My Hearth and Heart

Because my heart is always at home


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Let’s Talk Food!

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a LONG time. But with my test date getting closer (GUYS IT IS IN 21 DAYS), I have been burying my head in books and things to make sure I know my stuff before I sit for this test. I don’t wanna fail. So. There’s that.

 

I am ALWAYS asked what things I am eating now a days. And let me tell you, I have some DOOZIES for you. None of them are my own, all of them are from cookbooks or websites of people who are way better at this Paleo thing than I am. And I wanna talk about Paleo for a second.

 

There are a LOT of haters out there. And that’s okay. Because it’s not for them. And that’s cool. This is how I eat. A LOT of people ask me the following:

 

“What the heck is that awesome looking thing on your Instagram that you were eating for dinner the other day?”

 

or

 

“HEY! YOU! Do you have any recipes I can try?”

 

or

 

“What in the heck are you doing? Starving yourself? What are you eating?”

 

 

So. This is for those people. If you’re not a fan of Paleo food, well, maybe try it anyway? I don’t know, you do you. But the following recipes are DELICIOUS, and even my husband has requested that I make them again… and again… and again. So. I thought I would share (with some Non-Paleo ideas… how nice am I??).

 

 

So I went on kind of a PaleOMG kick for two weeks, and found some AMAZING recipes. There was THIS Brazilian Curry Chicken that you make in the crock pot. It was delicious, and I ate it with brown rice. It reheated nicely, and I will be making it again. So freaking yummy.

 

 

There was This Tequila Cilantro Lime Chicken that I ate by itself one day, and over a salad the next. You know how sometimes you marinade stuff and it doesn’t REALLY taste like the marinade? Yeah, that wasn’t a problem here. It was delicious. You could even make this chicken into chicken tacos if you’re so inclined.

 

 

And then there were THESE Herb Spinach Chicken Burgers which I ate with no bun and over sweet potato fries, and holy crap, ya’ll. They were AMAZING! Super easy, didn’t fall apart, and VERY flavorful. You could even top them with feta or goat cheese, and slap them on a whole wheat bun, and man… that would be delicious.

 

 

But then…. then I came across THE BEST RECIPE EVER: BAHN MI LOADED FRIES, and I died. Because you guys? These are AMAZEBALLS. They’re my new favorite “omg this tastes like junk food, how can this even be Paleo” food. My husband requests them every.single.night. They’re spicy, they’re sweet, and they are INCREDIBLE. Yes, they take a little bit, but that’s only because you have to cut up some sweet potatoes. The meat takes next to no time, and the sriracha mayo is now something I have in my house AT ALL TIMES. I use it on eggs, on salmon cakes, on sweet potatoes, every.freaking.thing. OMGJUMPONTHEPALEOWAGON BUT ONLY FOR THIS RECIPE IF THE REST DON’T SOUND GOOD. Ahem, sorry. I’m VERY passionate about this recipe. She’s a freaking genius. Seriously.

 

 

There is also THESE Cabbage Pizza Rolls that I made, and those were really good as well. They weren’t soggy. And they did, in fact, remind me of my beloved pizza. So. You should try those as well.

 

 

 

I have two new cookbooks that I have been cooking out of as well. And at some point, I will post some recipes from them. One of them is written by Juli Bauer (PaleOMG) and it’s got some amazing stuff in it. Easy, amazing stuff.

 

 

And a note on that: eating whole foods is not easy. It’s time consuming and yes, can be expensive. You have to plan ahead, meal prep, think about what you’re doing for the week so that you’re not spending time in the kitchen when you should be somewhere else. But I promise you, if you take the time at the beginning of the week to meal plan, make a list, and then prep (GET YOUR KIDS INVOLVED)… it does get easier. It doesn’t HAVE to be fancy. Sometimes it’s just whatever is left in your kitchen the day before shopping day. But plan for that! Make sure you have proteins and veggies around to cook in a pinch. Our go-to? Turkey burger patties and sweet potato fries. Easy, quick, and still delicious. We top with avocado, or salsa, or homemade ketchup, or MOST DELICIOUS sriracha mayo. So, yanno, there’s that.

 

 

So. I hope this pointed you all to some new things to try. Like I said, I will try and post some recipes from the cookbooks soon. Back to studying I go!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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My “Aha” Moment

I said something on my Twitter feed yesterday (or it may have been the day before) about how something very weird had occurred this last weekend. The problem was, I wanted to write about it, but wanted to do so in a way that was all about me, and how I saw the situation. Because, as you will see, that’s the whole thing… it’s about me. And since this is MY blog, and MY space… I figured getting a little egocentric wouldn’t be a problem. So, here we go. And hopefully by starting this post off that way, it will come across the way I want it to, in a more positive light, and not necessarily about “them” but about me.

 

It is NO secret that I tend to talk about things on the internet that maybe not everyone does. I tend to overshare, and talk about personal struggles, and things that happen in life that some may view as not appropriate for the entire planet to know about. It’s been a subject of contention several times in my life. But it’s also a very REAL picture of my life. I’m not perfect, I don’t pretend to BE perfect. I have drama and issues with people, because believe it or not, not everyone likes me (SHOCKER, I know). And sometimes the best way for me to get that all out is to write about it… and I know what you’re thinking “why not get yourself a journal.” I have one, it’s called a blog, welcome to it.

 

Anyway. It’s also no secret that I have some friction in my family. I haven’t talked about it in a long while, and mostly that’s because there really isn’t anything left to say. It’s almost to the point where all the feels have been SO hurt that there’s no going back. But I have learned to settle down, not push, and just go with the flow. Because really? It’s not about me. And that’s the one thing that has changed… I’ve learned that all this emotion has nothing to do with me. It goes beyond me, and it’s not really any of my concern.

 

This journey that I have been on has changed the way I see things. It’s changed the way I prioritize (if you come to my house you will notice), it’s changed the mother that I am, it’s changed the wife that I am, it’s changed me. I used to get REALLY emotionally involved in things. And there are some things that I still DO get emotionally involved in; anything involving my children and the way they’re being treated, anything that threatens them or my little family, or anything that threatens me. I used to lay awake at night and think about how I could solve everyone’s problems, or wonder if so-and-so was still upset from whatever they had going on that week, or worry about what was going to go wrong the next day. I don’t lay awake at night anymore. As a matter of fact, I’m too tired to do that. Because I’ve had to learn that there are things I cannot control, things I cannot fix, and things that just are.

 

One of those things that just is: the dynamics of family. Just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean you have to like them. It doesn’t mean you have to hang out with them. It doesn’t mean anything really, it just means that you’re related. Being an actual family is so much more than that. And those who appreciate you will make the effort. That’s just a thing. It’s also a thing that sometimes the two collide, and you’re obligated to hang with those you don’t feel like hanging with in order to be around the ones you do. And that’s usually where I struggle.

 

And it’s not because I feel like everyone should love me. Oh no, believe me, I am a hard person to love sometimes. I have my moments, just like we all do, and even my husband goes “wtf, Meghann, stop it, you’re being ridiculous.” Again, I’m not perfect (I know, I’m feeding you a lot of shocking information here… don’t worry, I’m CPR certified). It’s usually because I try and make an effort to be nice, usually because I want people to see that I’m not the same person I was all those years ago, or because it’s just the right thing to do. And sometimes it’s even because I’m trying to mend fences (see above: fix things), but mostly it’s because I’m human and up until recently, just really care about what people in my family think about me.

 

Now before I get into my “aha” moment, let me say this, my friends and family mean the world to me. I am, sometimes to my own fault, VERY loyal. So even when I feel hurt or betrayed, it’s not impossible to mend fences. However, I am also very aware (especially in the last year) of how short life is and how I don’t have time for people who aren’t going to put in the same effort. But that’s not to say it isn’t hard to let those people go. It’s very hard for me (see: loyal). I will also say that because I have been a very big advocate of “doing me/you” this last year, I tend to lax on reaching out to people. Which seems very opposite, but it’s served me well in not getting overly involved in things that could potentially harm me. And if I feel shaky about a relationship, I won’t reach out at all. Which I’m working on.

 

 

So the whole point of this post was to talk about this “aha” moment that I had this weekend. We attended a family function, one that was pretty important to us. To be honest, I don’t  think anyone thought we would go. We’ve been invited to things in the last year, and have talked about going, and decided not to (or couldn’t because of previously planned things) mostly because we have been leaving feeling frustrated, or angry, or upset. And who wants to go to events/dinners/get together with people when you leave feeling like that? No one. And after the last few times of trying, and feeling like we had failed, we just started saying “no thanks.” This was something we wanted to go to, and I’m not going to lie, my husband was not 100% on board. Usually, I have to talk him into attending these things because he’s just given up.

 

We went, we hung out, we played with our kids, talked to some people, ate some food, enjoyed the sunshine, and we left. People came and went, some we didn’t even speak to, and some we wouldn’t have recognized had they walked up to us at any other place. It was a typical family gathering, but something (at least for me) was different this time; I didn’t care. I was there because it was important to me that the person we were celebrating knew how important he was, and how proud we are. I was there because my kids love going there, and love playing with the big kids. I was there for no other reason, and I didn’t really care what was going on with the rest of everyone else. I was “doing me and mine.”

 

Sure, I had really great conversations with people I hadn’t seen in a long time, and I was very thankful for that. I was asked about our trip to San Diego, I asked about the wedding we missed due to being in San Diego (insert sad face here, I wanted to go). And I even made a comment at one point to the effect of “doing you and anyone that matters will stick around.” To which I smiled, because I was doing just that. I didn’t go out of my way to talk to those who don’t want to talk to me. I didn’t go out of my way to hang out with people who don’t want to be around me. I said “hi” to my new niece, and other family members, and went about my merry way. Not because they’re not important, but because I need to do me. And sometimes that means letting those relationships go because trying hurts more.

 

I left there feeling happy that I got to spend time with some pretty amazing people. I left looking forward to the BBQ we will be having together next weekend. But more importantly, I left not feeling angry, or hurt, or like I wanted to cry. I left feeling thankful that my kiddos got to play, and that they had a good time. Sure, there are some not very nice feelings that I have, but they’re not plaguing my thoughts anymore. I left feeling confident instead of torn down. I left not caring about what they were going to say about me (or my husband, or my children) after we left. I left proud at the fact that I left feeling fine.

 

It was a testament to how far I have come in the last year. Because a year ago, I would have left in pieces. Feeling like a huge failure because we were ignored, or because someone said something offhanded to my kids. Feeling like I had to defend who I am, or what I’m about, to people that, in all honesty? Couldn’t care less. The really funny part about it is that I have changed so much in the last year that those who have seen me now and then don’t recognize me, inside AND out. It’s taken me a long time, but I think I’ve finally figured out that what other people think of me DOESN’T actually matter, as long as I’m doing me and being true to that person.

 

I’m not perfect. There will be days when what people think of me matters. But I’ve worked too damn hard over the last year to not be proud of who I am, and what I have achieved. Both in fitness, and in life. I came out of this weekend with another milestone under my belt. And a HUGE one if you have been keeping track of the chronicles of my life. Confidence in you, and who you are inside and out, is key. Sure, some days it’s not easy, but it’s necessary to understand what’s about you, and what’s about “them.” Because 99.9% of the time? It’s not about you.

 

 

 

 


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San Diego

It has taken me a little while to get this post up. For several reasons, the biggest one being that I haven’t really wanted to admit to myself that it happened, and that it’s over. You guys, this vacation we just took was a DREAM for me. Everything about it was incredible (even the drive home, which I will talk about in a little bit), I kept saying to Daryl, “I’m going to wake up and this won’t be real, and we are going to have to STILL go.” It was THAT perfect.

 

So it all started WAY back in September of last year when my BFF suggested that we run a half marathon in San Diego. I signed up, and we started talking about travel plans. Eventually, THIS happened. We booked an apartment, which in our mind was better than a hotel, because we were travelling with so many people including our little monsters. I was a teeny bit skeptical about staying in an apartment complex that I didn’t know, in a city I didn’t know, in an apartment I didn’t know. You guys…

 

 

How wrong was I? I’m kinda getting a head of myself… I didn’t even talk about the drive down.

 

We started out in the weeeeeeee early hours of the morning (read: about 4:30 am) with the intention of getting to Sacramento that day. We hit minimal traffic in Seattle (which was awesome), a teeny bit of a stop in Portland (which, again, was pretty awesome), and made our way further down I-5 than I had ever been.

 

Now I don’t know what I expected when we crossed the border into California. I had never been there before (other than the airport in San Francisco when we went to Hawaii), so I guess I thought it would look different. Northern California reminded me of Washington, and Oregon. Which… DUH, MEGHANN, of course it did. What I wasn’t expecting was this:

 

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This HUGE mountain as we came around the bend…. This is Mount Shasta, and it’s HUGE. And very beautiful. I don’t know much about it, so I’m going to have to Google some info, but I would bet she’s a volcano like most of the HUGE mountains around here. And I bet she’s fairly young. She sure is pretty though.

 

We stopped at the rest stop not far from that picture, and I was under orders from some friends of mine to a) take it easy until race day, b) stretch since I would be spending a lot of time in the car (mostly my hips), c) take yoga rest stop pictures, and d) DO NOT DO ANYTHING DANGEROUS. So this is what I did instead…

 

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Although I can’t tell you how tempting it was to do handstands all over the place. But I did what I was told. 😉

 

We did make it to Sacramento, it was about 8:00 pm by the time we got there…. long day. So we crashed out, slept really well, and woke up the next morning bright eyed and bushy tailed….

 

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And STARVING. I had brought fruit, popcorn, water, and stuff for peanut butter and honey sammiches on the way down. But we needed some BREAKFAST. And since the hotel we stayed at didn’t offer breakfast (what???),  I asked Siri where to go.

 

Did you guys know that everything in California is SUPER pricey? Yeah, I had kinda figured that (hence the snacks on the way down), so I looked for a place that Siri said was reasonably priced, and away we went….

 

We ended up at this ADORABLE cafe called Cafe Lumiere. If you’re ever in Sacramento, GO THERE. It’s off Broadway. I went for the pastries, because I am my mother’s daughter and LOVE pastries, but I am also my father’s daughter and love stuff like this….

 

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Veggie stuffed hash browns. Two layers of potatoes, eggs and veggies in between, topped with homemade salsa, sour cream, and sriracha. You guys… THIS. All of this, all the time, all the days, all the feels, all the EVERYTHING OMG IT WAS THE BEST BREAKFAST EVER. Daryl got the bacon stuffed hash browns, and it was awesome, too. So. Go there. We didn’t even get a darn pastry, so now I have to go back.

 

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After leaving Sacramento, it was our mission to get to San Diego before the Canadians invaded around 6:45 or so (they flew, they’re smart). So our Waze App (highly recommend, by the way) found us the fastest route… not through LA like you might think (because if there’s one thing I learned in math it’s that the shortest distance between two points is a straight freaking line), but ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the way AROUND Orange County and into San Diego County VIA THE FREAKING DESERT. It was hot. I slept. No pictures becauseitisdesertandisthesameformilesandmiles. Ahem.

 

We finally got to the above apartment around 6:00 ish, checked in, got our stuff put down, let the Canadians in, and we were ready to go get some food. We walked down the street to this little shopping center and ate pizza, burgers, fries, and I forget what Jeremy had.

 

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I had a cold, I didn’t care. We were there, it was warm, we were eating yummy food, staying in a super nice place, we had our friends there… life was good.

 

 

The next day was pretty mellow… we went to the expo…

 

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Court and Jer went from there to the zoo. We went to lunch with our long time friend Jacque (who FORGOT to take a selfie with me during that lunch), who then suggested we head over to Coronado Beach. So we did, because he’s from San Diego and knows all the places to go. Trust.

 

 

I love the view of downtown San Diego from that beach. It’s so beautiful. And for as big as it looks, I never felt crowded like I do in downtown Denver, or downtown Seattle. And I was down there with 33,000 people!!! It’s a great city, I can’t wait to go back (next year, baby!!!).

 

We then decided to go back and make some dinner, and just have a relaxing evening before our big race. Which is exactly what we did.

 

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Sunday was Race Day. It felt like it took up most of my day, but it didn’t, only about half. After the race, Daryl, the kids, and I went back to the apartment, and relaxed for a while. We all decided we were going to have In N Out for dinner that night… and I have to tell you, I have never loved a fast food burger as much as I loved that one. It was DELICIOUS, and I now have a love/hate relationship with In N Out. I love their food, hate that they’re not here, and love that they’re not here at the same time because 250 lb Meghann would make a come back. We spent some time at the pool and at the hot tub, and just took it easy.

 

Monday was mine and Daryl’s 12 year anniversary. The plan was to head to LegoLand with the kiddos, and then we realized how much it would cost to get in and said “nope, not worth it for only a few hours there.” So… we let Oliver decide what he wanted to do…

 

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We ordered food to the cabana at the pool, we swam, we hung out in the hot tub… it was a good half day. Then we had to say goodbye to our friends as they were flying out that evening, and we were headed to a baseball game (thanks again, Jacque!!!).

 

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I was sad to see them go, but so thrilled that they were there, and proud of all Courtney and I had accomplished. No tears, just hugs and “see you soon.”

 

Then…. well…

 

 

I had to watch as my favorite team got beat by the San Diego Padres. It was a sad day in baseball, but one of the best days ever. I am a life long baseball fan, a loyal Braves fan (even when they play like crap), a HUGE Jacque fan, and a lover of my boys… so this part of my trip was my second favorite part. It’s a BEAUTIFUL stadium, a great crowd, an amazing city, and I guess their team is alright. 😉

 

We left the next morning with heavy hearts, and heavy eyelids. It was a struggle for me to leave San Diego. I had fallen in love with the people (oh my were there some amazingly funny people on that run), the beach (TAKE ME BACK), the ocean, the city. It was easy to get everywhere we wanted to be, I never felt crowded or like I had to push my way through people, the food… oh man, the food. It really is just a great place. I can see why people love it there.

 

As we traveled back, we made the decision to take the long way home (read: about two hours longer) so that we could visit San Francisco. I don’t like bridges much, but one as iconic as this one deserves at least one visit in a lifetime. So we drove through downtown San Fran (which I need to go back to), and drove over the bridge…

 

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My husband is a rock star, y’all. He drove us into Yreka, CA at like 1:30 am. We slept, we woke up, we ate, we left… we got home to the rain, the clouds, the cold at about 7:30 or 8:00. It was a long ride home, with many stops (none of which I wanted to make, the one stop I DID want to make, we couldn’t because it was so late and there was an accident backing up traffic). We were tired, we were grumpy, we all had to get up the next day and pretend like we hadn’t just had the BEST TIME EVER and wanted to stay.

 

It wasn’t long enough. There were things I wanted to do that I just didn’t feel like I had time to do. I wanted to explore the gaslamp district more, I wanted to hang at the beach, I wanted to wander around downtown San Francisco.

 

But as the week has gone on, and we are back to our regularly scheduled life. I am so thankful. I’m thankful that we can GO to places like this, and DO things like we did. I’m thankful that we got to experience a new place, with friends, and that there’s more for us to go back to. I’m thankful that my husband works so hard for our family, and loves to drive like he does so that we CAN do these things. I’m thankful that my kids love car rides so much that we can spend 14 hours in a car, and they’re not wired in the hotel rooms. I’m thankful that they love adventuring and sleeping in hotel beds. I’m thankful that once a year, we can leave our home and trust that our cats, plants, and home are taken care of and protected (THANK YOU). I’m so thankful. I love my life, I love my boys, I love this journey.

 

 

Next year though? I’m flying, it’s a girl’s week, and I’m gonna go exploring. 😉

 

 

Until next year, San Diego. You know that song “I Left My Heart In San Francisco?” Yeah… San Diego has my heart for now. ❤


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Race Day

One’s fitness journey is a very personal thing. It starts for a different reason for each person, and the motivation comes from all different directions. Milestones are different (the first time you do a push up on your toes, or a pull up without assistance), goals are of varying degrees (lose XX number of pounds, look good in a bikini, being comfortable in your own skin). But one thing is universal: when you reach those milestones or end goals…. the feeling is not something you can describe. To anyone. Ever.

 

I’m going to try.

 

I started this journey because I lost my grandfather. A man I cared very deeply for, who didn’t take very good care of himself in his later years, and who passed after a surgery that was iffy (at best) to begin with. It was then that I realized that 250 lb Meghann was no longer the Meghann I wanted to be. I wanted to be the BEST possible version of myself, so that I could say when my time comes, that I did everything I can to honor my body and take care of it. So I started with Lose It.

 

Lose It, for those who don’t know, is an intense 6 week program offered by my local gym. I paid 200.00 (roughly) to have three lovely ladies tell me what to eat, how to work out, and “encourage” (read: yell) at me five days a week. I got up at 6:30 on Saturday mornings to go work out, instead of sleeping in, and I gave up grains, dairy, sugar, and a TON of food I LOVED to get started. The first week? There were tears. I was sore, I was tired, I couldn’t even do a damn burpee. The second week? Things were a little better. I was still sore, I was still tired, but the diet came easier, and I was getting into the swing of things. By week three? I felt like a rock star. I was getting stronger, and faster, and I started running again. I was slow, but I was running a little farther each time.

 

It was around that time that my BFF, Courtney, had an idea. She said to me “wouldn’t it be so fun to run a race somewhere that wasn’t here? Like, we could go do a RockNRoll Half somewhere. There’s one in San Diego!”

 

And I thought, “You’re freaking crazy,” but my mouth said “yeah! That sounds like so much fun!”

 

I trained hard. For six months, I hit the gym almost every single day. I ran with my running group, I did 6 5K races, I ate really well… I trained, and trained, and trained. And I fell in LOVE with the process. I made new friends, I felt confident and strong, I took two more rounds of Lose It, and started dreaming big. I fell so hard for the process that I wanted to help other people. So I started studying to be a personal trainer (ALMOST DONE YAY!). The goal that I had once set that seemed so lofty was within my reach, and went from an end goal to a milestone.

 

And last weekend, I got to put all that training to the test.

 

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We woke up at the SUPER early time of like 4:00 am. On a Sunday. Now who does that? Runners, that’s who. We called an Uber (because we let the boys sleep), and made our way to our corral. This is the starting line. At 4:30 am. With no one around. Because who in their right mind would be waiting at the starting line 90 minutes before a race? Marathoners, that’s who.

 

 

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33,000 people. That’s how many people ran this event. Two Olympians, several elite runners, and the rest of us. The only thing we all have in common this day is our love of running, all the other goals/dreams/milestones are different. But the love of running and events like this is what bonds us. These two girls do these things for VERY different reasons. She loves the excitement, the bands, the beer, the FUN parts of it. I love hitting the pavement, the challenge, crossing the finish (though she will tell you she loves that part, too. We ALL love that part). We BOTH love each other, and the medal. 😉

 

 

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As the sun started to “come up” (it stayed over cast until about 11:00 am that day), more and more people started to gather. Despite the look on my face, I wasn’t nervous. I didn’t have my normal race day butterflies. I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out, or puke, or go crazy at the start like I normally do. I was calm, and collected, and just wanted to get going. I was excited, but not in the “calm down body” way. I was ready.

 

 

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Normally, at a starting line with a bunch of people, I feel crowded. I feel anxious. I feel like a herd of cattle being sent to slaughter. Not this day. This day I felt electric, and comfortable, and excited. 33,000! I can’t get the number out of my head. So many people, 37 corrals. We waited, and waited, and waited. They released us a corral at a time. The fastest peeps going first, a minute would go by, and then the next wave would go. About an hour after the official start (6:15) we finally crossed the starting line.

 

The next three hours FLEW by. I didn’t really spend a lot of time studying the course. I wasn’t sure I wanted to. People said “oh, it’s hilly,” which is fine. I had done hill training. I had a plan in place for how I was going to run this race. I knew I could handle the hills. What I wasn’t prepared for was the wave of emotions that would pass over me throughout the WHOLE race.

 

Usually the first mile goes by pretty quick for me, then miles 2-6 are kinda rough, once I hit 6 though, I’m usually alright. The last half of my long runs have been going by really quickly. I had strategically made a playlist that would force us to run for 5-7 minutes and then walk for no more than 3. There were times when I lost my music because of the bands along the way, and we would end up running for a little longer. The first checkpoint for Daryl (who was tracking us by text) was at 5K (3.1 miles), we came in a little over 40:00. For me? That’s slow. But I was okay with that. I knew it was a long race, and in order to make my goal, I needed to pace myself. So, I didn’t stress. I don’t even think I asked Courtney (who was keeping track of time, but not miles) what our time was until mile 6ish or so.

 

Mile 4 was pretty uneventful, save for the awesomeness of people (and let me tell you, San Diego people are super awesome). They were offering shots to people as they ran by, HILARIOUS (no, I didn’t do them, I don’t drink…. much). Mile 5 though? Let me tell you about mile 5. Mile 5 was dedicated to those who have served and lost their lives. They lined the streets with pictures and information about these people. As we were going past, a gentleman stopped and took a picture of one of the pictures. Then he paused, and nodded. I lost it. I can only assume that he was a family member of this young man. There were several instances like that as we went along… and then… men and women lined the streets with American Flags. It was very inspiring, and very emotional, and very, very cool. I wasn’t prepared for all the feels along this mile, or the tears that followed. As someone who has friends in the military, and family who has served, it was VERY touching. Thank you all for all you do. ❤

 

Miles 6-9 were also pretty uneventful. I mean, people had some hilarious signs

 

“If Donald Trump can run, so can you.”

“Run faster, Game of Thrones is on tonight.”

“Hodor.” (that one made me sad)

 

My favorite people were the Uber drivers that were cheering everyone on, but offering to drive us to the finish… our little secret. People were passing out candies, and cookies, one guy even had pizza. There were bands, and cheerleaders, and even guys dressed in drag cheering everyone on. It made the time go by so fast.

 

Mile 10 was hilly. It started off uphill, and at the top, were some tribal drummers. That was probably my favorite live performance of the whole race. At mile 10, we separated. She wasn’t sure how much more running she had in her (side note: she KICKED ASS), and I was feeling pretty darn good for going 10 miles, so I blew her a kiss, told her I loved her, and took off. I had a goal, a goal to finish in less than 3 hours. And as I ran down that hill, weaving in and out of people, I was 95% sure I was going to make it. And then, as I slowed to walk for my walking song, I saw him.

 

The pacer for 3 hours. We played leap-frog for a little bit, and then, the tunnel.

 

The tunnel was probably my favorite part of the race. They had a DJ, and it was lit up rave style. I slowed to enjoy the moment. And by MY gps, I was almost done (lesson learned), so I thought I had time. I started to tear up. The day had gone by so quickly, I was feeling SO good, and I was almost across the finish. My best friend and I had set out to do something together, and we did it. I had to tell myself to get my act together, and start going again. The pacer was way ahead of me, but at that moment? I didn’t care. I knew I was close to my goal, and I just didn’t care. I was SO proud of the fact that I had followed through, and was almost done with 13.1 miles (again, lesson learned… it ended up being 13.77).

 

As I closed in on the final stretch… I had to fight back tears. There is no greater feeling than crossing the finish line. I cannot describe it to you. Whether it’s the first time, or the 100th time (I’m not quite there yet), there is NO other feeling in the world. Giving birth comes really close… but it’s not the same. I took a picture of the finish line as I was coming up on it….

 

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And then I went for it. I sprinted across that line… and missed my goal by 1 minute and 11 seconds. And you know what? I don’t even care. Because this was something I NEVER thought I would do. Not in a MILLION years. My step brothers are IronMen, my step sister is an IronWoman, they do this stuff all the time…. I was NEVER going to do something like this…

 

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When I started this journey… the goal was to figure out how to take care of myself. It was to learn to take care of my body, feed it good food, give it enough water (still working on that one), give it the exercise it needed to be healthy and strong. I had no idea how much bigger I would dream… all the things I would accomplish along the way. I sat in the car on the way home (more trip blogging later) trying to figure out which option I was going to sign up for next year: the 5K plus the half, the half, or the marathon (WHAT?!).

 

From two semi-scared women:

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(Don’t let the smiles fool you… we were like, are we REALLY doing this?)

 

To FREAKING HALF MARATHONERS:

 

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We did it. And watching her cross that finish line was just as incredible. I screamed at her “WE FREAKING DID IT” as I gave her the biggest, sweatiest hug I could muster. I am JUST as proud of her as I am of me. It’s a day I will not forget, and a feeling I can only hope to replicate with each finish. ❤

 

 


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RBT

If you’ve been unplugged for the last week or so, or living under a rock, you may not have heard the latest thing that the Internet is raging about; Rapist Brock Turner (thanks for the idea This website). Go ahead, click that link, I’ll wait.

If you’re not wanting to click, it’s okay, I’ll fill you in. Rapist Brock Turner decided to take something that didn’t belong to him, behind a dumpster, from an unconscious woman. Rapist Brock Turner was caught in the act, by two passerby, tackled, and arrested. Rapist Brock Turner was then tried, convicted, and sentenced…. Here’s the kicker; the judge decided that Rapist Brock Turner should only spend 6 months in county jail instead of the maximum 14 years in prison. 

Caught up?

Awesome.

Let’s chat.

If you don’t know, I was raped when I was 16 years old. By a guy I knew, in his apartment, after a night of heavy drinking. What I experienced is NOTHING compared to what this poor woman went through. Anytime I read a story about sexual assault it’s a trigger for me. But this? This is crazy upsetting. To everyone. Here’s why:

Rapist Brock Turner violated this woman. Rapist Brock Turner was caught. Rapist Brock Turner was tried and convicted. Rapist Brock Turner’s dad spoke out about how unfairly his son is being treated. Rapist Brock Turner’s FEMALE friend spoke on his behalf about how he is not a rapist because he didn’t kidnap his victim. Rapist Brock Turner was represented by his swimming talent, his “bright future,” and his All-American lifestyle. I’ll just let that sink in for a while….

Rape culture is a thing. We perpetuate it by allowing people like Rapist Brock Turner off the hook. He’s a rapist. He took something that did not belong to him from a woman who could not (and by her accounts would not) give him permission. Rapist Brock Turner had zero regard for this woman, her dignity, her body. As a mother of two boys, I am appalled at the attitude that Rapist Brock Turner’s father has taken 

We need to teach our boys (and girls) to be respectful of others’ bodies, that what is not theirs is not for the taking, that when someone says “no” it means no, that when they cannot say “no” it DOES NOT mean “yes.” We need to stop placing blame on those who have their freedom, dignity, pride, self-esteem, self-love, self-worth stolen from them. STOLEN. Because that’s what Rapist Brock Turner did to this woman. He stole from her.

I read something about how a person got six months in jail for stealing cable from their neighbor. That is worthy of six months. Stealing a piece of someone is not. It is worthy of so much more time. 

I have much more happy things to talk about this week… But this is so important. So much more important. Conversations need to happen, the Internet got this one right… Raging is appropriate here. Rapist Brock Turner is not an All-American, Olympic hopeful swimmer. He is a rapist. And should be treated as such.