – from my family and close friends who have listened to me talk about running, of all things (because that’s what was on my mind a lot), to all of you who have offered kind words, advice and support. I cherish the marathon as a personal accomplishment and feel fortunate to share in the joy of finishing with so many people. I’m enjoying the break from training for now, but am looking forward even more to what’s to come and hope to continue getting to know you all better as well!

March Training Update – Rest and Relaxation

March Update Cropped

March started with a big accomplishment and entailed a whole lot of relaxation. It was much needed.

Week 14: 5 mi. | 10 mi. 7.5 mi. | 5 mi. | 20 mi.
I am not sure what happened on my log but it said I cut one run short this week. I think my GPS might have been acting up. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised with how the 20 miler turned out. I took the advice of the guy who fitted my new shoes and took a walk break every 5-7 minutes. The first 15 miles went pretty slow, but I finished the last 4.5 in 51-ish minutes, which brought my average pace down to 12’21″… To be honest, it was getting dark, and I have my irrational fear of getting mugged at the park to thank for pushing myself, pace wise. Overall, I felt accomplished – like I could run 6 more miles (Chris quoted me saying that tonight) – so I’m planning to use a similar race day strategy.

Week 15: 5 mi. | 8 mi. | 4 mi. | 12 mi.
My left knee was sore after my 20-miler (but not during… so weird), so I cross trained in place of my 5 and 8 mile runs. When it was no longer bothering me, I was able to complete the last 2 runs of the week… 12 miles actually felt pretty great.

Vacation week: 3 mi.
My knee was still bugging me a lot this week, so I just did one pain-free 3 miler, when it stopped bothering me and rested as much as possible. I think part of it was sitting on the plane for so long – that’s when I felt the most tension.

Week 16: 4 mi. | 6 mi. | 3 mi. | 8 mi.
The big news of the week is that it’s already getting hot here. I completed all my runs this week, but am so jealous of all the people north of us (i.e. basically everyone in the USA), who have the perfect weather right now. I would so much rather run in the cold than in the hot weather.

Week 17: 3 mi. | 4 mi. | 2 mi. | 26.2 mi. – RACE DAY
The race day part and my last 2 mile run have yet to be completed, but I’m hoping they will both go well. I’ve been experiencing some tightness in one of my calves, which has been strange. And, even though it’s not painful, my knee still doesn’t feel quite right, which is making me super nervous. I’m trying to think positive, but I’m also kind of scared I will be dying by mile 20; usually I don’t feel much (if any) pain until after I’ve completed a run, but I have no idea what to expect!

As far as life updates go, those of you who follow me on Instagram (@freetorunblog) probably noticed we got to go visit Puerto Rico! My husband’s mom is from there and one of his cousins was getting married, so we went for the wedding and spent a few days at the beach afterward to celebrate our anniversary. I wish we could have stayed a few more; it was beautiful!

Here are some of the photos I took on our trip: 

The food was amazing, especially the bread. I was in carbo-heaven (only I didn’t run much so I gained 1 or 2 pounds… Oops!). This was breakfast one morning – an egg, ham and cheese sandwich with powdered sugar on top. Yum!

While other drive thru’s are called “servi-carro,” Mickey D’s calls theirs the “automac.” I am easily amused and found this entertaining.

The view from our room at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar.

The view from the beach. Take me back!

One cool thing about Puerto Rico is that you can visit the mountains, rainforest and beach. If you look at the treeline in this photo, you can see the mountains not too far off.

The coolest treadmill ever!

Y’all know by now, I love flower pictures. These were the pretty, tropical flowers hanging out around the resort.

And, last but not least, one of the iguanas roaming the property. He posed for us and everything. 😉

One final thought – it was pretty cool to reflect on the past year and how much I’ve changed. I realized I was never the type of person to WANT to run on vacation or stay active, but now I am! I found it so rejuvenating and relaxing. Running has become a form of exercise that I enjoy and it relaxes me; I am officially one of those “crazy running people” and am proud to have come so far on this journey. It’s wonderful to find joy in exercising and I am so grateful to get to run as much as I do.

Did you have a moment when you realized you loved running (or another form of exercise)?

Looking forward to getting this marathon DONE on Saturday. Thanks for sticking with my updates and for all of the encouragement. Cheers!

February Training Update – Highs and Lows

February Marathon Training Update  Free To Run Blog

February? Yes, February. 😉 I know I am slightly delayed but there were so many things that happened in February (and March) that I wanted to make a point to share these with you all. So, here we go.

To sum February up in one word, I choose the word “dynamic.” February was full of highs and lows, and I feel like I grew a lot as a runner and a person.

In the interest of disclosure, I should note that this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link.

 

 

Week 10: 3 mi. | 8 mi. | 4 mi. | 16 mi.
Completed a hilly run in Austin and felt pretty good after. Overall, I felt pretty confident ant it was a good week.

Week 11: 4 mi. | 8 mi. | 5 mi. | 12 mi. 11 mi.
This week was where I started having some injury/fueling issues. Everything started out great. As I mentioned previously, I had some really bad cramps in  from my left knee all the way up to my rear end… and they wouldn’t go away. I figured this was a result of poor fueling technique. Since this incident, I’ve been working on taking fuel earlier in my runs and this seems to have helped me avoid similar situations.

Week 12: 4 mi. | 9 mi. | 5 mi. | 18 mi. 16 mi.
My toe started bugging me a lot, and then it all kinda went downhill. With the issues I was having with my left leg, and now my toe, I decided to skip the 9 miler. Then, when I ran my long run on Saturday, everything came to a head. I felt pretty good the first 12 of 18 planned miles and even knocked the whole first half out on the treadmill (when it is thundering out, I often take runs indoors and alternate between the track and the treadmill to keep myself mentally stimulated). The last 4 miles (12 to 16) were dreadful. My knee started to hurt and a tendon on the back of my right leg, near my knee, was killing me. I was taking walk breaks and limping. I finally threw in the towel – I couldn’t even walk and it was not worth it to me to injure myself!

I’ve cut runs short to avoid pain, but never had a pain that made me feel nearly incapacitated. Limping downstairs, I made it to the ladies’ room just in time to call my husband – and start bawling. I was hysterical. I had nothing left. I literally couldn’t run anymore and I didn’t know what to do. It sounds childish now, but that was the state I was in; I felt as if this goal that was so close to becoming a reality was imploding on itself, like my body was rejecting my ambition.

He almost had to come pick me up because I didn’t want to walk out to my car, but I eventually pulled myself together and limped out to my vehicle. I explained it all to him when I had calmed down at home (I was so hysterical and we decided I should take a couple days off to see if I felt like I needed to see the doctor. He was very supportive and I would not still be training if he hadn’t just listened and help me calm back down that day.

The next day was our first anniversary and it was a wonderful day. See what I mean about ups and downs?

Week 135 mi. | 9 mi. | 5 mi. 2.5 mi. | 14 mi.
After taking some days off and trying to run, but still having issues, it dawned on me to try new shoes, since mine had 350+ miles. After visiting Luke’s Locker and walking out with a new pair of Brooks Ghost 7’s, I ran 14 pain-free miles (and I’ve been relatively pain-free ever since). All that time, my shoes were worn out. ALL THAT TIME. I should have had a V8.

Have you ever had something like this happen in running – something that was so obvious, you should have known immediately what the issue was?

The rest of the month, in photos: 

Spring flowers are my favorite and were enjoyed all month long.

I bought my first tube of Body Glide.

My new shoes, which I am IN LOVE with.

The rodeo came through town during one of my runs, seriously. #Texas, y’all.

… and I got to see a pretty sweet sunset on another run.

Chris and I had some great date nights and a blissful month of celebrating a year of marriage…

… and we enjoyed some great carbo-loading brunches. Yum.

It’s officially the week of my marathon. Excited to get my last update post up and some other fun stuff this week before it happens! Stay tuned. 🙂

Cheers!

 

29 Days…

Until April 4.

Well, technically 30 if you count today, which is basically done.

Honestly I am so happy I could cry!

As many of you know, I have been fighting off burnout lately. Training has been intense for me, and I’ve been dealing with some random little injuries. All of this culminated in a feeling of not making much progress and runner’s high amnesia. To those of you who are new to running, runner’s high really is a thing. It is equal parts wonderful and necessary.

Then I got new shoes last weekend and have been running pretty much pain-free. Then tonight happened.

I just ran 5 miles in under 54 minutes and I could happy-cry.

I feel so accomplished. I have never run 5 miles in this short amount of time. This truly came at a time when I needed it most. I was really worried about my 20-mile run this weekend, and now I can go into it with confidence that I can achieve it.

Friends, this is what it’s all about. Accomplishing something at your most vulnerable point delivers strength and builds courage.

And now I’m tearing up. I really needed this. I wish I could bottle this feeling for the tough runs, like a little bit of Felix Felicis (for all you fellow Harry Potter fans) for good luck.

Cataloging this moment will have to suffice.

Now to watch House of Cards and celebrate. And be grateful for my new shoes, and thank God for this blessing of a day.