Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 New Year's Resolutions

I'd like to say I never make New Year's resolutions, because (1) I don't believe in making resolutions just because it's a new year, (2) I want it to be a lifestyle change, or (3) you're just setting yourself up for failure (as my husband would say). But that's totally not me.

I make resolutions each and every year. And though I don't always make it a point to keep them, I still think it's a fun tradition. So here goes...

2011 New Year's Resolutions

  • Finish a project completely before moving on to the next one. I have a bad habit of spreading myself too thin and not doing important projects to the best of my potential...because I start too quickly on the next "to do."
  • Complete a 30-day blog challenge. I've done a better job updating our company blog as of late, but I'm nowhere near where I want to be in terms of posts. My plan is to do this the entire month of February...or maybe Feb 15-March 15. We'll see...
  • Take away at least two innovative (and new) strategies or tactics at each marketing conference I attend this year, and begin implementing them in my own marketing plan.
  • Run a marathon
  • Complete a 30-day blog challenge for myself as well. This will be tough. Doing something in your spare time that you do for work often takes the fun out of things. But hopefully that won't be the case here...and hopefully I'll have topics of interest to write about. :)
  • Get pregnant...or not (this is out of my control, obviously)
  • Be happy with the life I've been given. I have no control over others or other situations, but I do have control over myself.

Happy New Year, friends!

    Sunday, December 26, 2010

    Who's Divorced?!

    We are so blessed...truly. Everyone in my immediate family lives here in Memphis, and no matter what, we all get together for every birthday, holiday, and family function. My parents got divorced when I was 13, a freshman in high school. Needless to say, it wasn't the easiest of times.

    Around the middle of my freshman year of college, things started turning around. It was a VERY slow process, but eventually people were forgiven, debts were paid (financial and emotional), and about three years ago, we became the most functional divorced I've ever known.

    My parents get along better now than they ever did, one of them pays for all of us when we get together for dinner, they still buy each other birthday and Christmas gifts, and most importantly, they let all four of us (my two sisters, sweet baby Bailey, and myself) know that we are the most important part of their lives. They have always done whatever they've had to in order to make us feel loved, protected, and provided for.

    Not to mention earlier this month, my parents woke up at the crack of dawn and made the frightful trek downtown (I say that for those of you who've tried to drive anywhere in Downtown Memphis on St. Jude Marathon day) TOGETHER to cheer me on during the St. Jude Half Marathon. It was a total surprise to me, and a memory I will cherish forever. Thank you for that!!

    I must say, I have the most AMAZING parents in the world. Divorced or not, I wouldn't change a thing about my family. I love you all!

    Monday, December 6, 2010

    2010 St. Jude Half Marathon!

    This race marked my fourth half marathon, and I was determined to get a PR. To top it off, I entered as a St. Jude Hero! St. Jude has always held a special place in my heart, as I absolutely LOVE children. The work this hospital does to save children's lives is beyond amazing, and it's a dream of mine to one day work in the Communications department for ALSAC, the fundraising company that supports St. Jude. Brent's cousin, Scott Elrod, spent a lot of time here in high school. He passed away on April 4, 2000, his senior year, from Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Read more about his amazing story here.

    In case you're not familiar with St. Jude, here is their mission statement: The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay.

    Back to the half marathon... Autumn and I have been running together for the past two and a half years, and I am SO thankful for her company, guidance, motivation, and fantastic humor. :) She has run something crazy like 20 full marathons, and she is my inspiration!

    Last year, we ran with our friend, Hayley, who kept us at a super fast pace. Hayley was pregnant for most of 2010, so she wasn't able to run with us as much this year. While we didn't have her speed, Autumn and I picked up our mileage, logging numerous 8-milers, seven 10-milers, one 12-miler, and even a pre-St. Jude half marathon! (Autumn of course ran a lot more and further distances, as she was running 26.2 vs. my 13.1.) Needless to say, we were prepared. That being said, I wasn't too sure I would reach a PR, having not done many speed workouts.

    When race day arrived, we were beyond excited. We couldn't have asked for better weather...overcast, breezy, upper 50s. Absolute perfection. We met up with a few friends beforehand, stretched out, and lined up in the fourth corral. I was feeling pretty good for the first five miles - no knee or hip pain, which was a nice break from the norm. There were people cheering us on throughout the entire course, and we even got to run through St. Jude campus for the second year; it was awesome! And since I was wearing a Heroes jersey, that got us even more screams. At the beginning of mile six, I could feel myself start to slow down a bit. Then I got a wonderful we ran up to the 6.5 marker, I saw both my parents cheering for us, complete with a huge poster with mine and Autumn's names. It was such a wonderful surprise and exactly the motivation I needed!! After that, Autumn, Lindsey (Autumn's friend who also happened to be running the full), and I kept up our energy and were making great time as we hit the Gu station. Ahh, Gu...gotta love it! Then again, somewhere along mile 10, I saw my wonderful parents cheering us on. THANK YOU, Mom and Dad! You are the BEST!!

    As I turned to take on the last mile, Autumn and Lindsey headed in the other direction to run another half. I have to say I was so thankful I wasn't them...but you go girls! I pushed myself for the last mile, though I know I could've shaved another 30 seconds off my time had I pushed just a little harder. Can't complain too much, though. I finished in 1:47...a new PR!! It was an incredible race, and one made even more special having been a St. Jude Hero. I can't wait to run it again next year and hopefully raise double what I did in 2010!

    Happy running!

     Autumn: the best running partner ever!

     Love these ladies!

    About to cross the finish line at 1:47! Whoop!!