Thursday, October 22, 2015

{DL} Always something to work....

I had great intentions.

The weather was beautiful & calling me to just be outside.

I sent a text to a friend & asked if she wanted to go walking.  I mean, I know I'm in trouble with my knee & thought walking is a good option - running it out, but talking with a friend who is so great at distracting me with great conversations is what I needed.

& then I stopped at the bank on the way home...

& came across the parking lot & it was like my knee raised the white flag...

Exactly how my knee did

I literally stood in the middle of where the cars were driving & gasped with pain.

Something didn't feel right.

I basically had to limp in a Hunchback fashion to get to my car.

I got home & wrapped up my knee & then text my friend back to let her know that walking wasn't even an option.


But I had to work out... I've learned about myself that if I don't work out, I panic.

That may be the definition of addiction - but that's ok when it comes to healthy things - right? ...that could be a whole other post.

So I decided to put in my video that concentrates on core...


Abs don't require knees - right?

Actually, some parts of it did - It required being on hands & knees & I just doubled up a towel & put under my bad knee.  It's like that soft spot on the knee is the worst pain.  Yep - this is new.

& I didn't stay in that position long.

I'm not going to push it.

But I did get to workout ... my abs anyways... I'll take what I can get for now.

Stupid knee.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

{DL} New knee pain.... but at least it was pretty out

Just when you think things are going well.

I've been making better times - building up a good endurance on running - keeping my  heartrate at a good level & not huffing & puffing - actually enjoying running lately...

... & then it happens ... all over again.

Knee pain.

I'm used to it.

I've had it my whole life - know I'll always have it - but this is a new knee pain.

& its getting bad. Like, I am limping kinda bad.

I'm trying not to get discouraged because I know the routine.  Rest, ice, keep it up. 

Been there ... done that... many times.

I'm also trying to keep my attitude in check knowing that it will heal up.  Time is what it takes.

I'm just bummed thinking that I'm going to miss out on this beautiful fall weather to run in. This is only one time a year... who wants to miss it.

I pushed it last night when I went for another run.

I forgot I had my glasses on my head till half way through my run....

I ended up having to brace up both knees & it actually isn't enough. I need a full knee brace with the pain in my left leg right now... sigh....

Ricky keeps getting on me to just STOP for now.... but I don't wanna. 

Yes, I'm great at throwing 2 yr old tantrums....

I may just keep doing my strength training videos & enjoy the weather with nice relaxing walks.  That counts as something - right?

Fall y'all:
How do you not go running with colors like this around you?
Anyone else struggle with constant knee pain?
Any tips on running with knee pain?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I still get teary eyed over these strangers....

The "official" video came out...

I still get weepy over these total strangers.

It's so cool for me to see the winners coming across the finish line & to know I was standing RIGHT THERE! :)

& if you get confused watching it & seeing the 2nd place woman crossed the ribbon & not the first place - the 1st place came in after, but she had the better time. I said I hated for her that she didn't get that 'ribbon busting' moment herself. 

But the girl that came through 1st, but who was 2nd - I got her chip - I got to talk to her... she was incredible. Didn't even look out of breath.

... & watch this video just to get to the story of the lady on the bike... how she was ready to commit suicide & here she is doing an Ironman.

Can you imagine how many amazing personal stories were out on that road on that day?

.... man, this stuff is inspiring to me...

& looky here... the volunteer appreciation video... I always love this.

At the finish line, I remember so many of these people that volunteered there that are in this video.

Unfortunately, they never went any further then the catchers at the finish line with the video... there was a whole other group of people back further working hard...

my knees remember it all even still....

The athletes are so appreciative though.  There is one that I saw took Starbucks cards & gave them out all during the day to the volunteers... how cool is that?

These athletes are amazing.

Monday, October 19, 2015

A beautiful weekend....

I'm not sure how it was where you live, but it was PERFECT running weather.
Friday, I wanted to do some small work out but I basically couldnt move as the day went on in thanks to starting some workouts from 21 Day fix EXTREME.
Oh my gosh - Its like starting over day 1 again with the soreness & pain.
But that's ok - I keep telling myself - if it doesn't challenge me, it doesn't change me.
My butt better look like a 18 yr olds after this is all I'm saying!
But I woke up on Saturday feeling good - a little tight still but not enough to keep me from getting outside.  it was just the most perfect day.
The temps were only going to be in the 50's & everyone kept talking about how COLD it felt outside...
to me - it was wonderful...
Long sleeves, capris - earbuds in - I was ready to roll...
How cute are these camo pants from Old Navy???
I kinda want to wear them every day
It was just fresh clean air... I didnt want to stop.
I've actually been doing really good in my running - basically still slow as a turtle - but my endurance has really picked up. I ended up running 30 minutes non stop this Saturday & then just walked for 1 minute before finishing out. 
Again - SLOW... I get it... but I'm impressed with myself that I'm not breathless at the end....
Progress people - progress.
I will say, my left knee is giving me new fits.  Always the knees. Always.
It feels like it wont bend. Like its swollen. It doesn't LOOK swollen - it just feels swollen.  & it hurts if I put any weight on it at all - like actually ON it - like if I was on hands & knees. Or using a knee to stand up.  Its tender.
I'm putting ice packs on it religiously at this point...
because I don't want to miss out on this beautiful weather while its here.
Did you workout this weekend?
Is the weather amazing where you are at?


Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Five: Fall Comfort Foods

I'm joining in today with the ladies for Friday Five & the topic being Fall Comfort Food.

I'm all about food... comfort food is the best too.

I never really thought of it as seasonal... but let's see where my brain is at right now with comfort food.

& I'll note right here.  Doing this 21 Day fix & watching my diet - I really need comforting if I'm going to guzzle down any of these.  Comfort food isn't about caring about calories though, is it?

ONE // Apple Pie ... hot!

Oh gosh - anything apple related covered in some sort of crust.  Yes please!  Apples are the best during the fall & I'm the biggest fan of apple pie. I always say I prefer apple pie over any other dessert.  So when the apples are fresh & its heated up, or even covered with caramel sauce?  I just gained a pound thinking of it.

TWO // Pumpkin Pie

... ok... I could probably just do a post on pies.  I'm not joking when I say they are my favorite.  But how do you not pick Pumpkin Pie as a fall favorite?  With Thanksgiving & all things orange & pumpkin?  This is just a no brainer. 

THREE // Vegetarian Chili

A hearty Quinoa Vegetarian Chili cooked to perfection in the Crock Pot, this soup recipe just screams fall comfort food! | #freezerfriendly #easyrecipes:
This one is a quinoa Chili!

Chili is just made for the cool nights of fall.  So delicious. I love it that there are so many ways to make vegetarian chili as well.  The bad thing, I've had not a lot of luck making any myself. A friend of mine made some for our home church in her crock pot & it was amazing. That reminds me - I need to get her recipe.

FOUR // Broccoli cheese casserole

If you love Broccoli and Cheese, then this side dish is perfect for you. Cheesy Broccoli Casserole is one of our FAVORITE side dishes. I have made this more times than I can count and it ALWAYS turns out fantastic!:

My brother makes this for Thanksgiving every year & I have to say, its worth not eating anything else the entire day to save the calories just for this dish. 

FIVE // Hot Chocolate

Great ideas! Different ways to make hot chocolate - peanut butter hot chocolate, vegan hot chocolate, Nutella hot chocolate and much more!:

There's something special & comforting & cozy at sitting at home in front of our fireplace - though its a fake fireplace - bygones ... but holding a cup of hot chocolate in your hands & just winding down a day.  The taste of warm chocolate...My favorite is Starbucks Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate packets. OH MY GOSH... the best instant hot chocolate there is!  But I'm always on the hunt on Pinterest for great HC recipes.

What food comforts you during the colder days heading in?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The things you see at Ironman finish line!

What a day!  Ironman 2015 is in the books...

Sunday was just a perfect day for it too.  It was cool, in the 70's, sunny, no chance of rain - a gorgeous day!  1000% better then last year when it was 102 degrees! Oh mercy.

I was so excited to get to the area & learn what I was going to do for the day.

Ricky was going to help as well, but poor guy works so hard & needs fresh legs & energy for Monday so he decided not to do it - so he let me off on 4th street & headed home to relax....

I'm never one to meet strangers so I went in & registered in  - got my t-shirt & we had to wait for the orientation.

The 2 leaders came & told us what we would be doing & how important it was that we be full of energy & support because a lot of these people travel from all over the world & have no one there for them at the finish line - we could be the only support they have. That just made me so sad to think about....

& then she passed out a stack of  Thank You cards that the athletes filled out for the volunteers... how neat is that...we passed them around & read them... its always so cool to be volunteers for people that appreciate the time & energy you are giving to help them along.

Thank you note:

We all got assigned to our areas & off we went down the finish line shoot....

The chip retrevial people was a small group - only 7 of us... me, 4 other ladies, 1 teenagers who was a son of one of the ladies & 1 guy.  We were instantly chatting up all things Ironman... especially because the guy just finished the Chattanooga Ironman & was up to see his friend do the Louisville one.  He was full of the coolest info about the race & we loved hearing his experience becoming an Ironman. 

He was from Georgia & 2 of the other ladies were from up north, New Jersey - & had drove down just to volunteer the finish line & to feel it out because they wanted to register the next day for next year's event.  How cool is that?  They have done half Ironman's a few times & wanted to up their game.  One lady will do her first Ironman at the age of 50.  That's so inspiring to me.

I was like a silent little squirrel sitting there listening to all the talk between them all - talks of the many MANY marathons they've all one (one did Boston the year after the bombing - that story made me teary eyed)  - talks about bikes & seats & other weird bike parts - talks about swimming & bubbles on strokes & ... I'm just sitting in awe of it all....

It was really cool though because the young man - I got to have some really neat talks with him. He is getting ready to propose to his girlfriend & we got talking about marriage & weddings & engagement rings... when he found out I do wedding photography, he wanted to know more about that & I showed him some pictures... it was just really fun.  He actually put his number in my phone & wanted me to send him wedding info ... wouldn't it be cool if I ended up driving down to Georgia for his wedding? :)

Start of finish:
Everyone waiting for this party to get started
(That guys head in the left corner is my new buddy... those ladies he's talking to are the NJ gals)

Then it was a little bit of waiting... the director came up to us & told us he messed up the timing in our emails we had been receiving & we were actually all an hour early.  It ended up being just fine because the talks we had passed the time... & they had a live shot on the transition area from bike to running & we sat & watched that for a bit...

& then we got word the winner was just a few minutes out...


Finish line:

Talk about electric ... There's just something awesome about a winner crossing the finish line....

& we were SO CLOSE TO HIM...

He was just the kindest guy.  So thankful to everyone for helping - shaking hands with everyone. I got to pat his back as he went by...

& then - yeah - his timing chip - that's what our group was there for.

One of the ladies did this same thing the year before & her son was a pro at getting down on his knees really fast & yanking these things off.  He didn't get to do the winner the year before so we let him take the winner this year.

After the winner, it was go time for us volunteers... the athletes started rolling in.

& yeah, see that picture above & that squatting down to their ankles... that's what I did... for 4 hours.

OH MY GOSH. I know I shouldn't complain after these people did 140+ miles - but come on... all the bending & squatting?  Let's just say, my right quad is still sore from all the up & down... #iamawimp 

It really is amazing to be at a finish line... an Ironman Finish line is a whole other level...

here's just some highlights of the day

* You could tell some of the athletes who were out of it.  We had to yell for medic a few times when you could see BLANK in people's eyes & knew they were going down in a heartbeat. 

* There were also athletes that crossed that finish line & their energy was so high, they just kept running.  We had to pretty much grab them & force them to stop so we could get their chip off them.

* People safety clip & duct tape those timers on their ankles. That's not fun getting them off.

* We had to wear gloves because how wet the athletes are & like I told someone, God knows if they've peed on themselves & it ran down their leg ... yeah, give me gloves. Again, not fun to take off safety pins with medical gloves on.

*  I had a lady that had blood running down her leg onto her chip & into her socks.  I asked if she was OK & she said that it was from chafing in between her legs. OH DEAR LORD - that's gonna hurt for awhile.

Finish line chaos:

*  A few of the athletes, when I would stop them to get their chips off, would literally grab me & hug me.  I thought, these are the people who have no one.  I was happy to hug them as long as they needed, telling them how amazing they are.  & then I'd get their chip off of them, hug them again & on they went.

* FAVORITE MOMENT!!!! One man, he crossed, we got his chip & next thing we know - his whole support team is on the side of the fence. All wearing his bib number on shirts.... & someone hands him a phone & its his kids on Facetime - wearing the same Bib number shirt & they are telling him now much they "love you daddy"... & then we see the crowd part, & there is a man who had to be in his 80's... the athletes grandfather.  He got up to the fence slowly & put his arms around him & just started SOBBING.  Next thing you know - the whole family is SOBBING.  There had to be a story there, but let me tell you, me & our chip retrieval gang all started sobbing with them.  One of our volunteer gang offered to take a picture of them all together & they gladly accepted.  It was just the most amazing moment to witness.  When grandpa let go - here came grandma... & again, the tears.  That was one proud family.... Team Craig #76 - my favorite support team ever!

 * some people aren't meant to work with others.  There was one guy on the medic team that yelled at me when I tried to help a lady with a wheelchair with an athlete in it, get over a hump that was protecting electric cords.  The man YELLED at me that the nurse should be going backwards.  Sorry - she was going forward & jamming it into the 'speed bump' - I didn't tell her to do this - I was just trying to help her.  The guy pointed his finger at me & said, "Let them turn it around" - I kindly said, "She was going forward, I was just trying to help" ... a little later, another nurse did the same thing - went forward.  I just stood there & watched & then just looked at that man on the side & said, "I guess you don't want me to help, huh?" as the lady almost pushed the athlete out of the wheelchair because she couldn't get it over the hump... geez dude. Train your medics if you want them to do it a certain way

* It got so busy that I started not seeing one athletes face - I was just staring at their ankles to make sure they didn't get past me with a timing chip. I can tell you all about their socks & shoes though.

* Compression sleeves over a timing chip really bites. You know how hard it is to get those babies up & down - we would have to pull them down to get the chip off, but pull them back up so they could get their picture taken.  That required team work.

* One of the top 4 women that came through, she looked like she just came off of a fashion shoot - her make up was flawless. What is this magic?  Where can I get some?

* You can tell the age of people by the writing on the back of their leg.  When people would finish we were trying to guess their age - let me tell you - this race wipes you out!  I'm sure its because of dehydration because everyone looked sunk in in their cheeks.  We thought one guy had to be in his late 60's... saw his leg, he was only 41.  That happened over & over.  They all need that magic from the lady above.

*  It really amazing to see all the types of people that cross that finish line.  Not what you expect an Ironman to fit in a body type... I love that.  Just shows that anyone can do this if you put your mind & dedication to it!

Before I knew it, it was 8:00 & the 2nd shift was coming on & we had to train them on what to do... & then we were free to go.  I almost wanted to stay but the finish line was getting really crowded & I didn't want to be in the way.... plus, Ricky had to drive all the way back down to get me & I didn't want him to have to be out too late... so I just took my time, soaked it all in a little bit more & headed to the end...

Finish line:
The finish line is down at the other end... this is the path the athletes had to walk to get their finishers gear & their pictures taken...

I waited for Ricky in this area & watched the athletes get their things & meet up with family & friends... & I had to laugh because I said it looked like a clip from The Walking Dead...

all the limping, all the slow motion, all the groaning...

yep... really similar :)

I wonder if Ironman's are where that idea came from...

Next year, I know my knees can't handle doing this gig  again, but I do want to be the 'catcher' - someone who is the one person that sticks with the athlete from the time they cross the line through the whole process of getting their stuff, getting their picture taken & help them on their way..

I may even take off the day after so I can stay until the very end - those midnight runners that are trying to hard to make that cut off.

Ricky got downtown to pick me up & I went home - glad to be a part of such an amazing event in my own way...

& then turned on the live feed to see right where I just was...

& listen to the sounds all night of "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN" ...

what a cool thing to hear for these amazing people.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Five: Inspiring

I saw today's Prompt was people that inspire you.

Well, how do you pick 5 people?

So I was just thinking about what inspires me to try & stay healthy & fit...

Let's try that angle

ONE // Age

Let's face it - things get harder when we age.  But I want to fight it as much as I can.  I've seen some people my age that look like they are 25 years older then the number ... people that can't move easily, or struggle with daily life because they just don't take care of themselves.  I've also seen people my age that are KILLING IT in life with their body - proof of what it looks like to take care of yourself.  Our CFO's wife is in her early 60's & doing the Ironman this weekend - THAT'S what I want in life.  Age - suck it!


No - not a bicycle - my butt doesn't like bicycles.
I mean the cycle that your body can go through.  Like if you eat healthy, your body takes care of you.  If you don't take care of your body, your body has a better chance of giving you  more issues & failing on you.  I want to take care of my body so it takes care of me.
Side note - my sweet husband reminded me of this the other day when I said I didn't want to pay $4.50 for a tiny carton of blueberries.  He said, "you'll pay that to make sure you healthier & you don't have to pay that $4.50 to go to the doctor"... Smart man.


I do everything I can to not take medicine.  I can't tell you how my yearly exam every year my doctor suggests taking medicine to help with things - I tell her NOPE every time.  When I had to go to the ER for dire pain in my side last year, they instantly wanted to give me pain meds - I asked if I could drop the dose down to only 10% of what they wanted to give me... which was still plenty! ... I don't like medicine. I get some people NEED & HAVE to have it ... but I know medicine comes with side effects that comes with more side effects. Its almost like that cycle thing again. 
I know someone that takes medicine for headaches - that causes her blood pressure to rise - which she has to take medicine for that makes her have insomnia so she takes medicine to help sleep... & so on & so on.... No thank you.  Again, I want a healthy body that prevents me from the need of medicine as long as I possibly can.


I have no children of my own & know that if something where to happen to me, & God-forbid something has happened to Ricky & I'm all alone, I'd have a hard time finding anyone to help me in situations.  I want to be able to take care of myself - to do the things that need to be done in daily life - to not have to rely on someone.  More important, I don't want to be a burden to anyone.  I mean, I've moved furniture all on my own so Ricky didn't have to bother with it.  I want to have the physical abilities to do anything & everything I need to.


Let's face it - who doesn't want to look great in clothes!  ME ME ME ME ME!
& who doesn't want to feel confident?  I know looks aren't everything - but it really is something about when you feel good, you have just stand a little taller, you walk a little straighter.  & to be able to know you can pull off clothing without having to worry if its too short, too tight, hiding this part of your body or that part.. yeah - I work hard to get to this place.

What inspires you to try & be healthier?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

You'll see me at the finish line at IRONMAN!!!!

I am so excited for this weekend...

The energy is building around these here parts.


& before you go & think something crazy like Donald Trump is going to be President, or gas is back down to under a dollar, or even more crazy - that I am doing the Ironman, just stop & focus on realistic views.

For anyone who would think I would do an Ironman

I'd die if I tried it.  Simple enough.

But I love that I still get to be a part of the event.

For the past few years, I've made sure I've been close to the athletes - whether it be down cheering them on for 5 hours straight... which by the way is still one of my favorite memories.  The athletes go up & back a road - TWICE - while doing the marathon portion & so many of them came up to me & said they couldn't believe I was there on all 4 of their trips past me... & thanked ME...

& last year, I had the most wonderful opportunity to work in the women's transition tent. I loved helping them so much - even though inside the tent was 110 degrees (not even joking) ... it was the best thing to help out.

Last Year....
I can still almost smell myself from 5 hours in a place that I would imagine Hell would feel like

This year, I almost went back to the tent again - after all, its going to be a GORGEOUS Sunday - 74 degrees & sunny.... a whole lot less sweat & people puking & passing out (Lord, please) ... but I saw an opening on the volunteer list that I couldn't refuse.


How I felt when I saw they had 2 openings left
... one for me, one for the Hubs...

Now, those are coveted spots & I didn't get the one volunteer position where you walk the athletes through after they cross. I'll be in that area though. I'll be cutting the timing chips off & turning them in so their time is accounted for.  I'm kinda nervous about it because if a chip is lost, the athlete has to pay like $150 for it... I don't want that to happen to anyone so I'm going to be extra vigilant on doing my job. 

But I still know I'm going to enjoy seeing the expressions on athletes that just crossed that Ironman Finish Line.... all the emotion.

They say that our town -Louisville's Ironman Finish Line - is the best in the circuit...maybe because its crowded on a cool part of our town & the top of it is covered so I would imagine the cheers & roars of family just echo off making it sound like a concert in a stadium. 

I just know the energy is going to be electric & magical...

& I get to be right in the middle of it - congratulating the athletes face to face...
patting them on the back....
helping them in any way I can....

& hopefully not cutting them with scissors.

I cant wait!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

TOTR: Novelty Races

Novelty Runs....

When I think of Novelty, I think of fun.

I mean, there's a Novelty store in our town that has cut outs of Star Wars Characters, super hero costumes, fun things for parties, fake snot... things you wouldn't fine in most places.  But a store I can go in & look in for hours & envision what I want to be for Halloween.

... the answer is always Belle though.... always.


But Novelty races have taken a turn to me.

Now, they require full body skills that make me see what the race is & requires & I'm like, "I'm outta here"

With a bum shoulder, 2 busted knees & a slipped disc in my low back, odds are you won't find me at the new modern day Novelty Runs.

You know the ones... Spartan... Warrior Dash....Tough Mudder

Even those names scare me.

The answer would be NO... never...
Rope climbing?  Aint gonna happen....never could do it in gym class when I was young.
Wall scaling?... I never applied to Ninja Warrior for a reason
Fire Jumping? ... The hubs doesn't even like when I light candles because I'm so careless with fire.

Let me stick to races where pretty colors are thrown on you... or neon lights are lining a path at night & you glow in lights that make me think back to the 70's roller rink...

Those types of novelty races are my speed.

The ones where times don't matter.

Families do them together & I can get passed up by a 5 yr old (which happens WAY too often)

The ones where I leave with smiles & not bruises.... & definitely not having mud in my socks & shoes.  I pay way too much money to get mud in my shoes.

I will give you all TOUGH PEEPS out there that do these races some credit.... you are amazing.  I love reading about your experiences because I know its not something I could ever do.... so keep posting your pics & your experience. I'm sitting here clapping for you

... while I sit in my Belle dress.

What about you?
Do you like the rough & tough races?
Or are you just about the novelty FUN?

Monday, October 5, 2015

this thing called life....

If you saw my Instagram this weekend, you saw no work out pictures.

Actually, I didn't have any since Tuesday.... yikes!

No... even worse - Monday!

That's bad... really bad.

Not like me at all.

But there's this thing called life.

& it hits you all at once sometimes.

Between Tuesday having a hair appointment & then a church meeting & I didn't get home until after 9pm

& then Wednesday, I went up to the hospital to see my niece & didn't get home until 9pm

... hold up - I did work out on Thursday...YES!!  Not a total loser!

But back on Friday, another busy day with my mom needing back surgery - that ended up not happening & us leaving the surgical center with my mom's back exactly the same... & going to our friend's for dinner on Friday

& then Saturday was photo sessions & puppy home finding (if you did see my Instagram, you did see the cute little puppy that we know someone had to leave this little guy at our house!!!) & washing machine problems...

& yeah... life

oh yeah, for posterity sake, there was another photo session in there on Sunday.

So yeah, no actual workout... but life kept me moving... if that counts for anything.

The only bad thing that I'll confess to - my nutrition wasn't the best this week either.

My mom had birthday cake happening for her big day.
I had a cookie or two at our home church.
I dappled into my hubby's Halloween stash of mini candy bars.

we don't even get trick or treaters on our country road!

I felt awful about it all last night & actually am excited to get back on track this week.

Sadly, this week is pretty much as busy as last... but I'm going to make a better effort to get the workouts in... & to DEFINITELY watch the nutrition.

Its a new week!

Time to start fresh & new.... once again.