Turkey Trot 5k…

The Turkey Trot in Decatur was my first ever 5k after I started running in 2014. I remember setting a goal to finish in under 45 minutes.  I finished in 40.38 that year. I remember not running after that race because I had thought I couldn’t be a runner since I had to take a walk break during that race.  I was so upset and it ruined my entire experience. I am so glad I have changed my thinking about running. 

The weather wasn’t looking good for this year’s Turkey Trot. Thunderstorms and high winds were in the forecast all week.   Yesterday,  I had pretty much talked myself out of running it, but I decided to get up this morning and make a decision. It was raining and thundering when I got up,  but I had a feeling I should head out for the run any way.  I think Angie would have pulled me out there by my hair if I tried to back out 🙂

Chris was up before I left because he and the kids had to work the Cub Scout popcorn booth at Christmas on Vinegar Hill. When I put on my winter running tights (which I had not run in since last winter) I noticed they were definitely looser.  I mentioned to Chris that I’m loving that my body is finally starting to look more athletic.  I honestly never thought I would feel that way about myself… ever! 

It was raining on the way over to the race,  but it stopped when we got there. We dressed for rain and cold,  but it was pretty warm when the race started.  The race route had changed from previous years and the course was extremely hilly.  It was also really windy… in fact,  the area is under a wind advisory until 9pm. Wind+hills does not make for an amazing race experience,  but we managed to keep up a decent pace throughout the race.  As soon as we finished and got to the car,  the heavens opened up and a massive downpour began.  The temperature dropped over 20 degrees and it was miserable.  We finished just in time. 

I had only run one time since the Scareport race, which was before Halloween, so I was nervous about how today would go.  I finished in 33.57 and feel really good about it. It wasn’t the best course or weather conditions for an awesome time,  but I still ran well.  In fact,  I was so proud of myself for finishing the 5k in Warrensburg in 36 minutes just a few short months ago.  I am making improvements and feeling awesome.  Our first mile was under 10 minutes.  I remember feeling excited and proud of 12 minute miles and now I can occasionally get them down to 9 minutes.  I’m so happy with my progress! I may not have made my under 30 minute PR goal,  but I hadn’t trained properly and knew this wasn’t going to be the race for it. For the record,  this was my fastest 5k (not including my 30 minute 5k that ended up being a tenth of a mile too short.)

Life is good and I’m super proud that I’ve been on this health journey for over a year.  And I’m happy to have friends like Angie by my side at the finish line! (You can tell we took off some gear during the race — it got warm right out the gate!) Chase your dreams, friends! It’s worth it. 


So thankful…

For the past couple of years I spent the entire month of November writing a daily thankful post on Facebook. I noticed, though, that the more people posted things they were grateful for, the more others would make comments because they were aggravated that their newsfeed was filled with thankful posts. I try to be grateful year round, but there is something about November that reminds everyone to make those daily thoughts known to the people around you. Just because someone doesn’t spend their time posting how thankful they are doesn’t mean he/she isn’t feeling that way constantly. This year I decided to write one long post of my 30 things….this way, if people want to read it–awesome—and if they don’t, bah humbug 🙂 Obviously, I am grateful for a million different things, but these are the thirty things that jumped out to me today.

1. Chris: Chris is a hardworking guy who also finds time to be an amazing father. Over this past year he has renovated our front room, porch, and kitchen all while maintaining a (more than) 40 hour a week job and being involved in Cub Scouts, church activities, and coaching soccer. He is my number one supporter and always tries to see the good in things (and attempts to make me do the same.) I am blessed to have him in my life for the past 17 years.

2. Maggie: This girl made me a mom. She is such an awesome daughter. She’s kind, smart, artistic, creative, beautiful, and generous. She helps me out at home whenever I need a hand. She takes the time to be a good friend and always thinks the best of people. I love that she stands out of the pack and strives to be her own person. I am so grateful for my Hamilton loving, Warrior cat reading, bassoon playing little mini-me 🙂

3. Liam: Liam is a kind-hearted, sensitive, hilarious, handsome little guy. He is funny without even trying. He loves playing video games and will take any chance to tell you about his favorite games—in fact, it is difficult to get him to talk otherwise. He is quiet (I am not sure he is mine!) and caring. Liam is the best snuggler I know. He is a momma’s boy, which I love and hope it continues for a long time to come. He is crazy smart, but doesn’t necessarily want everyone to know. He cries when his sister is in trouble. He is a genuinely nice kid. I am thankful that I get to see him grow into an amazing man.

4. My mom: My mom is stronger than she knows. It has been interesting to see her grow and change in the years since she lost dad. She is more confident and seems to do whatever she wants if it means she will enjoy a little bit more of life….even if that means getting purple highlights 🙂 Mom has always been there for our family and has been incredibly helpful to us over the years. She will do anything she can for her family. Thanks for being an awesome mom.

5. My granny: What can I say about granny? Granny is the sweetest lady I know. She is the glue that holds our family together. I am so thankful that I still have my grandma in my life and that the kids get to grow up with a great-grandparent. Granny is kind and thoughtful and has been helpful, in some way, to every person in our family over the years. Don’t know what we would do without her.

6. Mt. Pulaski: I have mentioned this a few times in the past. While my address may say Illiopolis, our heart belongs in Mt. Pulaski. We love this little town. We go to school, church, and I work in Pulaski. We are involved in multiple groups here and want to see the town grow and thrive. We have been welcomed with open arms and absolutely love it here. It is amazing to live in a town where you know nearly everyone. You walk into the local restaurant, post office, dollar general and you will run into at least one person you know. This town rallies when one of it’s own is hurting and comes together to fight the good fight. I am so thankful that we stumbled upon this place and we can now call it home.

7. The library: When I graduated with a degree in Political Science, I never would have guessed that I would eventually become a librarian. I thought I would be involved in state and local government—changing the world a little from my piece of the country. Honestly, I wouldn’t change it for a second. I love my job. I love that I get to help people fall in love with a book, help them escape the world for a few days. I love that I have met so many people and get to catch up with people daily. I think, sometimes, I may be the only person some of our elderly community has to talk to that day and I don’t take that for granted. I look forward to many, many years in this place 🙂

8. Our Church: I feel blessed that we found our church home in St. Thomas Aquinas. I am glad that God tugged on my heart and lead us back to the Catholic church. I do not think it was a coincidence that we were lead back a few weeks before my dad passed away. Our church and our church family have helped get me through some of my darkest days. We may be small, but we are mighty. My faith has only strengthened in the past few years and I am so happy with how things have turned out.

9. The gym: What can I say about the gym that I haven’t said in the past few months?!? The gym is my safe place. The gym is where my dreams become reality. The gym makes me feel strong and helps me become the person I want to be. I am so grateful that we have a gym in our town.

10. Danita: I can’t be grateful for the gym without showing my gratitude to the person who opened it. If you have looked at my blog or Facebook page in the past year, you know I have a ridiculous amount of love for this woman. I have said it before and I will say it again, Danita changed my life. Danita made me feel like I could do anything I put my mind to. She lets me complain, but she doesn’t let me quit. She’s my ultimate encourager and supporter and someone I know I can count on to tell it to me straight. I have sent her countless messages over the past year asking for advice and she has never once made me feel like I am a pest. Danita gave me my confidence back and I can NEVER repay her or thank her enough.

11. My tribe: Oh, ladies–where do I begin. It took me a long time to find you all, but I now have this extended group of women who lift me up when I am feeling down. Women who encourage me, support me, and make me want to be better. These women may be in another state, down the road, or with me at the gym….but, each and every one of you have made me feel like I could conquer any goal I set my sights on. Thank you for everything. I wouldn’t be where I am without you.

12. My home: We have been in our house for 9 years, but we never really made it our home. You have all followed along as we have worked on making our house exactly what we want. We aren’t done, but I have never felt at home in our old farmhouse more than I do now. I love our home. It is where we have raised our children, where we celebrate Christmas morning, where we play board games, where we love and love and love.

13. Facebook: There are days when I want to delete Facebook and move on with my life, but for the most part I am so thankful that it has given me the ability to update my family and friends across the country on what is going on in our lives. Facebook helps me stay in touch with people I most likely wouldn’t hear from otherwise. Facebook has helped me get to know my dad’s family better than ever before. I love that we have this format to communicate with one another. I could do without the political bashing and fighting, but I have to take the good with the bad 🙂

14. My dad: As you know, I was a huge daddy’s girl. The day we lost him, something inside of me was lost too. I feel so blessed, though, that I had an amazing dad for 35 years. I know not everyone has that and I am grateful for the years I did have him in my life. I miss him like crazy…I know he would have supported the health journey I am on…he would have loved seeing Liam become a Cub Scout and Maggie choose the bassoon. He wanted nothing more than to see his grandkids grow up. He was an awesome guy and he was a good dad, grandpa, and friend to those around him.

15. Music: There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t listen to some sort of music. Music is in my bones. My dad raised me on music and I am doing the same with my kids. A song can take me back to my most memorable days. Music gets me through the tough times. It sometimes makes me sob on the way to the grocery store because I can’t hear certain groups or songs without thinking of dad. Music is everything.

16. Old friends: Old friends are the best kind of friends. My old friends have seen me through my teenage years, through college, marriage, children, and even deaths. You guys are the ones who have known me at every stage. I am so grateful to have you in my life and to continue to share life’s adventures.

17. My closest friends: I am blessed to have a circle of close friends here in Pulaski. You guys know how to cheer me up. You deal with me when I am having great days and when I am whiny. You have seen me through some dark days and really helped me get through to the other side of my grief. You have been with me through my health journey and been my biggest cheerleaders. I am grateful to have you on my side and in my life.

18. Extended family: I have an amazing, huge family. I have cousins who are like siblings and aunt/uncles who are more like parents. I absolutely love having such a large family. I wish everyone could experience what it is like to have 30 people at Thanksgiving. 🙂

19. Races: Race days used to make me nervous, but I have come to love them. I am thankful for race days because races make me push myself. I always enjoy the excitement and energy of race day. I wish there were more days like race days.

20. Our dogs: I love our dogs. It is a wonderful feeling to come home from a long day and feel the love of our dogs, who are ridiculously happy to see us.

21. Good hair and make-up days: Ever since I started losing weight, I have been spending a little more time on myself. I have been doing my hair and make-up much more often. I am grateful for those days when I like the way I look….a lot can be said about a good hair day 🙂

22. New calendars: If you know me well, you know how much I love to add special dates, meetings, etc. to a new calendar. Getting a new wall calendar is one of my favorite times of year.

23. Weekends with nothing to do: We have been so busy over the past year. It seems like we constantly have something to do. I am so thankful for those occasional weekends when there is very little going on and we can relax and spend time together as a family.

24. Good books: There are few things better than sitting down with a great book.

25. Freedom to be me: I love that I have people in my life who let me just be….who let me say what I feel and be who I am without judgment or complaint. You know who you are and I am so grateful that you are in my life….even if sometimes I can’t leave my phone without coming back to a group message with 20 missed comments 🙂

26. Voting: I love that we live in a country where we are given the right to vote, to express our views about our government and affect change when we see fit. I may not always agree with how the vote turns out, but I will always take part.

27. My camera: You know I love a good selfie—my camera has helped me see the physical changes in myself over the last year. My camera lets me forever remember the important events in my life. I am thankful to have a camera with me wherever I go.

28. Mother nature: I love that we live in an area with 4 seasons. We may not get all four seasons for very long, but it is wonderful to have little glimpses of them. And while sunny days are awesome, rainy days make me happy too. Variety is the spice of life.

29. Speech/Theater: Participating in speech and theater in high school made me who I am today. Most of the friends I have from high school are in my life because of speech team. Speech made me confident in being on stage and speaking in a room full of people. Being on the speech team helped me more than anything else in college. I will forever be grateful that I had this in my life. I love that Maggie is taking after me and is interested in performing. I can’t wait to see what she does.

30. Hills: Running hills suck….they suck big time, but hills make me a better runner. “Hills” in life make me a stronger person. We all rejoice in the good times, but it is those difficult time (things) that shape who we are. I am thankful for the hills in my life.

What are you thankful for?


Scareport 5k…

I haven’t been very exciting lately.  After Kate’s wedding wrapped up,  I’ve been trying to relax a little and get back to our normal routine.  It seems like we are busier than ever.  I’m attempting to exercise 3 days a week, but my running has taken a backseat.  I’m determined to get more training in over the next few weeks. I’ve got a half marathon on the horizon and I plan to successfully reach my goal.  

I have had a few exciting things happen recently…I ran my fastest mile,  9:44, and I have officially lost 40 pounds. I have been taking pictures of my progress along the way,  but on Friday I found a picture from 2015 and looked at it next to my latest profile picture…. it was in that moment that I saw how big of a difference 40 lbs makes.  I feel so much happier now…. there’s joy in me that wasn’t there before.  I’m excited to continue this journey and see what’s ahead.  

I ran my first night time 5k on Saturday with Angie. We ran the runway at the Decatur Airport. We got there ridiculously early because we needed to pick up our race packet.  We waited an hour for the race to start, so we took a few pics to pass the time.  By the time it began,  it was pitch black outside. Neither of us had brought a flashlight,  so I was pleased when Angie saw someone she knew (she knows everyone!) who said we could borrow one of his.  

We thought the race would be cool because it was windy and the temperature was dropping,  but once we got on the runway the air seemed really warm and almost thick.  As everyone knows,  I’m goal oriented, but since I hadn’t kept up with my training I decided I really didn’t care where I finished.  We ran the first mile and then started doing intervals.  During the second mile I heard Angie say she really wanted it to be under 12 minutes,  so I said we needed to kick it up.  We did and successfully finished the mile at 11:59. See…. I’m still goal oriented 🙂

At one point,  Angie said she wanted to finish faster than our Warrensburg Corn Festival 5k time which was a little over 36 minutes, so I was  determined to do so. I finished in 34.34 and 8th out of 27 in my age group.  I think this was my best placement ever–Go me!

I’m really proud of myself. I hadn’t trained properly and still did really well.  I can’t wait to see where proper training can take me.  Next up…Turkey Trot 5k in November.  Happy Fall, y’all! 😉

One year journey…

I started working out in late August/early September 2016. By October 2016, Chris had convinced me that I needed to take pictures of myself and measure my bicep, waist, thigh, and bust in order to do comparisons along the way.  I was reminded this morning that I took my very first photos one year ago today.  Some days it seems like I’ve been on this journey forever while other times it feels like I just began.  

Here are my photos from last October:

And these are my photos today…. no sucking in (but you can tell I never wear these clothes anymore… holy wrinkles!):

The first thing I notice in these photos is the difference in my demeanor.  In the old photo I look defeated, disgusted, and sad.  In my photos today, I’m happy and excited. The change in my mood is definitely noticeable to others around me too. I’m no longer tired every minute of the day.  I’ve got energy, which is a welcome change.  

I started this journey at 216 pounds and weighed in this morning at 178. I’m 38 lbs lighter and healthier in general. I’ve lost a total of 21 inches.  Besides my weight, I’ve also noticed these changes:

-I can run a mile and ran an entire 5k.

-I can do regular push ups (not on my knees).

-I am so close to having a mile in the 9s…. up until recently I thought 10 minute miles were completely out of my reach.

-I am not scared of planks… in fact,  I like them. 

-I love lifting weights.

– I’m in love with my upper leg muscle,  Chris calls it my quad….I have no idea about technical terms. 🙂

-I don’t crave pizza and pasta all the time.

-I’m not a slave to my scale.  I do weigh in regularly,  but it no longer controls my mood or ruins my day.  

I’m sure there are many more things I could list, but I think the biggest change is in how I feel about myself.  I’m proud of myself and the changes I’ve made.  It hasn’t been easy,  but it has been worth it.  

It was a great weekend…

It was Fall Festival weekend! I love our little town’s yearly festival… granted,  it would have been even better if we had some fall temperatures…but, sadly I don’t get to choose 🙂

Liam and I started the day off at 6:30. We got ready and headed into town for his fun run and my 5k. Liam constantly tells me he is fast and he is! He was leading the charge for awhile and right at the end he lost his fire and got 3rd. We definitely have a sprinter on our hands! I can’t wait to see where track takes him in a few years. He was upset afterward and had a stomach ache, but it quickly went away and he was ready for some donuts! 

Immediately after his fun run, it was time for my 5k. I was a little nervous because I hadn’t been training like I should have due to being injured. My goals for this race were to 1) finish in under 40 minutes and 2) run the entire race.  

When I began running the first time,  years ago…I told myself I was never going to be an outside runner.  I would run on the treadmill forever. And I’d definitely never run a race by myself without having a friend right next to me.  As always in life, things change. These days, even though I still use my treadmill,  I generally don’t run on it.  I prefer running outside.  And yesterday,  even though I lined up with a friend,  I ran my own race and I was by myself. Guess what?! I didn’t die! I can run without someone to talk to… who knew! 

Even though I ran by myself,  I was surrounded at the start line by lots of people I knew.  I love running in a hometown race for that specific reason! We have a great group of runners here and they all push me to be the best runner I can be.  Thanks to Kathy,  Angie,  Heather,  Danita, Tracy,  Debby, Erin, Julie, and Sarah. You guys always make me feel supported and encouraged. Some of you are crazy fast and it makes me want to be better.  I love that we have such an awesome running community here! 

This 5k was a tad bit easier for me (until the hill…. I’ll get back to that!) simply because I train on these roads and I knew when I crossed the finish line there would be people who knew me cheering me on…I rarely have that! I did end up running the entire race… even through the water station.  I also ended up spilling a ton of water on myself,  but hey….I kept running! I felt like I was killing it until I started up Washington street and remembered our 5k ends with a huge uphill, thus Top of the Hill 5k. I was spent… totally spent. I didn’t think I had anything left in me to get myself up the hill when out of nowhere I hear Chris Brown say, “Amanda…. you can do this! You are crushing your time!” He came back to the bottom of the hill (he finished in something ridiculous like 21 minutes!) and ran with me to the end. I think at one point I said, “Chris…I can’t do it!” He assured me I could and I kept putting one foot in front of the other.  Thank God for Chris Brown. My Chris was at home working on house projects so it was nice to have someone there to give me that extra push. Thanks,  Chris…. I truly appreciate what you did!

I finished in 30 minutes flat (my watch said 30.13.) My previous 5k time was 36 and some change,  so I’m thrilled with my time. I’m certain I can’t pull that off every time,  but it felt good yesterday! Friends….I started out with 15/16 minute miles and now I’m regularly doing low 10 minute miles. If I can do this, you can too! Don’t let fear stop you from chasing your dreams! 

After the race I worked the Cub Scout booth for a couple hours with Renee, then judged the Chili Cookoff, and walked in the parade.  It was a busy morning,  but I had a great time.  

After the parade, I finally got to go home and take a much needed shower.  We headed back up to the festival around 4 and the kids rode rides for over 3 hours. Maggie, who was scared of the Scrambler at first, rode it over and over all night. The kids had such a good time.  They even convinced Chris and I to ride once.  I forgot how fast it went! All in all,  we had a great weekend. Let’s bring on Fall!

Life changes…

We moved to Illiopolis/Mt. Pulaski nearly 9 years ago.  It was an exciting move because we were moving from Decatur where we had houses right next to ours, to our farmhouse with neighbors on the next block.  We knew absolutely no one here. I was pregnant with Liam and Maggie wasn’t old enough for pre-school. I was a stay at home mom and Chris worked (still does) in Decatur,  so meeting anyone was incredibly difficult.  When Maggie turned three, we signed her up for 2 day preschool at Zion Lutheran School.  

It’s crazy to think about how that one decision basically shaped who I am today.  We walked into the school for orientation and the first person I met was Janette Cooper. She was the first person I had really met in Mt. Pulaski at all. It blows my mind that one simple interaction started a 7 year friendship.  You never know how big a part someone will play in your life when you first meet them.  Janette became my first friend here. She welcomed me and treated me like a friend from the beginning.  She drove down to DQ for my dad’s funeral.  She and Chad are our Cards Against Humanity buddies and friends we can always count on for a great time.  Although we don’t go to Zion anymore,  Zion brought many wonderful people into my life. 

I had no idea when I walked into Zion’s office for the first time to pay tuition, that Gloria and her family would become near and dear to my heart. I, maybe, spoke 3 sentences to her before I was asked to take on a few hours a week in the office to learn Gloria’s job and take some stress off her plate.  From that moment,  Gloria and I became really close.  Gloria and Butch are my Mt. Pulaski parents.  If you would have asked me when I first began taking Maggie to Zion if I could see my life turning out that way,  I would have laughed… I barely knew Gloria and she became my family!

Zion also brought Abby into my life.  The day I met her,  in the Narthex after church,  I just thought I had better introduce her to Maggie because she was going to be her new teacher.  I literally thought nothing of that encounter other than she seemed like a nice person.  As the year went on,  Abby became my person.  She was the Meredith to my Christina. We spent ridiculous amounts of time together, laughed at ourselves regularly,  and knew what the other was thinking. I wonder how my life would have been different if I hadn’t stopped to meet her after church that day.  

Zion brought so many amazing people in my life, PCD, Susan, Jill, Sam, Pam, Tricia, Barb, Kelly, Sarah,  Shelby, Debby, Heather, and more people than I can even name…. One simple act of registering Maggie for preschool, changed my life and put it on a new path.  

Quite a few of my friends have moved away over the last couple of years and we left Zion… felt our calling to go back to the Catholic Church and move our children to the public school.  I was ridiculously nervous about leaving my little bubble where I knew everyone and knew exactly how things worked.  I had acquaintances at the grade school,  but no real friends. I was terrified I wouldn’t make any,  but as always God had different plans.  

Jamie and I had talked on and off over the preschool years since our daughters attended Zion together.  Jamie put her kids at the grade school right after finishing preschool, so she knew the ins and outs of the public school much more than I did.  I would go to her for advice and to pick her brain.  Maggie and Jamie’s daughter were good friends, so it was nice to have someone who was willing to chat with me and help me figure out things.  I had no idea that Jamie would turn into someone who I text nearly every day. Someone who organized an entire afternoon for me on the anniversary of my dad’s death,  so I wouldn’t be alone.  Jamie went from an acquaintance to one of my best friends. She was the first person to make me feel like there was life after Zion and I’d make new friends and be okay.  

In the past year,  Angie who I spoke to on occasion when we’d run into one another and Kathy who is my neighbor and I hadn’t even met until our first open house at the grade school, have become my sounding board for everything… my running companions… and my best friends.  I can’t even tell you how it happened,  I can’t pinpoint the moment when we became bosom buddies…. it feels like it’s always been that way. One day I’m being asked if I want to run a half marathon and the next day we have an ongoing group chat where we discuss a variety of randomness daily.  These two probably know me better than most people.  I’m not afraid to tell them those crazy things that I’m scared someone will judge me for. They get me….or at least I think they do.  

About a year ago,  I walked into the open house at True Form fitness.  It had just opened and I wanted to check out what classes would be available and what machines were there.  I had seen the owner,  Danita,  quite a few times at the library,  but we had never really had a conversation.  I met her again that day at open house and thought nothing of it, she was just the lady who was opening the gym.  I had no idea that she’d be the person who would help me on my health journey.  I had no idea that I would start taking classes from her and love them.  I didn’t realize that because of her classes I would form a bond with other people working on getting healthy.  I didn’t know she would be the one who would push me,  encourage me,  and motivate me. She opened my eyes.  She had me take a good long look at myself and decide I needed to change. Danita means more to me than she knows! It’s because of her that I no longer look like this…

Of course,  I’ve met many more people along the way and I’m making more friends all the time…Renee and Julie to name a couple.  I’m just so grateful for this journey and how each of these people have helped shape who I have become and who I will become.  

My message to all of you is to be open.  Be open to new circumstances.  Be open to change.  You have no idea how someone will impact your life when you first meet them.  A chance meeting with a neighbor,  a teacher,  a person at the grocery store could turn into something really special. So, keep your eyes open! Have a blessed week. 

Personal Record breaking kind of week…

The kids started school on Wednesday and Chris had a mid-week out of town trip for work,  so I didn’t find any time to make it to classes at the gym.  I was exhausted this week.  It takes me a bit to get used to change and schedule changes are the worst on me.  I like my routine and I like things to continue going the way they are,  but as a mom and wife,  I know this is never going to happen.  

I didn’t go to my usual early morning classes because I was tired and wanted sleep to help me make it through the week.  I did continue my 10,000 steps a day… every day.  I went to running group on Tuesday and Saturday and got on the treadmill all of the other days.  I’m committed to getting some form of exercise every day… even when I really don’t feel like it.  

On Tuesday,  we had open house at the school to drop off supplies and meet the teachers. Liam has the same 3rd grade teacher Maggie had,  so we know she’s awesome and have zero worries. Maggie is in 5th grade now,  which boggles my mind.  We have a new teacher and new experiences.  She’ll get to do band,  she’s signed up for Girls on the Run,  and we are hoping to do Scholastic Bowl.  She already really likes her teacher,  so I’m excited to see how this year goes. Chris and I drove separately to Open House so I could head to running group immediately after.  

Running group was created to get people ready for our town Fall Festival 5k. I love it! I am pushed harder in this group than I’ve ever been pushed before. On Tuesday,  there were only 4 of us.  We started out,  but no one really said how long we were running.  We usually do 3 or 4 depending on the night.  We got to 1 mile and I felt good,  realizing at that point that I was still running despite the fact that I generally do a run/ walk method.  I hadn’t ever run much further than a mile straight without a walk break.  We got closer to 2 miles without walking and my friend Julie said,  “Amanda,  you’ve never run this far before!” I had acknowledged that in my head before she mentioned it,  but I was trying not to focus on it.  At that point,  Chris (not my husband… this is the running group leader) said he thought I could do 2.5 without stopping.  So, I kept going.  We made it to 2.75 and I said I had a goal of running a 5k (3.1 miles) straight through without a walk break.  So,  I kept going.  It is awesome to have people next to you encouraging you and helping you crush goals.  Chris said I could walk at 3.2 when I met my goal,  but I kept running. I ran until we stopped….4 miles.  Yep,  I ran 4 miles straight.  I still can’t believe it.  I had my fastest mile,  my fastest 5k time, and my longest distance without walking all in one night. Did I mention how much I love running group?!?

I showed up for running group on Saturday,  but I was unaware that our leader had to work.  Julie had already mentioned that she wasn’t going to make it.  I showed up and waited to see who else would make it,  but no one came. I messaged Julie and she said to give her a minute, she’d be in.  So, I took off around the American Legion to attempt 1 mile by myself before she arrived.  To my amazement, I pushed myself to another record… I beat my fastest mile again! I finished it in 10.11. When my watch beeped to tell me I had finished a mile,  I was stunned.  10.11 is crazy fast for me! Of course,  I couldn’t keep that up so Julie and I ran/ walked until we got to 4.5 miles.  I’m so grateful that Julie met me because I enjoy my runs so much more when I have a friend along for the ride.  
In other news, pictures from last Sunday’s 10k were posted. I immediately loved this picture! It makes me feel strong…. look at those legs! I remember posting my first race picture from the Penguin in the Park 5k and I hated how I looked, now when I see race pictures,  I’m proud! 

I’m planning to do intervals today.  I’ve never done consistent intervals,  so we shall see how this turns out.  I hope you all have a great day!