Sunday, April 27, 2014

Half Marathon Adventure

Me on my final training run 
 So for the last 13 weeks, I have been training with the American Heart Association's Start Training program, which helps to raise money for the AHA as well as raise awareness for heart health. The program supplies a coach, trainers, locations to run, etc. to help you achieve the final goal of completing a half-marathon, while you are raising as much money as possible for a great cause. The money goes towards research for heart disease, as well as education to help them spread the word to others about how to maintain heart health. Both are missions that I was/am more than excited to support.

Well anyway, after 13 weeks (starting from doing zero exercise)... I COMPLETED A HALF-MARATHON! This past Saturday I ran the American River Parkway Half Marathon in Sacramento, CA. I was so thrilled to accomplish a goal that I have been working so hard on, and extra excited because it got to cross this off my 101 in 1001 List! This is the first time, in a long time, that I was able to work so hard at something for so long, and really see results. I'm not going to say it was easy, because good Lord did that Half Marathon kick my ass, but I'm so proud to have gotten it done. 

The day started off with me leaving the house at 5:30am in the morning, so that I could get to the race on time. It had rained the night before, so it was wet and cold. I got to the start line around 6:45am, and then the nerves really kicked in. I tried to calm myself down, but I was getting really scared. This particular race has two tracks: one for walkers and one for runners. You aren't allowed to run on the walkers path, and if you plan on running any of it (even just a few minutes), then you are supposed to take the runners path. I had been training to run/walk, so I went on the runners path... which in retrospect, I wish I wouldn't have. I wish I would have just walked it, and not pushed my knee. 
About 5 minutes before the race started!

All 4,000 racers getting to the Start Line

The race started at 7:45am and I was doing really good. I had a previous knee injury that I sustained during my training runs a few weeks before, but it was feeling good. I had taken it easy for the week leading up to the race, and let it heal and get prepped. I was at, or slightly faster than, my "typical" pace and doing great. Then I got to Mile 9. My knee started to hurt so badly, and I was struggling to run on it. I decided to just walk a bit longer than my designated interval length, just to give it a quick rest. Do you know how when you are wearing high heels and your feet start to hurt, so you take them off, only to find that when you try to put them back on, your feet hurt even more? That's what it was like. The walking, while it made my knee feel better, also seemed to make my knee adjust to the walking pace and not the interval pace I was supposed to be doing. I try to run a few intervals on it after, and it kept getting more and more painful. I was determined to push through, and figured that walking was better than nothing. Slowly but surely, all the people I initially passed were now passing me. I was discouraged, and so embarrassed. My knee got worse and worse, and I ended up limping the last mile or so. 

When I turned the final corner and could see the finish line, I was so overcome. Ace came with the girls, and my parents were there as well, and as I looked down the line, I could see them cheering for me. I was in so much pain, and so happy that it was finally over, that I just started crying. They weren't celebratory "happy tears" but instead they were "I just need to stop and sit down tears." The pictures of me crossing the line are awful, and I really wish I could have just been a bit stronger so that I could have celebrated and enjoyed that moment. But nevertheless I'm proud at completing it and pushing hard to get it done! Do I wish my time would have been better? Yes. Was I embarrassed at how I did? Yes. Do I regret doing it? Not even a little bit. 

Overall I'm so happy that I did this, and really pushed myself, not only physically but mentally. So many times when I get discouraged, I just stop, but not this time. I am really trying to focus on the positives, in that I finished and worked so hard for 13 weeks, but I'm not going to lie, I'm fighting a few demons that are focusing on how slow my time was, how dumb I must have looked crying at the finish line, and how I must have seen like such an idiot to the people that passed me. But I just keep reminding myself, that I'm trying so hard not to think that way anymore. Who cares if I looked dumb? Who cares if I was slow? I'm proud of myself, and my family is proud of me. Why should anything else matter? I have taken a tremendous step on my journey to be better and feel better, and that is such an accomplishment. I really just need to focus on that and not always search to criticize myself first. I know this change won't come overnight, but I'm happy to be aware of the issue, and working to change it. 

On to the next goal and to making more progress!

Oh and I forgot to mention the "BEST" part! We got an email from the race director after the race was over, and they had MIS-MARKED THE COURSE! So instead of running 13.1 miles, we ran 13.76 miles! I had to laugh out loud when I read the email. As if it wasn't trying enough, lets just tack on a extra half mile for fun! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

101 in 1001

One of the first things that I want to do, is to post my 101 in 1001 list, to help hold me accountable. This is a list of 101 things that I want to do in the next 1001 days. Bucket lists and life goals are things that just seem too lofty to me or "I'll get to that eventually"-things. I wanted a list that would have a finish date that contained some easy things that I have been meaning to do, and some lofty things that will take a lot of purpose and planning. The rules of the list are that each of the goals must be something specific and attainable (albeit with some effort).

I've added a link to the top of my blog with the list, that will help to track my progress, so that everyone can keep checking up on me and how I'm doing.

I'm going to be updating the blog when I achieve a goal of mine, or as I'm working toward ones that take a little more time. Sadly, I have seen lots of blogs that have started these lists, but then abandoned them a few months into it. I'm committed for the long haul though! Let's get to it. 

Start Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2014
End Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

1. Read 25 books 
2. Go on 25 date nights with Ace 
3. Leave a note for the next reader in my favorite book at the library
4. Go two weeks without social media
5. Go a week without watching TV 
6. Write a letter to myself to open in ten years 
7. Meet one of the S13 Mamas in person 
8. Meet one of the TTGP Grad Mamas in person 
9. Get 20 people to walk with me (and Rubles!) during the American Heart Association Heart Walk 
10. Have weekly dinner with my parents for a month
11. Actually "do" my hair every day for two weeks 
12. Put make up on every day for two weeks 
13. Have picnic with my family in the park 
14. Get a tattoo
15. Watch 26 movies I've never seen, one that starts with each letter of the alphabet 
16. Listen to Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time 
17. Go by myself to see a movie
18. Get pictures of the girls taken by Carina Retallack
19. Dress up in some theme with Ace, Scar and Rubes for Halloween
20. Plan a 10 Year "Reunion" for my Davis Friends 
21. Have a "Mommy/Daughter" day, one with each girl 
22. Start a Blog 
23. Take a picture of both girls every day for a month 
24. Inspire someone else to make a 101 in 1001 List 

25. Try 20 New Restaurants
26. Cook 30 Completely New Dishes (variations of dishes I've already made don't count!!)
27. Plant an herb garden 
28. Plant a vegetable garden 
29. Use five different herbs/vegetables that I have grown in one recipe 
30. Pickle three different foods
31. Try 15 new wines 
32. Take a cooking class
33. Go one month without eating out 
34. Eat ten new foods that I have never had before 
35. Order and drink a Martini 
36. Host a dinner at my house for friends 15 times 
37. Take Ace to Ruth Chris Steakhouse for dinner
38. Enjoy "Meatless Mondays" for two months

39. Run a 5K (No walking!) 
40. Run/Walk a Half Marathon
41. Reach my goal weight 
42. Run at least a mile every day for a month 
43. Do all 90 days of the BBM Challenge 
44. Go one month with no sweats  
45. Floss my teeth every day for a month 
46. Do some sort of "fun run" with Ace 
47. Schedule check-up appointments with my dentist and doctor 
48. Learn to jump one foot off the ground 
49. Beat Ace at some sort of physical activity 

50. Write 25 personal thank you letters to hospital staff
51. Send 25 cards to family and friends that helped during our time at the hospital 
52. Donate blood five times 
53. Leave a 100% tip 
54. Buy the drink of the person behind me at Starbucks
55. Bake someone cupcakes, just because 
56. Make a meal for a friend with a new baby
57. Complete ten Random Acts of Kindness
58. Bake cookies and take them to a neighbor 
59. Register for the National Bone Marrow Registry 
60. Make a visit with Ruby to see the night shift nurses 
61. Get Rubles' story posted on the PCICU's "Wall of Hope" 

62. Take the girls to Fairytale Land 
63. Take the girls to Disneyland 
64. Walk Across the Golden Gate Bridge 
65. Visit five museums with Ace and the girls 
66. Go to a Pens game with Ace (even if it's on the West Coast) 
67. Take the girls to pay respects to Ace's Dad
68. Go camping 
69. Go to a concert with Ace
70. Visit a Historical Landmark I've never been to before 
71. Take the girls to a water park 
72. Go see a new musical I have never seen before 
73. Go to a state that I have never been before 

74. Make home-made gifts for everyone for one Christmas 
75. Make handprint art for each girls' room
76. Make a quilt for both girls
77. Complete five projects I find on Pinterest 
78. Complete a coloring book (Color every page!) 
79. Fill in both girls' first year picture frames 
80. Fix up an old piece of furniture 
81. Make 10 hair bows for the girls 
82. Plan and schedule a craft day with family/friends 
83. Send family members a homemade ornament for Christmas 

84. Decorate our bedroom 
85. Find and hang and "M" in our house 
86. Hang up Christmas lights on the outside of our house 
87. Get fresh flowers for our house every week for a month 
88. Make a photo wall in my house
89. Plant flowers in my front yard 
90. Organize the garage
91. Redecorate the girls' bathroom 
92. Update the pictures of our family that are hanging in our house 
93. Set up a legit office area for me 

94. Buy a new home with a better layout for our family 
95. Become debt free (except mortgage) 
96. Raise $500 selling no longer needed items 
97. Get a more economical/gas efficient vehicle 
98. Donate money to a kick starter campaign 
99. File my taxes before February 15th 
100. Put $5 in a bank for each task completed on this list 

101. WRITE A NEW 101 in 1001 LIST!!

Finding My Heart

So here it is... My first official blog post. Let the stories begin. 

I'm starting this journey at a time in my life where I'm motivated to be better, do better, live better, eat better and love better. I'm focusing A Girl After Her Own Heart, on just that, helping myself to truly dive deep down and find, grow and prioritize doing things from the heart. I want to talk about making my heart healthier, in the most literal sense, as well as making my heart fuller and happier. I truly believe that as a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a human, that I as I grow to become a better version of myself, that those around me will benefit as well. And that's really the ultimate goal. Helping those around me, by helping myself... something I have never been very good at (not the helping other's part.... the helping me part!). 

You know those instructions on the plane where the flight attendant talks about there being a drop in cabin pressure, and those plastic mask things falling from some unknown compartment above you? Well in those instructions, they always say to secure your mask first, then secure the mask of those traveling with you that may need assistance. That's what I feel I'm doing in my life right now. A few months ago, I probably would have strapped the mask on the other person first, and lost consciousness in the process, with no one to help me. Now I'm strapping the mask on me, THEN helping them.  God, that sounds so selfish, but I swear it's not intended that way. I can't help anyone else, if I don't take care of myself too... that's all I'm saying. If I'm an unconscious passenger, then I'm just laying there, not helping anyone. I gotta secure my mask first, so that I can secure everyone else's too. 

I think that's where I'm going to end this for now, I was planning to go into back story about why I'm more motivated now than ever, or what has changed in my life, or just about my life. But I feel like that 'conversation' is better served for a little down the road. Every thing I'm doing in my life now is going to be with more purpose, more intention and more heart in mind.