We did it. We did it. Yes, we did it. (Picture me doing a happy dance and jumping for joy). Mike and I ran out first race on Sunday: the Thin Mint Sprint 5k. 

All of our hard work paid off. We ran the whole race and thanks to the adrenaline ran faster than we normally do. Mike finished 2nd in his age group (there were 7 men in his group) and I was 14th out of 48 women in my age group. Overall we were 70th and 61st out of about 300 runners. Not bad for out first time out. 

We were pretty conservative, starting out slow, because we didn’t know what to expect. We’ve focused on distance in our training, so the 5k seemed short compared to our regular runs. 

We’ve already started training for our 10k. We’re signed up for a 10k on Halloween. I’m a little nervous, since we’re doubling our distance … But Mike says it’s gonna be no big deal. I’m hoping he’s right. 

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Last week I posted this photo to Instagram with this caption.

Cooper said, “Do you want to sit on the couch with me?” No came out of my mouth before I thought about it. I was cranky today. My stomach has been aching for days now. I had a headache most of the day. I was tired. Homework was a chore, ping ponging between kiddos since Mike is out of town. The “no” came from that cranky place. But I didn’t want Cooper to go to bed on that note. Heck, I didn’t want to go to bed on that note. So I changed my answer, said yes and we sat on the couch watching a video of our recycling truck in action from earlier in the day. Man, this kid teaches me so much about life, grace, love and compassion.

I’ve replayed this moment over and over again in my head. As soon as I said no to Cooper, my stomach dropped, my heart sank and I felt a combination of sadness and shame. I was being a bad mother. I wasn’t doing all that I could do to show Cooper how I loved him. I wasn’t enough. My mind flooded with a million negative thoughts that aren’t true. Someone wise once told me “Every negative thought you’ve ever had is a lie.” And I was telling myself a lot of lies.

What I did in the next moment stunned me. It’s not my normal behavior. I quickly changed the narrative in my head and changed my response to Cooper. I said yes. I told myself a different story. Yes, I’m a great mom. Yes, I’m tired, but I always have time for connection. Yes, I can do this. Yes, I am enough.

The relief that I felt was unbelievable. My shoulders relaxed. The tension in m body melted away. I laughed and smile, which is never a bad thing. And I felt so powerful for taking what could have been a crappy situation and turned into something profound and meaningful. We all have that power.

Here’s the deal: I don’t have this mastered, but I can tell you that consciously forcing myself to change the story I’m telling (both in my head and out loud) is a powerful tool. It can change a crappy moment, a hard day or even your life. I honestly believe that. Flip the script. Tell yourself something new today. And I bet you, you’ll feel different and you’ll act different.


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At the beginning of 2015, Mike and I made a ton of goals. Many of them were related to health and fitness. We wanted to start a running practice and compete in various runs, from 5k’s to half marathons. Months passed and nothing happened. Our goals languished in inactivity. Mind you, we were getting daily exercise (thank you FitBit and 10k step goals), but we were no closer to our race goals or running on a regular basis.

By the middle of the year, we decided we needed two things: a manageable training plan and a deadline.

The plan. Well finding and sticking to a plan was an issue for us. When we first started our running journey we had no plan. And of course we failed. We ran a few times and quit. Our “no program” training program was a huge fail.

Then, we decided to devise our own training program. Mike created a music playlist with songs of varying lengths. We would run a song and then walk a song. We managed to stick with this program for less than a week, a whole three runs.

Finally, we found a reputable program that also had an iPhone app that we could use. It’s called Couch to 5k and it very slowly eases non runners into running. The first few weeks we would run a minute and then walk a minute. By the end of eight weeks, we were running for 30 minute stretches. Every time we thought we knew better and considered deviating from the program, we reminded our selves that we had repeatedly failed when we tried to go it alone. Stick with the program became out mantra. And it worked. We finished the eight weeks and ready for a 5k. Since we already had some momentum, we went right into training for a 10k. We found another program to follow (10k Trainer Pro) and are about to head into our second week of 10k training (whoo hoo for us).

So the other key to our success was setting a deadline. For us, a deadline meant signing up for a race so we had a concrete goal to train for. Training to run without a specific goal in mind, like the Tucson Half Marathon, seemed doable when we set our initial fitness goals for 2015. But when it came down to it, we just kept pushing back our training or not doing it all because there was no sense of urgency. Once we signed up for a race, we had to get off our butts and work. With a deadline looming over us we had sufficient motivation to not just start a training program, but to finish it strong.

On Sunday, Mike and I will run our first race together, the Thin Mint Sprint (it benefits the Girls Scouts of Southern Arizona). We’re both a little nervous, but we’re ready. We did the work and it will (hopefully) pay off.

Next up: the Tucson Half Marathon in December.

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Mike and I finished our first Whole30 on August 30th. We “thought” we’d be dying to go back to eating whatever we wanted, but we weren’t. My doctor has me on a pretty restrictive diet, so there wasn’t much I could add back in. And truthfully, eating the Whole30 way felt better for us.

So, we started another round. We’re 10 days in and it’s much easier for me the second time around. We didn’t really splurge during our week off, so I didn’t have to go through a detox process like I did the first time around (whoo hoo!).

Over the course of the last 6 weeks we’ve definitely found some of recipes we love and keep coming back to. My all time favorite (so far) is Sonoma Chicken Salad. I found it doing a search for easy Whole 30 recipes and it’s both easy and SO yummy. Even if you’re not eating a Whole30 diet, you should totally try this. It’s quick. It’s refreshing (it’s still super hot in Arizona). And it’s really delicious (I know, I already said that … but it’s worth repeating). Make extra to have for lunch the next day, it keeps really well and is just as good the second or third day.

Sonoma Chicken Salad (posted by @danikabrysha)

2 large cooked chicken breasts (organic, free-range if possible), diced
1 cup red grapes, halved
1 cup celery, chopped
1 avocado, diced

1/2 cup Whole30 Mayo (recipe at whole30.com)
2 Tbsp fresh dill, minced
2 Tbsp fresh chives, minced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients. You can also do this in a food processor, pulsing a few times. Depending on desired consistency, you can add a teaspoon or two of water or unsweetened coconut milk to thin the sauce. In a separate bowl, combine chicken, grapes, and celery. Using a large spoon,combine salad mixture (except avocado) with sauce. Add avocado last, as to not smash it into guacamole salad.

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