Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Run for Others 5K Recap

On Saturday, I ran what will likely be my last 5K of the season. As you probably know, I irritated my ITBand last week and was indecisive on how to tackle this 5K.

In the end, I made the decision to forgo my PR plans and run the 5K with a work friend instead. My work friend’s name is Balinda and she has been seeing a personal trainer for the past month. Her goal was to run the entire 5K without stopping and I decided to run with her!


We arrived to a decent sized crowd – being the end of April in SWLA, it was a hot morning. Thankfully, the 5K began at 7:30 a.m. (YAY)!


With my BRF’s (Heather and Kelli) before the race began! :0)


Balinda and I ready to run!


And we’re off!


This course was a double loop course through a beautiful and quiet neighborhood.


We even passed a garage sale or two!


Balinda ran this race SO well and I was incredibly proud of her! Prior to this race, she shared her goals with me – to run a 12 minute pace, finish around 36 minutes, and run the entire race without stopping.


I glanced at my watch several times during the race and didn’t say anything until closer to the end because I didn’t want to scare her – we were keeping a steady 11 minute pace! I did tell her several times how excited I was for her and how proud I was of her!


Beautiful Oak trees!

As we closed in on the finish line, we picked up the pace and ran it in home!


Our final time? 34 minutes! Not only did Balinda reach her goal of running the entire 5K, she also ran below 36 minutes and below a 12 minute pace! I was incredibly proud of her!!


As far as my knee? Yeah, it’s out of commission for a little while. I started to feel it pretty bad around 2 1/2 miles. Looks like it’s back to cross training and the bike for me! I’ve said it before and I still feel the same way…I’m disappointed, but it’s NOT the end of the world! I’m so grateful it’s not race season and I have time to recuperate!

Have you ever run a race with a friend to help them reach a goal?

(P.S. – I’m SO grateful for all of the support with my grandfather…thank you guys so much! It looks as if he will have surgery on Wednesday so please keep those prayers coming!)

Monday, April 29, 2013


Thanks for all the concern over my ITBand from the race this weekend! I’ll be back tomorrow with a full race recap. For now, I’m going to share a few thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind this past weekend.

Here’s the scoop on my grandfather.

He’s 92 years old. He’s a diabetic. Lucky for him, he’s been doing SO well and has lived at home by himself up until this point. I stopped by for a visit on Thursday and discovered a pretty bad foot issue – he had been doctoring it himself.

I drove him straight to the Emergency Room and my parents met up with us there. He was admitted for IV antibiotics over the weekend and will have to have surgery either today or tomorrow to remove the source of infection on his foot.

I’m a nurse and I’ve seen and done a lot. It’s times like this when I hate being in the medical field. Life is fragile and so are 92 year olds. Putting a 92 year old under anesthesia is not a good idea. However, we are stuck – the source of infection HAS to be removed. Another concern of ours is the site of surgery – if there’s poor blood flow to the area, will it even heal? So what do we do? We are between a rock and a hard place.

My grandfather has been a huge part of my life from birth until now. Him and my grandmother kept me on weekdays until I started Kindergarten. They picked us up from school every single day and kept us until our parents got off work. They had us every summer until we were old enough to stay home alone. I often spent the night at their house on weekends.


I love him to pieces and am not ready to say goodbye. I joke with him and he jokes with me. I love our relationship.

Working in Oncology has really opened my eyes to life and living to the fullest. I don’t know what the end result of all of this will be, but I’m trying to hope for the best. I’m not trying to sound un-optimistic, he may come out of all of this completely fine and go on with life – none of us know, but that’s what we are hoping for.

Until then, I’m holding on to the promises.

My grandfather and my family REALLY appreciate your prayers!! Thanks so much!

Romans 8:38-39
”Yes, I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fitness Friday-April 26

For starters, please say a prayer for my grandfather today if you have a moment. He developed osteomyelitis in his foot and will likely have to have his toe amputated. I spent several hours with him yesterday afternoon in the ER. He’s 92 years old and until this past November, he’s been in perfect health besides being a diabetic.

I appreciate your prayers and I know he does as well. Thank you!

Now on to Fitness Friday!

This week, my major source of activity has been walking related to my left ITBand acting a fool.

Saturday – I missed my long run because of a trip to Texas. Sadly, my ITBand flared up on Friday afternoon’s run, so I didn’t get to run as far as originally planned. I did walk in Downtown Houston – 2 miles
– Walk in Downtown Houston – 3 miles
Monday – Was super sore after my orthopedic massage. I even have bruises to prove it! Ouch! Ice at night.
– Rest Day – Ice at night/Foam Roll
– 2 mile walk with the doggies – Ice at night/Foam Roll
– Was in the ER with my grandfather all afternoon – Ice at night/Foam Roll
Friday – At the moment, I’m most concerned with my grandfather. If I have the chance to walk, I will…otherwise, I’m not worried about it.

I am currently registered for a 5K on Saturday. My plan? If I can’t PR, then I’m not going to try to kill myself. At this moment, I don’t think it wise to push my ITBand to its limits, so I’m going to run it with a co-worker. She’s been seeing a personal trainer for the last month and her goal is to complete a 5K. I’m hoping to run with her and help her reach her goal, if my knee behaves.

Also, my two BRF’s (Best Running Friends) will be there…and I’m SO excited because it feels like I haven’t seen them in AGES! Can’t wait!! :0)

I realize I didn’t do a lot this week fitness-wise, but I’m a strong believer that sometimes rest is the best medicine. Even though I’m about to go stir crazy, rest is exactly what my knee needs right now.

What do you have planned for the weekend? If you are racing, have fun and best of luck to you!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Get Out & Volunteer

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” –Booker T. Washington

Did you know that April 21-27 is National Volunteer Week? So, what is it, exactly?

National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service. Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week focuses national attention on the impact and power of volunteerism and service as an integral aspect of our civic leadership. The week draws the support and endorsement of the president and Congress, governors, mayors and municipal leaders, as well as corporate and community groups across the country.


Giving of our time and ourselves is one of the most selfless acts in the world, and there’s no feeling quite like it. Our time is precious…I know you might think there's not enough time in the day but I promise, you would be surprised at how much time you do have when you give of yourself to those in need.

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” --Elizabeth Andrew


If you are already a volunteer, I thank you. Thank you for making a difference!

Interested in volunteering but don’t know where to begin? Think of something you are passionate about, then find an area where you can serve by using your passion/talents…from food banks, to churches, to non-profit organizations, to schools, to city events, to service projects outside of the country…the possibilities are endless and the little things DO add up!  As the great Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you CAN do it!”


How can one person make a difference? Imagine this with me….you are one person, in a dark room, holding one lit candle in your hand. Your one single candle does not put out much light, but it does give off enough light to be seen. What if a group of people joined you, each with a lit candle in their hands? Your light together would shine bright! If that group turned into several groups of people, also with lit candles….the room would be incredibly bright!

That’s what happens when we volunteer and when everyone works together, we change the world!  Even though we are individual people, each of us giving of our time and energy DOES make a difference! We are a bright shining light in a dark world!

I know this video is a little old and totally brings out my inner 16 year old, but I love the lyrics and I think they are really solid and true. Just a simple act of kindness can change the world! Make a wave.

Make a Wave

Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas
They say the beat of a butterfly's wings
Can set off a storm in the world away.
What if they're right and the smallest of things,
Can power the strongest hurricane?
What if it all begins inside?
We hold the key that turns the tide.
Just a pebble in the water, can set the sea in motion…
A simple act of kindness, can stir the widest ocean…
If we show a little love, Heaven knows what we could change
So throw a pebble in the water,
Make a wave, Make a wave.
The single joy to take a stand, 
Reach out your hand to someone in need,
Don't fool yourself and say you can't,
You never know what can grow…from just one seed…
So come with me and seize the day,
This world may never be the same…
Just a pebble in the water, can set the sea in motion…
A simple act of kindness, can stir the widest ocean…
If we show a little love, Heaven knows what we could change
So throw a pebble in the water,
Make a wave, Make a wave.

Have you ever given of yourself or your time to others in need? Please share! I’d love to hear how you are helping to change the world!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A So Delicious Treat

Looking for a cold, refreshing, delicious treat on a warm Spring afternoon?

If you are as much of a Frozen Yogurt fan as I am, then you gotta try this one!

I stumbled across my last remaining So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt container while cleaning out the fridge one Thursday afternoon and noticed that the expiration date was approaching. I placed the container in the freezer with big plans for a yummy treat the following afternoon.  I wasn’t sure how my “creation” would turn out, but my brain sure liked the idea. I love to experiment with food, so I decided to give it a whirl…and boy am I glad I did!

Here’s how I made my own “So Delicious Fro-Yo”!


Chocolate Banana Frozen Yogurt


1 container of So Delicious cultured coconut milk, frozen
1 ripe banana
Splash of So Delicious coconut milk
Handful of Cacao nibs for sprinkling on top


Place yogurt in freezer and leave until frozen solid (mine stayed in the freezer all night). When ready, remove container from freezer and gather your ingredients. Remove yogurt from container (I had to cut mine out with scissors) and place in blender along with banana and a splash of coconut milk.
Blend until all ingredients are mixed well.
Pour into a dish, sprinkle with cacao nibs. Serve and enjoy!


Frozen yogurt and banana of choice – you can see where I began cutting with scissors on the side!


So Delicious coconut milk.


Mixed and ready to pour!


Almost too pretty to eat…but I devoured it anyway! :0)

This afternoon snack was so delicious (literally speaking), I even tweeted about it!



While writing this blog post, my brain came alive with endless possibilities of frozen yogurt opportunities!  Any type of yogurt (Greek, coconut milk, regular, etc…) mixed with fresh fruit, almond butter, dark chocolate, honey…sprinkled with dark chocolate chunks, almond pieces…..the list goes on and on!

Have you ever created your own Frozen Yogurt? If you have or if you try out a new combination, please let me know what you came up with!

Disclaimer: So Delicious is a dairy free brand of milk. I had all of these ingredients on hand and was not compensated or provided free product for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Please…Not Again!

I’ll start at the beginning, guess that’s the best place to start anyway.

In 2012, I dealt with an injury. I was at the end of my Marathon training (yes, END) and I was heartbroken. Unable to run the Houston Full, I deferred to the Houston Half and ran the slowest Half of my life (not including Disney). 95% of the race was spent in excruciating pain. A couple of weeks prior to the race, I began physical therapy and in total, I spent 8 weeks with them overall. My PT crew was amazing and I learned a lot from them about injury prevention and strengthening.

Fast forward to now.

I ran a track workout last Monday night. Midway through my run, I noticed my right leg felt strange. Note: My prior injury was on my left leg – ITBand/Tendonitis. This new pain in my right leg wasn’t anything I felt before and I can’t describe it beyond saying it felt odd. I continued to run (of course) and finished out the evening strong. Tuesday morning, my right leg felt strange again and it hurt to walk but by the end of the day, I felt normal again. I ran for Boston on Tuesday night without any issues. Friday afternoon, I had plans to run 12 miles since I wouldn’t be able to run on Saturday.


I began Friday’s run with Madalynn. She hasn’t had a chance to run lately with the warmer temps and Friday’s weather was perfect. I couldn’t resist her puppy dog eyes, so I took her on what I presumed would be her final “run” of the season.

I don’t like to run with her when the temps are greater than 75 degrees.


She really enjoyed the run but we took it slow and by the end, she was dragging. I could tell it was time for her to return home so we stopped. My knee didn’t bother me a lot while running with Maddie, but I guess I’m immune to aches/twinges now. Either that or I really just didn’t pay attention. After dropping her off, I continued on way and picked up the pace.

As I finished mile 4, I noticed my right knee was HURTING. I went through a mental checklist and realized that I hadn’t changed out my shoes in a while. How could I forget that?!  So I went inside, changed my shoes and tried to stretch, then put on my knee brace with some atomic balm. I began mile 5 and didn’t get far. At all. I stopped and walked mile 5 and 6, then called it a day.

My knee hurts. Of course, this is the opposite knee from my prior injury and it hurts bad. Either that or I’m paranoid. No really, it hurts. I had trouble walking up the stairs at Minute Maid Park on Saturday/Sunday.

Besides icing and Ibuprofen, I saw my massage therapist today. He’s not just your average massage therapist. He’s an orthopedic massage therapist who specializes in sports related injuries. I don’t know what I would do without him. He spent 45 minutes today working on my right ITBand. By the end of the session, it was determined that my ITBand is irritated and so is the fascia that connects my quad to my knee. Great.

I’ll admit I’m kind of bummed but I’m also glad I don’t have a huge race around the corner, although I am running a 5K on Saturday. I plan on taking the rest of the week off and I will see how the 5K goes on Saturday. I don’t plan on pushing it, I have no hopes for a PR, and if I have to run/walk it, I will.

But for now, I’m hoping rest will help.

Have you ever dealt with an sports-related injury?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Astros and a Movie

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend! I had a nice relaxing weekend which I spent out of town and I definitely enjoyed myself!

We began our weekend on Saturday morning by meeting up with my brother/sister in law for lunch and a movie. It was our first time at a Movie Tavern and I thought the concept was really cool!


Once seated, we were presented a menu and given a call light. If we needed anything during the movie, we could hit the red call light and a waitress would come over to assist us.


Our food did not arrive until after the movie started so unfortunately, I have no photos of my food, but I ordered a chicken pita wrap and it was delicious! We also all ordered dessert…cause we had to, clearly.

I highly recommend a Movie Tavern/Dine in Movie Theater – it was a lot of fun to watch a movie and have lunch served at the same time!

Oh yea, the movie? We saw 42, cause it was an all baseball weekend….which I LOVED. The movie is awesome – I laughed, I cried…if you are a baseball fan, go see it!!

After checking into our hotel, we walked a short distance to the ballpark and were greeted with this – an open roof and a beautifully sunny day! Perfect baseball weather!


Unfortunately, the Astros were not in top form on Saturday night and pretty much blew the game. The final score was 19-6 which is tied for the most points scored in a game at Minute Maid Park. I’ve never seen such a crazy game. We left at the end of the 7th inning because we were tired of watching the “circus on dirt” as my brother called it.

A few good things DID happen during the game, though…


I got to spend time with my family!


Kayla got a foul ball! She was so excited!

Sunday morning, we took our time waking up, took our time getting ready, took our time eating breakfast…you get the picture, it was a laid back, relaxing Sunday!

Before the game, we walked over to the Hard Rock Café for lunch and we all really enjoyed it!


After Hard Rock, we walked over to Minute Maid Park for the Sunday afternoon game (we did a LOT of walking this weekend!). Once we arrived, we stood in the outfield to watch the players on the field.


As we were standing there, the Coca Cola Patrol Cheer girls ran over and threw a ball to Jason!


I also saw my old pal, Mickey in the corridor of Minute Maid Park!

DSC_0156 IMG_4678

We were excited to see each other! :0)


This game was far more entertaining than the day before. The Astros actually competed with the opposing team and came very close to tying the game up in the last inning. Our seats were in the very same location as the day before, too!


Unfortunately, the Astros lost Sunday’s game as well, but only by one point and not 12.


I might have enjoyed a sweet treat during the game, too… :0)


We had a fantastic weekend and enjoyed spending time with my brother/sister in law. Looking forward to next time!

How was your weekend? What did you do for fun/relaxation?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fitness Friday–April 19

Here’s how my week looked:

Saturday – 3.5 mile mud run – ReALLIEty Challenge
– Rest Day
Monday – 4.5 mile track workout
– 4.09 mile run for Boston
– 25 minute Biggest Loser workout
– Rest Day
Friday – Hoping for a long run after work

Yesterday, a patient we had not seen in a while called our office. He called specifically to check on me! I asked why and he wanted to make sure everything was ok and I wasn’t harmed in Boston! Instead of me calling to check on him, he was calling to check on me! It really warmed my heart and made me smile. We have the best patients, ever!

A few pictures from my week:


I tried something new at McAlister’s on Sunday – 1/2 sweet tea, 1/2 lemonade! It was delicious but will not take the place of my beloved sweet tea in my heart! :0)


This awesome RunnerBox arrived at my doorstep this week and I cannot wait to dig in! Review to come soon!


I won a giveaway this week, too! I entered a photography DSLR Basics class giveaway from A Royal Daughter via The Influence Network and I won! The class was held on Tuesday night, was presented by Monica, and it was AMAZING!  Monica was incredibly down to earth and spoke on an amateur level. She reviewed the basics of DSLR photography and I learned SO much from her! I’m looking forward to trying out her tips/techniques soon!


This week, I also began the process of pressure washing the deck in our backyard for re-staining. I have big ideas for my backyard area and can’t wait to see the finished product!


Last but not least, Madalynn says hi and really enjoys when I give her extra large-sized treats!

Have a fabulous weekend!!  What are your weekend plans? I have another busy one and can’t wait to share my adventures with you! :0)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

ReALLIEty Challenge

On Saturday, I ran a mud run/obstacle course challenge with a local athletic club team. This was the 2nd year for the ReALLIEty Challenge and was put on by Allie’s Fitness group in my area.


I knew only two people on the team but received a free entry to the race, so why not? :0) After my last mud run, I said I would never run another. Guess I should have learned my lesson a long time ago about never saying never. (Hint: Goofy’s Challenge)


My friend Kelli even came out to cheer a few of us on!! :0)


I was muddy before the race even began thanks to the field of mud I had to trudge through to get to the registration table. I knew from that moment it was going to be a muddy one for sure!


Our team’s wave time was set for noon (which I was thankful for because it was a cool morning and had a chance to warm up by noon). I was also grateful that our wave wasn’t very full!

I took along my Olympus TG-1 iHS point and shoot camera for this race and I received several strange looks because I was running with a camera. No worries! It was a waterproof/shockproof camera and I was ready to put it to the test. I will admit, I was a little scared to run this race with it and almost handed it to my husband at the last second….but I’m SO glad I didn’t!

Check out this video of pictures/footage I took along the course!


I finished this race, covered in mud from head to toe. I even had a lovely mud beard to show for it!


Attractive, isn’t it? And to think…my husband didn’t want a kiss….. He’s no fun!

This race was a very tough one for me. As you can see from the video/pictures, there was mud EVERYWHERE. I kept thinking, “This is the longest 3.5 miles, EVER!” After tackling so many obstacles, it was hard to run and I kept reminding myself to keep moving forward. This race was definitely a mind battle for me because the last mud run I ran was not near as muddy/wet as this one. I guess the ginormous rain storm that came through just a few days before this race didn’t help much, either.

With all of the mud/water, how did my camera turn out, you ask?


Completely caked in mud both front and back……..and still works like a charm!!

This camera is officially color run and mud run proof! Yay Olympus!


After being hosed down by local firemen, my husband and I returned to the truck to head home. I was in desperate need of a real shower and I’m sure I smelled lovely as well.


Thankfully, I remembered to bring along a few essentials to help along the clean-up process!


These Cottonelle wipes were the bomb.com! Seriously!


There you have it…my mud run that almost wasn’t, because I said I would never run a mud run again. Guess a free race entry can talk me into anything…well, almost anything. Another one for the books!

Have you ever run a mud run? If so, which one?

Please note: I purchased my Olympus TG-1 iHS camera from Best Buy with my own funds and was not compensated in any way by Olympus for this review. I think it's a fabulous camera and just wanted to share the blogger camera love! :0)

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