2017 Goals: Revisited

It may seem a bit premature to be revisiting my goals for 2017 and beyond, knowing we still have a month and a half left of this year. However, I like to think of this review as a last-ditch effort to accomplish as many of my goals as possible before 2017 ticks away and we welcome a new year.

TO REVIEW. I wrote about my goals in this post.

“We hear so much talk about #newyearnewme that is almost seems like a requirement that we all resolve to be skinnier or stronger or whatever. I have a hard time with that, because 1. The me that I am right now seems pretty okay, and 2. Shouldn’t we focus more on being a better human being and making meaningful changes in our lives than just the superficial?

Similarly, I don’t think the beginning of the year has cornered the market on when we’re allowed to set goals. Who says you can’t make resolutions at the end of January, or in May or in August? No one, that’s who.”

My mindset now is pretty much the same as my mindset back in January. I’m still working on being a better human in general – a process that I’m pretty sure should never end. It’s always a work in progress.

Some of the goals I set for myself are super easy to measure. Others are a little more subjective. But, let’s see where I’m at, so that I can see what I can work on through the holiday season.

Goal #1: Get More Sleep

I would love to say that this has been a rousing (or not?) success. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. I haven’t been terrible at sleeping, but I haven’t been nearly as dedicated to achieving 7+ hours of sleep a night as I probably should be. I’m always working on this – this weekend for example, I was in bed at 8pm on Saturday night. Mind you, I didn’t go to sleep until around 10, but I was allowing my body to relax and that felt good. As it starts getting darker earlier, getting to bed earlier will be easier. I will do my best to use this to my advantage.

Goal #2: Read More Books

Going hand in hand with getting to bed earlier was making time to read more – I used to be a card-carrying bookworm as a kid, but since college, I haven’t made as much time for reading as I should. I had a goal of reading 30 books in 2017. I think I’ve read… *counts* eight or nine. Fail. Well, maybe not a total fail – I still technically have read more books in 2017 than I read in 2016, so that’s a win. Of those eight books, three were Game of Thrones books, and honestly those should count for at least three books… each. They are effing long. Great, but long. Oof. I’m in the middle of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere right now and I’m really enjoying it. Happy to be back on the book train and totally riding it into 2018.

Goal #3: Balance My Workouts

I definitely worked on this one all year – mixing up my weightlifting with running and Kaza, and now making the jump to CrossFit. CrossFit has definitely given me balance without my having to think about it. Since each workout incorporates cardio work along with strength, I feel like the hour I spend in the gym nearly every day is well-spent and I feel a lot less guilty about missing a workout or taking a rest day (or two) because I know that my body needs the break.

Goal #4: Get More Involved in My Community

Ugh, you guys, this one is a hard fail. I hate admitting that. After the election last year, and after the Women’s March, I was so jacked to fight back through activism and involvement. But, aside from keyboard activism, and voting in my local elections, I have yet to really get involved locally. I can make excuses, but that’s all they’d be. I’ve been educating myself a lot in the last year. Time to turn that outward.

Goal #5: Adjust My Five Year Plan

This goal just makes me laugh out loud. Literally. I think I’ve changed or adjusted my five year plan about four times, significantly, in the last 10 months. Some of that has been because my priorities have changed, but mostly it has to do with external factors dictating some of that five year picture for me. Military life, you guys, it’s a bucket of surprises. Planning anything becomes an exercise in extreme patience and flexibility – something I’m not always good at, but am constantly trying to improve. Perhaps a new goal would be to work on being more tolerant of things that are not within my control. Yes. I think that’s it.

As I said in my post from January, these goals aren’t necessarily time-stamped, and they certainly don’t have an expiration date. I’ve just been trying to mindfully working on them little by little all the time. I will continue to do so through the next month and a half and as 2018 begins, I will have more goals to add, I’m sure.

Did you set goals for 2017? How successful have you been at keeping them? What challenges have you faced?

New Year’s Resolutions? More Like Life Resolutions.

Now that we’re a month into 2017, those resolutions we made a few short weeks ago might have already fallen to the wayside. Or, you could have been like me and not made any resolutions at all, in which case you might still be trying to figure out what you want to do in 2017 and how you’re going to accomplish it.

We hear so much talk about #newyearnewme that is almost seems like a requirement that we all resolve to be skinnier or stronger or whatever. I have a hard time with that, because 1. The me that I am right now seems pretty okay, and 2. Shouldn’t we focus more on being a better human being and making meaningful changes in our lives than just the superficial?

Similarly, I don’t think the beginning of the year has cornered the market on when we’re allowed to set goals. Who says you can’t make resolutions at the end of January, or in May or in August? No one, that’s who.

Given that, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks really evaluating some *life* things and have made pledges to myself and to others. Some of these pledges are fitness related, others are more broadly applicable in my life. All are aimed at growing into a better person and maybe bettering the word around me, too.

1. Get more sleep.
This is a fitness goal if I’ve ever seen one. Having a history of troubled sleep or simply not getting enough has meant that I haven’t allowed my body the appropriate recovery time. In the last month and a half, Clay and I have prioritized early bedtimes in favor of getting the most sleep possible. Consequently, we’ve been feeling a lot better physically and been more successful in the gym.

2. Read more books.
This seems like a gimme, but it’s ones that I’m really excited about! I used to be voracious reader as a kid, but since graduating college, the time I’ve dedicated to reading has dwindled. However, now that getting to bed early is a reality, so is making time to read a little before falling asleep. My goal is to finish at least 30 books this year – I’m already two in (one of those being Game of Thrones. Go big or go home amirite?)
3. Balance my workouts.
Weightlifting has been front and center for more than a year, but I want to make sure I’m balancing that with cardio as well – I feel better physically when I make time for a run or a Kaza class or two during the week. I want to stick to this, especially while Clay travels for work and my gym partner is gone.

4. Get more involved in my community.
This is a goal that has grown out of the atmosphere of the past few weeks – I feel that to best do my small part to fix what is so broken, I first need to get to know my neighbors and our community. To better understand what challenges we all face and what our priorities are.

5. Adjust my five year plan.
Following the last goal, this one is broader. My new five year plan includes going back to school and getting my law degree, so that I can really make bigger moves in advocacy and political action. But, in order to make that happen, I need to make some other adjustments and allowances. I’m grateful to have a partner who supports and encourages these dreams – and who understands that they may take time to achieve, but they are still possible.

More than new year’s resolutions, these goals aren’t time-stamped, and they certainly don’t have an expiration date. My next steps are just to keep on trucking and make a little bit of progress every day.

How do you set goals for yourself? Do you buy into New Year’s resolutions?

This One Time, At Space Camp…

I spent the Forth of July weekend at the best camp ever. There was no lake, or horses, or archery, or whatever they do at summer camp. The camp I went to had a Space Shuttle and Astronauts, and I even got to do science on the moon.  I finally got to fulfill my childhood dream of going to Space Camp, and it was WAY better than horseback riding.

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I wore Skirt Sports gear the whole weekend and it didn’t let me down in the Alabama heat! #psychedGGUforthewin

I had to fly to Huntsville, Alabama, the day before camp started, so of course I researched restaurants. It had been a long time since I’d had a po-boy and ettoufe, and I was on a mission. I wasn’t disappointed by the Yelp reviews for the Po-Boy Factory. So yumm!

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The next day, I got to Camp a little early and did some exploring and shopping. The Shuttle in the photo is the Pathfinder, and was an actual Shuttle program test vehicle.

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We got to do a Shuttle mission where we replicated Mission Control and Flight Crew duties. I got the be the “Guidance Systems & Navigational Controls Engineer” for the mission! We spent lots of time pretending we were astronauts, and we got to work in simulators that replicated the Shuttle, the ISS (International Space Station), and a lunar base.

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The second day of camp was jam-packed with activities. We toured the Rocket Center with our private tour guide; a retired NASA engineer who’d been with the rocket program since its inception.  He knew EVERYTHING.

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Saturn V Rocket. You can see tiny humans in the bottom left corner of the photo!

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The *actual* Apollo 16 Capsule. Imagine 3 men in that 6x6x6 foot space for DAYS!

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There were burn marks on the bottom from re-entry to the atmosphere from space. SO COOL.

Then we got to do the REALLY fun stuff, actual astronaut training! The first video shows me in the 1/6 Gravity Chair. It simulates the gravity felt on the moon. It was much harder to get going than you might think!

In this video, I’m in the MAT, Multi-Axis Trainer. This machine simulates a “tumble spin” that pilots can experience with loss of control of their vehicle. I was certain I would throw up. Megan, our team trainer, said she’s put over 700 people on this machine and no one has ever gotten sick. I’m happy to report that I didn’t feel nauseated at all! The chair keeps your tummy at the center of gravity, thereby avoiding nausea. It’s really true!

We built a model rocket and launched it (mine deployed perfectly, thank you very much). We also did a thermal shielding experiment that required me to put my faux engineering skills to the test. We learned TONS about NASA history and the legacy of our space program, I got to meet a real life space-walking astronaut, see an IMAX movie about the construction of the ISS, and learn about the next evolution of exploration with the Orion craft.

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Our team right before graduation

Astrobot helps astronauts on the ISS with tasks and space walks (EVAs)

Astrobot helps astronauts on the ISS with tasks and space walks (EVAs)

The other wonderful thing about my experience is that it brought a variety of people together who likely would not have interacted in their day-to-day lives. We came from all over North America, and we all shared a love of space and science that unified us. Ages ranged from early twenties to retirement, from married couples, to singles, to a mom and her daughter. All backgrounds were represented, too, from chemical engineers to artists. Our team had so much fun together and laughed constantly, so much so that we were made fun of for it at our graduation. I was so touched when a retired teacher from Maryland and a musician from Brooklyn busted out their instruments and improvised together. Camp was such a unifying experience, and I know each of us learned something about diversity during the course of the weekend.

In addition to the kids and adult camps, they have Family Camps, Educator camps for STEM teachers, and an Aviation Challenge for those who are more interested in learning how to fly an F-16 than a Shuttle Orbiter. My only advice if you’re going and you’re an adult, sleep at the Marriott next door. The beds and showers at the Camp facility were kid sized and not very comfy for us larger humans.

Not so comfy when you're 40.

Not so comfy when you’re 40.

I would go back to Space Camp in a less than twelve parsecs, and I REALLY want to stress that this is such a fantastic opportunity for kids. If your child is interested in STEM studies, SEND THEM TO SPACE CAMP. I am not exaggerating when I say that it could be life-defining experience for them, the moment where they decide what they want to be when they grow up. It was that impactful and influential. The environment is so supportive of encouraging each child’s ability and potential. When you’re there, you feel as though you really could be the first person on Mars, or the engineer to solve the complex problem of artificial gravity. This is such a better educational value for your dollar than the typical summer camp, which is great, but will they get to meet an astronaut and ask them questions?

Nope.

Or pilot the Shuttle?

Uh-uh.

Or make slime on the moon?

Ain’t gonna happen.

 

The only place you can do that is at Space Camp.

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I’m front row, second from the right.

Have you been to Space Camp? Is science your boyfriend/girlfriend? Are you sad that the Hubble will crash into the Pacific in 3 years? (FTR, I’m crying in my Cornflakes about it.)

Tell me all about it below!

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Planning – a love story (and giveaway)

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Okay, straight up, this post was originally scheduled for last week, but my planner hadn’t yet arrived because I ordered it after the holidays, during the busiest time, and so it took longer than I was expecting, and I just wasn’t ready in time.

Ironic, huh?

Back before cell phones and computers, I used to take great delight in getting a new planner each year, putting all my contacts and birthdays in it, carrying it with me everywhere I went. I loved the idea of planning, even though I was nineteen years old, and I didn’t really have a lot of things to juggle.

Fast forward twenty something years, and my life is a massive, chaotic, scheduling tornado. Between work and kids and errands and LIFE, it just requires a level of organization to keep everything running smoothly.

Most of this is handled by technology these days. My contacts are stored in my phone, and Facebook tells me when people are having a birthday. Most of my doctor’s offices send text reminders, and my Google calendar lets me set alerts for all the things I forgot I scheduled.

But last year, I started to really miss pen and paper planning. And since, for me, interest often turns to obsession, I went a little planner crazy. I got a desk sized planner, a purse sized one, a journal, a fitness planner.

If one planner is good, four is... crazy.

If one planner is good, four is… crazy.

Want to guess how that turned out? I practically pulled a shoulder muscle out dragging all my planners around, and I darn sure wasn’t any more organized. It was too much of a good thing, and the stack of planners were soon gathering dust.

I really wanted ONE planner where I could put everything. Preferably not the size of my fifth grade Trapper Keeper. And pretty. Possibly monogrammed.

Basically, I wanted an Erin Condren Life Planner. Even with the sticker shock, I just really wanted one. Sadly, when I looked into them, while they were very customizable, they still weren’t exactly what I needed. So, I kept looking.

And in the meantime, I Googled ‘menu planner template’ and printed out some sheets to tide me over.

Keeping it simple

Keeping it simple

Finally, I found what I wanted in the Plum Paper ME Planner. I could customize it to fit all the things I wanted in there, in a way that made sense for my life. And it was pretty. And I could put my name on it. The hardest decision was picking which adorable design I wanted.

Adorable, no?

Adorable, no?

Goals, Bills, Appointments, Meal and Fitness Planning, Self Care, etc. And a fitness section add on. It’s everything, fits in my bag, doesn’t break my shoulder socket. I’m so in love.

Me and my planner spend a few minutes together each night, looking over the next few days, and a few minutes each morning, prepping for that day. We’re still getting to know each other, but I think this is the beginning of a beautiful, organized, relationship.

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One might say I’m a bit old school. I’m a very visual, tactile person. Books over kindles, letters over emails, that type of thing.

Last January I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t have a planner to Bec, which I guess she took as a challenge. Not even a week later, I had a cute little planner delivered to my doorstep (and lip balm, because lip health is important).

We have a family calendar in our kitchen.

Random fact: I've used this template on my computer since I was a Resident Director in college and had to post RA schedules.

Random fact: I’ve used this template on my computer since I was a Resident Director in college and had to post RA schedules.

But the one that Bec sent? It was mine, all mine! Mwahahaha, world domination!

Ahem. Anyway, I used that planner for everything related to my life. I do a lot of freelance work where I need to track my own hours in order to get cash money and who wants to screw up with that? Um, not me. The planner is a great way to track hours and payments.

It stands to reason that when December rolled around, a planner was on my holiday wish list. I went with this one because it was on Amazon and not one billion dollars.

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It is hefty but thankfully I’m not really using it anywhere but in my home, so the bigger the better. (That’s what she said!)

Look at all the pretty planning tabs!

Look at all the pretty planning tabs!

There is something about having things all laid out in front of me that just works for me. I like the order of this planner, it actually reminds me of a book that I used in Girl Scouts when I was younger.

On the full calendar I have an overview of the month. I particularly like this one for keeping track of my work related activities.

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On the weekly page, it’s more about my personal events: workouts, food planning, volunteer work, etcetera.

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Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful?

I mean, I know it’s not normal to be in love with a planner but… I LOVE MY PLANNER, OKAY? I am not ashamed.

In addition to Bec and I both loving planners, we absolutely love Skinnytaste. And, naturally, we love YOU. So we decided to pool our resources of love and gift the Skinnytaste meal planner to a lucky reader. Cool? Cool.

We'll pick a winner in a week and then we'll ship out this little beauty.

We’ll pick a winner in a week and then we’ll ship out this little beauty.

Click on the pic below and enter today!

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Do you use a planner or have you in the past? What keeps you motivated? If you see something in writing does it mean it must be done?

Finding your motivation – what drives you?

New Year, New You! How many times have we heard that? And how many times do we set out on a new year journey with the best of intentions, only to find that they fall to the wayside, some sooner than other. Because, not for nothing, but LIFE. Life can be overwhelming, exhausting, and throw you a few curve balls when you least expect them.

This post is for everyone. For those who need a little boost as we jump into 2016. Those who need a little ‘atta boy (or ‘atta girl). And those who are looking for motivation in all the right places. That would be right here, just so you know.

A year after the birth of my first son, (who will be 11 years old in February – Oh Em Gee) I found my local tribe and began a healthier lifestyle with a fitness course called Stroller Strides. Before that, I was basically a mess. I wish I were kidding but no, I’m not.

Anyway, it was there that I met many dear friends, including Brandi, Jen, and Megan. What kept ME going in those days was knowing that I had a standing date with them, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Megan, Me, Jen, and Brandi in the front. Matt and Sean in the back. I think this qualifies as business in the front, party in the back?

Haddonfield Adrenaline 5k – 2015- Megan, me, Jen, and Brandi in the front. Matt and Sean in the back. I think this qualifies as business in the front, party in the back?

These women are very strong motivators in my life. They saw me through the very early stages of my running career, meeting me at local parks and telling me that I wasn’t going to die when I swore up and down that I would. (Running brings out the drama in me.)

Jen, Brandi, and Megan have been with me through it all and they continue to be there for me, supporting and lifting me up through every trial and tribulation. Furthermore, they are very strong in knowing their WHY. When you surround yourself with motivated people, you can’t help but set goals and achieve dreams yourself!

Rather than me blather on and on (after all, you get me all the time) I figured I would ask them if they would share what keeps them motivated. Naturally, they were all about it.

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I believe staying motivated is a mindset. If your head is not fully in your decision to change, you will never change. As a personal trainer my career is to motivate people on a daily basis, but sometimes it’s hard to motivate myself to keep going.

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One trick I have is to take a quiet moment to myself (even if that means escaping into the bathroom or in my car just to get a couple of minutes alone), take a breath, and ask myself what I am trying to achieve in that moment and how I can do it.

I am also a list maker, so if I can find a quote that moves me, I will write it at the top of my list as a reminder, then start to list all the steps I need to work on completing my goal. It’s all about keeping my Negative Nelly voice quiet and not let her be loud enough for me to hear.  When I keep her quiet I know I can do anything I set my mind to.

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Did you ever hear of that quote that says “I don’t have the time, I make the time” in regards to working out? Maybe it’s because I went to Catholic school; maybe it’s because I’m a teacher but I have been told that I would do really well in the military.

My running schedule is a fine oiled machine that screams at me from most-high on the fridge, like a Jillian Michaels trainer. That’s just the way I like it. The calendar is my motivation. I use good old fashion pen and paper. I need to see the big picture, like a month, to see progress or slowing down. It holds me accountable. I see gaps, highs, and lows. I see variety. Everyday is something different, if I want it to be. I have control, I write it down, and cross it off with pride when I have finished.

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It all started like this. I came face to face with very common issues most young mothers have.

“How do I work out with young children/babies?”

“How do I muster the energy after the baby has been crying all night?”

“How do I make time for myself without feeling guilty?”

I only have so many hours to get what I want completed before 3 o’clock hits and then BAM! Homework, snack, dinner, karate, etc!

I was already in the frame of mind that I don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for a gym. I can run at home on the treadmill in the basement or with the jogger. YouTube videos like XHIT Daily work for strength training days.

My magic numbers started out as 2 days cardio, 2 days lifting. But after training for and completing Philly Half Marathon and then sliding right into the Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak (#rwrunstreak), the schedules are showing me that my body can go harder and farther than expected.

Just as I scheduled my workouts, the day also has baby time, rest time, and clean time. It just works for me. Some days, something gets skipped. With hyper-scheduling comes fluidity. But as the calendar shows me, there is always tomorrow to conquer.

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What keeps me motivated?  I think that I have found that as I get older, what keeps me motivated in most everything in life (exercise, parenting, studying, going to the grocery store, you name it) is pretty much the same things.

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Motivation boils down to whatever is going to make me feel happy or is going to make my inner light shine.  If the end result is a sense of overall awesomeness, then I can pretty much push myself to do it, whatever that particular “it” may be.  I link myself with positive and inspirational people.  Motivation is contagious.  I do activities that bring the most joy.  If in some way it doesn’t feel good at the end, then it might not have been worth doing.

I tap into the mantra of my yoga studio…what is the BEST that can happen???  Don’t go looking at the worst thing that can happen.  Bad stuff can always pop up along the way.  But, if I choose to venture down a road (or lace up my running shoes, or put my butt on my yoga mat or tackle a new project)…what is the BEST possible outcome?  A focus on the positive leaves me challenged and inspired instead of putting me in a negative frame of mind.

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If I’m not feeling motivated in the moment, I think of reasons why I shouldn’t do something. Are they truly valid reasons? Or are they simple EXCUSES or JUSTIFICATIONS for letting myself off the hook?

Valid reasons, I can live with.

Excuses, I cannot.

And through the course of it all, I allow time for breaks and silence and laziness and gratitude and reflection. Those moments and days are not “excuses” or a “lack of motivation.” They are instead rewards for kicking my own ass the rest of the time. Those little breaks are a way to honor my joy and reflection on the hard work that goes into everything I choose to do, and they are a way to recharge my motivation for the next task. Nothing fancy, but I have found that truly living a life I love (even in the hardest of moments) is motivation enough to see me through pretty much anything.

I would love to hear what thoughts or mantras keep YOU motivated as you trip along life’s journey. A positive and a forgiving heart seem to really go a long way when I am dealing with myself. I tend to want to go, go, go but sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m only able to do so much in the time that I’m given each day and that it’s okay because I’m still doing incredible things.

Many thanks to Megan, Jen, and Brandi!

 

Training: faking it versus the real deal

Once upon a time, there was a girl who signed up for her first half marathon in November of 2011. The half marathon was runDisney’s Princess half marathon, for in those days you didn’t have to sign up the day registration opened to be able to participate.

She trained for the February 2012 race in two and a half months (in hindsight it probably wasn’t enough training for the distance) but she ran the races with supportive friends who whispered encouraging words in her ear and walked with her when her IT bands no longer wanted to run.

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And she did it!

From there, she went on to run another half a month later, where her IT bands fared much better and she helped Cam achieve her first half marathon.

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She continued to register and run the half marathon distance, although her long runs weren’t always quite long enough and she didn’t always follow the training plan exactly like she should. Read: SHE WAS FAKING IT.

Faking it got her through the half marathons. Not as fast as she wanted though, and not without injury. Make that injuries, plural. After her most recent injury, she said, “Enough is enough.” (Actually, she used more colorful language, F this S… just so we are keeping it real.)

Her injuries have lessened significantly, for which is she very grateful. She’s been treating her Plantar Fasciitis  with medicated gel and Thorlo socks. Custom orthotics just joined the mix as well and while she’s not 100%, she’s feeling about 85% better.

Thanks to Thorlos for connecting on Twitter and for assistance. Very grateful!

Thanks to Thorlo for connecting on Twitter and for assistance. Very grateful!

She’s been pushing herself harder than ever before with training. She doesn’t skip or skimp. Three days a week she’s achieving at least five miles a day. She is following the training schedule to the letter; her long runs on the weekend have been accomplished as she works her way toward her next half. Her A, B, and C goals are in place and she’s confident in her abilities to hit one, if not all of them. And while the winter-y weather might have deterred her in the past, she is saying I can and I will now more than ever. She’s hoping for a happily ever after in the land of PR.

Have you ever faked your way through a race (or two, or three)? Come back after an injury (or two)?  What types of goals do you set for races?

Goal-Setting and Well-Wishing

It’s January! I love a new year. I don’t make resolutions but I always find myself making goals and lists and trying to be a better me even without committing it all to paper. This also happens before a new school year (because that is it’s own year, really) and before summer (because Pinterest makes it a Big Deal).

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My fitness goal is easy. I want to PR in the half marathon. I will PR in the half marathon. My current PR is 1:57:52 and really, I just want to best that. But deep in my heart, I want to best that in a Major Way. So we’ll see. I’m focused on the Glass Slipper challenge right now, and increasing my weekly mileage closer to 30 instead of in the lower 20 range. I’m also working on getting faster- I’m still not fast enough to reach my current race PR (which I reached before my last pregnancy). I’m giving myself until December because I am very generous and also, I’m trying to be realistic. (my fingers are totally crossed for reaching goal A in April and doing Something Major in December though.)

I am also making some wonderful chore charts and calendars to do a better job cleaning my house. I know that’s really boring stuff, (for me and for you) so that’s all I will say about that. If I come up with an awesome system, I’ll let you know.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that my girlfriends and I have done a holiday gift exchange for the last ten years. Last month, we met for a delicious dinner, sans gifts but avec wine and good conversation. One of my girls said that this year, she decided that if she didn’t care enough to wish someone a “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, she would delete them from her friend list. I’m not really sure how this qualifies as a resolution (I will have less friends? I will only be friends with someone if I want to celebrate their birth? I don’t know exactly.) but it made me think. My husband hates those Facebook birthday wishes. He thinks they’re insincere. Perfunctory. I don’t have a strong feeling about them- I mean, who doesn’t like hearing a birthday wish, no matter how it comes?- But I prefer to text or call my close friends. In 2014, I’ve decided to take a page from long-term, snail mail penpals, Mer and Vic, and send birthday cards. I will likely have to send them in a batch at the beginning of each month, because I am terrible with mail, but I know it will make my people happy, and that makes me happy.

Hanging with my girls made me wish for more time with them, so I am definitely making that a priority in 2014.

These girls! My favorites for  15 years.

These girls! My favorites for 15 years.

Lastly, some friends and I decided to start a club. A fit club, with a goal of taking one new class each month. In the past, I’ve tried to form book club, wine club, craft club, mom movie night club- and nothing ever sticks. I think this one will- and it will be fun- and I can’t wait to report back to all of you on our progress.

As the Floridian of the Chicks, I want to welcome the runDisney runners to Orlando this weekend! It’s going to be a hot one, so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and be sure to take a selfie by the pool so your friends are jealous.

Also, go to Epcot! The Frozen princesses are in Norway, along with a statue of runner Grete Waitz. You can have a cronut (omg, delicious) near Canada and a margarita in Mexico. All the salt and sugar will be good for your recovery. (So I’ve heard. I’m not a marathoner, so don’t take my word for it.)

Meeting Elsa and Anna was the highlight of our week (the 3 hour line was not).

Meeting Elsa and Anna was the highlight of our week (the 3 hour line was not).

I’ll be at the Magic Kingdom on Sunday to see our UCF Knights march in the parade. If you see me, stop and say hello and I’ll give you a high five and compliment your marathon medal. Happy running!

My baby with some guy. Who is he? (If you follow college ball, you probably know the Knights quarterback now!)

My baby with some guy. Who is he? (If you follow college ball, you probably know the Knights quarterback now!)

Roll call! Who is headed to the most magical place on Earth this weekend?

Do you make resolutions? What’s your fitness goal? What’s the best fitness class you’ve taken? Birthday wishes on facebook- yay or nay?