Why Girls on the Run is pretty AWESOME!

I don’t know about y’all…something about all this sunshine after the Mid-Atlantic’s last long, gloomy stretch has me in an AWESOME mood! Speaking of things that are awesome, does anyone else (especially those with kids) ever get that song from The Lego Movie stuck in your head…”Blue skies, bouncy springs. We just named some awesome things! Everything is AWESOME!!” I’ve actually caught myself singing that at my desk over the last couple of days…so yep, I’d say I’ve been in a pretty good mood! 😉

everythingisawesome

And even though I think pretty much everything is awesome right now, I want to name (and talk about) something specifically awesome that just started up again last week, Spring season of “Girls on the Run“!! Lana did the Fall season of GOTR too, and I can’t say enough good things about this program! It’s a non-profit program for Pre-Teen girls that incorporates running with life lessons about health and even more importantly….SELF ESTEEM! Soap Box: The lessons about self esteem are soooo important to me as a mother because remembering how awkwardly insecure my pre-teen and teenage years (and half my 20s!) were, and thinking about the possibility (or likelihood) of my daughter experiencing the same thing, makes me cry cringe!  *Ummm…I think I have something in my eye….*

About the GOTR Program:

  • Programs across the U.S. and Canada
  • 1 million+ girls have participated in GOTR!
  • A 3rd-5th Grade and 6th-8th Grade Programs
  • Small group of 8-20 Girls
  • Meet twice a week for 12 weeks
  • 24 different, interactive lessons with talking points for parents
  • Train for a 5K
  • Select and participate in a community service project

GOTR GIrl

Most importantly…Ilana seems to be enjoying GOTR! She’s learning a lot of great lessons and making great friends… Plus it gives us something fun and active to do together! She’s still at that age where she looks up to me, and wants to do everything “mommy does”…so I’m soaking up every bit of that as long as it lasts! (I know it won’t be forever! *Tears*) We talk about her practices and go over the talking points in the pamphlet that’s sent home at the beginning of the season. We also go running and work-out together….The last few weeks she’s been asking me to go running with her to “work on her stamina” (literally her words! LOL) and she’s been talking about wanting to do a triathalon one day! We watched some “kiddie tris” on YouTube, too cute! I 100% support and encourage her dream to be a triathlete!

I was a little bummed that I didn’t get to be her buddy runner for her first GOTR 5K in the fall, but Danny stood in for me and it ended up being a great bonding experience for them! (Not to mention, it earned him MAJOR brownie points!!) I’ll be running with her for the next one though…just a few short months away! 🙂

Thing 1 and Thing 2!!

Thing 1 and Thing 2!!

Anyone else have a daughter that’s participated (or participating) in Girls on the Run? Tell me what you think about the program!!

Betty

Love, Big Ambitions, and Crazy Ideas

Growing up I always had my nose in a book and my head in the clouds. I could entertain myself for hours laying in the grass or sitting in a tree, facinated by everything around me and imagining my little heart out! Every teacher, every year, every report card had the same comment….something to the effect of, “Very bright student, but daydreams too much.”  Looking back I totally disagree, there is no such thing as day dreaming too much! Dreaming generates crazy ideas, which drive big ambitions, that set into motion incredible actions, which redefine what is possible!

Idealistic? Absolutely! The beautiful thing is, I’m over the moon for a man who has as many big ambitions and crazy ideas as I do. Seriously, some of our dreams are really out there! We spend hours talking and laughing about our crazy ideas! We’ve brought life to some of our dreams all ready, and have many more fantastic dreams queued up!  I wanted to share some of our latest crazy ideas because I thought you might find them as entertaining as we do! (We really want to do some of these things, other things we just find hillirious to imagine and talk about!)


 

D&K’s List of Crazy Ideas:

  • Own and run a Bed and Breakfast.

partyallnight

  • Hike the Appalachian Trail.

hiking

  • Ride a train across the US.

train

  • Spend a few years working and living overseas somewhere.

eurotrip

  • Become beekeepers and keep bees in our yard.

beekeeper

  • Start an indoor, hydroponic vegetable garden.

vegetable

  • Retire and live in an RV, traveling the country.

howweroll

  • Find a loophole, and get approved to have service dogs at our current jobs.

ibs

  • Have a mini-farm with pet goats and a chicken coop.

special

  • Run an exercise boot camp!

bootcamp fun

  • Climb to the top of Kilimanjaro together.

legit

  • Become cross country, big-rig, truck drivers.

honk

  • Build an indoor rock climbing wall inside our garage.

rockclimb

  • Install a fireman pole to slide from the 2nd floor bedroom into the living room. (OK, this ones all me! Lol)
But maybe THIS can convince him?! ;-)

But maybe THIS can convince him?! 😉

  • Farm ginseng.

sangfarmers

  • Build giant (Think Avatar style!!) his and hers tree houses.

treehouse

  • Learn American Sign Language, and work as ASL interpreters.

aslfunny

  • Create an outdoor Zen garden.

zengarden

  • Become professional lumberjacks

lumberjackjim


What do you think? What are some of your big ambitions and crazy ideas? Do you think there is a difference?

 

Why my 30s have been the best decade so far!

Last week I celebrated my 34th birthday, which means I am officially in my mid-30s! I remember hearing something about how you’re never supposed to ask a lady about her age or her weight but I’ve never had a problem talking about either….because both are just a number and that number is totally relative.  Do I feel young? Do I feel healthy? Absolutely! And now that I feel like I have “broken in my 30s”, I can honestly say that my 30s are shaping up to be the best decade so far! Something happened when I turned 30….I learned that there is no such thing as grown ups, we all are just winging it! I realized that despite many missteps, somehow my life had ended up in a pretty good place and I had this sudden, new found confidence and comfort in my own skin.  Part of me wishes I could go back and tell the 20 something me a thing or two, but then I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today. No regrets about my past, even when I’ve made “catastrophic” mistakes, had my heart broken or broken hearts, was insecure, thought I was fat, cried too much, did too many tequila shots….it was all a learning experience and that is what our 20s are for!

20s

So….what is it that makes being in my 30s so awesome??

  • Being comfortable in my own skin, including being o.k. with my not so cool dance moves! I know I mentioned this one before, but it’s worth being redundant because confidence really is the BEST thing about being in my 30s!!
Play that funky music! 32 in Vegas!

Play that funky music! 32 in Vegas!

  • Understanding and appreciating that being a mommy is the single most important thing that I am going to do with my life! I found out I was preggers with Lana just a few days before my 23rd birthday and to be honest I was TERRIFIED! Raising a mini-me isn’t always easy, but it’s always been worth it!
Real Happiness! I'm 31 and Lana is 6 in this picture.

Real Happiness! I’m 31 and Lana is 6 in this picture.

  • Reaching a point in my life that I know what matters and what I want out of a relationship, which allowed me to connect with my second life love (aside from Lana). Danny makes me happy and makes me laugh every single day!
Being silly at my friend's wedding. (32)

Being silly at my friend’s wedding. (32)

  • Having great girlfriends and remembering to make time for them! Life experience has taught me…don’t get so wrapped up in a “boyfriend” that you neglect other relationships and NEVER trust a girl that doesn’t have a single girlfriend.
Reunited after a long work trip. Enjoying time with the girls at 31.

Reunited after a long work trip. Enjoying time with the girls at 31.

  • Reaching a point in my career that I have the time and can afford to travel (some). One of my bucket list items is to see as many places in this world as possible!

 

Temple in Japan.

Temple in Japan.

  • Learning to appreciate art and other things of beauty. It seems like most of my free time in my 20s was spent in clubs/bars/at parties….in my 30s I realized there is so much more to life!
Chihuly exhibit at VMFA in Richmond VA.

Chihuly exhibit at VMFA in Richmond VA

  • Having the courage to be bold and express my own unique style! I’ve literally had my hair dyed every possible color in my 30s and have tossed the high heels and spandex tops in favor for flip flops and retro t-shirts!
Bright red hair, Beatles T-Shirt, and Pink 80s sunglasses! Because I can! ;-)

Bright red hair, Beatles T-Shirt, and Pink 80s sunglasses! Because I can! 😉

 

  • Learning how to take care of my body and being in the best shape of my life. Since turning 30 I’ve paid more attention to eating well, limiting alcohol, exercising, and have done lots of running. I feel like my endurance and fitness are peaking in my 30s, thanks to treating my body a little kinder!
Baltimore 10 miler at 32.

Baltimore 10 miler at 32.

 

Anyone else in their 30s feel the same way? What has been your favorite decade so far? And why?


While I know it’s totally random, I’m going to throw my training log for last week in here because it was overall uneventful, and definitely does not warrant a full post. I’m continuing to increase my mileage and focus on stretching/cross training and still feeling good/pain free. Also a little bored not having a race to help guide my training and keep me focused so I’ve started looking at 2015 races and will be updating “My Races” section of my blog soon!

  • Monday: Run 3 miles/Stretching
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Run 3 miles/stretching
  • Friday: Run 3 miles/stretching
  • Saturday: 20 minutes stairmill, 3 mile run, 30 minutes weight training (Full Body)/Stretching
  • Sunday: 45 minutes spinner/bike, 50 minute Power Yoga

Total Weekly Miles: 12

Total 2015 Miles: 21

Runningmotivation

 

1st snow day of the year and 2015 miles in 2015

We got our first snow of the year today in Maryland! I ended up staying home from work because I was snowed in, and after watching the traffic reports I am SO glad that I am not out on the roads! Yikes! I’ve been enjoying my unplanned day off…I got in a good work-out this morning and am staying warm snuggled up on the couch with my fuzzy leopard and hot pink slippers, leggings, and a delicious cup of French vanilla coffee! 🙂

fuzzy

Snow days can be fun, as long as we don’t have as many as we did last year! I felt like I spent half the winter at home between work and school closures! I took advantage of the extra free time by registering for a 2015 challenge/virtual race, “2015 Miles in 2015“! Since I know I’m not going to be able to run that many miles solo I signed up as a team with Danny and Ilana and invited a few other friends to join in on the fun! My team name is Mojo JoJo, a tribute to one of my favorite childhood cartoons, “The Powder Puff Girls”, and because 2015 is all about getting my Mojo back! (Not to mention, I think saying “Mojo Jojo” is funny!)

Mojo JoJo!!!

Mojo JoJo!!!

It really doesn’t take much to amuse me! 😉 Is anyone else doing this challenge or another fitness related challenge this year? How does participating in challenges help motivate you?

 

 

Training Recap-1st Week of Running Post Injury!

This week was week 9 of recovery, week 1 of running again! This was my first (and hopefully last) major injury, so I while I was super excited about getting the go ahead from my doctor to start running again, I was still incredibly nervous.  I wrote out a running schedule, with gradual mileage build-up, for the next two months to help keep me focused and mentally strong during my recovery.  I still have that stubborn, internal desire to run “ALL THE MILES”! At the same time I am experiencing something new….feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, and fear of being reinjured.  This stress fracture was a major wake-up call for me…”Hello, I’m NOT invincible!” My training plan is helping me balance the crazy, reckless side with the new insecure, cautious side.  And so far so good! My first week of post-injury training went way better than expected!!!  4×1 pain-free mile runs + lots of cross training=One Happy Running Betty!!

startoverrunning


 

Weekly Training Summary:

  • Monday-20 min stairmill, 1 mile run (10:49), 20 Min elliptical trainer
  • Tuesday-30 min spinner, 20 min TRX and Kettlebell workout (Below)
  • Wednesday-15 min stairmill, 15 min row, 1 mile run (10:14)
  • Thursday- 30 min crunch Pilates/Yoga DVD
  • Friday-1 mile run (10:05), 40 min elliptical trainer
  • Saturday-20 min stairmill, 1 mile run (9:50), 30 min spinner, 20 min strength/circuit (Below)
  • Sunday-Active Rest (6 miles of walking and chopping/stacking wood with Danny…and no, that is not code…we were literally playing lumber jack today! Haha)
Running and my foot feels GREAT!!!!

Running and my foot feels GREAT!!!!

  • TRX/KB Work-Out:
    • 3×15 TRX Low-Row
    • 3×15 TRX Push-Ups
    • 3×30 second TRX Plank
    • 3×15 Kettlebell Swing
    • 3×15 Kettlebell goblet squat
  • Circuit Work-out (Repeated 6x):
    • 5 pull-ups (Assisted/Resistance Band)
    • 5 push-ups
    • 5 hanging crunches
    • 5 bench tricep dips
    • 5 medicine ball squats
Getting Tired!

Getting Tired!


A few of my take-aways from this weeks training:

  • Cross training is awesome, I was able to work-out 9 straight days without any major soreness.
  • Warming up before running is super important! The one day I ran first, my legs hurt for the first 1/4 mile! The days I did other cardio first, I was able to run easier and faster!
  • Stretching is key! I’ve was religious about my stretching this week and my body was grateful!

Overall, a great week of work-outs.  Now that I’m able to actually run again, I finally feel like I am recovering.  My runs were short this week and much slower than my “normal pace”, but I didn’t mind that at all.  I was so happy just to be running again that I mentally was in a very good place.  I’m looking forward to another week of training coming up, with 4 x 2 mile runs planned!

Anyone else experience anxiety when coming back from an injury? Any tips for recovery, building base mileage, and staying injury free?

~Betty

 

Marine Corps Marathon Groupie!

Yesterday I decided to head down to D.C. to watch the Marine Corps Marathon.  It’s the 8th biggest marathon in the World, and it’s a big race for a lot of local runners.  I have never been a spectator for a race before, if I’m not running in it, I’m usually running in another race or have a long training run scheduled.  So when I had nothing major going on this weekend, and over a dozen running buddies and acquaintances competing in the race, I jumped on the opportunity to cheer them on and show them some support.  I figured it’s about time for me to “pay it forward”, with the countless races my boyfriend and daughter have supported me at, and I was actually excited to see elite runners cross the finish line in person! (Since I’m usually over an hour behind them! Haha)

mcm

It was such an amazing experience and more inspirational/moving than I ever could have anticipated!  First, the atmosphere was incredible! The music, the liveliness, the cheering, the overwhelming patriotism, and talking to people who had traveled from all over the country (and the world) to cheer on their runners.  All of them had one thing in common, they were so proud of their runner…like really, genuinely sunny beaming proud of their runners.  I teared up thinking about all of the people who have supported me,and my crazy dreams, on my marathon journey, and was very humbled at the thought that they are probably just as proud of me when I run my races.

Then when I got to see the first place runner come around the corner to make his way up that final hill, I was absolutely star struck! US Army specialist Samuel Kosgei finished in an impressive 2:22:11 without another runner in sight!  The race for top 3 females was close up to the finish, with 1st time marathoner, US Army Captain Meghan Curran coming in 1st in 2:51:46! With my boyfriend being an Army veteran, it was exciting to see the Army kick ass yesterday! (Even if I am prior Air Force…but hey, I’m not a hater! 😉 )Army ended up taking 1st for the overall men’s competition and 2nd for the overall women’s competition! Go Army!!

finishing-a-marathon

I was no less impressed with the other 30,000 runners that I watched cross the finish line over the next few hours. I saw one of Danny’s good friends, a member of the Army team, finish her race with a solid 3:17 finishing time and a new friend that I met at the NFC marathon finish her first road marathon in an impressive 3:48! I also got to see old Ragnar teammates and the guys from my office “running club” (Even if they do tease me and try to kick me out of the club all the time! I forgive you guys, ok? 😉 Lol) including a first time marathoner finish strong! I saw runner’s throwing up at the top of “hear break hill”, runners helping each other across the finish line, runners collapsing the moment the crossed the finish line,runners pushing themselves to the point of exhaustion,  and I saw runners smiling through the pain with a look of accomplishment across their faces as they crossed the finish line! I’m proud of every one of them for doing something extraordinary; showing up, hanging tough, persevering, and running 26.2 freaking miles! Something only 1% of the people in the world will ever be crazy enough to do! 😉 Here’s a video that pretty much sums up the entire marathon experience! Hope you enjoy it! Especially my 1st timers for yesterday! You are now part of one masochistic club! 😉

I’m so glad I watched the MCM yesterday.  It made me realize that when I am running a race I am so focused on myself, staying in the zone, and running my best race that I am missing so much of what’s going on around me.  It gave me an entirely different perspective and made a marathon so much more significant to me.  I was energized, moved, inspired, elated, motivated, and so excited by all of the runners yesterday! I can’t wait to run my next marathon and I hope what I learned from my spectator experience allows me to be more present and in the moment when I do!

watchamarathon


 

Last week was not a good training week for me.  I was dealing with major septic/plumbing issues that had me mentally/physically drained, and not being able to take a shower kind of kills the motivation to run. (For me at least)  That fiasco was what inspired my “The Reality of Being an Independent Woman” post last week (In case you were wondering! Lol), but luckily I have that behind me now and this week is another week! I got 3 runs in, including a 10 mile run on the WB&A trail with a friend.  I rarely get the chance to run with other people, but it was fun and therapeutic! Exactly what I needed to get out of my “poor me” funk and back into motion!

So my super quick run-down for last week:

Total Miles: 19

Total Miles for 2014: 1133.55

Weekly Motivation

Weekly Motivation

Have you ever watched a marathon before? What was the experience like for you? What did you gain from the spectator’s perspective of a race?

❤ Betty

The Reality of Being an “Independent Woman”

I remember Destiny’s Child releasing their song “Independent Women” my senior year of high school.  Man, that song made being an independent woman look AWESOME! You get hang out with your best girlfriends showing off all your sweet “sassy pants” dance moves! Of course you look perfectly put together; wearing designer clothes and diamonds, with flawless make-up,  and not a hair out of place! You ALWAYS felt 100% confident in your ability to take on the world!  Oh, wait!?!? What? AND you’re fire proof! [@2:56] Hell yeah!!! An “Independent Woman” has it all and she doesn’t need anybody!

I like to think of myself as an “independent woman”.  I have an education, a job, my own house, pay my own bills…yadda, yadda….For the most part, it’s something I take a lot of pride in, and it has it’s perks…like not having someone to stop you from painting your kitchen lime green or telling you that spending $150.00 to get your hair done is ridiculous…but let me tell you, it’s NOT all rainbows and butterflies!

independent-woman

 

There are a lot of major details missing in Destiny Child’s [and the media’s] picture of an independent woman.  This video needs to show Beyonce  watching a YouTube video, while trying to fix a leak under the kitchen sink, knocking a hose loose, having water spray everywhere…then throwing a temper tantrum that includes throwing a wrench across the room and lots of profanities…Wow, that sounded pretty specific, huh? Umm, not that that ever happened to me or anything….*Hey, look over there! She knows Kung Fu!! [@2:22]* My experiences as a single, “independent” woman have been much more like something out of an episode of “I Love Lucy” than a Beyonce music video. *I ❤ Lucy!!*

lucy

Why is it that women, regardless of where they are in their lives, are expected to be perfect? Super mommies, top of the career ladder, great cooks, spotless homes, perfect bodies, beautiful, and always poised with a smile on our faces.  The sad thing is, so many of us buy into all that hype! We drive ourselves crazy and beat ourselves up trying to achieve some ridiculously unrealistic ideal.  To set the record straight, here are some myths versus realities about being an independent woman…

Myth: Independent women make their own money, and have plenty of cash to spend on clothes, getting their hair and nails done, exotic vacations, fancy cars, jewelry, and diamonds.

Reality: Seriously, what person on a single income has money to buy random diamonds? Yes, I make my own money and most of it goes to pay my mortgage, utilities, car payment (For a VW Golf), insurance, groceries, gas, home repairs, and stuff for my daughter.  I rarely have money to spend on myself and when I do…I shop at Target and thrift shops.  *I got $20 in my pocket!!*

Macklemore-Challenge

Myth: Independent women are always stylish, put together, and they style their hair and put on make-up every.single. day.

Reality: I look totally put together….like twice a year…maybe? By the time I squeeze in my morning work-out, I barely have time to shower and throw on clothes before work.  I don’t wear make-up, put my hair in a pony tail, and usually am wearing some combination of jeans, t-shirts, and flats (No socks, because seriously, who time to make sorting socks a priority?).  On the positive end of the spectrum some of my go to looks include; Somewhat presentable, Casual Free spirit, Almost Mentally Present, and I don’t really care what anyone thinks. It only goes downhill from there with some of my go to looks including; Totally Disheveled, Hot Mess, Frazzled Mama, I may have forgot to brush my hair/teeth and put on deodorant, and Zombie Chick.  That last look actually kind of works with Walking Dead being back on T.V. and Halloween being right around the corner! *Mmmmm, Brains!!*

Zombie

Myth: Independent women have plenty of time to hang out with their girlfriends and they spend all their nights partying at the swankest bars/dance clubs, laughing and gossiping while sipping on $20.00 Cosmopolitans. (Thanks Sex and the City for getting my hopes up on that one!!)

Reality: Since finishing high school and becoming an adult, I’ve discovered that free time is sparse.  Up until recently, most of my nights and weekends were spent taking classes, studying, and working part time jobs.  Now, my days are still pretty much crammed full from 6am-8pm…then the last thing I want to do is go out and be a socialite. At the end of a long day, nothing sounds more glorious and wonderful than a nap in my flannel P.J.s!

naps

Myth: Independent women have fabulously trendy, modern, spotless, perfectly decorated apartments that look like they are straight out of a Crate and Barrel or IKEA catalog.

Reality: My house looks more like a  helpless “before” pad from the series “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. I spend about 15 minutes a day cleaning…and by “cleaning” I mean shuffling my messes from one room to another.  I don’t think I’ve EVER had every room in my house clean at the same time.  I also don’t have the time, energy, or desire to spend my weekends shopping for cute accent furniture and nick-nacks…nor do I want to blow my limited spending cash on stuff I don’t need! (I only spend money on necessities like running shoes, race entries, and coffee mugs! Duh!)

dream

Myth: Independent women are always strong, confident, and 100% in control of every aspect of their lives.  And of course, they NEVER doubt themselves.

Reality: I have had days, weeks, months that have been a whirlwind and I’ve wondered how I am going to keep everything together.  I’ve doubted myself, I’ve made mistakes (many, many mistakes…I could have been the Queen of Bad Decisions at one point in my life), I’ve had melt-downs….but I pick myself up, keep moving, and somehow things work out.  And I am thankful for my failures! Failing and overcoming those failures is what has made me a more confident (Note: I did not say I’m always confident) woman…knowing I can overcome pretty much anything life throws at me!

confidence

Myth: Independent women don’t need ANYTHING from ANYBODY! They can handle ALL their business, 100% on their own!

Reality: I used to believe this, I was prideful to a fault.  However, I finally learned the importance of having a solid support network, made up of wonderful family and friends….I learned to ask for help when I need it.  I also learned to accept and appreciate having someone help me with things that I technically COULD handle on my own…because having someone to lighten my load is awesome! *Like when I found out my boyfriend LOVES to do yard work! Score!! Because I HATE it!! And I love my handsome Gardner!! 😉 *

Must+i+do+everything+myself_963f25_5116707


Finally, here is a list of 10 things every REAL independent woman needs:

  1. A sense of humor
  2. Creativity
  3. A budget
  4. An emergency savings account
  5. A good home warranty (Best advice anyone has EVER given me, mines saved my life!)
  6. Wiki How and YouTube (You’d be amazed at what you can figure out using the Interwebz)
  7. A few basic tools; Power Drill, Screw Drivers, Allen Wrench Set, and for when all else fails…duct tape *Cause eff it!!*
  8. A trustworthy mechanic
  9. An outlet to blow off stress and clear your mind (For me it’s running and recently playing my guitar)
  10. Family and Good Friends (No woman is an Island!)

woman

What are your thoughts? Do you think the media portrays a realistic image of an “independent woman”? What do you think is missing? What advice do you have for all the independent ladies out there??  🙂

~Betty