Thursday, September 11, 2014

13 years later, remember 9/11

Every year I try to write about September 11, 2001.  

And every year I feel like I can't find the words, yet the memory of that early morning in San Diego never seems to fade. 

I still remember so vividly waking up just after 6am to the radio DJs talking about the towers being hit. I used to fall asleep to the radio playing, I think I woke up because instead of hearing music at 6am I was hearing panicked voices. 

9/11 happened about a week before I was set to go away to college.  If I am being honest this attack upset me for selfish reasons.  What would it mean for me and my future? I was 18 and ready to embark on my next journey.  

My dad was out to sea {Navy Submarine} and was supposed to pull in that day, they were almost in but because of the attack they were sent back out.  I remember our phone ringing constantly that day and the days to follow.  My mom was reassuring families things would be ok, the boat would pull in soon and not to pay too much attention to what the news was saying.  Hearing her say this over and over again was a reminder I also needed to hear, because again I was being a little bit selfish.  

A few days later my parents were supposed to drive me 3 hours north to UC Santa Barbara for my Freshman year of college.  This was an event all 3 of us had worked hard for and I wanted my dad to be home for this. So selfishly I was upset at the terrorists who attacked our country. It isn't something I am proud to admit, but it was my way of processing what had happened. 

Thankfully a few days later my dad's boat did pull in and he was able to join my mom and I on our road trip to college.  {In true military life my dad deployed a few times in the years to come and did miss family events. As I look back at this event I am super grateful he was able to be home for a small event that was a big moment for me.}

The first few weeks of school were kind of a daze. So many changes in my personal life and so many changes for our country.  I took a world religion class my first quarter and it was no surprise we talked a lot about 9/11. I wasn't ready to talk about it then. I had not yet fully understood how those terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 would affect myself and our country for the years to come. 

Looking back at how selfish I was is a bit embarrassing, but I truly think it was how I was able to process what had happened.  Every year I try to figure out why I had those feelings.  I knew the world, especially the United States would be changed in a significant way after 9/11/01.  I knew our country would go to war. I knew hundreds of thousands of military troops would deploy. I knew military families would be on a crazy journey.  I never realized it would be a 13 years and counting journey.  I never realized I would marry a sailor and would still be affected by the events that happened 13 years ago.  

I think I was selfish when I was 18 because I wouldn't be able to be selfish later on.  As I type this my husband has been deployed for 7 months.  Thankfully I know he is safe, but military life uncertainty, war, deployments, and terrorist attacks are things that always dance around in the back of my mind.  

Every year on this day I pray for the families who lost loved ones, I pray for our government officials, I pray for those currently serving, I pray for those who served after 9/11/01.  Mostly I just pray, because when I don't know what to do I pray.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

5 tips for training for a half marathon + my training plan

When training for a half marathon having a training plan is key.  You need to sit down and find a plan that will work for you, your body and your schedule.  

A 12-week plan, a 16-week plan, whatever works best for you. 

I ran my first half marathon back in April of 2010. I was a hot mess. I think the longest run I did before the race was 6-7 miles. I look back at that race and am amazed I didn't die, lol. 

When I signed up for that race I had every intention of training, but somehow life got in the way and I didn't make it a priority.  I was smart enough to email the sweet and amazing Danica of Chic Runner and ask her if she had any advice on how to train.  She sent me a great running plan.  

Her running plan was the base of my running plan for the 2014 Rock-n-Roll Virginia Beach.  

My training plan: 

Sunday: easy 2 miles 

Monday & Tuesday: 4 miles 

Thursday or Friday: long run

I tried to up my long run 1 mile each week. It wasn't perfect but after I hit week 9 and did 10 miles I decided to focus on get comfortable with doing 8-9 miles and be really strong. 

Long runs: 

Week 1 - 4 miles 
Week 2 - 5 miles 
Week 3 - 5 miles 
Week 4 - 6 miles 
Week 5 - 7 miles {from week 5 on all long runs were on Thursdays}
Week 6 - 8 miles 
Week 7 - 7 miles 
Week 8 - 8 miles {stopped Sunday runs} 
Week 9 - 10 miles 
Week 10 - 8 miles 
Week 11 - 9.25 miles 
Week 12 - 9 miles
Week 13 - 9 miles
Week 14 - 6 miles
Week 15 - 4 miles {I only ran 4 miles on Tuesday and 4 miles on Thursday and then my race was Sunday}
Week 16- Race day! 

{You can find some great info and a running plan from Danica.}

After a few weeks of running 7+ miles for my long run on Thursday's I realized my body need an extra day to recover so I stopped doing my short 2 mile sunday runs. 

My tips for training: 

1. Find a running plan and use it. You might have to tweak it, but you need to have goals and a plan. This helps when you are feeling unmotivated to run.  When you know you have a goal you want to meet for the week you are more likely to lace up your kicks and hit the pavement! 

2. Create a schedule and stick to it.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so it is going to take you at least a few weeks of consistently training/running before it really becomes a habit. I knew if I didn't set up a strict plan I would let training fall off my list of priorities.  I decided I was going to run every Mon/Tues and Thurs no matter what. If it rained I would head to the gym and get my run in via the treadmill.  {Thankfully there were no rainstorms on my long run days!} I don't start work until 10am so running first thing in the morning was easy for me to schedule in.  I also know myself well enough to know if I put it off until the evening I would never do it.  I found that I really enjoyed starting my day with a run and it set a great tone for the rest of the day. 

3. Have lots of good food in the fridge.  Eggs, lots of eggs! Hardboiled eggs were my lifesaver after long runs. I would be starving and they would be easy for me to eat with no prep since they were already cooked.  I had lots of fruit on hand to have in the morning to help rehydrate and since it is hot and humid in Virginia in the summer it was beyond refreshing.  Make sure you are getting enough protein. It doesn't always have to be from meat, but your body will need more protein the more miles you log. 

4. Take a multivitamin.  You already should be taking one, wink wink, but if you aren't now is a great time to start. 

5. Reward yourself for all the hard work you are doing.  My biggest reward is a massage. It is a great way to motivate yourself to keep going.  Treat yourself to a 60 or 90 minute massage halfway through your training.  If you body is anything like mine it will need it like crazy. ;)  Another good reward is new running clothes or shoes. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Half Marathon Must Haves

Wow, it's been a while bloggy friends.

I'm going to attempt to use this space a bit more to share tips and info about my running.

Last sunday {8/31} I ran my second 1/2 marathon, the Rock-n-Roll Virginia Beach.

I have been training for the last 14 weeks and along the way I picked up a lot of good tips I thought might be valuable for others starting to train of 13.1 miles of fun!

I am going to start out with a post of what I used for my race. In the future I will share more in detail about many of the items show below.

1. Shoes: Saucony Kinvara 5 I love these shoes! I bought them about halfway though my training and instantly fell in love.  They are light weight and have a 4mm offset, which is similar to the Nike Frees I was running in before. {I loved those too, but I think I love these just a bit more}  If you have never been fitted for a running shoe before I highly suggest you do it.  Find a running/athletic store in your area and get fitted! If you are running in the wrong shoes your body will soon hate you!

2. Running top: Target no longer has this exact top, but here is a similar one.  I love the tops with the built in bra, and since I have tiny boobies I don't have to worry about my girls bouncing around.

3. Shorts: Champion shorts I buy these at the Navy Exchange, but I linked to them via their website.  Right now it looks like you can save 40% if you order 2 pairs, so 40% of $50 is $30 for two pairs, a great deal!

4. Socks: I like thin cotton socks. These are by Hanes. Nothing fancy, Less than $10 for a pack of 8.

5. Running pack: The running belt above is by Marika, I can't find it online. I bought it at Marshall's or TJMaxx for about $10. I use it to hold my iphone while I run so I can listen to music and get my mile splits via the Map my Run app. I also use the side pockets to hold my Clif Bloks.

6. Fuel: Clif Bloks, I am not a fan of gels, so these bloks are my go to. I like the Citrus flavor.

7. Sunscreen: for my body I use the Target brand sport spray in SPF 30. For my face I use Supergoop! Anti Aging City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30

8. Knee tape: KT Tape, this stuff is AH-MAZ-ING. I have had issues with IT band {outer knee} for years, when it started to act up I bought some KTTape and never looked back! It is kind of hard for me to explain what it does so you should just read about it here. They have video tutorials for tons of injuries, I love love love this tape and their online team is super amazing and can answer questions if you tag them on IG or Tweet them @kttape. 

9. Sunglasses: These are prescription from Firmoo. Running in the blazing sun requires sunglasses.  

I'll soon be sharing the running plan I used to train for 13.1 miles of fun! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The best 5 years...

Dear Husband-

Every day I am thankful God blessed me with such an amazing husband.
June 2010 - wedding #2

Maybe sometimes I don't show it or say it but I am so lucky to get to do life with you. 

Fall 2012

We have been through many ups and downs together, but overall the journey has been better than I could have ever imagined. The first 5 years of marriage have been amazing, I can only imagine what the next 50 will look like! I am so proud of the man I married and the man you continue to grow to be.

May 2012 the day before OCS graduation

Our life is so amazing and we are so blessed because of your hard work. 

I hope you know how proud I am of you. You are the most important person to me in the entire world. You keep me going and give me strength when I don't have it. You believe in me and all of my crazy ideas.  You know just what I need to hear when I need a push to keep going and you know when to give me the nudge to call it a day.  You teach me every day how to be selfless and work hard.  

If anyone can make their dreams and hopes a reality it is you.  Your hard work continues to pay off, I am always inspired by the way you take on a dream head on and make it happen

Fall 2013

I love you more every day. Thank you for asking me to be your wife.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

hello 31, I think we'll be friends

Today marks the first day of 31.  When I was in my 20s I thought I would be one of those people who had a hard time adjusting to the idea of being a 30-something.  Thankfully I am not, 30s rock! 

shirt: Banana Republic // skirt: H&M // 
shoes: Matisse footwear via DSW // bracelet: Tiffany & Co. 

I'll tell anyone who will listen, I loved being 30. My 20s weren't bad, but I think we all had our years of being a hot mess. I know a lot of friends who are turning 30 this year or the next and are having a hard time dealing with it. My advice, stop thinking about the plans you had. 

We all had plans to become the first woman president, be a CEO, have our own business, have 2.5 kids, and a house with a white picket fence. No one is living the life they dreamed about when they were 18. I think if you sat down and wrote out all that you've accomplished you'd realize you've lived a pretty amazing life and are probably doing things you never even dreamed about! 

Don't waste your time comparing your life to the life you thought you'd have or to others. If you still feel like you aren't where you should be then use 30 as an opportunity to making changes. Make 30 the year you start that job, go back to school, loose the weight. {this advice applies to any age!}

It was as if turning 30 flipped a switch in my head.  I no longer cared what others thought, I did things for me.  I didn't worry that someone would think I was uncool or not smart.  My focus went from trying to make others like me and think I was amazing to instead showing myself I was amazing and being happy in my own skin.  

I could have very easily let turning 30 be a time to commiserate about all that I wanted to do by 30 but did not accomplish.  Instead I choose to focus on the things that I never thought I would do. 

I am exactly where I need to be.  

I never thought we would have bought a house at 30.  

I never thought I would be working from home doing a job many people dream about.  

I never thought I would be living in the south in our 100 year old house.  

I never thought I would love living in the south so much, I think I'm turning into a southern belle! 

I never thought I would be in the best shape of my life and addicted to hot yoga. 

Instead of focusing on all of these amazing opportunities God has given me I could focus on what I don't have at 30, children.  Thankfully I am 100% happy with where Scott and I are on our journey to becoming parents.  I was really hoping to be pregnant for this deployment, but I can tell you with 100% certainty I am happy I am not.  I know it would have been a difficult thing to do alone and with all of my infertility issues I would have been going to many appointments alone and doing it by myself does not seem ideal.  I know many amazing women do go through an entire pregnancy and give birth while their husband is deployed, but seeing that we have spent almost 4 years trying to start a family if I am able to get pregnant I think it is something I want Scott to be around for.  

After 4 years of trying I just want us to grow our family.  The desire and need to be pregnant is no longer there, instead the focus is on little fingers and toes in our house, however God wants that to happen.  I want to see my sweet handsome husband holding our baby, and however we are blessed with that baby is at God's will and that is exactly where I want to be.  

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