Thursday, June 28, 2012


This is what we have been doing all week! See you on Monday...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Time Flies!

Wow! I can't believe it has been an entire week since I last posted.  I don't know what happened...I guess I was just too busy living life.  I'm wrapping up a huge project at work, which I have to have finalized and submitted by this Friday or I can't go with my family to Maine, so that has taken up a lot of my time.  Plus, fun family stuff...and insanity.  Seriously, this six day program is tough!  It requires a major commitment, and I'm loving it.  I'm REALLY seeing and feeling results!  I'll give my Week 3 update tomorrow, so that's all I'll say for today.

We had a nice week, which we capped off with Father's Day today.  I'm so lucky to have the partner that I have.  He's an incredible man and an amazing father and I couldn't imagine my life without him.  I know I'm sounding pretty sappy here, which typically isn't my style, but I think sometimes these things need to be said.  My kids are REALLY lucky to have the father that they have, and I don't ever take that for granted.  Here's a perfect example.  Today was Father's Day (as if you didn't already know that), and I told Paul to choose something fun to do.  I told him we would do anything he wanted.  So, for the entire week he didn't say anything about what he wanted to do, even though I kept bugging him.  Finally, yesterday afternoon he told me that we all had to be in the car at 7:30 this morning so that we could go do something for Father's Day.  But, he wouldn't tell us where we were going.  We ended up in the car at 7:45 this morning, and Paul proceeded to drive about 15 minutes south to a U Pick Strawberry Farm.  We spent about an hour and a half picking 16 quarts of strawberries.  Sounds like a great way to spend the morning, right?  I think so.  But, you know what, it's not Paul's favorite thing to do.  The kids and I get excited for strawberry picking every year, but Paul doesn't care either way about it.  He comes with us most years because he enjoys family time, but it's not his ideal activity.  So, why did he choose to do it today?  Because I mentioned yesterday that I was afraid the kids were going to miss strawberry picking this year because we are leaving for Maine next weekend and won't be back for a week.  So, rather than choose an activity that he really enjoys, he took us strawberry picking so that the kids would get to go.  I'm telling you, it's the small things that matter the most.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Insanity: Week 2

Wow!  This workout is seriously kicking my butt!  I can't believe I'm still feeling it after two weeks, but I am.  Insanity is tough!  Each workout leaves my muscles sore and my body drenched in sweat.  I definitely feel like I'm getting a good workout.

I'm already noticing a difference in how my body feels.  I feel stronger and more toned.   My clothes are a little looser and I lost five pounds (that's the amount I gained when I trained for my last half marathon).  I feel stronger when I run.  And, most importantly, I just feel better in general.  I really think this program is working!

I start week three tomorrow, and I have to take the fit test again and take updated pictures of myself.  So, I'll post those results tomorrow or Tuesday.  In the meantime, here's what I look like when I'm in the midst of Insanity.  It's not a "pretty" workout, but it sure gets results.

Before Insanity, I could barely do one push up.  Now, I can do a lot of them!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day

Wow, I can't believe I didn't know today was National Running Day! Luckily, I ran 4 miles this morning with some of my co-workers.  Since I just found out, I'm not going to try to write a whole blog post about my running experience.  Instead, I'm going to repost one of the first posts I ever wrote.  I figure it's OK since I had (still have) very few readers back then.  So, here it is...

The Year I Became a Runner
(originally posted on July 4, 2011)

This morning, I had an incredible run.  It was hard and hot and left my entire body feeling tingly and refreshed.  For those of you who are runners, you know the kind of run I'm talking about.  For those of you who are non-runners, I can only say that the kind of run I had today is the reason why runners run.  We don't experience these runs everyday.  In fact, some days our runs just feel awful.  But, every once in a while, the stars align and we have a run that is so awesome that it makes us want to keep lacing up our shoes and hitting the road. 

The morning was warm and sunny, but not yet oppressively hot.  I set out on my own with my music and my garmin and let my feet guide me.  I only had about an hour, and I was able to hit 6.3 miles by the time I was done.  I came home tired, yet invigorated, and dripping with sweat.  The run was perfect.  It was the kind of run that makes you smile the entire time because you know how well it is going and you can tell that you're going to feel great when it is over. 

Toward the end of my run, I passed the twelve mile marker from my first half marathon and a smile crept across my face.  I remembered that day in April and how I felt when I hit mile 12.  I was so ready to be done, but I also knew that I was going to finish strong.  After months of training, I had made it almost all the way through 13.1 miles.  For me, this was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.  I know there will be other half marathons (I'm signed up for one in October), but none will ever feel like my first.  Passing that mile marker made me think about my first half marathon, but it also made me think about the past year of my life - the year I became a runner. 

(At the finish line of my first half marathon)

Last July, in an effort to get in shape and lose the baby weight that I was still carrying around one year after my son, Bennett, was born, I began to exercise.  In the beginning, I went to the YMCA and used the elliptical machine.  However, a few weeks into my exercise routine, I wanted to do something different.  One morning, I put on my sneakers, grabbed my MP3 player and set out to run around my neighborhood.  I had always wanted to be a runner and had tried to start running many times over the past decade.  Unfortunately, the frustration of not being able to run long distances right away always caused me to stop before I developed any endurance. 

For some reason, this morning in the end of July was different.  I struggled the entire run (1.6 miles), but I somehow found the determination to keep going.  I mean, I did have moments where I thought I might actually die, but I found a way to keep moving my feet.  I might have been barely shuffling at some points, but I kept running.  Through it all, I had a constant dialogue going in my head.  I reminded myself that I gave birth to two children without any pain medication, and I didn't have the option of stopping during that process (even though I wanted to at points).  I told myself that running isn't supposed to be easy, or everyone would do it.  I contemplated giving up, but something kept me going.  I knew if I could make it around my neighborhood without stopping, I would continue on as a runner.  Something just clicked that day, and I have been running ever since. 

In those first few weeks, I struggled each time I ran and thought of just giving up many times, but I kept going.  I laced up my sneakers, grabbed my music, and went running.  I was able to add more distance to my runs, and it was an amazing feeling to see the mileage increase.  It was tangible results.  Instead of measuring my progress by pounds lost or dress sizes dropped, I was measuring my progress by how far and how often I was running.  Then, one day it happened.  In conversation with someone else, I called myself a runner, and I haven't been the same since. 

Today, I ran 6.3 miles and it was an incredible run.  But, it's not the farthest I have run and it wasn't even the most incredible run I have ever had.  Over the past year, I have gone from running 1.6 miles to running 13.1 miles.  I have run 5K races and a half marathon.  I have run in intense humidity, rain, snow, sleet and 5 degree weather.  I have run on indoor tracks and treadmills, and I have run on the open road.  I have had runs that made me feel incredible and I have had runs that made me feel miserable.  Through it all, my love for running has grown

(Finishing my first 5K)

I love running because it allows me to see life, and myself, differently.  I am more capable of getting through challenges because of the mental endurance that I have built through running.  I am more physically fit and able to play with my children because of the physical endurance that I have developed.  But, more than any of that, I am more aware of who I am because of running.  It gives me time to think and reflect on my life.  When I come home from a run, I am more grounded and patient, which makes my entire family happy.  Sometimes, I question why I keep running during a particularly bad run or when I am in a running rut.  However, runs like the one I had today always remind me why I do.  Every time I lace up my shoes, I have the possibility of having the perfect run.  That's what runners strive for, whether we run 5K's or ultramarathons.

This past year, I became a runner.  I plan to be one for as long as my legs will keep going.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Insanity: Week 1

Well...I survived...barely.  Seriously, Insanity is, well, INSANE!  I'm not usually a workout video person.  I tend to buy them and then I never actually do them.  But, Insanity is different.  Maybe it's because Paul is so into it, but I don't think so.  I think it's just because they're really a make you cry and beg for mercy sort of way.

OK, I admit it, I have always been one of those people who watched the Insanity commercial with a lot of skepticism.  I thought it was just another fad like Tae Bo.  So, when Paul told me he wanted to get the videos, I laughed a little inside.  I mean, I can run 13 miles at a time.  How was a 35 minute video going to transform my body?  But, as is often the case, Paul was right and I was wrong.  I hate to admit it, but it's true.

Insanity is AWESOME!  The videos are really tough and I have soreness in muscles I didn't even know existed.  I'm already feeling more "firm" after just one week.  I can't wait to see how my body transforms over the next seven weeks.

So, I'm going to post an update each week.  Sunday is my rest day from the videos, so that's when I'll recap the week.  I'm going to post pictures every two weeks for comparison and give updates on my progress.

Here's week number 1!


I know I'm in great cardiovascular shape, but I have no muscle tone.  My hope is that Insanity will help me get rid of the padding and add some muscle.  (Ignore the poor quality of these pictures.  The lighting was completely off.)

 See that gut?  That's what happens when you grow two babies, especially one that is just shy of 9 pounds and 22 inches long.  It's a good thing I love them, because those two kids sure did a number on my body.

The workouts are intense.  I have never sweat so much in my life.  By the end of the workout, I'm drenched and ready to collapse.

But I'm also so happy.  I love how I feel when I finish!

So, I'm definitely an Insanity convert.  I highly recommend the videos.  I'm excited to see what the next few weeks bring.  Next Sunday, I'll have an update and progress pictures.  Stay tuned!