Friday, December 30, 2011

Another new PR!

I keep hearing "it’s not about the's about the journey." Though it's quite the cliché, I couldn't agree more, especially when talking about running.

Although I trained for my first full marathon, I really didn't think I would break 1,000 miles for the year. As soon as the marathon was over, I wouldn't say I totally slacked off, but I definitely took a break from distance running.

Thankfully the Memphis Runners Track Club Road Race Series started up in the summer, so I got back on a regular training schedule. My shorter-race times were nothing to be proud of, but my competitive switch must have turned back on, because even my training runs were steadily getting better. Now that could be from the amped up training, or it could've been the fact that I'm ALWAYS running late so I had to pick up the pace...who knows (or more appropriately, who cares).

Regardless, thanks to MapMyRun (and the iMapMyRun app), I've been able to log every single run for the year. And a HUGE thanks to Fleet Feet Sports for putting me in the BEST shoes, to Gu Energy Gels for keeping me alive during those 20+ mile training runs, and to my physical therapist, my friend Autumn, Brent, my parents, and so many friends and family for your support and inspiration. The total for 2011?

1,170 miles!!!!

Did you know that's the distance from Memphis to Cheyenne, Wyoming? You didn't? Me either...I googled it. :)

Cheers to a great year of running!

2011 NYC Half (which I just found out I got into again for 2012!!!)

2011 Country Music Marathon!

Half marathon PR!

I'm famous!

Buster and me heading out for a night run!

Can't wait to see what 2012 has in store!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Love what you do and be thankful for where you are...

It's a rare thing to actually love what you do and enjoy going to work every day. I feel extremely blessed that both of those are true for me.

Being the marketing manager for a company that is so complex (as far as the markets we serve and products we carry) certainly keeps me on my toes. Not to mention the fact that I get to work with my beautiful sister-in-law, Taylor, have a fabulous assistant, Leslie, and get to work with several other incredible people. Of course there are the occasional "Office Space" type folks and situations (without the humor), but I'm really trying to look past and stop sweating the small stuff. :) I've been fortunate to have built this position from the ground up and really make it my own - something I don't take lightly.

Aside from work, I couldn't be happier with where my life is at this very moment. Sure, if I had it my way, we would've had kids two years ago. But after a roller coaster of a year with kidney stone episodes, hormone imbalances, trying to get certain conditions under control, being busier than ever on the work front, and Brent and I being in more weddings (two of which that were out of town) than ever before, I believe now more than ever that everything happens for a reason.

Brent and I have had over four years (actually close to 10 if you count the 5+ years we dated) to really get to know each other, grow as friends and real partners in life, travel all over the U.S. and Caribbean, run marathons (well, just me and just far!), and have been able to establish our careers. We are happy, still very much in love, and have the most amazing Boston Terrier, whom we rightfully claim as our child. I truly believe, knowing all the problems we've had trying to conceive, that Buster was a Godsend for us. Life is good, and God is great!

Of course there are things that aren't perfect in our lives, but what in life is? I'm so grateful for the many blessings we've been given and feel there are many more in store for 2012. Personally, Brent and I are going to celebrate 10 years of being together, five years of marriage, both of our thirtieth birthdays, and hopefully a trip across the pond to commemorate a year of such big events {fingers crossed}! I start a new medication in February to hopefully speed up the fertility process...but only time will tell. Either way, I can't let something I have no control over continue to control my life. We're also blessed to be able to hang out with and spoil our SUPER PRECIOUS niece, Bailey, anytime we want (so blessed!). And we have a new nephew, Wilson Cash Conroy, whom we're so anxious to meet in a little over a month, as well as our niece, Ava Jane Cheston, on the way! Professionally, I'm going to be doing a bit more traveling, taking on more of a business development role, and I can't wait to see what the future holds!

No matter what stage of life you're in - focusing on the personal or professional aspect - it's important to love what you do and be thankful for where you are. It's a goal of mine to always remember that.

Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Christmas Recap!

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and enjoyed spending time with family, friends, and loved ones. We sure did!

This is just a quick post to say how thankful I am for another Christmas spent with my amazing family (and those we weren't with, we were in spirit!). Too many blessings to count!

*I apologize in advance for all the pics of Buster...and my beautiful niece. :)

Presents under the tree!

Close-up of the fabulous wrapping!

My niece Bailey and me at Snowy Nights!

So silly!

Patiently waiting to dig into his stocking... :)

Enjoying one of many new toys...

He had a good Christmas!

Bailey and me at my sister's

Brent and Bailey playing with her toys...melts my heart!!

I love this kid!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A new PR and a new train of thought!

Once again, it's been what seems like forever since my last post. I've actually had a lot to say lately, just haven't had the time to type it out. Well, that and the fact that I sit at a computer all day. So when I get home or finally have time to myself on the weekend, I'm anywhere but near a computer. But…I really am going to start making time to write more.

With that said, I am so excited to post about my latest race: the St. Jude Half Marathon! I went into it telling myself it's okay if you don't PR {really, you're not going to PR, so get it out of your mind}, and it's okay if you don't even get below 1:50 {which don't get me wrong is an awesome time...but that's a stretch, so you may as well make it 2:00}. This year has been quite wacky health-wise: overcoming the most excruciating pain ever with a kidney stone episode during the peak of my marathon training, changing the dosage of my PCOS medication THREE times, having two other kidney stone episodes, and then finding out about a spine issue.

Needless to say, my mileage decreased significantly. To my surprise, I have been just fine with that. I've wanted to decrease it anyway, trying to put more focus on getting pregnant now that my PCOS condition is somewhat under control.

But who am I kidding? I'm a competitive person, and though I went in believing trying to tell myself I was okay with a slower than PR time, I knew I wouldn't be in the long run (no pun intended :).

I started with the 3:30 marathon pace group and stayed with them the entire time. Running through St. Jude campus and seeing my dad right when we entered...seeing all those precious kids and their families cheering so loud for the St. Jude Heroes...the encouragement of super awesome and random runners along the way, especially our pacer of my closest friends and running buddy, Autumn, finding me at several spots along the route...and finally crossing that finish line knowing I had beat my PR by 4 minutes with an average pace at sub 8 minutes...that was truly a proud moment for me.

I'm not sure if it was all the shorter-distance races we ran, having trained for a marathon - even if it was 8 months prior, knowing everything I had overcome this year, or just setting a goal and knowing that I could reach it. Whatever it was, I sure was happy with the outcome!

The starting line {that guy in front of me was hilarious!}

Running down Beale Street!

the final .5!

Yes, I beat her!! :)

Such a great race!

Can't wait for my next 13.1...or 26.2. Who knows! :) Regardless, I'm going to stop obsessing about getting in X miles before a race. Training is still important obviously, but as long as I'm running and pushing myself, that's what really matters.