Now that our family know I can put it out into the world! Baby RJ is coming June 2021!
Well, that’s my “official” due date is June 8th but I have a feeling that he’ll come earlier than that. Just like I had a feeling that he was a boy, before we even actually knew he was a boy. 😉
Everyone is very excited about the coming addition to our family! This is my mom and dad’s first grandchild, and it’s the first grandson my father-in-law and step-mother-in-law will have which is something that my father-in-law is particularly excited about! My mother-in-law has grandchildren of both sexes but it still excited for us anyway! 😄
So far pregnancy has been a miserable experience for me. I don’t like it, have declared that I’m never doing it again, and I’m very ready to not be pregnant anymore. And I’m only 15 weeks in. 🙃 Like, obviously I love this kid but damn, I ready to have him here in the world and not inside of my body anymore. But we’ll get there. Eventually…😂😂
Mg running has definitely taken the backseat to everything else that’s been going on, but I am slowly starting to get back into something that almost resembles a consistent running plan. But I’m hoping to be able to actually run more than a mile or two now that I’m in the second trimester and an starting to get some energy back. But we’ll see! At this point I’m literally taking things one day at a time and rolling with whatever my body feels capable of doing. Some days that means I’m able to run and be a productive human being and other days that means I barely leave the couch. 🤷🏻♀️😂
Anyway, I’ll get more into all of that later! Right now I just wanted to post a quick and exciting update!
Between 2012-2014 I lost over 30 pounds. I completely changed my lifestyle and became a person who lived a “healthy” lifestyle. Clean eating, counting calories, exercising, staying active, always hitting 10,000 steps a day, and drinking plenty of water. And I was praised for it! Because not only was I walking the walk but I looked the part as well; thin, “athletic” looking, everything a healthy person was supposed to be.
And I was praised for it. I was praised for losing the weight, getting fit, and looking good. And that was kinda fucked because I wasn’t healthy. I was obsessive, unhappy, and basically starving myself. I was miserable. But people were happy for me, inspired by me, and cheering me on, so I thought I had to be doing something right. I thought that this is what it took to be beautiful.
Diet culture is fucked. But like a lot of people, I bought into it. I did everything “right”. I lost weight sure, but at the cost of my mental health and my physical well being.
Here’s the thing; I can tell you from personal experience that eating 1,200 calories a day is not healthy. Especially if you are running, have a physically demanding job, or do any kind of workouts. It’s just not enough.
Absolutely having to hit 10,000 steps on your fitness tracker everyday or else you feel ridiculously guilty is not being committed. It’s obsessive.
Not eating desserts, being afraid to eat out at restaurants, or even enjoy food at a party is also not being committed. It’s a real sign that something isn’t right. You should never feel bad for a little indulgence now and again. Being afraid of going over your calorie limit of eating anything that’s not considered “clean” isn’t ok. Food is meant to be enjoyed! For a plethora of reasons. And let me tell you life is a lot more enjoyable when you can actually eat the cookies, or order something that not on the “diet” menu, or have a few beers when your hanging out with your friends. Depriving yourself from anything is never the answer.
Eventually I got over all of that though. It took a lot of time and a lot of work on my part but I think I’ve stuck a healthy balance between eating well but not depriving myself of anything. Exercising without getting obsessive about it and running because I think it’s fun and it makes me feel good!
Now that Blanche was thrown off quite a bit during the pandemic and everything I’ve experienced and had to deal with because of that, but that’s another story for another day. What matters is that I have learned how to find that balance to actually be happy, healthy, and not give a fuck what society says that I should look like.
I’ll leave you with this; again, diet culture is fucked. 𝐋𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐧𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐦𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲. But letting go of our societal ideas of what beauty is and what a fit body should look like did. I don’t give a fuck anymore. Ever since I’ve let that all go I can actually pursue my passions and do things that make me happy. I’m heavier yes, but I’m also healthier and happier that I ever was when I was “skinny”.
Here’s the thing I never claimed to have good decision making skills. In fact I’m pretty good at making bad decisions. Especially when it comes to run in bad weather. 😂
You see, I like to consider myself an “all weather runner” and I find a very huge thrill in running in possibly dangerous weather conditions like thunderstorms, or in this case, an actual blizzard.
As far as I know blizzards aren’t a common thing here in Kansas but back in November 2018 my weather app popped up with a blizzard warning and all of the weather stations were talking about the high winds, cold temperatures, and whiteout conditions that this particular snowstorm was going to bring. So of course I decided that I was going to go run in in. 😂
“Just a short run”, I told myself. Had to be because I knew the weather was dangerous and that I didn’t want to be too far from my house in case something were to go wrong, so I geared up in several layers, laced up my shoes, and began my blizzard adventure.
Going out wasn’t too bad. I’m obviously it was snowing pretty hard and it was definitely hard to see things further away, it all just looked white, but visibly wasn’t terrible. Yet. But the other thing that I did not account for was that the wind was at my back to being with which was great! But it eventually became a huge problem when I did finally turn around to head back home. But I’m getting ahead of myself, first we need to talk about the loose dog.
Loose dogs are a huge problem in my neighborhood and they have been for the whole 5 years that I’ve lived in this town. But the absolute last thing I needed to encounter on this run was a dog running loose.
I saw him around a mile in, right about the time I was getting ready to turn around and head back home. He was a small dog, looked like a shi zu, so I knew I was probably in for at least a minor annoyance. Small dogs usually don’t present a big threat which is good but they can disrupt an otherwise fun (albeit very dangerous) run.
By the time I saw him the snow was coming down harder, the wind had picked up significantly, and visibility was pretty bad at this point. I really only saw him because he was running around and barking, while being chased by his owner. This dog ran up to me, excited, so I stopped and pet him so his owner could come and grab him, which he did. Awesome! So I continued upon my merry little way.
I turned around at the end of the street and realized that my mile trek back home was going to get a really hard one. The wind was driving the snow into my face, the only part of my that was exposed, and it hurt! It especially stung when the snow would hit me in my eyes. Not very fun, but also kind of hilarious. I basically finished my last mile of this run alternating between keeping one eye closed and the other open.
I didn’t make it very far after I turned around though. That little dog was chasing after me again! I don’t know why his owner decided to put him down again instead of taking him inside but apparently he did. 🤷🏻♀️ This time I have no intention of stopping though, the snow was coming down hard and I couldn’t see very far in front of me. I wanted to get home as quickly as possible, so I just kept running. The dog was kinda following me, but mostly just running around in circles in the middle of the street. His owner has the audacity to yell “hey, help me!!!”, at me. I was like, dude WFF?! This isn’t my problem. So I yelled back “nope, sorry!”, and kept heading back towards home.
The rest of my run was uneventful aside from the fact that I had snow stinging my eyes, the wind blowing directly into my face, and whiteout conditions so bad that I could really only see a few feet in front of me. 😂
I did make it home safely though! Crusted in snow and a little wind burnt in my face but other than that no worse for wear!
Now I definitely don’t recommend running during a blizzard, or in any kind of potentially dangerous weather, but I still look back at this run fondly because it was such a stupid thing to do but also a lot of fun! Plus now I can say that I have run in a real blizzard! I feel like not a lot of people can say that. 😂
Personally I believe that running shoes are a very personal and individual choice! Just because someone can run in a particular pair of running shoes doesn’t mean ANYONE can.
Take me for example, I can’t run in anything that has stability control, too much cushion, or anything with a big sole. (I know I’m going to end up getting shoe recommendations on this post so PLEASE don’t recommend me Hoka’s. The soles on those shoes are waaaaay too much for me). I like a lightweight shoe that doesn’t get in my way and that I can actually feel the ground in while wearing them. So for probably around 5ish years now I’ve done most of my running in Nike Free’s.
But I’ve been trying to move away from Nike gear. Between sweat shops, they way they treat females athletes (specifically pregnant ones), and doping scandals, among other things, they’re just a brand I don’t want to support anymore. So began my quest to find another shoe that I can run it! Alas after much trial and error, I quickly learned that there really is no shoe that is comparable to the Nike Free. Unfortunately.
But after some trial and error I’m learning to run safely in Brooks Ricochet 2. It’s definitely been an adjustment and I’m still doing a majority of my running in Free’s, but the most important thing is that my Ricochet’s haven’t given me plantar fasciitis. An issue I tend to get while running in a shoe that is just “too much shoe”.
I’m still having trouble with that 8mm drop and the fact that I still feel like I’m pretty far off of the ground. Not so much so that it’s causing me problems, but it’s definitely something I notice. Something that keeps me from doing speed work in them and it makes me very wary running in wet weather. That is kinda funny though! I can run in the slipperiest, nastiest weather in my Free’s and I feel sure footed and safe. But I tried running in my Ricochet’s in the rain and I found myself worried about slipping on wet pavement.
Anyway, what I’ve concluded so far is that I CAN run in Brook’s shoes as long as they have natural support. Carefully, but it is possible!!
I’m still not ready to give up my Nike Free’s yet though. And I probably never will until some other company makes a comparable shoe but I’m not holding my breath on that front.
In the spirit of the season I thought I might as well jump on the bandwagon and share some of the things I’m grateful for this year! Especially since this year has been a crazy one, I think it’s more important now than ever to reflect on the things in our lives that we are thankful for! So here is my short-but-sweet list in no particular order! 🦃🧡😊
Obviously we all know it’s been a crazy year and it seems like everyone has just been through so much. Myself included. Luke and I have both been experiencing a whole lot of changes this year and honestly I don’t think I could have done a lot of it without him. He’s been incredibly supportive and helpful with everything that I’ve needed recently and I an incredibly grateful for everything that he does!
I have 4 border collies; Lily (10), Dean (5), Finn (3), and Whiskey (2). They are fantastic dogs and life would be ridiculously boring without them! As far as I’m concerned, a life without pets (but specifically dogs in my case 😉) is just not worth living. I don’t deserve them but gosh I’m so glad I have them!!
My forever adventure buddy!!
I often (but probably not often enough 😂) thank him for teaching me basically everything I know and for instilling a love of nature and adventure in me. I am who I am because of my dad.
I know this is kind of a weird one but that man has done miracles on my mouth! I wasn’t exactly blessed with good dental genes and I grew up drinking well water (meaning we didn’t have fluoride in our water) and I’ve had a lot of issues with my teeth as I’ve gotten into my late 20’s. I’ve still got a ways to go, but my dentist had put in so much time and effort into restoring my smile!
A lot of my teeth look so much better, but more importantly they FEEL a lot better, and I’m just ridiculously grateful for that! My dentist is awesome and I’m glad I found him. He does fantastic work but he’s also very kind and not judgmental at all! Which is very important for me, who is someone who has anxiety. Especially about anything that feels remotely medical thanks to past experience with doctor and hospitals that I’ve had.
The Running Community
We’ve all had to adjust to a new normal this year and all of our race schedules were affected by this adjustment. But runners, we’re resilient! Tackling virtual races, not being able to meet up with our running groups/buddies, and support each other through it all either online, via text/phone call, or occasionally in person. We’ve pushed on and kept running!
I’d love to be able to do some IRL racing next year but even if that doesn’t happen I know I have a bunch of awesome runner friends that I’ve met online cheering me on no matter what! Running wouldn’tbe as much fun without all of you guys and I thank you for all of the love and support and I hope that you know I’m sending all of the love right back at you! 💜
For once I was actually happy to see a race get turned into a virtual run! Which is definitely impressive because I am over virtual racing. Even though I’ve only done 3 virtual races so far this year. 😂
So the Whiskey Run 5k is a local race that is usually held in March, right around Saint Patrick’s day. But this year the ‘rona obviously put a stop to that. So this race got pushed back. Then it got pushed back again, and again, and again. Until finally it was supposed to be held today, November 22nd.
So waaaay back at the beginning of the year my dad registered both of us to do this 5k. We had done it before in the March of 2018 and it was a lot of fun! Plus you get a fully catered breakfast and a shot of whiskey at the finish line! What’s not to like? 😉
But the problem with them moving it back to the middle of November is my dad’s work. He’s a truck driver and this is his busy season! Especially now that more and more people are doing their Christmas shopping online thanks to the pandemic, truck drivers are busier than ever this year! So we didn’t think we were going to be able to do this one, because obviously it’s hard for him to get time off this time of year and because he has to drive all the way from Colorado to Kansas.
And on my end, well, I’m very wary of going anywhere there is going to be a group of people. At this point I don’t even like going grocery shopping because the stores are so busy and NO ONE even attempts to social distance anymore. But I work at a nursing home and I don’t want to bring COVID-19 back into the facility. We already had it once for 6 weeks and it was awful…
Anyway, 3 days before race day it was announced that the Whiskey Run 5k was going virtual! Because the county I live in keeps hitting record highs of new cases in a day, which is obviously really bad and that means all gatherings of people, road races included, are getting canceled.
And like I said, for once that actually ended up being a good thing! On Friday I went to packet pickup, which they did via drive through which was both convenient and very neat! And my dad was able to get a couple of days off at the last minute so he left Colorado late Friday night and he got to my house in Kansas around 5:30 am on Saturday morning!
So Saturday morning my dad went to sleep in our extra bedroom/the room Luke has been using as an office since he’s been working at home for a while now, and I headed off to work! Which was another thing that ended up working out well because my dad was able to sleep while I was gone because I couldn’t get the day off since this ended up being a very spur of the moment thing.
After I got off of work my dad and I hung out for a while, just catching up and what not, and then we headed out to get our 5k done! By then it was cold and rainy. Very wet. Very windy. Not exactly ideal weather for a lot of people but I really love it! 😂
We didn’t go anywhere special or exciting. We just ran my usual 3 mile route around me neighborhood. But that was kinda cool though because my dad has never run in my neighborhood with me so I got to show him a lot of different, random things that I’ve told him about. So that was kind of cool!
But aside from that and the wind, rain, and cold it was a relatively uneventful run. But we got it done and earned our medals and our whiskey! 🥃😂
The me, Luke, and my dad just kinda hung out for the rest of the night. We basically celebrated Thanksgiving a little early but instead of having actual Thanksgiving food we ate barbecue from a local restaurant. It’s actually the restaurant that i live right behind and we always smell them smoking their meat. 😂 But that was nice.
My dad to leave this morning to drive back to Colorado, so we definitely wouldn’t have been able to do this 5k if they had actually had it in person. So everything really worked out for us in the end! And really it was just a good excuse for my dad to come and visit for a little bit. 😄
I know virtual race recaps aren’t all that exciting, but in all fairness, neither are virtual races. 😂 I’ll be one happy camper when I’m actually able to do an in person race, but right now I’m just not comfortable doing it. Maybe sometime next year though!
Anyway, holy cow it’s almost Thanksgiving!! What do your Thanksgiving plans look like this year??
As of right now we don’t have any, but we did at least get to celebrate with my dad a little bit early. 😄
Well I guess that’s it for now! Tomorrow I’ll be jumping on the “what am I grateful for this year” bandwagon so be on the lookout for that!
I’m kicking off the last year of my 20’s tomorrow and that’s prompted me to look back on the 28 years of life that I’ve lived so far; things I’ve done, things that I’ve experienced. So I’ve come up with a list, that in no particular order, accounts 28 things that I’ve done in my 28 years of life!
Grew up on a farm in rural Illinois (in the St. Louis area).
Have 2 sisters (they’re twins) and a brother.
Had an “old fashioned” appendectomy when I was 13. Long story cut VERY short, My appendix ruptured and I almost died.
I had a crush on Steve Irwin growing up.
I stepped on a pitch fork barefoot and one of the prongs went all the way through my toe. I still have the scars to prove it. 😂
I’ve been to the old Busch Stadium and the new Busch Stadium.
I met the guy who plays Fred Bird and Joe Cunningham (a retired Cardinals player) at a Cracker Barrel in Troy, IL.
I’ve been to Disney world and Disney cruises several times.
I’ve been to Mexico, the Caribbean, Washington DC, The Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and have driven through many different states on various road trips.
I’ve worked at a dog boarding kennel, a Walgreens, and a nursing home.
I was an essential employee during a pandemic. Something I’m still experiencing and am very much over at this point. 🙃
I vividly remember seeing footage from 9/11 on TV. I’ve lived through 2 major economic collapses, have seen my country go to war. I’ve seen MANY natural disasters, people hurting other people, riots, various diseases, protest, what could be considered martial law, and a plethora of other scary things, all from the comfort of my own home. The world we live in is weird, scary, and beautiful all at the same time.
I married my high school sweetheart.
We moved to Kansas, 5 hours away from all of our friends and family, and created a life for ourselves, all starting at 20 (me) and 21 (him).
I’ve seen Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Story of the Year, Seether, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Hollywood Undead, Steel Panther, and and Stone Sour play live (and those are just the notable ones! 😂).
So far, I have 10 piercings and 4 tattoos.
I’ve raised a countless number of animals. I’ve bottle fed puppies, goats, a calf, and kittens, and I’ve raised chicks by hand. But border collies have always been and will always be my favorite.
I’ve witnessed a man take his last breath while laying in a hospital bed.
I’ve loved. I’ve lost.
I’ve learned to love people who started out as complete strangers to me. People who are in the end stages of their lives. People who, for the most part, I know nothing about who they were before they came to live at the nursing home I work at.
I lost a significant amount weight. Gained weight. Lived an unhealthy lifestyle and a very healthy one. I started running and have now run 7 half marathons.
I’ve experienced nature in all of its glory. And I’ve seen how badly people have fucked it up.
I’ve eaten sushi, escargot, duck, lamb, goats milk, rabbit, squirrel, and a bunch of other “weird” food.
I can hunt, grow/raise my own food, and can identify several edible plants in the wild. I also know how to process, butcher, and preserve food.
I cut and dye my hair myself. I’ve even pierced my own ears because I’m stubborn AF. 😂
I’m getting REALLY close to having read all of Stephen King’s published works.
I’ve discovered a love of baking! I like baking dinner rolls, pretzels, and lots and lots of desserts! But out of all of the things I can bake chocolate chip cookies are my favorite! Plus, I make THE BEST chocolate chip cookies! 🍪😋
Guys it’s 2020, there are no rules anymore! So Luke and I put up our Christmas tree last night. 😂
Actually, what we really did last night was go to Walmart, bough a new Christmas tree because our old one was a little bit sad looking, bought some new Christmas decorations, then went home and started decorating while listening to Christmas music.
Now we don’t have EVERYTHING up yet, but we’ve got a pretty decent start with some of our Christmas stuff. We figure that 2020 has pretty much been a really shitty year and it’s looking like things are going to get shut down again, so we might as well start Christmas early!
Seriously though, I don’t know how things are where you live but the number of COVID cases in my county are skyrocketing. It’s gotten to the point where we have to get tested twice a week at the nursing home I work at, instead of the once a week we were doing. Fun times…
We had COVID in our facility for around 6ish weeks earlier this year and we are kinda expecting to get it again. Obviously I cannot say much but we have already had someone test positive last week. And we’re getting tested again today so I kinda expect that we’re going to end up with more positives… But I guess we’ll find out in a couple of days.
Honestly though I’m not surprised that my county’s numbers are so high. Last night there were soooo many people at Walmart and absolutely none of them were even trying to stay 6 feet apart from other people. And the amount of people wearing their masks incorrectly, touching their masks/face, or only wearing face shields (spoiler alert: those don’t do much in the way of preventing the spread of anything coming out of your mouth and nose. 🙄). It’s just stressful.
Luke and I rarely venture out but obviously we need to go out sometimes. Mostly for grocery shopping but last night was kind of an exception because we needed a little holiday cheer. But if we do end up contracting COVID it’s probably going to be from someone at a grocery store. That or from my work. Luke’s been working from home since like March so that’s kinda been nice.
Well sorry that this little life update kinda turned into a huge bummer. But hey, that’s where we are right now.
I hope you and your families are all staying safe and healthy! And go put up your Christmas tree! Let’s get holly jolly a little bit earlier this year! I think we all need it! 🎄💜
It’s a question I get a lot whenever I tell people I’m a runner. Which honestly isn’t exactly often, partially because of this question.
It can be kind of hard to explain to someone who’s already made up their mind about running. “Running sucks.” “Running is painful.” “Running is boring.” “I could never run that far.” Statements like these often follow that particular question.
It’s hard to convince people that you quickly grow to embrace the discomfort. That sometimes you get excited when you start feeling that burning in your legs. Some days you gladly welcome the shortness of breath and the pounding of your heart. Sometimes you even chase the pain and discomfort that some people are so afraid of. Because pushing your body and testing your limits feels good!
How do you adequately describe to someone the absolute joy and freedom that running brings? That just like in life, it’s often the smallest things that make it so great; how quite and peaceful it is while running through the falling snow, splashing through puddles after a rainstorm, watching the sunrise at 5 o’clock in the morning, the rhythmic sound of your feet hitting the pavement.
It’s not easy to articulate that the big wins, PR’s, and successful runs, training cycles, and races are great, but that the big losses are good too. Not that they always feel that way in the moment, but when you look back on them days, weeks, months, or years later it seems like you always realize that you learned an important lesson from that big loss.
Over the years I’ve learned that running is good for your body, your mind, and your soul. I’m not sure any other form of movement or exercise program can be as fulfilling and painful and beautiful and heartbreaking and amazing and pure and I could literally go on and on, as running is. But I’ve found that it can be hard to explain that to the people who’ve already made up their minds on running. And that’s fine.
I think running is almost like a religion in that way; people don’t want it shoved down their throats, especially by the people who are highly devoted to it. So I’ve taken a similar stance on running as I do with religion and politics and other sometimes hard to talk about subjects, I just won’t talk about it unless you ask me. Because I’m not about to try to change someone’s mind on anything. I just don’t have that kind of energy in my life.
So when I do get asked “why running?” I usually just respond with a smile and a quick “because I think it’s fun.”. Because a lot of people just don’t get it or already have their minds made up about it and that’s alright! Because I’m just going to keep on running.
Here’s a fun fact you may not know; wild turkeys can be fucking mean!
When you live on an 80 acre farm that contains a good amount of woods, several ponds, a creek, and drainage ditches that branch off of said creek, along with animal pastures, and farm fields, well, sometimes some interesting wildlife ends up making its way from the woods and into your front yard. Or in this case, occasionally perched on the roof of your grandma’s house.
One of the wildlife experiences that we had that sticks out in my mind is the 2 or 3 years we had a family of turkeys live in our barnyard. This always happened in the fall, usually around November had to of been around the time I was 12, 13, and 14. But I don’t remember exactly when.
Wild turkeys tend to nest on the ground and roost in trees. But these turkeys decided that they were going to roost on the roof of my grandma’s house. There were always two adults; a male and a female, and the usually had one or two juveniles with them.
I don’t know if it was people deer hunting that drove them up out of the woods or if they just realized that predators didn’t exactly frequent the front yards/barn lot. Well aside from our dogs, barn cats, and the dogs being boarded in the kennel, that is. But either way, these turkeys would take up residence in the barn lot and around our yards. They’d wander around pecking away at the ground to their heart’s content. And probably getting to enjoy cat food, cow feed, and chicken feed in the process.
But at night they would roost, like most birds do. But not in any of the available trees. And there were plenty of them! No, these turkeys took a liking to roosting on my grandma’s roof. Which was kind of cool! But this thing is wild turkeys can be aggressive! Especially if they have babies with them! So if you ran across them by accident they were prone to chase after you and might even try to peck/spur you! Sometimes they would even attack from above if you happened to be trying to get into my grandma’s house while they were roosting there.
You see turkeys, much like many roosters, have “spurs” on the back of their legs. Almost like a thorn or a single claw. Unlike chickens though both the males and females have them! And I can tell you from personal experience that getting spurred really does hurt! So you don’t exactly want to mess with a pissed off turkey so we tried to avoid them whenever we could, but I do think recall them ever sticking around for an entire winter.
I’m not sure what happened to the turkeys. Eventually they just stopped showing up. I’m not sure if my timeline is right, but we might have eaten one of them for Thanksgiving dinner! We did that once or twice when my dad would shoot a wild turkey. Turkeys are also super hard to pluck, but that’s a story for another day.
There was really never a dull moment on the farm and I sure do miss it!