A Club No One Wants to Belong To

The following post is a bit raw. I needed an outlet for my thoughts and what was going on inside me at the time. It is probably one of the most personal posts this blog has had in a very long while. I wrote it a couple of weeks ago and it has sat, unfinished, because I couldn't bear the thought of reading through it or going through the emotions again. I still cannot read through it without having tears roll down my face. Perhaps the loss will always be there...

Loss

For a little while, we were a family of 5. We have been wanting to make our little family bigger for a long time. On November 7th, we found out that our dream was finally becoming a reality. I was so excited to become a mommy for the third time. Full of joy, I stepped outside of the bathroom to show my hubby my test results. He was so busy with some car issues that we were having that his first words were "all-wheel-drive" as he was finishing his previous thought out loud. I laughed and I jokingly punched him on his arm. He got up and hugged and held me for a little while. We were both so very excited. I was full of dreams already, full of happy thoughts in my head of what the following years will bring. 

Pregnancy Test

Everything was going great, I was feeling cranky, just like with my two previous pregnancies and I was having some of the other common pregnancy signs-nausea and some cravings, however, along with this, I was also feeling dizzy, a lot. Each time I exerted myself, even minimally, like on a regular slow run, I would feel dizzy. If I picked up anything heavy, I felt dizzy. Driving to work, I would feel dizzy. I figured that it was because I was older and my body was not my 20-year-old body as with my fist two pregnancies. 

On November 28th, I started spotting. It was a drop or two so I wasn't very concerned. I went to bed thinking that maybe it was normal. Having never had spotting during my first two pregnancies, I didn't know what was happening. Next morning, I woke up and there was more spotting, heavy, deep red spotting. Right away I was panicking. I knew something was wrong. In my heart, I knew that I was losing my baby. My world came crashing down around me. The question in my mind was, why? I consider myself to be quite healthy, exercise regularly, eat clean foods, never drink or smoke, yet, here I was faced with losing my baby for some unknown reason. As we traveled from visiting my uncle, I was contemplating the issue at hand. What was ahead of me? Could it really be possible to bleed as much as I was bleeding and still be able to keep my baby?

Monday morning, I called the hospital to get with my doctor. The only available appointment was at 4 pm. I spent the next 3 hours at their offices. First, the doctor gave me a routine check-up, asked me questions about my previous pregnancies (how many, how many children). He reassured me that some pregnancies do experience some bleeding during the first trimester, not to worry. I was taken to the ultrasound room next. The regular ultrasound didn't work as it was still too early to detect on an external ultrasound. He was finally able to locate the baby with an internal ultrasound. My little peanut was there, I could see it, however, although I was at 8 weeks, he didn't have a heartbeat. The doctor measured it and said he measured at 6.5 weeks, and that sometimes at that "age" the heartbeat was undetectable. I was told to go home and come back in 2 weeks and he would check for a heartbeat. Doctor said that there was still a chance that my little one was okay. Sometimes conception dates are off and maybe my baby was too small. I requested to have blood samples taken to measure my HCG levels. The doctor agreed, he said that if that would make me feel more at ease that I could do that. Samples needed to be taken within 48 hours of each other to be accurate and the HCG levels should go up. 

As I sat in the parking lot, I cried. I knew what was happening. I knew it with all my being and there was nothing I could do about it to stop it. I knew that if I was having a miscarriage that it was going to happen no matter if I stood on my head for the next 7 months. I drove home and I tried to compose myself before walking in and spreading my "joy" around the entire household. I think the hardest part of my experience has been holding my shit together in front of the world. As you go through this, life doesn't stop. There is still work, kids must go to school, the world keeps going around and around and with it, you must keep going. 

I had my second HCG sample taken on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I didn't find out the results from both samples until Friday. My numbers had gone down, it went from the 1300s to 800s. As I heard the assistant tell me this over the phone, a feeling of numbness took over me. I was talking to her, but I was not "there". I couldn't believe it. I was preparing myself for this for the past week and I knew it was coming, however facing the reality was a completely different. She told me something about some medicine and that I should come in next week, Wednesday. I hung up the phone, and, with it, all hopes of my baby. The agony and emotional pain that I was feeling were like nothing I have ever felt before. I felt dead inside. My body was not "good enough" to hold on to my baby.  That entire day, I cried on and off continuously. I cried for the loss of my baby. I cried for the missed dreams. I cried for something that I had imagined in my future. I mourned what I lost, what it seemed that it was only real to me. I felt so alone (although I was not), I felt that I was alone in this world.  I remember feeling that I was inside the deepest, darkest hole on earth. No light was coming in and no sound, only my crying and deep sorrow was around me. 

As one of my close friends shared with me yesterday, I had become part of a club that no one else wants to join. 1 in ever 5 women go through a miscarriage, yet, it is a story that not many of us want to share. How can we? How can we share a story that brings so much sorrow, a story of hopes that never came to pass. 

I love you baby Eowyn. You will always be in my heart. 

Ultrasound

I know that as time passes, I will heal, and as an LDS person, I know all about the after-life, however, none of that makes sense nor makes me feel better right now. 


St. George Marathon--you get what you put in!

Medal

You most likely have heard the saying "you cannot expect to get results when you don't put in the work" well, that is exactly what this racing season has been. Working full-time, mom,  and part-time knitter have its tolls. One is unable to train 60 hour weeks. My training was lacking this season, the fact that I finished in under 4 hours with training weeks of 15 miles is nothing but a miracle. It is also no surprise that I ended up with an injury due to a)lack of training b)old shoes. Despite my lack of training, I was ready to give it my all-like always! I have been told by my ortho that I make the PERFECT runner from my neck up! I have the mental stamina of a Kenyan, but the body of a walrus sliding along the wet sand (if you look at the pictures and then compare it to the picture on the right (my top running shape), I have definitely gained a good 20lbs, sigh). 

Our friend, Christopher, from California, traveled here to run the most popular Utah marathon, St. George! I started the day off quite well until I realized while I was inside the bus that I had forgotten my Garmin! Gah! I wanted to die! I jumped out of the bus and Sam came to my rescue and brought me my Garmin--I am quite attached to it when I run, but, at least, it wasn't my music. Anyways, I had to leave poor Christopher in the bus all by himself while I went to get my Garmin. But thankfully, we found each other at the top by the porta-potties. 

Christopher and I

Although everything started okay, around mile 2 my left foot, around the arch started aching. I thought it was just a minor ache, so I ignored it. By mile 4, it was hurting something fierce so I popped 400 mg of ibuprofen and continued on. I knew the hills were coming and I knew full well that I would be walking up them so I prepared myself mentally for the massacre. The hills went as I had imagined, slow and painful. My foot kept on aching and it wasn't stopping or lessening. The day was warming up, but at least, it was cooler than Huntsville was a week ago. 

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Around mile 18, I could barely put any weight on my left foot without it sending shooting pains up my calf and leg. I don't know what was wrong. I knew it wasn't fractured (ha, I am no doctor! For all I knew, it could have been!). I decided to pop the other 400 mg of ibuprofen and continue on. I wasn't going to stop now, I was only 8 miles away from finishing. So, being the very smart runner that I am, I continued on. The dose of ibuprofen helped lessen the pain enough for me to put some weight on my foot, I was happily limping along. I knew that once I got past mile 22 that it would be downhill from there and then I could let gravity carry me down. 

The crowds from mile 23 to the end carried me forward. I truly would not have been able to do it without them. Could I have finished without them-yes! Would I have run without them there-no! They don't come to cheer me walk, so I "ran", I ran with all my heart and smiled as much as I could to them and thanked them for coming out. Near the end, I found one of my close running friends, Adrian. He was struggling with some cramps. I stopped and gave him a quick massage on his calves to see if that would help relieve the cramps. We stayed together for a little bit, holding on to each other and running along, picking up ice and popsicles. We couldn't stick together as he was getting more cramps, so I continued on while he handled the cramps. 

Running

Finishing a marathon is never easy. Well, perhaps if you are super fast and speedy, but I think by that point, no matter your speed/pace, you are tired and want to finish. I was definitely ready to finish. I kept looking for the telltale sign that the end was near--my family. I finally spotted, over by the sidewalk jumping and screaming "mom". I saw my daughter starting to run to keep up with me, which was fairly easy at this point, then my son and my husband. How dear they are to me! I so very much love their support in my craziness. I gave it all I had left, every single ounce of strength and every step brought pain on my left foot. Triumphantly, I finished! I crossed before the 4-hour mark. How did that happen? Miracle! I don't know how I managed to make it to the finish with  6 seconds to spare, but I did it. 

St. George Certificate

My foot: well, it turns out that I had almost a tear in one of my foot tendons. After the race, when I took my shoe off, the entire area on the instep of my foot was completely purple and blue. By next day, the bruise had spread to the entire arch and instep.  Yeah. It didn't tear completely but it was bad enough that I was not allowed to run for 8 weeks on it. I was even threatened by the doctor to put a cast on if I was not careful. I met with him/reported to him every 2 weeks for the 8 weeks. 


20th Marathon: Huntsville Marathon 2015

Writing this while it is still fresh in my mind....it is a little raw. 

First: a thank you to my friend Brett. At the beginning of the week,  my running friend Brett offered his bib to a willing runner, I right away raised my hand and was lucky enough to receive it. Thank you Brett!

This was my 20th marathon. I had different expectations for my 20th, but instead, I received probably the very best experience I could ever hope for my 20th. 

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What a beautiful course! Perfect time of the year to see the leaves changing color. I was very excited to try out this new, to me, course. I have only heard great things about the race and I wanted to give it a try. The volunteers were awesome and each aid station was well stocked, and every volunteer expressed their concern about the heat and being hydrated. Thank you race event managers for such an awesome event! 

The race has a unique start time of 9:00am, I didn't realize this until a couple of days ago. The late start allows one to sleep in, totally thumbs up on sleeping in, however, it does mean that temperature may be a little higher than usual. This time of year, Utah typically has lower temps, but that was not the case today. 

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The race started and just a few miles in, I knew I was in trouble. It was hot! By 6 miles, it felt like I was cooking inside an oven. Training in the early dawn got me used to running at cooler temps, now I see the value of training at 5pm. At mile 10, I started looking at it as a crossfit chipper. The course had aid stations every two miles, on the odd miles. So I started looking forward to the odd miles to get a drink and to cool off. At mile 14, I started slowing down, it was hot, way too hot and I couldn't cool off with the water, so I slowed down to keep my core temperature low. 

Around mile 17, I wanted to quit. All I wanted was to stay out of the heat. There was a little river running down the side and all I wanted was to jump in it and lay my body down in the water. I knew I couldn't keep my pace, I knew I couldn't achieve my desired time, so I had to choose: finish or DNF. I cannot quit, I don't have it in me to quit, not when I can still walk. So, I continued with a new mindset, finish. Finish the race is better than quitting. Walk, walk to keep the body temperature low and stop at every aid station and get water and gatorade. After mile 18, each mile became a chipper, one at a time, walk for about 1/4 of a mile, then make my way to the next mile, then repeat. 

At mile 20, I had to reach out to my hubby and to my friend Lizzy. I turned on my phone and started texting them, I needed encouragement. I needed a reason to keep going. Both of them gave me the words I needed to hear. I took a picture or my attempt at taking a picture with shaky hands at a mile marker. I don't know why I was so shaky, but I could barely type or hold my phone. 

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Did I mention that my ipod died at this point from throwing water on it? Ya, lucky me! 

I want to call mile 24 the miracle mile, I was hot, I had done a lot of walking at this point and I wanted to encourage those around me, but I couldn't even talk. Then, to my surprise, there was a little table around the bend and a lovely couple had set up an aid station with the red tall cups full of the coldest water I tasted all day. I grabbed two cups, and thanked them for their service. They literally saved me at this point. I drank and drank, then I poured the rest over me. Thank you. I wish I had gotten your names to thank you properly.  Around mile 24.75, a group of girls were handing things out, I couldn't make it out from a distance, I shuffled my way to them, and to my surprise, they were giving away popsicles, yummy, icy popsicles! Thank you to you too darling girls! 

Making my way to the finish was all but a struggle. I would walk and run and go back to walking because I just couldn't run. My body was shaking from head to foot, I was hot but yet, I was shaking. 

I passed the last aid station, around mile 25, then I crossed a street, my garmin said I was around mile 25.4 but the mile marker said I was at mile 25. A mile has never felt so long, as this one. I wanted to run it, but I couldn't. I walked a little, and then far away (about a block) I saw my little Nyahbelle running toward me. I knew then the end was near, but I couldn't see the Finish Line. 

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Nyahbelle reached me and she started running with me, then my son, Bryant joined me. I was in the middle, each one by my side. Each one encouraging me. We made the last turn to the Finish Line and I wanted to cry. It seemed so far away. I had to walk. I asked my children to slow down, I couldn't run. I gave myself a few steps, then we picked it up. My kids kept encouraging me and running, right beside me. They slowed their steps down to stay with me. My son, my little coach, kept telling me, over and over "mom, you've got this! "mom, you can do this". I wanted to cry and curl up on the side of the road, under a shady tree, but instead, we kept going. They carried me with their encouragement through the finish line. I got my medal and then I had to lift my foot for the volunteers to take the chip off my shoe, and I was about to fall, both of my children were right next to me, holding me up. Then, a volunteer came and offered me ice, and we found a chair for me to sit on. Having my children run through the Finish Line with me and helping me get there was probably the very best gift ever for my 20th marathon. 

They (my children and my hubby) have been with me during this entire journey...and they keep being my number one cheerleaders. Even when I ruin their weekend plans with my races. I love them dearly. 

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Running a marathon is not easy. It is not supposed to be. It is mean to test our limits, physically and mentally. Today, I was tested. I am pleased to say that I passed (barely).  Today's marathon was exactly what I needed for my 20th. I needed to realize and remember the complexities of a marathon. No, it was not perfect however it made me realize that I have the very best support group on my side. 

I am grateful for the support from my family and friends. For the love, example, and encouragement. 

Time: something around 4:13:xx


Hello world!

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This is us! We are small in stature, not the strongest of the bunch, nor the fastest but put us all four together and we can achieve great things! I love these three...they are my life and there is nothing in this world that I wouldn't do for them. Each one of them has qualities that I admire. I am glad that they are all MINE. 


Nebo Half Marathon


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Getting back into the swing of things it is not always easy. I have been diligently training since about March. By diligently, I am referring to waking up at 5:55am Mon/Wed/Fri and running 4-6 miles, and then throwing a longish run in there on Saturdays. However, I have slacked off on speed-work and hill-work. Lacking these two components in my training is showing its ugly head.

Obviously, my lack of training has been showing and racing days have not been the same as before. Truth is that I am lacking the "umph" to run when it hurts. I am racing, but when it starts being painful as in painfully hard, I back off. I don't want to hurt. I don't want to push myself pass the pain. Something happen between the knee surgery and the time I took off from running. I would like to say that I got "smarter" but I don't think that is it. I lost my racing mojo...hopefully I'll get it back. 

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On September 5th, my hubby, my good friend Liz, and I decided to go down to Payson, UT and run the Nebo half marathon. We got down there the night before...with only minutes to spare before packet pick up closed. Thankfully,  our good friend Jorge stopped by packet pick up, in case we couldn't make it to pick up our packets! He is awesome like that! By the time we got there, about 7:55pm, he had our packets ready for us! Yay!

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Race morning came early, up by 3:45am. Ya! We are so crazy! The worst part--we pay for this! 

The course was spectacular, beautiful views for about 11 miles of the course. First 8 miles steep downhill, then the course continues downhill but at a lesser degree.  I flew through the first 8 miles, then I hit a wall, my nutrition wasn't kicking in and having been sick for 3 weeks straight beforehand came down hard on me. I try to keep the pace going, but I just couldn't must the energy. By the time mile 11 came, I just wanted to be done. I walked through the aid station, and grabbed gatorade and water, hoping that it would give me the energy to finish. I didn't want to hit any 9 minute miles during this half, so I kept going. I took a mental note of all my aches and realized that it wasn't that I was in pain, my legs were fine, my arms were fine, my lungs felt okay, my gut was hungry but nothing unusual. So, what was going on? I didn't have it in me. Simply put-I didn't want to push myself.

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Crossing that finish line, I was grateful for finishing yet I was disgusted in myself for not pushing harder, for giving up. Mentally, I lost it around mile 10. But there is always another race, another day. 

Nebo Half 2015


TOU Half Marathon

TOU HALF 2015

My hometown half marathon! One of my favorite races of the year as I get to see a bunch of my running buddies from all over town. 

A few of us from our morning group took part on the event.

Like always, the TOU 1/2 didn't disappoint. Great course, excellent aid stations, and despite the nasty air from the fires around the neighboring states, it was a beautiful sunny day. 

Race wise: I knew it wasn't going to be my fastest. I was sick for two week straight prior to race day. I had severe sinus and ear infections so I knew that I was going to be out there still a bit under the weather. However, I was there to have fun and I did have fun. Even when it got hard, around mile 11, I was still enjoying myself. 

At the end, my friend Adrian met me and he helped me on the last 200 meters. I push hard on that last bit and I crossed the line spent. 

TOU Half crossing line 2015

After I finished, I waited to see my running friends come in. Each one of them gave their all as they were running through the finishing chute. Awesome gals, so grateful to run with them in the mornings. 

TOU HALF with Paige 2015

I even got to snap a picture with my sweet friend Paige. We used to work together, she was my advising mentor. I sure miss her at the office. 

TOU 1/2 2015, another great race day!

TOU Half2015

 


Dreams of 2015

3-30 Marathon

It is as if starting from scratch. I have put on about 15-20 lbs since my knee surgery, though I am still fairly active, running has taken the backseat to it all. Truth is: it is hard. It hurts my knee and because of the pain, I am a lot slower. What used to bring me joy now brings me pain so I avoid it. However, I know that if I train and take it slow, I can be back to where I was two years ago. My dream is to one day finish a marathon in 3:25, but right now 3:30 is more feasible. I was only a few seconds away from a 3:30 and maybe if I train really hard, I can be back around the 3:30s again. 

I know how to get to that point, the problem is that I have lost my mojo-I have lost the desire to run that fast, or to even run marathons. The idea of running for 26.2 miles although fascinating to my personality type, my body just doesn't want to put in the long hours for the long runs. There are so many other things that I much rather be doing that running for 3+ hours on a Saturday. In addition, waking up in the early mornings on Saturdays surely do not appeal to me. 

So with this DREAM: come a few obstacles that I must overcome: 1. My lazyness! I must learn to wake up early again and put in the time necessary. 2. Start off with a base and get back on a training schedule for running. 3. Forget about my "faster" times and learn to be content with what my knee can do. 

 How will I get to achieve my dream:

Base: I am going to run a minimum of 10 miles a week for 3 months, then I will build up. 

Train: I will find a way to train. I'll eventually learn but for now, I'll take my ipod as my partner, unless my hubby or my trusty coach is available. I have always trained solo for my previous 16 marathons, I know I can do it, it is just about getting it done. 

Waking up early: There is no option. I must learn to do it. I have til March to sleep in, then I must put in the early mornings on the weekends. 


Canyon City Marathon-Running on Clouds

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What a gorgeous, scenic marathon! Definitely, this marathon takes the number 1 spot in my list for beautiful marathons. 

Have you ever ran on clouds? If you have ever had the experience to run at high elevation and surrounded by mountains, you probably have seen what I experienced this last Saturday. As we descended down the canyon in Azusa, California, the paths were clean, the mountains looked pristine, and then as your eyes looked down the mountain, you could see all the fluffy gray and white clouds. It was a run of dreams! I have never had a chance to go to Peru, but I have seen some of the beautiful pictures of mountains and clouds leaving the top of the mountains exposed, as I was running down the mountain, I was thinking that probably that is what Peru looks like. I loved every moment running down that canyon. If I had had a camera, I would have taken a gazillion pictures. 

Running

Running wise--I did AMAZING considering that I did not train for the marathon distance. I actually came into the marathon with 2 training runs, both of them 5 milers. However, I have been attending crossfit religiously and teaching my Zumba class. I finished in 3:46:26, not too shabby for not having trained. However, I did feel my lack of training up every hill. I typically do not walk up the hills when I train, but the lack of training meant walking every single hill. 

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25 things that went through my head during the race and after: 

1.  After getting off the bus--It is so pretty up here. 

2. As everyone around was complaining of the cold--it is so warm compared to back home.

3. Getting ready to start--crap, I am going to run 26.2 miles. I really should have trained. 

4. The first bit of the race--they said it was downhill, this looks like uphill to me. 

5. Oh crap! It is downhill. Hold on knee!

6. Hey, I am running on clouds!

7. Wow, 13 miles done! I feel great!

8. 14 miles...I am tired. I should have signed up for the 1/2. I REALLY should have trained. 

9. I am hungry. Why don't they have real food on this aid stations--steak, steak sounds really good right now, or a taco. Yes, I could go for a taco!

10. All the hills are coming, I can get a break and walk soon.

11. Gosh, I am getting passed on all these hills. I should have trained more. 

12. This water bottle is getting heavy. I am throwing it out at mile 20. 

13. Mile 20 marker! I am almost done! 1 more hour of running and I will be done. 

14. Ok, if I run a 9 minute pace, I can be done in 54 minutes.

15. Passing the Azusa Crossfit--gosh, I wish I was lifting right now.

16. Mile 25 marker--I only have 10 minutes left, even if I walk a little. 

17. I can't walk on the last mile. I must keep running, even if it is at slow pace. 

18. Isela pick up the pace, this is not running, you are barely moving.

19. This mile is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R!

20. I did it! I finished! I finished and I didn't cry and I didn't vomit and I did it! 

21. I wish they had chairs for us to sit on.  After sitting on the ground for a bit--how in hell am I going to get off the floor?

22. After finding my friend and finding a chair to sit on--I really want to cry now. My legs can't stop shaking, my entire body is in shock and is shaking. I think I am having hypothermia. Thankfully, my friend had already picked up his dropbag and gave me his sweater to wear. 

23. Where is my hubby? Oh, wait, there he is! He looks sore just like me. 

24. We can go to the hotel now...wait, we must walk like 2 miles to the car...shuffle along.

25. Hey, look! We did it! We ran a marathon today!

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Thank you Revel series marathon directors, volunteers, and everyone who took a part in this amazing event. Revel Series puts together some awesome events. They take care of the runners, before the race at the expo, and during the race with their outstanding aid stations, and then after the race with the extras--real food, plenty of food, cool washclothes, massages, shirts that actually fit and little printed cards with the chip times printed. And of course, cool looking medals that you want to display :). 


Knee Surgery

The knee surgery went fairly well. It seemed that I was awake one second then out!!! I don't even remember going back to my "room" after the surgery. I was so groggy and just not feeling well due to the anesthesia. 

They did screw up on my IV though. The nurse put the IV on my left arm and she had a hard time getting my vein, thin veins here :/. After a couple of tries, she got it.  However, the area where the needle was hurt really bad. I told the other nurse and she said that it was just due to the cold from the IV so they gave me a heat pad and put my arm up to ease the pain. The pain didn't go away but I just endured it. I figure it was probably just me, being a wimp. The anesthisiologist came to get and me and I walked to the surgery room. Once he told me to lay down, I looked down at my arm and the area where the needle was located was all puffy, about the size of a golf ball. I showed the anesthesiologist and he right away stopped the fluids and took the needle out. He asked me if the nurses had seen that, I told him they had checked but they said everything looked ok. He was not very happy. He then proceeded to poke me on my right arm for another spot, he couldn't find it. I could see he was getting frustrated as his job was to just to put me out, but instead now had to find a new spot for my IV. It took him two tries, on two different spots, thin veins are not very cooperative. 

Once he put the IV in the correct place, I couldn't even feel iKnee surgeryt. He then said I was going to start feeling relaxed, then he said "I am going to put this mask...." and then I saw the mask coming down and I was out like a light! It was amazing! Next thing I knew, I was in the recovery room with my hubby.

It seemed that I was in surgery and next thing I was getting dressed and getting ready to go home. I don't even remember getting out of the hospital. I remember being in the car and thinking that I wasn't feeling very good. I felt hot, I felt cold, my head was spinning. As soon as the car got in the garage, I opened the door and emptied everything that was in my tummy. 

Our bedroom is in the second floor of our house, somehow, I made it upstairs and in bed. I don't recall how I did it but I was I got in bed. I am thinking hubby hauled my butt up the stairs. I spent the entire afternoon in bed. I would like to say that it was all rest and glory, but it wasn't. I spent the afternoon emptying my tummy. I felt horrible. The meds they gave me made me feel as if I was outside of my body, I couldn't keep my thoughts straight and I couldn't remember anything. 

Things got better the second day, I was still feeling icky from the meds but the anesthesia was wearing off and I was in better spirits. I couldn't walk but I could at least watch tv for more than 2 minutes without falling asleep. Yes, I slept a lot. I slept about 14 hours a day and took a nap every hour when I was awake. 

I took my meds for 4 days and then I couldn't do it anymore. They were making me feel depressed and wonky happy at the same time. It was weird! It has been 4 days and I feel much better...can't move my knee much but I don't expect to for another 5 weeks. 

 


MRI and Xrays

Xrays

It appears that my knee is not getting better on its own. Doctor can't see much from the Xrays, other than I have good looking bones, hahaha. I was scheduled for an MRI, so into the noise box I went.

MRI

MRI results: I need to have knee surgery. My meniscus is torn and flipped on itself :(. Bummer! There goes my running season and here comes the poundage around my mid-section! 

Surgery is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 26th...wish I could see the positive in this situation. I guess, I can always just think that it is just my knee, it could be something worse, like my heart. 


Happy 12th Birthday!!!

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I cannot believe that my little boy is 12 years old. Time went by so very fast. I see him and my eyes deceive me. In my heart, I still have this little boy in my arms as a wee 6 lbs baby. I love him so dearly. He is truly a wonderful child. He is not a kid that stays sitting down, in fact, if he is sitting down, we have to make sure he is not sick. He is always active and looking for something to do. He is kind and loving, although outsiders may not see this as he likes to appear tough and uncaring, but if you show him love, he will love you back and will do almost anything for you. 

He wanted to go to HuHot for his birthday dinner and we were happy to go, we all love that place. His best friend, Dylan, came along. They have been best buds since we moved into the neighborhood. They love each other like brothers :). What a blessing it is to have a best friend to share your childhood with :). 

 

 

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He got some sweet presents: a special cake made by our friend Martin--a chocolate, nutella cake with little piglets swimming in the mud :). Grandma sent him new violin too. He is so lucky!

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We just had a very special day, hanging out and playing :). Happy 12th Birthday my awesome Boyito! 


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Best decisions of 2013, part 2

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Zumba with Isela

This next decision took me awhile to come to terms with, I am still trying to do better at it but it is hard. If you know me personally or you have followed my blog for the past 5 years, you probably know that I love being active. I love the feeling I get when I have sweat dripping and blood pumping through my veins and I can barely form a sentence from the exertion--in my head, there is NO BETTER FEELING. 

Due to my love for being active, I decided to start teaching fitness classes. I wanted to share my love of staying fit to others. I wanted to show them that it could be fun. So, I did the most natural thing to do. I became a fitness instructor! I love it, I adore being a fitness instructor. Helping others achieve their fitness goals, working out with them, and sharing in their triumphs has been one of the most rewarding parts of my adult life. 

However, I realized one day that I was putting too much time into this part of my life and not enough into my family. If I wasn't loom knitting, I was outside of the home teaching. At one point, I was teaching 14 fitness classes a week plus subbing other classes. It was 14 hours just teaching, not including travel time. I was gone a LOT!

Mid 2012, I started quitting a few classes. Then in the Fall of 2013, I made the huge jump and canceled all my evening and night classes. It was a hard decision.  I miss my students. I miss seeing their smiling faces and their friendships. I miss seeing their progress and being a part of their lives. 

I currently teach 5 classes, 3 in the morning when my kiddos are in school and two in the afternoon. I am slowly weaning myself off of them and hope to decrease that number down to 2 a week. My goal is to teach only when my children are at school so that I can have more time to be with them at home. 

Little steps...


Best decisions of 2013, part 1

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I am a dork of major proportions! I have a series of things to catch up on for 2013 so I am naming
them part I, part 2, part 3, etc. There were so many wonderful things that happend last year to our little family-many miracles and tender mercies. 

First, I would like to start my small series by sharing the best move that I did in 2013. I decided to decrease my involvement  in the loom knitting community. It was heart-wrenching at first as it was what "I did" for over a decade of my life, non-stop. 

However, pulling myself away from loom knitting freed so much time for me to spend time with my family. There were days when I would spend 5-6 hours answering questions on patterns and techniques that it was getting to be a full time job (without the income that comes with a full time job).

I took a step back mid 2013 and it was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I have more time to spend with my children. I have time to be with my husband and bond again with him. For 11 years of our married life, our life revolved around the loom knitting business. Whe he sold the company, it left me in it and I couldn't get out of it. At times, I felt trapped while my family looked down at me in my hole and they tried to reach down to get me out but I couldn't reach them. I just need to take the jump and reach for their hand. 

I am not completely gone from the industry but from what used to consume my 100% of the time, went down to about 10%.  I am a lot happier now than I have been in the past. My children and hubby are happier too...I think they enjoy having me around and talking to them rather than me being a part of the computer chair. 

What are some the decisions you took in 2013 that made your life better? 


Stolen moments

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Stolen moments. One of my favorite times in the day is when I get to do my little girl's hair. I don't know how long more she will have me do her hair. Each day, I see her, I see her growing up and becoming more independent. I see me being less and less needed in her life....hope she doesn't realize this for many more years. I love this child of mine.


Work it!

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I saw this picture today, and it was as if it was targeted to me.

It is so TRUE! Today, I didn't feel like working out, at all. I figured I had already ran 5 miles this morning, so I didn't want to go and WOD this afternoon. It meant another shower and having dinner later but as hubby was getting dressed. I couldn't help it. I dragged my sorry butt and got dressed and ready to go to the box. 

As we got to the box, I looked at the WOD and it didn't look so bad. I hate push ups, but that is because I SUCK at them, completely. Anyways, the WOD started so I did my best at it. 

800 m run

50 push ups

40 pull ups

30 sit ups

20 high pulls (35 lbs)

10 ring dips (with a band).

The thing is that as I started, I didn't feel good, I felt sluggish but then as the WOD continued, it got easier. Once we were done, I was feeling super!

The next class arrived and our friends started warming up and one of them jokingly asked if I was going to do it again with them, there were only 3 of them for the class, so I said sure, let's do it!  As I said yes, then my hubby and my friend decided to join too.

We not only did the WOD, we overachievers did it twice! I love it! Alone, I would not have done it at all. But then with my friend there, both of us goofing off and dancing to the music, my attitude completely changed and I felt so much better.  :)

Moral of the story: Work out...even if you don't feel like it :)

 


Paleo...week 4.

I am here on week 4 of this paleo journey. First week, it was kicking my butt energy wise. Now, I am ok with energy but I am starting to feel the anguish from not having sweets. Today, I wanted sweets so badly that I grabbed a handful of extra dark chocolate chips to satisfy my sweet tooth. I am craving Mexican sweet bread so badly...I imagine it with a big cup of Mexican hot chocolate (extra dark and rich and creamy!). If I survive this week without giving in to my sweet tooth , it will be a miracle!

Mexican bread

I am trying to find a suitable recipe for bread. Bread to make sandwiches and use as hamburger buns but I haven't had any luck. 

Yesterday, I ventured to make "paleo tortillas". What a disappointment! I have decided that there is no suitable substitute for a good old fashion, corn tortilla. 

I have also decided that if I had been a "cavewoman" that I would have figured out how to grind the corn and make tortillas. I mean, it doesn't take a genius to grind it between a flat rock and another rock and them mix it with water. Ha! But, apparently it is something about GMOs or whatever. I must research this further. 

As a runner, I decided that I must have some sort of long lasting carb in me so I have given myself the allowance to munch on some corn tortillas or rice the week prior to a race. Hopefully, it doesn't come to bite me in the a$$.  I am now also looking forward to race week even more! Sign me up for more races, hahaha. 

So far, I have seen great progress with the Paleo diet. I am not bloated. My lower abdomen doesn't look like I am 4 months along anymore (just 2, hahaha!). I measured myself around my waist and I have gone down 3/4 of an inch. I can also see more definition in my upper body--my traps look more defined as well as my arms.  Some other things that have happened since I went paleo: I finally got my handstand push ups and was able to crank out 55 in a WOD. The most impressive of it all, I was able to PR my Clean and Jerk by 10 lbs!!! Sitting now at 105, that is 90% of my body weight!  I am definitely thrilled by this gains :). 

Onto a side that I wasn't expecting nor was I ready to tackle. I have also found that it is very  hard to explain to someone why you are on a "diet" when you already  "look skinny". It is even harder to tell them that you cannot eat most of the stuff they offer you.  Sometimes, I think I sound more rude than anything turning down certain foods. How can you say "no" to a large family size Philly Cheesesteak pizza? Do they even know how hard it is to turn it down? It is even more heart breaking when they tell you "one piece of cake is not going to do anything to your body, you will burn it off before the day is over with all that you do"...how can you tell them that it is not about your body,  but, it is more than that, it is a sense of feeling "well", feeling accomplished, nourishing my body so that it works at its top condition. At the end, it is best to tell them a list of things that I can eat--meats, veggies, fruits, nothing processed and definitely no sugar. As they look at you with a face of disgust, you are left with a sad feeling in your heart and a seed of doubt is planted that perhaps this new journey is not the right one.....

Right now, I am looking forward to my next "free meal" where I can just indulge in something other than good carbs...perhaps a Conchita (Mexican bread) is in my near future. But for now, it is me hitting the box hard and running. 

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6 Years and Going Strong

Tomorrow is a special day, not only is it my birthday, but it also marks an important milestone in Happy30th my life. Six years ago, I took my driver's test and passed. With my drivers license, I received a sense of freedom that I had never experienced before while living in Utah. In New York, it was easy to get to places, public transporation is phenomenal there, but not the case in good old Cache Valley, Utah. But on my birthday, six years ago, I was schedulet to take my test and thankfully I didn't crash and was able to parallel park! I got my driver's license, and, with that came freedom! But this post is not about my driver's license. It is about what I decided to do starting that very same day.

I decided six years ago that I was going to join the gym and become healthy by exercising everyday. The very next morning, I was up by 5:30am to attend the 6am spin class. I was nervous and afraid of what the people there would think of me. I was a fat rolly polly and didn't even know how to ride a bike. I was sure that I was going to manage to fall out of the seat and make a fool of myself. I arrived to the gym 15 minutes early and went upstairs to the spin room. Most of the bikes were already taken and some people were already riding. I was sure I had missed the start of the class but there was no instructor there yet, so shyly, I made my way to the back of the room and found an empty bike. I was so chuby and so self-consious of myself.  As class time approached more people started showing up, I was there with my baggy boy shorts and a big tshirt, something to hide the big body that I was carrying around. I knew the instructor as soon as he came in, he looked so happy to be there and greeted everyone in the front row and smiled around the room. I tried to make myself smaller so he wouldn't see me, the intruder in his perfect class, but it didn't work. He spotted me right away and as soon as he placed his stuff down, he made his way to my bike and introduced himself. I felt so ashamed for being there. I was not in shape, what was I going to do in his class other than warm up the seat! He told me that I was going to be ok and just to go slow and rest when I needed. His name was Rod and he helped get my bike set up that first day and a few extra times when I forgot how to do it. This stranger, with spiky blonde hair became one of my favorite people to be around for the next two years! He inspired me in ways that he will probably never know--he had ridden the Lotoja various times and had biked up and down mountains and had so much energy to drive a room full of hard-core cyclists for 50 minutes straight! Every single one of them, rode harder, climbed faster just by him saying so. Did I mention that they were all hard core outdoor cyclists?! Yeah, I happened to decide to join the class where all the outdoor cyclist went to stay in shape during the off-season. The guys with the fancy jerseys and the clip-on shoes and calves the size of big boulders! Yeah! I joined that class...the chubby, rolly, polly amidst the greatest of Cache Valley. Thank goodness I didn't know all this when I joined up, it took me a few months to realize who I was "rubbing shoulders with", hahaha, otherwise, I would have stayed in my warm bed all those winter nights. 

Back to my story of my first day; boy was that an eye opener! I died about 5 minutes into the class. I felt weak and wanted to puke. My heart for sure was having a heart attack and I was sweating burgers by the drops! I was heaving and pouring sweat from every pore in my body. Rod, the instructor,  would look at me from his bike, up on the pedestal, and he would yell my name and say that I was doing great. Hahaha, I would laugh and say in my head "good thing, you can't see me all the way back here". The fact that he took a second every now and then to look at me and tell me those words was the only reason why I stayed the entire time that first class. I wanted to die! When the class was over, my legs were shaking, my arms were shaking, but my heart was racing! I wanted to crawl out of that room and get in my car and never come back! Yet, Rod stopped me before leaving the room and reassured me that things would get easier, to not give up. So, I did, I showed up to the next class, and the next, and the next. 

I stayed in his class for two years straight, 3 times a week, at 6am. He and his motivational class was the first venue that got me in shape. I lost 15 lbs that first year, not counting all the muscle that I gained in my legs. But more than getting in shape and getting a bit of muscle. His class gave me the confidence I needed. I didn't feel like an "odd person" anymore. I belonged somewhere and I knew I belonged in his class. About 3 months into the class, I moved from the back row to my permanent seat, not in the front row, no, I wanted to be in the middle, right in front of the coach, where I could see the coach and see his riding style, my bike was number 23 and after awhile everyone knew it and they left it open for me.  I made friends who would save my bike for me. Friends who would ask me where I was when I missed class. I became one of the group--complete with cycling jerseys, cycling shorts, and clip on shoes, and, wait for it--a real road bike!!! 

A year after I started spin, I decided to put my 1 swim class in college to use, and I began my swimming journey. Instead of getting up at 5:30am, I was up at 4:30am and I would swim before attending spin class. Of course, I would first go upstairs and "save my bike" my putting my towel and spin shoes by the bike. 

I would swim for 1 hour and then hit my spin class. At first, I would only complete about 1,000 yards of swimming in one hour but as time progressed, I got better at it, who whould have thought?! I made friends with swimmers at the pool and I found another place where I "belonged". 

It  has been six years now and I still love a hard spin class. It was my spin instructor, Rod, who first planted the seed in my head to become a spin instructor. I laughed and said that I was too fat to be anyone's role model. I am glad he saw the potential in me that I couldn't see in myself.  

A lot of the time, I feel left out, like I don't belong, but then I go to the gym or to my box, and I feel like I "belong" there, it just feels right. 

Making the decision to get healthy and in shape was the best gift I have ever given myself--the gift of finding a place where I belong. 

In the past six years, I have accomplished so much that I never thought I would have done in a lifetime.

15 marathons (Including the Boston Marathon and next month ING NYC Marathon-both for which I had to run a qualifying time!)

23 half marathons

2 olympic triathlons

4 sprint triathlons

1 half ironman (70.3)

3 ragnars

Various other little races

In addition, I did become a spin instructor, and a group fitness instructor, and a Zumba instructor. I am now leading my own classes, trying to inspire in others what Rod inspired in me my first day in spin class. It has been a lovely six years!!! 


St. George Marathon 2013

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St. George marathon, once of my favorites yet one that I totally dislike while running it. You see, I am not very good at hills and despite the fact that this one is mainly downhill, I feel the hills each and every time. This was my 4th St. George Marathon and I had great plans for it, wonderful plans that unfortunately had to be thrown to the side due to my torn lateral meniscus.

Four weeks ago, I was squatting and doing my thing at the box and I heard a pop, just a normal pop and I figure it was just that, just a pop but after a few more squats, my calf just didn't feel right and my knee was hurting, so I stopped and went home and iced it. Next morning, the entire knee was swollen. A year ago, I had torn that meniscus badly teaching at Zumba class at a gymnastics studio and my knee has never been the same since. Well, the injury came back to haunt me 4 weeks ago with it went my dreams for getting an under 3:30 marathon. I knew I had trained well for it and I knew I had it in the bag but life had other plans for me. I missed two races that I really love-Big Cottonwood and my favorite Top of Utah marathon. I hobbled around as my hubby and friends ran these two races. I was able to provide support for my hubby during the TOU marathon and I took tons of pictures of all of them. But it was not the same as running it.

The day of St. George approached and I knew that I wasn't ready to run it. I knew that I couldn't get the under 3:30 I had been dreaming of all year. However, I also knew that I didn't want to sit out on another marathon. I wanted to run/walk if needed. My doctor had cleared me to run after 4 weeks, no, not a 26 miler but he said that I could run. I didn't tell him how long I was going to go, just that I was going to run.

Day before the race came and the whole family piled up in the car and we went down to pick up our packets. It is such awesome feeling to be there with all the other runners, feeling of their enthusiasm and their pre-race excitement. We got our packets and we headed eat dinner and then to the hotel to get ready for the big day. I taped myself up as well as I could around my knee, giving it all the protection I could imagine. That night, as I was falling asleep, I prayed to Heavenly Father to give me the strength to finish the race and not to disgrace myself in front of my kids. I didn't want a specific time, but if I could, I wanted to finish in under 4 hours. I prayed for the pain to be manageable and I prayed for guidance so I could know if I should pull out of the race at any point.

Morning arrived and I laced up my shoes and we headed to board the buses at 4:15am--crazy!!! Hubby was concerned about my knee and kept telling me to just take it easy and to listen to my body. He knows me well and he knows that I will push until I can't do it anymore. We had about 1 hour and 30 minute wait at the top where we just hung out by the fires. It was so cold--not a good thing for my knee as it is now a great weather predictor. I waited to the very last minute to shed my extra layer, was very sad that I had not worn my tights instead of my skirt.

The gun went off and we were still putting our clothing in the truck, gah, running late, good thing it is by chip time. We managed to squeeze in and go out with most of the 3:25 crew. Sam with his wide shoulders was able to carve a little path for me and I was able to get to a not so crowded area. I found my pace and my tunes started playing and I was in a happy place. He was in front of me and I could barely see him as it was still dark but knowing that he was up there gave me comfort. The first two miles went by super fast and I was surprised to see that I had already ran 2 miles. My knee was ok, not great but ok. I was hopeful. Then at mile 3, the pain just came out of nowhere, sharp and I could even taste a bitter taste in my mouth. I want to pull to the side and just stop. Then I looked to the right and I saw a SAG Wagon or what I like to call the SAD ride down. I looked at it and I contemplated for a few seconds just boarding it and letting the pain stop. Then I imagined my son at the hotel waiting for me to finish and to ask me how the race went. I couldn't. I didn't have the heart to ride the wagon. I just couldn't quit so early in the race without really pushing myself. So, I looked up ahead and I kept running. I kept repeating, one foot in front of the other, you can't stop because if you stop, it will still hurt and you won't be moving forward.

The following miles were the same. I kept repeating in my head, it is just walking, one foot in front of the other. Don't stop. I kept imagining the area in my knee where it hurt and I just imagine a big flame of warmth and love around it. I sent all power I had in me to that area.  I don't know if it was all my "imagining" or my pleading but the pain did switch to a dull pain.

After the hills, I was waiting for mile 14-18, typically my fastest miles in this marathon, but by that time my knee had had it. It was at the 13 mile point where I decided that I wasn't going to ride the SAD wagon down. I had already managed 13 miles and I wasn't going to throw them in the garbage. I continued forth, slowly. I tried speeding up down Snow Canyon but my knee didn't want to bend back very much, so I couldn't speed down. Instead, I admired the beauty of the canyon and painted a picture of it in my mind, the beautiful red cliffs with the sun hitting them. I could imagine touching them and feeling the warmth of the sun passing through my fingertips.

It was during the last 13 miles when I realized how blessed I was. I had never really taken the time to admire the beauty of this marathon. I had always been rushing down, never taking the time to see how blessed I have been to have a body that allowed me to do one of the most wonderful things in this world, run! I felt free! I felt happy to be moving. As I admire those around me, I kept thinking of how amazing runners are. We test our limits, not physically but mentally each time we go out there and attempt such a mighty distance.

I had prayed to Heavenly Father to carry me through the first 20 miles and that I could do the last 6 on my own. I am glad HE knows best because he didn't leave my side at all. After the 20 mile mark, things got ugly again and I just wanted to quit. My right calf was tight from the stress and my left leg was tiring of pulling all the weight, hahaha, all 115 lbs of me! I stopped at the following aid station and got some goey stuff put on my leg and grabbed some vaseline for my chunky arms--they were rubbing my armpit area raw! I limped through the aid station and I saw others limping too. I took courage in knowing that they were continuing forth and as such as should too. I shuffled down and started counting down the miles.

At mile 23, I said to myself it is just a 5K, you can do this in less than 30 minutes if needed. The crowds at this point where exactly what I needed. I high fived all the little kiddos who had their arm extended and I took the energy from the crowd and went forth. And then a great surprise, one of my crossfit friends was there, Angie, she came out and ran with me. I think I even hugged her but I can't remember, I was delirious at this point. She looked so happy and had so much energy, it was great to have her next to me and to have her run a few yards with me. I ran a bit more and then I stopped for some popsicles. I needed to give my knee a break, so I walked and ate my purple popsicle. As I was eating it, I was contemplating that it was not paleo and that it was throwing my entire paleo day off. Then I laughed at my thinking, hahaha, what person in their right mind can be bothered with paleo food when running 26 miles. Only me! So then, I thought about my non-paleo meal I wanted to have after the race. I figured running 26 miles was deserving of some Mexican food, so I imagined sitting down and having some sopes and tamales with a side of shrimp. I was going crazy.

The last mile finally came and I didn't want to be walking it/shuffling, so I ran. My knee was screaming but I didn't want to finish the race walking. I sent one last prayer for help. It was as if the heavens opened up but for about 1/2 mile my knee was back to its old self. I could run. I could bend it all the way back to kick back and stride. I ran with all my heart. I crossed that finish line and I knew that it had been the best race I had ever ran. It was not the fastest race I have ever ran but it was the race where I was grateful to be out there running.

I saw a sign twice along the course that I have not forgotten. A  small child held it and it said "When your legs are tired, run with your heart", the heart portion had a little heart drawing in red. I ran this race with my heart and I found out that it is a lot stronger than my legs!

Official time: 3:49:15

When we got back to the hotel, my kiddos where very extied to tell me that they saw me on tv, running to the finish line :). That was the best news ever--they were so happy to see me finish.

StGeorge2013


 


Eating to fuel your body

More opening up....this is starting to be more of a personal journal than a public blog, oy! Clean diet

We all struggle with different things and while I struggle in many areas of my life, I am only prepared to share the vainest one.  When I started working out, I wanted to get smaller in size. I was a chubbette and I didn't want to be a chubbette.

So, I did what I could to get thinner, I worked out.I worked out a LOT. I would get up at 4am to get to the gym, I would swim for 1 hour then I would spin my heart out in spin class, then I would put in 30-45 minutes of lifting (baby weights). I lost the weight within a year. I started running to get thinner, note, it wasn't to get stronger, it was to get thinner. So I ran, and I ran a LOT. I got very good at running, I went from running 12 minute miles to 7 minute miles. But, I reached a point where running was not enough. I was thin but I looked frail. I don't want to look frail, there was no muscle in me, at all! I was just a thin, soft woman. My middle was squishy still (and it still is, ha!).

Then, I finally progressed, I didn't want to be just skinny, I wanted to be both, skinny and strong. Thus, I started lifting heavier, started attending crossfit classes. While I enjoy crossfit, it is not my first love, my heart belongs in the running world. Perhaps it is because I am so small and I know that I stand very little chance to be a "good" crossfitter, unless I eat super clean and get my ass to the box more often and kill myself at the bar each and everyday AND stop running long distance. There lies my problem-I am not willing to let go of the long distance running. I love it. I love the challenge it presents to me and I love crushing my previous times. But, continuing in the long distance means that I most likely won't be able to lift very heavy. But even with lifting, my midsection is still squishy!

I have tried all forms of exercise. I exercise all the time. I exercise hard. I know that I give 100 percent every time. Even when I don't drop to the ground after a wod, I have given it my all. But the midsection still remains squishy!

In the progression of things, you probably know where I am going with this. Yes, I finally realized that no matter how hard I work out, it is not going to matter unless I fuel my body properly. All the delicious tortillas, tortas, bread, fruit tarts, chocolate covered marshmallows, pasta, and rice--all of it is getting stuck in my midsection. Each time I put one of these things in my mouth, I am sabotaging my very own goals. :(

Eating habits are very hard to break. Working out is easy, eating properly is not.

And thus, I start my journey into the next stage--clean eating. I am 4 days into it....it is hard. I woke up with a headache from the no sugar intake. I am cranky because of the no sugar and the no bad carbs.

Again, working out is easy, eating properly is not.