Monday, December 21, 2015

Naughty or nice...which list am I feeling today?

Thought I would make a list of as this is the season for lists of why I still do what I do every day:

1-Sense of accomplishment, too many times do we say we are going to do something and we don't
2-Runner's doesn't always happen but when it does it's a beautiful thing
3-Rare occasion I catch up to a runner and we have a brief conversation on what a great day it is to run...never thought I'd look at a day that way
4-The feeling of my day can officially start because I have completed that run...I am genuinely even later for everything when I don't work out first thing in the day
5-I LOVE "active wear" and getting new "active wear"...running habit keeps that going :)
6-Pushing myself each time a little bit harder to see if I can accomplish a goal I came up with mid way through my run
7-Taking a run easy because I kicked my own butt the day before
8-My kids asked if I had run yet...crap...have to do it now!
9-Woke up to my alarm and hubby is already down on his bike on the excuses
10-Sleep is over rated....or I'll take a nap later
11-I love running through my town at this time of year...twinkle lights are perfect at 6am
12-Laying in bed at 5:45am trying to think of a better time to run is miserable...I will not fall back to sleep
13-I love to see a sweaty shirt and sports bra at the end of a run...means I worked my butt off
14-I love waving to neighbors and friends while I head around town...they give me a little extra push 
15-I can't stand the last mile into my's the hardest because it's the last and has a few dips and valleys...but I am so happy to come upon it each time
16-Being alone for an hour and not having to talk or answer a question is a beautiful thing
17-I still surprise myself with my ability to judge what .25 of a mile is when I need to add on and know the loops and cul de sacs in my neighborhood
18-Doing silly math in my head as to how much longer I really still have on this run
19-Reminding myself more than I would like to what it was like at that last 1.2 miles of my marathon this past May and can't believe I was able to push that hard
20-Excited for what will come in just a few months of hard training
21-A cup of ice cream almost EVERY night ;)
22-Feeling stronger almost every time I run and motivated to face whatever the day throws my way
23-A nice hot shower after a chilly morning run
24-A delicious peanut butter banana chocolate protein shake while showering ;)
25-Knowing that one day I won't be able to do this...but today is not that day

I could go on forever...but I thought 25 would be a good number as that is the number of the season.  I was not always a runner...this list did not exist in my life 7 years ago but it does now and for me that is all that matters.  My runs matter to me every day and make a difference in my day and life.  They make me be able to tackle my day with a sense of calmness and stability that I otherwise would not have.  These 25 things may seem trivial and silly but they become what drives me to keep up this silly obsession.  Yes it is an addiction for me and I am aware of it but feel like that is not a bad one to have. 

I'd love to know what are some of the reasons that keep you going each day???  Maybe I could add them to my future list...please feel free to share!  We inspire and motivate each other...this is how this thing works.

Embrace the suck...choose you...lists make me happy ;) 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Life can get in the way!

Here we are less than two weeks from Christmas and my life is spinning in circles.  The idea of staying on track and not partaking in all the "fun" seems beyond words lame.  On some days it is taking all I have in me to get my sneakers on and head out the door for a run.  It is so very dark and so very quiet and my bed is so very comfy.  Some days that fuels me for a strong run...this morning...that was not the case.  I still got the run done...every last step was a pain in the butt!  Some feel that a fit person enjoys every moment of their ritual and determination.  I enjoy the result of my fit on some days...I despise the process on others....and there are many days where both the process and the results are what drives me and keeps me going.

Peppermint Oreos, warm brie on crusty bread, beer, special holiday themed cupcakes, fritos with sausage dip, cute little cubed cheese...this was my intake on Saturday afternoon.  That was my dinner/lunch that I choose for myself while at this party.  Yes there was a veggie tray and water and fruit...I had none of that.  What I have to come to realize is that life is here and all around us and we cannot beat ourselves up each day that we celebrate.  Life is those extra 5-10 pounds that come and go with us over time.  This is not to say that we do not have times in our life when we are on our A game and those life pounds are no where to be found...but as a rule...they exist and are okay.

For as "fit" as I may be I still love all the wrong food.  I would crush a Starbucks cake pop with a decaf vanilla latte, I would kill for a cheeseburger with a side of fries and onion rings, I would love to grab a candy bar in the checkout aisle, I would gladly have seconds of homemade mac and cheese, pizza, beer, birthday cake, mashed potatoes or a platter of nachos or potato skins.  So how do I say no to these foods and keep myself on target??

I don't.  I let myself eat these high calorie crazy yummy foods.  But I don't eat them all the time.  I realize that we will have occasions where there is not another option and I can do my best to stay in control but the crazy Julie takes over and I am licking the remaining icing off the cake plate, it's not a pretty sight!  Sometimes I am having a third slice of pizza because it's a fun night at home with the kids and you know tastes really good.  I also know that these occasions are not my everyday life.

We love to have burgers and fries, in fact we had them last night for dinner...bacon burgers to boot!  I had french fries that I weighed out for serving size and same goes for the burgers that my husband weighed prior to grilling.  This whole life and those final pounds and staying in our goal zone is really hard to balance but it is not impossible.  Once you come to accept that you want to control your intake and your output and there will be sacrifices made...then results will start to come.  And with results comes will power.  The next time you see that package of peppermint Oreos at Target while your milling about won't buy them because in the end they are truly not worth it.  Getting your workout in each day is exhausting and at times logistically not only do you have to be psyched to work have to have it work in your schedule.  The whole process is so very overwhelming!

So keep the faith...keep chugging along...accept that not every day will be a success...allow life to happen but don't make every day a special occasion.  Stop with the silly excuses, move your body and find an exercise on some level that you can happily do each day.  Know that this is a process and that it may not be a speedy one...know that you are stronger in mind, body and heart than you think you are.  Know that you are an example for others and you are leading the way.  Know that you are capable of change even when it feels like you are up against a brick wall yet again.  The road ahead may seem so very long and daunting but you only need to take one step at a time.  You are not charging to the finish line on day one.  Fall in love with the process and your life and success will come!

Embrace the suck...choose your hard...focus on the change!

Monday, November 30, 2015


Verb-cause (an event or process) to happen.
Noun-the point in time or space at which something has its origin; the beginning of something.

Today is a miserable rainy cold day here in Virginia.  I did not wake up to work out but rather rolled over and turned off my alarm before it had a chance to go off and slept in until 7:45 am.  I spent the day yesterday getting Christmas going in or home.  It was a must as the two year old keeps asking..."Is my christmas ready?"  Breaks my heart every time!  So today I decided I was going to delay my start and enjoy the day putting snowflake flannel sheets on the girls' beds, setting up the winter village that the kids love to look at, and watch a movie with my four year old.  I did not launch myself into this week but instead took a step backwards.

I was reminded last week how my first start on this journey to a stronger me was the Monday before Thanksgiving in 2001.  That day is forever imprinted on my brain as the day I decided to start.  I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting and the leader praised us all for showing up the week of Thanksgiving.  Not waiting for the new year was a huge thing for me...I felt that a change could begin prior to January..I started just hoping for the best.  What I was able to accomplish in those few short days prior to the year set me up for a strong jump into my journey.

I just sat here and went through my food journals from that first year of weight watchers.  It consisted of puffins ceral and milk, english muffin with peanut butter or rye toast with some butter for breakfast.  Soups and sandwiches for lunch always with chips of some kind.  Salad and protein for dinner and a few random nights of pasta.  There was ALWAYS dessert on each day and sometimes more than once.  Some things have not changed.

The start of my day every day is Maple and Brown Sugar Wegmans Weight Control Oatmeal and one cup of decaf tea.  Every day!  Ben made french toast this weekend...I had oatmeal.  I know I love the flavor of it and I know it will hold me until lunch so there is no reason for me to go a different route.  Lunch is always fairly routine...anything in a roll up with either avocado or sour cream involved.   Dinner is salad and protein still.  I save my big pasta nights for a big workout day.  I know how delicious pasta and sauce is and it is definitely a treat when we have it.  Something I work hard for so I can truly enjoy it.  Oh I love you so. Every night consists of one cup of slow churned ice cream.  It is something that my husband and I have turned into our nightly ritual.  We have the dishes done, the breakfast table set for kids and we retreat to our bedroom with our cup of nicely measured out ice cream.

Every day that we are given is still a new start for me.  I still use the daily ques to keep myself in line.  My kids will ask do you need the kindle to log your food or are you headed down to the treadmill...can I play while you run?  I need to be reminded of that start and how hard it always is for me.  The first five minutes of my run each time are not wonderful and I usually want to turn around but when I finish I feel like I have conquered the day.  I also know that starting over is way more difficult than staying where I am.  Every choice is a hard one...I am choosing which hard I want to face each day...and yes it is still a daily choice.  I was tired of sneaking the Halloween candy that I had in the garage that we were going to get rid of...I had to ask my husband to take it into work today...I could have shed these five pounds a month ago if that candy was not here.  If it's here...I will eat it...I won't buy the stuff but I will definitely seek it out in my own home if I know it exists!

Jan 2014-Jan 2015

Start today-it will be scary, annoying, lonely at times, frustrating, tiring but it will also be rewarding, exhilarating, life changing, inspiring, and beyond words worth it.  People will see that you are making this change and results will happen and you will inspire.  You will have people asking what you are doing, how hard it must be, and you can smile to them and say yes it is hard and it is exhausting but it is so very worth it!

Friday, November 20, 2015

What's your goal...did you make it?

I started thinking today about how everyone says set a goal and work towards it...and you will get there.  Well that is not always the case, I try to get to bed every night by 10pm but Big Bang Theory sucks me in every night!  We are approaching the time when we will look back and reflect on the year that has so quickly come to a close and often we immediately think of the things we wish we had finished and the family trips and milestones of our children.

I wanted to take a look at my goals this year for 2015, indulge me for a minute...please do not take this as a "pea-cocking" blog post but rather a true look at what I wanted to do, what I tried to do, what I trained to do and what I actually accomplished.  I figured out in doing this that 2015 was a pretty great year, the training and hard work I put forth led me to many goals and just short of others. Can't believe that a mom with four kids and a crazy schedule was able to focus on all this and get it done.  If I was able to pull this off and keep pushing can too!

Training began December of 2014 with the goal of completing my 2nd marathon in May of 2015.  I started the year with  my first race, a half marathon in the freezing cold month of February.  My amazing Ragnar team completed our second relay in Cape Cod Massachusetts in May 2015.  Started my triathlon season with a sprint distance in July, I then completed my first ever Olympic Distance Triathlon in August, wow was that a HILLY course.  Finished my triathlon season with a half iron distance in October.  I coached spring and fall running
Running Club 5k
at the elementary school and got to see many kids make amazing strides in running both figuratively and literally.  Ran with my son during the club's 5k, he had a great race, had fun and even managed a PR.  I joined a running mileage challenge group where I was going to attempt to run 2015 miles in the year 2015.  As each of these events approached the individual goal for them became much more extreme competitive nature came POURING out.

NJ Marathon 
After weeks of training for my marathon it was not until about a month prior did I tell myself, I want to try to qualify for Boston.  Again this was my second ever marathon and I though an amazing thing would just happen because I wanted it to.  I worked very hard all those months, was focused and driven but did not train to be Boston ready.  Despite having an amazing PR in February at my half marathon 1:43:03 thinking that would have me prepared for what I needed to get to in my full.  I needed 3:40:00 to make Boston...I crossed the line at 3:40:13.  Some may view that as a failure and for awhile after that race, believe you me, I did.  But I know now that I can train again and will crush that goal...and that time was not failure...that time was amazing and I am proud!

Ragnar Cape Cod
Next up on my list was our second Ragnar Relay.  If a friend every asks you to join their team and complete a Ragnar...SAY YES!  It is the best running experience.  It was just what I needed after my full marathon.  When you go to one of these events you are with people that are just passionate about life and running and their goal is to have a fun time and live life to the fullest.  I feel like our team definitely crushed that goal in Cape Cod.  I cannot wait to do this again with these ladies in 2016.

B2B Half Iron Distance
Half Iron, what was I thinking.  Signed up for that on Christmas Day in my friend's kitchen not knowing what other goal there would be but then to survive and not drown.  I met those goals but also many others.  I managed to not get pulled out of the water for a panic attack, believe you was a close one.  I managed to go way faster on the bike than I thought my legs would be able to push despite a horrible headwind.  I managed to run my second fastest half marathon 1:52:43 which brought me to finish as the 23rd woman out of 359 and 6th in my age group.  I say that the goal of just finishing was met and I cannot wait to make a new goal with another triathlon in 2017...I wonder what that will be?!?!

Now to the mileage challenge.  This goal kills me as I know I am not going to make it.  With all the running I was doing for my marathon training it was looking like a no brainer but then came the triathlon training and less running, added biking and swimming.  I will not make the 2015 goal but I will get as close as my legs will carry me.  Running more than a hundred miles a month is pretty of today I am at 1365 miles this year.  First time I have ever tracked, 2016 will be a great running year I can just feel it.  I am not bummed out on missing that goal...too many other awesome things came out of it.  This is not failure even though a goal was not met.

So why am I sitting here writing about these accomplishments and near short falls...why do I do these monthly challenges and show you pictures of my success, why do I share with you my failures and my triumphs?!?!   I do this because I have never done this before...I am just like you, a parent and a spouse and in high demand from every angle.  I try my best to stay the course but sometimes that course is crowded with legos thrown everywhere, a barbie mine field, rainbow loom explosions, dinner to prep, laundry to put away, kids to bathe and maybe a vacuum to push around the house once in awhile.  I have chosen me as of January 25, 2014 when enough was enough and a change had to happen.  I have worked for this new me every single day since then.  I am just a girl from Jersey who decided her will HAD to be stronger than her won't.

So did I hit every goal this year....nope.  But missing those goals was so much fun I think I'll try them all again!!  I may have learned more about myself in this past year than I have in the past 37 years of my life.  I am capable of many great things, I can do this on my own, I can do this with support, I can and will continue to be strong for myself and for those that I hold so very close to my heart.  They are watching me every day...they watch, they learn, they set their own goals because I do too.

the support

the reason...not the excuse

Embrace the suck, choose you....I promise CAN do this!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How silly of me

These extra post race five pounds are not going away as quickly as I would like.  I did not have a great weekend of eating and only exercised one day...I was beating myself up for not sticking with my will power and determination to really rid myself of these last lbs.

I woke up on Monday morning and was getting ready to go for my run.   I had laid everything out the night excuses to not get these six miles in...not even the 29 degree temperature.  I hadn't weighed myself all weekend because I know that eating pizza and tortellini and Halloween candy will not get me to my goal.  I know not hopping on the treadmill even if for just thirty minutes on a day that I was home with all the kids is not pushing me in the right direction.  I avoided my scale since Friday but it was now Monday and I was going to bite the bullet!

The scale at 6:00 am Monday morning made me had me within a pound of my goal...I was ecstatic...confused...but ecstatic.  I remembered back to my Weight Watchers day that they would say sometimes you needed a big off day to trick your body into letting go of some weight.  I was beyond words excited.  I headed out the door for my was cold but I felt so charged by my early morning finding I didn't really care.  I was proud of me for sticking with it for over two weeks to get these pounds off and knew that the blow up on Saturday was NOT going to happen again.

After my run, which I managed to average a faster pace than normal, I came inside from the cold, gave G2 a big sweaty hug and kiss and wished my hubby a great day at work.  I shared with him how great my run felt...that it was easier than most other days, I was not tired, I felt lighter on my feet.  I then made my Weight Control Brown Sugar and Maple Syrup Oatmeal and cup of Decaf tea and enjoyed my breakfast with G3 and G1.  I was feeling extremely chipper!

I finished up my breakfast and headed upstairs to take my shower and get ready for the day.  I wanted to weigh post run to see the change from the water loss.  Well guess what.  It was back to my original number.  I must have been standing funny on my scale prior to the run...I haven't lost those five pounds...they are right where they have been the whole time.  My mood immediately went to crap.  I was annoyed at myself for the five pounds but more annoyed at myself for letting the idea of that loss dictate my mood for the day.  

I told my husband this story that night...he brought up the point that I didn't look different in the mirror when I thought I had loss the five pounds but yet I was disappointed.  He reminded me that I was the same with or without that five pound loss and or maintenance.  I am in charge of my approach to the day...not the scale.

So here we are Tuesday...and I am logging and drinking water like it's my job.  I am DETERMINED to shed these silly five pounds by turkey day.  I will have success on this scale prior to the holiday but not for it to make or break my day.  I want those five pounds gone so I don't have to stress on a weekend when I want to enjoy time with my family and friends.  There is A LOT of pie at my Thanksgiving...can't pass that up or the candied yams and bacon brussels sprouts!!

Don't let the number determine your mood.  Don't get wrapped up in that.  Remember how you feel when you finish that workout or have a successful day of making the right choices.  If that mood and those actions continue then the number will move on its own at its own pace.

Embrace the Suck...Choose's okay to go slow!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Seasons of Love

Saturday morning and my kids are at each other like mad...and it's not even ten am.  With that comes me trying my best to clean up from breakfast, empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, throw in some laundry, hope that my kids are clean and ready to take on a cloudy rainy Saturday.  We have a football game to support G1 at this afternoon but otherwise just vegging...this is a good thing!

My almost five year old and almost three year old have been asking where all the Halloween decorations are...when are they coming back out...why can't we keep them out all year the scary witch going to eat me...can I have a piece of candy??  Then the four year old has a moment of clarity...and says when is it my birthday yet?  Little do they know how as they grow they will want these seasons to drag ever so slowly...we don't want these birthdays to rush upon us and in a blink of an eye or have their littlest be three years old because it means that part is done, over, no more.  The days of lining up cars and wanting to spend time playing silly games with their siblings are lessening every day.  Their desire to answer the call of their sibling to help or play with them is limited.  

As the mother of this every growing family I need to remember to embrace these moments and try my best to foster fun, love, patience, forgiveness and acceptance within the chaos.  I need to try to make the moments last and cherish them because the next season is quickly approaching, the moment is short lived...some days seems like they will NEVER end and I am reminded of that phrase that all parents with children my age utter.  The days are long the but the years are short.

How do we do all this and try to remember to keep ourselves in check.  I don't know the answer but I do know that we make it work.   It is not perfect, well scripted but it is completed.  The kids make me want the seasons to change because their excitement is contagious, as much as they drain me of energy they fuel me as well.  I guess this is similar to getting yourself back on track physically as well.  As much as we dread the workout, the logging of food...when results are starting to show...when we feel stronger, run faster, do more pushups at once...we know this work on the backend is worth it.  When I pick my two year old up out of his crib in the morning and he initiates a hug and a kiss and says good morning mommy I love you...I know he is learning from me...he is getting stronger, smarter, and sadly older.

Every day is not seamless but it is one more day together.  It is another season we get to spend creating memories and hopefully laughter.  When the new season comes upon us we start the conversations of remember when we did this at Halloween last year...or the year that I was Strawberry Shortcake.  These seasons are not lost on them...they are remembering every little detail with love and smiling as they retell the story for the 100th time.

An important thing that I have found for myself is to set goals outside of the next holiday or vacation with each season.  I need to have something aside from the hallmark singing snowman to look forward to.  I know that my family fills my heart but there is a space that I have to be responsible for as well.  This is a place that gets filled only by me and the growth that I surprise myself with every year.  I need to remember that I am me first and then a mom, wife, cook, nurse, accountant, teacher, therapist, and laundry lady next.

Embrace the Suck...Choose You!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Back at it...again.

So I have watched my scale creep up a half a pound at a time for the past few weeks and there has to be a point in which you say...okay this is enough.  Knowing that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away which is followed by an insane amount of Christmas cookies and other holiday indulgences...I have to get myself in the right mind frame TODAY!

Whether we decide the day is the day when we want to tackle six pounds or sixty...that first day is a tricky one.   Our Halloween candy is sitting in the kitchen filling an entire brown paper grocery bag.  I need to remind myself that candy will exist after today...I don't need to consume it all as if it was it's last day on earth, that is what I did both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.  As amazing as I think that 100 Grand, Almond Joy and Snickers truly taste...the way they make me feel five minutes later is full crap!  My runs are more sluggish, my stomach doesn't feel great, I am more lazy around the house, and my overall motivation is zapped.  It truly does not help that this day is cloudy and a slight chill is in the air.  Wouldn't it be an amazing day to bake something...NO NO STOP!!

So I can still see the wagon, the horse...the items I need to get myself back on...I have not fallen too far away.  I know that a few strong weeks of focused eating...note I am not saying starving-I still eat....and exercise I will drop these silly post race pounds and be at my fighting weight to drop kick the holiday weight gain!  I really do like to eat healthy...I get to eat more...and I need to remember how wonderful it makes me feel.  When I feel good on the inside that confidence comes outside and I am a happier person.

But let's be honest's not fun.  When I worked in the corporate world I knew where the candy bowls were located on the floor, I was in tight with the catering group, I would swing by and grab a cookie or brownie during a training session...I never said NO!  I didn't accept the fact that life is really this for that...If I didn't do the work I was not going to get the reward.  I didn't have that moment of clarity.

These past few weeks I watched as I weighed every morning...or skipped a morning because I knew it wasn't going to be what I wanted to see...the number was not going in the direction I wanted it to.  I was making the excuses.  I was still exercising but I was not tracking and on the ball or making the smart choices.  I was giving myself some slack and telling myself that I worked so hard for all those weeks...this will be okay.  I was hoping that run and bootcamp class covered my intake for the day. 

It is okay to take that break however now I have work to I know I can accomplish but just like that fifth load of laundry sitting at the top of the just don't really want to do it.  I still wish I was blessed with a metabolism that let me just have at it every day and not have to keep in check...but here I am...a busy mom of four kids who has to get her runs in during the early morning hours and leggo the eggo that I would love to devour and stick with my maple brown sugar oatmeal and cup of decaf  tea.  I need to fill up my naglen and get my 32oz in three times a day...I need to not lick the knife of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I made...I need to forget there is every candy bar under the sun in this house and I am not having it.  I need to remember that I am determined, have will power, and am stronger than all of this.  

I have a race I will start training for in eight weeks...I have a new goal.  Without this goal I sometimes lose focus but if I get there...if I shed these few extra post race pounds...I will be ready to tackle this new goal faster and stronger than before.  I need to remember how that feels...that is way better than a snickers bar!

Embrace the suck...choose you...get back on the wagon!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

It will be okay

Life has been an insane whirlwind this month...I cannot even believe it is November in five days.  This is my favorite time of year and I feel like I may have missed it.  Those perfect cool days are going to be quickly replaced by freezing cold ones and I know the dreaded white stuff will arrive before we know it.

My days are very much groundhogs day....wake up and run, shower if there is time, wake up G3 to get her to eat a bagel in 45 minutes-how does it take her this long??!!??-, and grab G4 before heading out the door to take G3 to school while G4 eats cereal in the car with a spoon...spilling a large amount on the floor of an already messy messy minivan.  We run to the big three on any given day, Target, Costco and Wegmans.  I am bound to see a fellow mom or dad out getting their errands in...I am hoping I remembered to brush my teeth before I left the house.  G4 is genuinely a happy little buddy to have with me on my morning circus ride and makes the run around fun for the most part.

Last week we managed to get some errands done in the morning and then actually made it, just a tad late, you should not be surprised, to G3's school for the firetruck day.  I knew G4 would be more psyched about this than anything...he had his firetruck book in tow and his firetruck socks on...ready to show the "woo woo guys" as he calls them.

As I was standing out in line to see the truck another mom from a different class came up to me and asked me my name.  She reintroduced herself and said that last year when she was pregnant with her fourth child I was sitting by her in the church during a preschool activity.  I had asked her what number this was for her...and she told me four.  My next phrase to her was..."It will be okay."  She told me that this phrase has stuck with her as she now has a one month old on top of three other littles all under the age of 5.  She continued to tell me how she would see me at the Trunk or more thing for a parent to stress over...and I did not decorate my car but rather was there in my minion costume handing out candy from a plastic pumpkin...nothing fancy but there with all my spirit.  She said she looked at me and will be okay.  She said with the Easter version of trunk or treat happened again...let's tax these parents two times over the course of the school year...again I did not go all in for the decorations but was there with rabbit ears on and a smile on my face...she would say would be okay.   She continued to tell me that over the course of last year and this year she would see me in my craziness knowing that I have four kiddos as well...and she would look at me and say to will be okay.

Well she made my day!  I came home and told my husband this story and just started to cry.  We all know and feel the pressure coming in every direction for us to be as "perfect" as can be.  I guess I have resigned to the fact that some days...heck most day...I, nor my children, are perfect.  They are happy, smiley, loved, healthy, silly, and far from perfect and that is okay.  I know that I put pressure on myself to keep up the good front but then there are days like today that I slept in my sweatpants that I wore Sunday afternoon and its' 11:40 on Monday and I am still wearing them.  I realize that perfect is not a reality and whatever I am living feels pretty darn amazing.

The piles of clean laundry that line my upstairs hall, the basement that has a floor covered with toys, the bins of clothes I have ready to rotate in or out or consign, the many random piles of school papers and restaurant coupons in the hopes of maybe making it out to dinner some day cover the dining room table and are shoved into many a drawer when people are coming over, the coolers that were used two weeks ago that still sit in the path to the garage yet are not put away, the beautiful fall centerpiece my mom bought for me but the reality of there ever being a spotless table to let it stand out on its own is minimal, the three huge bins of legos someone donated to us and the kids LOVE to play together with but where does one store these things when they aren't, oh the list can go on.

So I want to thank that mom that shared with me that my words help her get through some days because really, it will be okay.  We just need to love the ones we are with, give them the best of us on any given day, and take deep breaths even though that doesn't always work, and help someone a little bit each day.  Perfect is overrated, too hard, exhausting, and not fun...being exactly who you are is really the only way to go and that will be okay.

Embrace the Suck...choose you...and breath.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Post race recap...Beach to Battleship 70.3

Well the day came and went and it was truly amazing!  Everything about my first 70.3 Half Iron Distance was more than I dreamed up in my head!  Yes I said first...there WILL be more...I am addicted!

As you may remember the logistics around this race were not exactly as we had initially planned.  My husband was racing Ironman Maryland 10/3 however the threat of a hurricane pushed this race to 10/17...the same day as Beach 2 Battleship.  He wanted to be there to enjoy in the celebration and watch the three people he coached over the past six months reach their goals...however his goal had to be met as well.  We divided up our children and with the amazing help of family and friends figured it all out.  I headed to North Carolina on Thursday morning and he would head to Maryland on Friday...we would make this work.

Arrived to the convention center on Thursday afternoon after a long six and half hour drive and it was pretty quiet as most people arrive to packet pick up on Friday.  Grabbed our packets and left with an amazing orange trucker hat.  I was pumped.  The atmosphere was pretty tame but still got my juices flowing for what was in store.  We went to the house we rented for the long weekend and hit up the grocery store.  My training partner and I did a quick three mile run through the streets of Wrightsville Beach, we could tell this was a fun place to be.  Pasta was made and we relaxed on the porch of our was a great day.  

Friday morning we went to the swim at your own risk meet up at the channel we would be swimming on Saturday.  There were about 60 of us and it was a great stress reliever.  After our .8 mile swim with the current I felt like Saturday would not be an issue, swimming is not my strongest leg but I knew I could power through it.  That afternoon we packed up our transition bags, marked them with bright orange tape and was ready to drop them off at the transition areas along with our bikes.  The weather was supposed to drop in temp for Saturday morning so I made some sleeves out of old socks and felt ready for whatever was going to happen.  

Friday afternoon we had a late lunch in the town of Wilmington and we sat next to a couple who were also triathletes.  The woman was racing on Saturday and she looked like she was going to take names...sure enough she was the 4th female finisher...third in her age group.  I was impressed by her before the race even began.  It was not until my conversation with her that I realized I was probably going to go a bit faster than I thought on this course...I was getting excited!  We headed home to relax and have a calm dinner.  We spent the afternoon on the beach in the beautiful sunshine.

I went to bed at 9:30 and was up for about an hour and then fell asleep...I slept until 6:15.  It was a great night sleep.  I talked with my husband before he headed into the water for his swim...we wished each other all the best and final I love yous were spoken...It truly sucked so badly to not be together for these races...but we embraced the suck and pushed through.  My daughter rolled over and wished me luck on my race as I headed out to get my tattoos on and breakfast in my belly.  My training partner and I decided we would walk to the start from our house even though there were shuttles, our house was positioned in the middle of the two.  It was a beautiful calm morning and we were both in a great place mentally...very relaxed.

We stood in a parking lot as we watched the full swimmers start their day and then the 8:34 start for my training partner was up...he headed to the other side of the road and was was going to be a great day.  My group was 8:54 start time...I waited for my other friend and we walked over together.  Standing in the water and waiting for room for us to get in for our wave I started shivering and just wanted it to begin.  I went out to our starting point and positioned myself to the I knew I would have a left hand turn at the buoy...clearly this was everyone else's plan as well.  

The swim started and I felt goggles were not as tight as they should have been and water started seeping in pretty quickly.  I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the swimmers around me but knew I just needed to find my lane.  The goggles were not getting any better and I knew I could not handle it for thirty plus minutes.  I decided to flip onto my back and kick and take off my goggles and fix them.  I did this but seeing all the swimmers coming from behind freaked me out a bit.  I quickly turned back over and found my groove.  I made it to the first turn buoy and the current made it very challenging to make the turn as I was already to the left of the buoy.  I made my way around as I didn't want to get dinged for not going around it.  The rest of the swim was issues and no anxiety.  I was in my lane, my groove and I felt great.  Made it to the ladders and out to the strippers and to the swim mat 34:35.

It was probably a quarter mile to the transition area but I made sure to stop in the warm showers to rinse some of the salt water off.  I ran up the street in my bare feet chatting with the other woman around me complaining about those horrible first five minutes of the swim and how the water was so choppy.  We made it and was happy that portion was behind to find our bikes!  My cheering crew was there to greet me as I entered T1...gave me huge smiles and high fives.  Well, I thought I knew that mine was in the row by the tree and in the middle of all the racks on the left side.  Well when the front racks are now empty my visual was all messed up and I was freaking out that I could not find my bike.  My training partner's bike was gone from our rack and I finally did find mine and was debating on going to the bathroom but decided to just power through and get on the bike and go.  T1 was 5:55.  A bit longer than I wanted.  Next time will go in the am and get my shoes and helmet out and on the bike ready to go so I don't have to open the bag and find all that stuff.  I would then only have to put my wet stuff away.

Off onto the bike.  This part was making me the most nervous...I am lucky to train at home on a great trail when I get outside but never really feel like I maintain a high rate of speed for that long.  I trained at 50 miles in about three hours.  The bike was feeling amazing.  My legs felt fresh and ready to tackle these 56 miles.  I had no clue if I would feel like death when it came to the run but I was just going to push as hard as they would let me.  I also realized while going out to bike that I had hit stop on my watch instead of I was all messed up there but finally got it to show me my speed in a rotating was annoying but I was seeing what my output least every three screens.  So we were in town for a bit and then got out onto a highway...that is when the headwind was in full was crappy but I keep pushing.  The faster folks in the older age groups that started the swim after me were plowing past me...but then I was passing some of those younger age was a give and take on the bike. I found my training partner at mile thirty...gave him some encouraging words to keep going.  When we did the turn around and headed back to Wilmington we now had a tail wind...I was flying and legs still felt great.  I had eaten three gus on the bike and kept very hydrated with my profile design mounted water bottle.  Our final little bridge into town I was behind another woman from Florida...she was so funny complaining how there are no hills in Florida and that this was not a flat race...We made it over the grates on the drawbridge, our second bridge like that and turned into town.  We cheered each other over that was a great ride....managed 2:49:47.

Headed into the convention center for our next transition.  Right at the dismount line my cheering crew was there...all smiles and waving and high fiving.  Made the hard ride worth it!  Ran my bike up and then a volunteered grabbed it.  They called my number to help me find my run bag and headed into the changing tent.  Debated the bathroom again but decided to just go and start running. Sneakers were on and I had my gus and orange visor on...I was ready to go!  Headed out of T2 and saw my cheering crew again...3:09.  

The run started great...I knew the turn around was at mile 7 and it would take a lot of work to get there.  The first mile was a fast one at 7:52 which was a little add on loop right outside the convention center.  Took a bit to make the legs feel human again but was working through it.  There were a few hills to get out of downtown before we ran along a nice shaded path in a wooded area.  It was a great spot and the volunteers were awesome at the aid stations.  I felt like it was a false flat all the way up to the turn around.  I saw the first woman coming back and was just amazed...they were hauling!  I caught up with a 28 year old and tried to hang with her as best as I could....I needed her help to get me to that turn around.  Finally the turn and run back...I had taken my first gu at mile 3 and then my second at mile 9.  I was taking water at every station, dumping one on my head and one to drink.  I was starting to feel a chafe on my left armpit was just trying my best to not think about it.  I did have the thought that my husband and I were now running at the same time, and I saw a guy running in the same kit he was made me feel a little better on the last half of the run.  

Taking the turn back into town was wonderful...I knew it was less than three miles til I was done and on any given day I can run three miles.  One of the last turns to get along the water and there was a woman that was going strong and she told me to stay with her, that I could do it.  I love this sport...I love the community...she helped through that last mile.  Made it to the final left and there was a girl ahead of me...I had to get in front of her and I did.  Saw my crew in the shoot with their hands out and lots of waving and cheers.  Crossed the line and finally could stop...Run was 1:52:43...Total time 5:26:07.

I didn't know what my time was until I got over to the after party area where they were flipping through the results.  I found my two slices of pizza and some cookies and grapes...lots of water and a seat.  I sat with some people and discussed the day, the chopping start, the crazy headwind and the false flat of the run.  I then asked if I could track my husband on their phone to see where he was in his race...and he was crushing it!  Made it back to my crew after I felt a bit rested, got some Vaseline for my chaffed armpit and got lots of hugs and congrats while we waited for my training partner to come in.  

We grabbed our bikes and bags and wobbled back to the car.  It was a long day but one we were very proud of.  I would do this race again in a heartbeat.  The community was amazing and the level of sportsmanship from all participants was awesome.  We drove back to our house to finally get a shower and put on cozy clothes...was able to watch my husband finish his full due to awesome technology...3rd in his age group, next day a Kona slot he had worked so VERY hard for was handed to him.

Goals are not always clear when you start something but as you progress through the process of training, and you feel yourself working so very hard, those goals become crystal clear.  The daily training and time away from my people was tough, doing a swim at 5:30 in the morning not ideal, not feeling my toes after a long ride on the bike hurt, getting a sore bottom from a super duper long ride...all these things are worth it.  It is not about winning or being the fastest but about testing yourself and see what you are truly capable of.  As adults we don't get to have weekends filled with soccer tournaments and field hockey matches.  It is so very thrilling to go through the training and work, hard hard work, and get to "play" and see what you can still do.  I think it's very important to remember to play and always keep testing yourself.

Thank you for reading my ramblings and hopefully this will encourage you to start move towards a set that big nasty huge audacious goal.  You will fail, it will be difficult, but it will be so very worth it when you make it!

Embrace the Suck....Choose You!!  

Feel free to follow me at OrangeVisor on FB or

B2B 70.3 10/17/15
Swim 34:35
T1 5:55
Bike 2:49:47
T2 3:09
Run 1:52:43
Total: 5:26:07

Thursday, October 15, 2015

On my way to what I don't know

Leaving today to head to North Carolina to take part in my first ever half iron distance triathlon.  I have never done this before nor in the previous 36 years of my life did I think I would.  I started training in April of 2015 and here we are 26 weeks and ready to go.

It's funny that you do all the pieces of this race puzzle separately and hope come race morning they all fit together.  It's a lot like everything else in just work here and there and before you know it you have these amazing things in your life, trips planned, children born, marriages celebrated...all bit and pieces you work on every day to on one given day sit back and reflect on your hard work.

I have no idea what to expect for this race other than it will be amazing...there will be stories that I will hear that will inspire me and some that will make me cry.  I am doing this race with two amazing people that together you would not tag the three of us as people to tackle a half iron distance triathlon.  And there in lies the true beauty of this sport.  It is for the every person.  There is no cookie cutter for those that choose to participate in this experience and put their body and mind to the ultimate test.

So I am scared and excited...normal emotions before any big thing in your world.  I will have my cheering crew there...and I will have my orange visor on. I will channel my husband as he pushes through a full Ironman on the same day.  We will be in each other's head and in each other's heart.  We will both be scared and excited and at the end of it all...we will be amazed.

I don't know what the next adventure will be but I look forward to embracing it with open arms.  Keeping your body and mind engaged makes you capable of amazing things.  I can't wait to share my story with you next week.  Please feel free to say a little cheer/prayer/positive vibe for all those racing on Saturday morning...the hard work that people put forth to reach these goals is crazy business...and happy to be apart of it all!

Embrace the suck...Choose You!

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Dash

I was lucky enough to spend the day with a former coworker, a strong woman I call a friend, celebrating the life of her mother.  My dear friend was everything for her mother and father as they were for her.  It was a wonderful day filled with tears, laughter, silly stories and amazing people.   I was honored to know her mom and so glad that she today brought me back together with her daughter as it has been just too long.

I haven't been to a funeral for many years and today I was introduced to the poem called "The Dash."

It's funny how things come into your life at different times and it's not until later you realize why.  I have been feeling all crazed with hubby's and my race now on the same day and trying to accept that things are going to just have to find a way of working out.  I was getting wrapped up in the details of the whole thing and not remembering the work and dedication that we have taken to get to this point and that no matter what, it will be amazing.  I was focusing too much on the beginning and the end and forgetting about the all together process...the space between.

Life is a not always fun, joyful, times of celebration, success, happiness and laughter.  Everyone is not given a good hand of is not always all aces.  I feel though that no matter what hand you are dealt...those that have the most success are the people that are diligent to make those cards work in their favor.  It is the dedication that people put forth in these times of struggle and unrest that amazing stories are created.  These are the moments between the two dates, the times within the dash, that family and friends and those that loved you so much will reflect upon with a smile.  It is that drive that others can see and feel and want to grab a hold of that will leave the impression with them forever.

When those successes and good vibes start to appear you find a way of forgetting about the crap hand you were dealt and you start to feel more proud of what you were able to achieve with what you were given.  It is that sense of accomplishment that feels better than any perfectly dealt hand.  I am not just saying this either.  Sure being purely gifted at something and always being successful probably has it's pluses however, I feel more satisfied with my growth as an individual for what I was able to overcome in the process.  Testing myself with each challenge I uncover for me is the reason I keep pushing on.  I need to know what I am capable of next.

So is that the legacy I am currently leaving for my children and those that know me?  Is this one moment within my dash about challenge, change, dedication, and growth???  I hope that I continue to wear a smile a little bit more, love the people in my life like never before and try to understand the way other people feel.  I think it's important to try to remember we are all living in the dash...and all trying to do it to the best of our ability.  If there is ever a moment where you feel that you can help someone shine and light a spark within it...and you will feel the shine as well.

So my dear are living your dash beautifully and thank you for letting me share in this day remembering someone you love and will miss so very much.  She is looking down on you and smiling with a full heart and of course multitasking while washing a sippy cup!

Embrace the suck...choose your dash!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

You know your opponent

As football season is now in full swing I enjoy spending my Sundays laying on the couch falling in and out of sleep while watching these guys do what they do best...well some of them.  I think about the effort that they put forth EVERY play and EVERY practice they participate in.  I think about how they realize that they are getting paid to be the best they can be so they take care of their bodies, treat it like a temple, for the most part, and want to improve themselves day to day. 

I also think about all the time they spend watching past games of upcoming opponents.  Listening to my husband talk about who is going into this week's fantasy line up kills me...the effort and research and mind numbing facts we can spit out on these guys makes me laugh.  I think about how that defensive line watches hours and hours of how their line backer is going to sack the QB and special teams will block punts.  They analyze hours of material to come up with their best game plan of attack.  They have a goal for each game and I am sure they have a huge feeling of disappointment when they come up short.  However...the next week, baring no injury and coach still on board with them, they are out there again...showing what they have worked for.

So here you are thinking...where is she going with this crazy analogy.  Well you are your own opponent.  You already know your weaknesses and your strengths yet we forget to curb our approach to our goals to play off of them.  Today write down a list of things that you enjoy...that you do well...that make you happy.  Then write down a list of things that you can't really get yourself to do.  

Take the I hate to run, exercise or stick with any type of nutrition/fitness program.  Break it up ...figure out one change this week that you can make to turn things around...start to embrace that suck! 

  • If you love to cook but have been making all the wrong things to keep your body going strong....check out a new website for fun recipes
  • If you love to bake yet the cookies are gone in hours after they are made...try some yummy Pumpkin Muffins....One can Pumpkin, one box spice mix...NOTHING else.  Mix and bake and you and your family will love.  IF you can handle putting chocolate chips in go for it...add a cup to the batter...but if you KNOW yourself and that is too tempting...leave them out.
  • If you know that personal fitness is not something you will stick with...find a buddy to help keep you accountable.  They will be waiting on the corner for you to go for a walk, they will be at that class...ready to chat about the day...time you are giving back to yourself!
  • If you know that you like to exercise but just can't motivate yourself to make it happen...find a personal trainer or a local bootcamp so that you know they will help you get moving.  
  • You know motivation is only accessible first thing in the morning...make it happen...GET UP EARLY and get you in before you have to take care of all other issues/people.
  • Candy is your kryptonite...DON'T buy candy for Halloween until Oct 30th...and only buy items you DO NOT like!!  Don't sabotage yourself.
  • Don't have a pity party for yourself because you are going through both mental and physical changes.  Both are going to start really are going to want to stop and not go for the workout...or just eat something in lieu of waiting for dinner.  Stay the course...make the hard choices.
  • Don't go and sign yourself up for a half marathon when you have never run a 5k.  The whole process of transformation is about discovering yourself and uncovering a stronger person.  
  • Don't tell yourself you are never having a cookie or glass of wine again...they become a forbidden item and then you want it even more and will probably binge on a whole box (wine or cookies :))!  
If you put yourself on too steep of an accelerated path this new person is just going to become angry, tired, frustrated and will want to throw in the towel.  You have to give yourself a chance to fly before your clip your own wings.  Take all of these changes a day at a time.  Know that results will come but they won't happen the first day you didn't have fast food for lunch.

Having my husband with me through this journey has been amazing.  We support each other every day...make sure that we both can fit in our workouts, that a healthy meal is on the table at the end of the day...and maybe we are getting enough sleep.  Find someone to walk through the journey doesn't have to be a spouse but someone that you can be accountable to.  Take it slow, remember where your weaknesses lie...and remember that you do have strengths!  More will start to appear as you progress and those weaknesses will fade away.  Start finding the new you today and kick the old you to the curb!!

Embrace the Suck...Choose You!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

a break in routine

My cousin is getting married this weekend and I get to spend the weekend away alone with a friend and then reunited with my family for just about 48 hours.  I will miss the first flag football game and the second weekend of field hockey.  I will miss the Saturday family night of movies or wii bowling.  I managed...not get all my workouts in so that this weekend won't impact my training for my race in a few weeks...or ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!  My husband sent me a email today asking for additional details to who what where and when for the four little monkeys...he is on it!!

So here I sit typing in a very messy house in smelly workout clothes and still haven't packed.  I am still making sure everyone is set for my absence...they will be just's just that guilt that we like to put on ourselves when we leave.  As parents we really like to lay it on we are really letting them down...and the world will end when I am not there to see G1's pick six Saturday afternoon.  The world will be just fine...and so will he.

All of my fitness and goal oriented endeavors are thing that keep me going day to day....and I am SOOOO looking forward to this 48 hours away.  How crazy is it that we only allow ourselves these short little bleeps in the steady flow of life for escape. I need to do better at this.  I need to remember me outside of the crazy fitness train and family chaos and remind myself to just breathe and enjoy the beautiful fall New England foliage this weekend.

And there I will be getting to witness a beautiful wedding on a gorgeous day in an amazing setting...two people that will have vowed that they will be there for each matter what.  Thick and thin, filet mignon or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, $1 movie nights or front row at a favorite concert, kids being born or kids being sick, late nights at the office or vacations on the beach!!  Marriage is work but it is there through doesn't take sick days either...that support is never ending.  And sometimes it is silent may think they are checked out...but then they will surprise you with the littlest thing that will just bring it all back together.  Everything in life has a flow to it...and it's our job to make sure to remember give it that chance to come back.  Marriage is a two way street and sometimes the cars are going in opposite directions but will end up at the same location.

We have to remember to give ourselves a is not pinterest or a HGTV is what it is...a phrase I can't stand but so is a beautiful thing and something we all need to appreciate a little bit more.  We are alive and should live each day to the fullest.  We need to remember to breath and take time for those that are nearest and dearest to us.  No one is promised tomorrow...we all are leaving here at some point.  It is how we choose to embrace the time we have now...and the mark we decide to leave.  All this is always so much pressure to try to balance...but when surrounded by the right doesn't seem like that much work...more like fun!

Embrace the suck...choose you...take a break and breath!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Take turns

As you can imagine this phrase is spoken again and again with my four is spoken at play-dates with friends, on the playground with strangers, again with siblings...all day, every day.  It makes me tired trying to negotiate the whole situation again and again and again...but we do this because we want everyone to be happy...everyone to have a chance...everyone to have that sense of fulfillment.

Role this over to your marriage or relationship.  My husband and I don't track who has taken this many hours out of the family train...and who has been gone more over the course of a week.  We can definitely feel it when a part of the train is missing...we may get a little out of line or slow down a bit...but we know that caboose will come right back up the hill and push us if we need it.

hubby and coach
Dedication to a person and to their goals in life is a big ask and need.  After each of my husband's two full Ironmans I told him-after all of that long alone training, family meals with a chair missing, waking up to just you in the bed, staging of cars all over town to get a run in and we'll meet up at point C-you need to do another one.  That pride, amazement and disbelief I felt at the conclusion of both of his races was beyond words awesome.  Knowing all the hours, miles, meters he put into his training blows my mind and the effort he puts forth to kick his own butt each time is something I am striding for.  Knowing he reached a goal that he set for himself and my support of him made a difference in him reaching that goal...that is what it's all about.

We have balanced my running training over the past two years with his triathlon training, successfully.  But this year it was my turn to tackle something bigger and he could not be more on board with this new endeavor.  Not sure he ever thought I'd really go for this kind of a thing...he never pressured me into it...just let the eb and flo of life bring me to this decision and he continues to stand right next to me in's my turn.  

So we literally take turns tag team style.  I come back from my long ride and run and he is staged and ready to head out the door for his killer brick workout.  Our kids know that his third big momma race is just three weeks away and my half big momma race is five weeks away...and we are here and we love them, but right now it is our turn and our training is at a all time high.  They know and can feel the end is in sight.  Moms and Dads need turns too...they need to feel fulfilled, they need to reach new heights, they need to challenge themselves, they need to remember what that adrenaline rush feels like...they need to want to do better for themselves.  Our kids know and feel our love for them...but they also see that we support and love each other no matter what...something I only hope they can bring to a relationship of their own down the road.

Embrace the suck, choose you...and take turns!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

burnt out

Came back from my LONG bike ride this past weekend, 50 miles, it was LONG.  My training partner and I were joined by our coach for the first 40 or so and then we were on our own to finish strong.  Knowing we will have to only do 6 more miles on race day seems extremely manageable...running a half marathon afterwards is another thing!  The training is getting long and not necessarily harder but just more exhausting.  38 days does not seem that long but the idea of keeping up the training for another 4.5 weeks before our taper seems DAUNTING....we are BURNT OUT.  It is only fitting that when I entered our house that day my husband had burnt a tortilla in the toaster oven...the smell of being burnt out lingered in the air.

The month leading up to something big... whether it's a race, wedding, baby being born, school starting, test to be are just done.  You know that you still have to wait just a little bit more for that amazing thing to happen.  In that lag time you need a lot of self talk and building yourself back up.  The idea of throwing in the towel never really comes across my mind but gosh what I would give to go to sleep one night knowing I don't have to set the alarm super early to make it do the keep pushing forward.  Life is just tiring and emotionally and physically draining.  Throw in a big goal and you know a whole new level!

The thing about setting goals is have to work EVERY day to reach them.  There is no snooze button, no day off, no time out.  Please don't take this as me guilting or preaching that what you are or aren't doing is wrong.  This is just a reminder that hard is not impossible and that if you want something enough you will do whatever it takes to make it happen.  

I never liked summer before because I did not wear shorts and the skirts and dresses I wore just made me crazy hot and the chub rub was out of control.  Then came fall..hated that too.  All the cute jeans, boots and cozy sweaters...I would of rather just stayed in my stretched out yoga pants and over sized t shirt.  Winter was jackets and making me appear even bigger than I already was.  Spring...bring out the cute stuff again that I just wasn't going to was not a fun place to be...any season.  I remember I used to LOVE to buy bedding...still do...but I bought my seasonal bedding and LOTS of shoes because neither of those items were limited on my size.

So now my hard work has paid off...I can go into my newly purged closet and put clothes on my body that fit AND bring me joy.  Knowing that I worked my butt off, literally and figuratively, makes them feel even better on my body!  It is not only about how these clothes fit but it's about how I feel.  It's about putting something on and feeling so good in it that you just smile because that pair of jeans you bought a million years ago in the hopes of maybe one day fitting...and then today is the day-they fit.  And the bigger reward of managing to pull this off while raising my four kiddos and supporting my husband with his goals of another Ironman...and getting myself to tackle a half iron distance...craziness.  I don't think I deserve a medal but a big grin across my face in a dressing room every once and again will do.

So the burnt out will resurface again but I know that I can stifle it down quickly...I know that I am stronger than giving into that temptation.  I will continue to control my controllables.  I will drink my water, do my workouts, get my kids where they need to go, read books to the littles, help the bigs with their homework, make dinners...get through the day...I am not going to try to compete with anyone but me...I am hard enough.  Please know that I have my fair days of crappy food eating...but I know that I will have to make up for it. There is a price for everything-a price I will continue to pay.  I know that every early morning long boring swim and humid as heck run or bike will continue to keep me pushing forward.  There will be times of set back, too many brownies eaten, beers consumed...but the next day is the new day.  The next day we get to make the better, smarter choice to choose you...and put a huge grin across your face.

Embrace the suck...choose you...and smile...the burnt out feeling will pass soon.