Friday, March 6, 2015

1st Trail Run Ever!

Last Sunday, March 1, I decided it would be great fun to go running on a mountain covered in snow.  Yep, the weather weenie was going stir crazy and decided it would be great fun to go try something new.  After all, what's life like without a little spontaneity?  

The race started at 1 pm.  I made this crazy decision at noon.  Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa owns the run so I knew I could probably get in with such a last minute notice (we showed up to the race at 12:30)! Plus with the weather being so dang cold and ALL the snow, I also knew that several runners would not show up.  

I grabbed my old retired Adidas Boost  because I just couldn't imagine getting my current runners all dirty/cold/wet.  I also grabbed my snow boots so I could walk around afterwards.  

We parked and I jumped out, only to discover that no tread on my shoes would not be good for the snow!  So, I quickly put my Superfeet Carbon in my snow boots (yes, my snow boots) and got myself  and Perfect Pacter registered to run!  

Trail Madness is a great name for this race - on this particular snow covered day!  

We decided we would run the 8k.  In Snow Boots.  I keep pointing out that I was running in Snow Boots because sometimes, we know better and yet....we don't listen to ourselves or to the multiple running specialty experts we work with.  TRAIL SHOES PEOPLE!!  

At the water stop (the turn around for the 4k) I realized I was in deep trouble as my ankles were chafing, a little bloody and in a lot of pain.  After all I had on my favorite Feeture Merino Wool shorty socks!  Note:  one should wear taller socks when wearing snow boots.  Perfect Pacer offered the option of diverting to the 4k finish.  Really???  

We kept plugging along.  It wasn't all horrific.  I kind of liked it.  A lot. You do things on a trail run that you normally don't do in other races.  Like stop at frozen ponds and take pictures.

And we actually got GOOD race photos for once by the official race photographer! 

This is what we did after the race: 

We tried to warm up with K and A as K cooked burgers for the couple of hundred brave, crazy folks!  
And it was really all worth it.  Because I placed 3rd in my age group.  I won't mention how many people were in my age group because that is irrelevant. 

Next time you have a chance to do something different, something spontaneous and totally  out of your comfort zone, you should.  Especially if it is Trail Madness! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Getting Back on Track

I always hear remarks in the gym referring to someone else's weight or their ability to lift/run/work harder/faster/longer.  It gets old and here is why:  we can either choose to work to the best of our ability and leave everything in the gym or we can simply show up and phone our work out in.

The gym is a place for us to come to in order to leave better.  No matter what your fitness level, no matter your size or weight or lack of...if you are working your hardest, grunting and sweating and giving it everything you have, you are more likely to see the results you are looking for.

But there is a caveat - you simply can not out work what you eat.  They have to line up.  I have a simply philosophy -

1.  I don't want to kick my ass in the gym or on the road and negate it in the kitchen.  I choose my food based on fueling needs for my body.

2.  If I eat 80% correctly, then the other 20% when I don't will definitely not kill me!!

With that said, On Sunday Jan 4th, I knew that I needed to get back on track with my eating if I wanted to really get back to the fitness level that is best for me!  So I decided that I needed to simplify my eating (even further) and I have taken it to the next level.  My goal is go Paleo 6 days a week - with a few modifications.

Remember,  in order to have a lifetime of weight loss success, your plan has to be realistic. It is simply not realistic for me not to have coffee & creamer, or greek yogurt or....Wine (or a vodka martini).  So...those are my modifications!

An occasional glass won't kill me.

Here is how week one looked:

Breakfast:  Greek Yogurt

AM Snack:  3 oz of Chicken Breast
This actually breaks into 5 servings!!!
Lunch:  Apple with 3 oz of Chicken Breast (if I'm at the gym or store) OR a LARGE Salad with spinach, celery, carrots, radishes or Shakeology (Vegan Dark Chocolate is what I'm digging).


I just add 1 scoop to 6 oz of water.  My Friend Jen adds delicious peanut butter! 

PM Snack: Apple
Dinner:  4 egg whites with asaparagus, sun dried tomatoes, jalepanoes and fresh pico de gallo on top!  Delish!

Yes...I eat the same thing about 6 days a week - boring?  No, at least not for me.  I discovered years ago, that if I could keep my choices simple that I wouldn't blow my work outs with poor food choices.  It helps keep me on track.  Do I enjoy what I eat??  Yes, because I'm pretty much a creature of habit.

It's a different story if I go out to eat (that's another blog post).  I do cook differently for the men in my house - spaghetti, tacos, meatloaf, crockpot recipes galore.  But they need a different kind of fuel.
Here's how I am changing it up tho:

Breakfast:  3 oz of Chicken Breas
AM Snack:  Apple
Lunch:  Shakeology
PM Snack: Greek Yogurt
Dinner:  my usual egg white concoction - sorry, I really do love it and it requires absolutely no thought on my part.

OK - I didn't change it up - I just moved my foods around based on my running training.  Don't judge me.

Everyone asks what I take on the road -  I love these single servings of Tuna - they may not be 100% paleo, but remember what I said - 80%!!!

Having experimented with nutrition for the past 7 years, I have discovered what works best for my body, best for my runs and best for my weight lifting and active lifestyle.  That is what sets you up for a lifetime of weight loss success.  Finding what works, keeping it basic and simple but yet enjoying a good meal out, or a nice gluten free pizza from Joe Mama's on date night every once in a while.

What are some of your go tos?  What goals have  you set for the upcoming year?  Did you make a plan or do you just plan to wing it?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Route 66 Half - Again!!

Thank you Route 66 for again, proving to be one of my favorite runs!  Because after last year’s Route 66, I thought I might truly have lost my love for you.  But in fact, it was that I simply don’t love running in 19 degree weather.  So to which ever race director called in a favor from the weather gods, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! 

I was broken after OKC Marathon – the worse I’ve ever run, which I contribute to a variety of reasons.  1.  First marathon I’ve ever run without Perfect Pacer.  2.  Most beat up physically going into a Marathon.  Even my doc at Integrated warned me it was going to be ugly.  3.  My friends, because they are invincible and because we agreed not to hold each other back, were able to keep going when I had to become a wiener and walk. So for a long while, I was truly alone.  4. Wind from Hell.  5.  2 hour delay. 

So yes, OKC broke me.  I swore I’d never ever do another marathon.  That is, unless I ever got into NYC or Marine Corps.  But that’s a whole other blog post.  After OKC, I just wanted to find the love for running again.  And not be in pain.  I really wanted Route 66 to be so many things this – redemptive and fun being two of them. 

Route 66 Marathon reminded me that I could love running again, that I could make it about simply finishing and not always having to make a PR and that I definitely shouldn’t take myself seriously as a runner.  Because seriously, I am not that serious of a runner, which I think I realized after sharing some stage time with some fellow bloggers at the Bloggers Forum of the Route 66 Marathon Expo.
The marathon isn’t just about the run on race day, but it is about the journey that leads you to the finish line, which begins many months before you ever reach the start line.  For me, it is about learning how to balance my training, with my job which can be pretty physical and challenging – which I LOVE!  It is also about learning how to train differently because of my job.  It is always about balancing training with wifedom & motherhood.  I wish I could say I found the magic recipe for all that balance, but alas, I’m still searching for it. 

For me, the course this year seemed to resemble my training journey for Route 66.  There were days when training was going awesome and all of a sudden, a “moment” would happen to try to knock me off goal.  It was definitely a training journey full of ups and downs.  Similar to the race course – full of ups and downs!  It was a very nice hilly course which I conquered.  One of those down moments on the course happened when I turned south onto Peoria and a blasting wind hit me smack in the face - I suddenly feel utterly alone and thoughts of failure crept inside my noggin.  Another down moment, occurred at mile 11 – when Perfect Pacer’s body decided it was done. 

But the course held more “up” moments the “downs” – like the up moment when I  realized we were just feet away from Mile 9 aka #cheersoncincinnati where friends with jello shots were stationed) and all of a sudden found myself sprinting past Perfect Pacer.  And then there’s that moment at mile 10, when I slowed to a walk to text my daughter and heard the captain of my training program holler from behind “Jackson, you’ve got a goal – you better start running”. 

Like I said earlier, Perfect Pacer fared well till about mile 11, when his stupid back and his stupid calves begin making him pay for the brutal impact he was putting himself through.  We had made it with good mile splits all the way to mile 11 and were thinking we would actually make my self-imposed 2:10 finish goal when the dull aching throb he runs with intensified.  We resorted to run/walk intervals for those last 2.1 miles trying to focus on the finish line instead of the pain he was in. 

And we crossed the finish line, hand in hand, just like we did at the start line.

Thanks Route 66 Marathon, for reminding me that running long distance can be fun again!   

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Damn Body Image Issues

If you know anything about me, if you have browsed past blog posts, then you know I have a very mutated view of my body.  Body Dysmorphic Disorder could possibly be one of the most misunderstood disorders that women and men can have.  There’s no real treatment for it, and usually, people are told to get over it.  SMH
But this isn’t about MY BDD – it’s about the body image issues so many of us have.  You don’t have to have full blown BDD to have insecurities about your nakedness.  You don’t have to have BDD in order to find fault with your body.  You just have to have eyes and be human.  

When will we ever accept our bodies for the amazing creations they are? 
As a personal trainer with more female clients than males, I hear it every day.  “I hate my boobs”, “I hate my legs”, “I hate butt” and so much more.  Today I even heard “I have my body so much that I’m going to have the bags under my eyes surgically removed.”  UGH.

Today I also heard, “well, you don’t understand what it is like to lift elephant trunks for legs”.  Ummm, yes I do.  Remember this….

The fight to lose weight is real.  The fight to be fit is real.  But it seems that even when we get healthy and fit, we are still in a fight.  The fight to just love ourselves.  My clients find it hard to believe that when I look in the mirror, I can find things I hate about my body.  Trust me, there’s some waist loathing going on with this body!  I am convinced that there are even Victoria Secret Models (no, I’m not comparing myself to a VS model) who have a body part (or two) that they hate. 

Somehow, some way, we need to begin to rethink how we see our body and this woman has been brave enough to actually address the issue on YouTube – which then made it to FB -

She gets it!!  We all need to start seeing our bodies for the awesomeness they help us achieve – whether it be running, walking, cycling, skydiving, swimming, hiking, giving birth, and whatever else we CHOOSE to do!! 
Until we quit comparing ourselves to the photo shopped images that surround us, we need to develop little key ways to keep reminding us how awesome our bodies are.  When my clients begin to say “I hate my…”, I remind them that those Elephant Trunk legs as they call them, those helped them do 30 jumping jacks, 30 burpees, lunge walking, and countless box jumps – all of which is way more than they did the day they started.  And when they complain about their arms, I remind them how many pushups, kettle bell swings, and pull ups that those amazing arms just helped them do! 
One final note, I really think seeing ourselves how others see us is crucial to “rethinking” how we see ourselves.  The other night, after I chastised myself for not having the perfect rocking body before going to bed, my husband gently reminded me how he sees me.  I woke up to a facebook post by him: 

Apparently, this is how he sees me.   This picture does not make me flinch.  In fact, I really like it.  So much so, that I have put a copy of it on my bedroom mirror – to remind myself that I can no longer body shame myself, but instead that I need to embrace the body I have created.  After all, it continues to get me across finish lines, it allows me to have fun with my children and it allows me to have rest when I need it. 

Now, go out there and embrace your body – no matter what size you are.  Our bodies do not define us – they empower us to be the best we are. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Confessions of a Personal Trainer

It's been 8 months since my last blog.  The real life has caught up with me and dragged me into it's abyss.  And I gotta say...I don't like it too much.  But lately, I've felt the need to purge my soul in an effort to regain myself and of course, my blog is where I go.  As an introvert in an extrovert's bizarre that I choose such a public forum to unveil my "inner demons".  Whatever...

And don't get me life is fine.  It's just that it sometimes seems out of control - which I think is so true for so many of us.  And as some one who has OCD, ADD and Body Dysmorphia, I need to control something, so it drives me a little bonkers.

Last year, it seemed like we were just trying to get settled in our new apartment, new school, new city and new jobs.  Funny, it still seems like we are trying to get settled in our new apartment, new school, new city and new jobs.  I think it is because we are constantly striving for goodness and pleasing others...that we feel all out of whack when we think we could possibly be letting someone else down, or something fall through the cracks.  We desire to err on the side of goodness and sometimes that means we don't get to focus on what our souls truly desperately yearn for.  Which is sometimes, simply, quiet, down time.  Away from the hustle, bustle of the world.

Perfect Pacer hasn't been able to run much since the Route 66 Marathon last November and we've picked up biking as a way to train together for something.  So much so that we did the Tulsa Tough this past July.  But add in bike training, into my run training schedule into my gym schedule into my teaching group exercise class schedules and well...mentally, I feel like...I am off track.

So here's the confession...even personal trainers struggle with training and eating healthy.  I mostly struggle with finding balance in my training and eating healthy.  If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you probably already realize that I am prone to eating disorders and that I've been able to control that "prone-ness" by controlling what I eat, when I eat and how I train.  For years, I had figured out exactly how many macros I needed for the training I wanted to do or I could figure out how much training I needed to do in order to eat something I really wanted to eat (chips & guacamole anyone?).

But with the increased training of the cycle training, increased class schedule that I teach and my own self-imposed standards of thinness strength beauty, I find myself struggling with the simplest of decisions - from what to wear, to what bills to pay when, to what to eat, to how to best train.  It sometimes seems that once easy daily decisions I used to make, are now major tasks and then I find myself constantly reaching for the disgusting old comfort foods that once took me up to 154 pounds on my 5'2" frame.

And let's be honest, who the heck is going to hire listen to an overweight personal trainer?  So image is huge in my industry.  As well as in my little brain.  And if I can't lend credibility to my industry, then the business I work for will suffer which will then cause that never ending spiral of letting someone else down and not living up to my self imposed standards that I have set for me/it.  And could happen again - I could puff up into the puffer fish I was 8 years ago.  I'm already on my way... I confess, I've gained between 10 & 12 pounds since December 2013.

And it seems like I'm back to struggling to get it off.  I know, I know.  It doesn't seem like much.  And trust me, I've heard "you look better with the extra pounds", "your still not fat" (and WTH does that really mean?), "you needed to gain weight".  I've gotten the eye rolls for not eating bread, bacon, and a plethora of other stuff that my brain just can't allow me to eat.  I've gotten the eye rolls for agonizing over the pounds of the scale and being self deprecating.  I get the absurdity of the situation - no more eye rolls please.

I guess by sharing this confession, I'm hoping that it will allow me to refocus and regain a sense of the self that I feel I so strongly had before leaving the Great State.  I am hoping that it will bring to close the feelings of frustration from self-imposed demands, self imposed stress and self-imposed expectations.  I am hoping that it will allow me to regain the true joy in my own work outs.  Don't get me wrong - I love what I do - empowering people to discover their true inner strength, their ability to become whom they desire and to unleash their inner warriors.  I just lost all of that within myself.  I know it's down in there - layered beneath the extra pounds that I have sloppily put on.'s time to unleash all of it again...

What do you struggle with? Do you think that personal trainers should have it all figured out all the time?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Better Late then Never....Route 66 Race Recap Report

Okay - usually I try and post the race recap within 24 hours of the race.  Mainly because I'm old and forgetful and need to write it as soon as possible before I forget important details.  However, I needed a bit more time to process this race.  It was definately not what I expected it to be.

I started with the under training but mentally, I know I could do it and was prepared to do whatever it took to get through the full.  My biggest concern was Perfect Pacer, who has not been able to train as much as he usually would.  That started 2 years ago, when he was almost hit by a car on a night run.  It was probably unrealistic to think we would finish a full.

The morning of the Route 66 it was 24 degrees outside but felt like 18.  That's official according to  So here's what I decided would be best to wear:  winter running tights, merino wool socks, my Adidas boost, Nike polar running thermal, team race singlet over it, Oiselle Arm warmers over the running thermal, Brooks winter running beanie, Under Armour running gloves, throw away gloves, flip belt.  It wasn't enough.

Race started will.  We went with our friend Y to the start line, we were all in the same corral.  Even saw some other friends in the corral.  Got one picture in - it was just too cold to even think of pictures.
The race started as usual, Lots of fanfare and excitement - I do think Route 66 does one of the finest races we've ever participated in so it was nothing less then expected!  It was a hilly course - which I was prepared for - they don't really freak me out anymore and I'd been doing hill repeats on the biggest hill on the course for months!

We were on race pace the first 3 or 4 miles (about 9:30)  but by mile 7 we were at a 10:00 mile (which is what I usually run my LDs at).  I noticed that I could no longer feel my fingers and had already thrown away my throw away gloves at mile 3 (they were warm at that moment).  Thankfully Perfect Pacer had taken his throw aways off and tucked them in his pockets.  I put them on promptly.  The rest of me was relatively warm with the exception my toes, my fingers and my face.

By mile 9, we were beginning to walk and run.  I wasn't even tracking pace at that point because the objective had changed to simply finish.  By mile 10, it was more then clear that Perfect Pacer was in extreme pain (not from lack of training but due to his degenerative disk disease).  I had a feeling that we would be taking a DQ and diverting to the half finish line.  But I was still holding out hope.  After all, we had discussed the backup plan of walking more then running in order to get to the full finish line (if that's what it took).

At mile 11 (when I still couldn't feel my fingers and they were literally burning), Perfect Pacer was having trouble just walking.  I was beginning to hear those voices in my head - "you can do the other half without him", "no you can't, you've never even run a 5k without him", "who will be there if you hit the wall", "what are you even considering not finishing?".  I hate mind games.  I knew I needed to let Perfect Pacer know it was okay for him to go the half finish line.  I just didn't know what I was going to do yet.  He kept telling me to go on without him.

About .25 mile from the turnoff, Perfect Pacer stopped and simply crouched down on the race course.  I knew that this was the moment I was dreading.  This was looking bad.   How could I continue and simply hope he made it to his finish line (he doesn't run with his phone so there would  be no communication what so ever for miles if we separated)?  Then there was "the guy".  You know - the one that says "half on the left, full on the right".  He looked right at me (I swear) and pointed  right at me (I double swear) and he simply said "ya'll need to go right".

I heard myself say, "no, we are going left".  It was in that moment that I made the decision to divert and to finish the race with the one person by my side that had always been there for me.  We had always said we'd never cross the finish line without the other and I wasn't about to break that tradition.  Perfect Pacer gimped and we sort of trotted, hand in hand, across the finish line.  All I could think of was, "my fingers have hypothermia, don't give me a medal."

The finish line was awesome as usual, set up for high security and protection of the runners.  Our kids totally missed us at the finish line as they were waiting at home thinking they'd be meeting us in 4 hours at the Full finish line.  I had texted them at mile 11 and said "meet us at the half finish, pretty sure dad is headed that way."  I neglected to let them know our pace (because I had quit tracking it).

After the medal area, water, solar blankets, we were funneled into a tent with numerous serving lines of spaghetti and oranges.  I couldn't even think about eating.  I just needed to get out and get warm.

We met up with the kidlets at the corner, walked briskly to the car and waiting on our friend Y to get to the car.  She had been in the medical tent because she couldn't feel her hands and she had finished quite a bit before us.  Upon arriving home, I was still bitter cold and shaking so I promptly climbed into bed, under 2 down comforters (and yes, with all my race clothes still on - don't judge me).  About an hour later, I woke up and could feel my feet and fingers again.

I begin peeling off the layers and realized that my feet were covered in blisters (because I broke the biggest race day - nothing new - I had put on a new pair of merino wool socks instead of a tried and true pair).  I couldn't feel them on the course because I had no feeling in my feet.  I realized that if I had continued onto the full finish, I'd probably have been covered in bloody blistered feet so for that I was grateful.

I still have mixed emotions about getting a DQ.  We finished in 2:23:59, which is definitely our poorest  times, but we were not expected a PR this time.  We just wanted to finish.

Later that evening, at Perfect Pacer's 54th Bday party, he announced that he was done running long distance with me but would make sure he was at all the major mileage points when I would need him the most.  I'm still trying to process through that as well.  This definitely was not the race I expected it to be.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just a quick note....

It's official!!   I just got my confirmation email about speaking at the Bloggers Forum at the Route 66 Marathon Expo this Saturday at 3!!  Totally Excited!

And what's just as great is that you can participate - either by going to the expo and hanging in the audience and asking me questions....

Or by tweeting to our moderators using the #Rt66run hashtag for questions!!

To see who else will be hanging with me:

Danielle Hastings
The whole thing starts at 3:30 and will last less then an hour - totally worth a sit and watch!!
Ahhhh - this expo business just got busier!! Can't be more excited tho!!
What's the one question you would want answered by a panelist???