40 day goals (Set #1) – DONE!

YES! I loved seeing this pop up on my computer screen this morning!

Today is the last day of my first 40 day goal cycle! Time to evaluate and take inventory of what I have accomplished and what still needs improvement.

40 day goals – Set #1 (March 14th – April 22nd)

1. Yoga – 6 times a week – Check! One week even had 8!

2. No Running – Check! Today marks 8 weeks of no running!

3. Say “Yes” More – Check!

4. Sleep in our tent at least once.  – Not yet! but spring is here and it will happen more often! It is definitely on my brain.

5. Celebrate Marathon Training Victories – Check!

6. No computer after work (this one might need modification since I’ve started this blog – the purpose was to eliminate time wasted doing pointless stuff online) – Check! I have eliminated the habit of wasting time on my laptop!

7. Clean Kitchen before going to Bed – averaged 5 times a week.  Not bad considered the messy kitchen was a constant headache every morning!

8. Bike – 3 times a week (starting 3/20) – Once a week, at best! I need to work on this one!

9. Love my job for what it is. Do not focus on what it isn’t. – Most days! 🙂

10. Look for a new job – 4 times a week – Check!

11. Daily Vitamin – averaged 5 times a week! before goal setting, i averaged about 5 times a month! big improvement for me!

12. Eat dinner at the table 5 times a week. – averaged about 4 times a week

13. Cook at home – 5 times a week – Check!

14. Catch-up with a friend (in-person) once a week – Check! Managed to make this happen an average of twice a week!

Reward – Blissology Hammock (will be ordered next week! WOOHOO! just in time for summer!)

You will be mine! YAY!

Going into my first set of goals, I knew there were a lot of daily habits I wanted to change about my lifestyle and my family’s lifestyle.  The big one – After work and dinner time rituals. We were stuck in the habit of eating around the coffee table while watching Wheel of Fortune.  This is not what I want for our nightly routine.  I love eating at the dinner table. I love our version of “family cheers”. Mission accomplished – we are back on track.  We are cooking more and eating at the dinner table.

The other big hurdle I needed to get over at the beginning of this goal cycle was accepting the fact that my body wasn’t ready for a full marathon.  I also had to accept the fact that I couldn’t run for a while.  I’m not one to sit around and pout so I embraced the role of cheerleader. Christian and I headed out to the race and cheered on every marathon runner.  (Have I mentioned how supportive and awesome my husband can be….he is always up for a challenge and willing to go along for a ride. He cheered with me for 4+ hours because I didn’t want to leave anyone on the course without someone cheering for them.)  Although I wasn’t running, I was so motivated and inspired by every runner on the course. It truly is amazing to watch each runner pass. They each have their own story, their own motivations, their own obstacles in life…but they are out there on that day running 26.2 miles! Incredible!  I know how hard and time-consuming the training process is, and I know the sacrifices they make to be out there running. I would have hugged everyone who ran by if I could! I didn’t run 26.2 miles that day, but I think I’ve learned a huge life lesson in the process – listen to your body. Take care of your body. It tells you what it needs. I’ve also gained a new love in my life because of the injury. Yoga! How I lived without it before is beyond me! My body craves it daily.

Cheering on my dear friend Sara during her first post-baby Marathon (4 months post baby - AMAZING!)
Such an Inspiration!!!! Go Sara!

Set #2 of my 40 day goals starts tomorrow.  With this set of goals, I really want to push myself. I want to challenge myself to get even more out of my comfort zone. If it sounds crazy, if it is something I’d love to do but don’t think it will work out, there is a good chance you will find it on my next list of goals.

I would really love to have anyone join me in my next set of goals – start small like I did.  There was  a lot of fine tuning I needed to do in my daily living to get myself on track to being a better healthier me. I started small. I wanted to start out with success so I set out to change all those things I said I wanted to do more and that I needed to do better. And make sure your reward yourself – you deserve it!

This might be calling my name!

40 day goals – Set #2 will be posted tomorrow or possibly Sunday.  We have a long day in the car tomorrow.  We are driving to the mountains of North Caroline to pick up Cole (half way from Virginia Beach to Nashville).  Being that close to great hiking and outdoor activities might make it hard to not spend the night and enjoy the great outdoors.  We are going to play it by ear (A task that is incredibly difficult for me! I am a planner – to the extreme)!

Enjoy the Sunshine this weekend! Breathe it in and set some goals for yourself. I’m really looking forward to grabbing my journal and scribbling out my next set of goals!

Take Notice and Listen

It is so easy to go through our daily lives absorbed by everything we have going on in our head and what is around us. In addition to juggling my own life, I am also a wife to Christian and a mom to Cole. I think anyone who has important relationships in their life whether they are a spouse, a parent, a best friend, a sibling, etc. knows the stress you can feel by trying to do things and be there for the people you love. I could easily fill my day with things I need/want to do for myself – and sometimes I do. Most days, I’m attempting to balance my own sanity with Christian’s schedule and Cole’s schedule.

Time is such a valuable thing. It’s an amazing thing to offer someone.  Appreciate the gift someone gives you. When talking to people, really listen.  Turn off the TV. Walk away from your computer. And listen. This is something that I know I struggle with on a daily basis. It is almost impossible to have a focused phone conversation with someone after I get home from work. I can guarantee that I will be distracted by Christian, Cole, the dog, homework, dinner prep, etc.  To avoid these distractions, I tend to do most of my phone talking in the car (gasp! I know, maybe not the best choice – I’m working on it! But I promise you I don’t text while driving!). I also added the goal of catching up with a friend in person once a week to my 40 day goal challenge.  I much rather sit down and catch up with a friend in person once a week than talk on the phone half listening 7 days a week.

Dont let this be your next conversation!

I’m sure we have all been on both sides of a conversation when someone isn’t actively listening.  There is nothing more frustrating than having to repeat yourself over and over again – or  finding yourself repeating details from a conversation you had two days ago that were forgotten.   Or even worse,  hearing a long pause of silence with a completely inappropriate filler response.  I also find it frustrating when I can’t fully engage in the conversation.  Not only am I wasting the person’s time who I’m talking to, I’m wasting my time. Going forward, I’m making a point to make all my conversations meaningful. Yes! Catching up on weekend stories and favorite TV shows can be meaningful if both people are listening and sharing. It’s about interacting with people, connecting with people, and sharing the gift of time.

Take notice of the people around you! Pay attention to what is important to them! Better yet, make them notice what is important to you!

One of the main reasons I started this blog is because I’m always apologizing for or insecurely giggling about all the things that are important to me.  Why do I apologize for things that benefit me and my family? When I first started my 40 day goals, I slowly started telling people about it by saying, “I know it’s crazy and I don’t expect much from it, but I’ve come up with 40 day goals to challenge myself” followed by some insecure laughter.  It is not crazy! I do expect a lot! I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it would benefit my life. I still find myself having the same dialogue about my blog.  I tell people I’m bored at work and need something to do or I just wanted another hobby.  Wrong again! I need to quit apologizing for who I am and stand up for me. I’m writing this blog because it holds me accountable.  I’m writing because I truly enjoy it. It makes me think. It makes me evaluate my daily life. It motivates me to try new things.  I’m also writing because I hope it will help inspire other people to stand up for themselves or motivate them to try something new.

I’m done apologizing for being me. I love who I am. I love what I choose to do for myself.  I do not need to validate my life process through the opinion of those around me. Those who love me will take notice, and they will listen to my stories about challenging myself.  Some of them may even join me in the process.

My 2nd 40-day Goal Challenge starts on Saturday! Join me in the process! More details to come this weekend….

Happy Birthday Auntie A

Happy Birthday to my very wonderful Aunt Amy! She is 21 all over again – funny how that happens!

Sometimes people stumble into your life exactly when you need them.  I didn’t grow up knowing my aunt. Technically speaking, she is my half-aunt. She is my dad’s younger half-sister (same dad, different mama).  After their dad passed away, my dad lost contact with both of his sisters.  One day when I was 19, we were visiting family in Wisconsin.  My dad asked me to get him the phone book from inside so he could look up old childhood friends. When my dad couldn’t find any last names he recognized, he realized that I had handed him the Milwaukee phonebook.  He then decided to look up his Dad’s “other” family that lived in Wisconsin – and he found them! Amy’s mom Marilyn still lived in the same house.  My dad immediately called them, Amy drove over from Madison, Wisconsin, and my dad and I meet them for the lunch the following day.

Lunch with their family was/is one of my biggest ah-ha moments in life. I have always been the “middle child” or the “black sheep” of my family (for lack of a better description).  When I meet Amy, I fit! At 19, it was HUGE for me to finally realize that I am a part of this family of mine.  I might be less like the family I grew up with, but the Larson blood flows with full force through my blood. I finally made sense. I finally got it.  I was finally okay being me.

Amy and I have definitely shared laughs and tears over the years.  Moon Shine Parties to boys peeing on themselves to Paolo Nutini concerts to falling off of bar stools!…..Thank you Amy for helping me find my place in this crazy adult world.  Happy Birthday to you!

 Now that you are back in the states, it is time to take some new pictures! Love you Amy!!! xoxo

Feeling the Freedom

Classic Kristy!

Every morning should start with a good laugh. This morning I got to work, completed my normal morning routine, started talking to Bobbi, looked at my feet, and GASP! I’m wearing one black flip-flop and one brown flip-flop.  OH DEAR! I even have an important walkthru at 9:30am.  No time to run home and change shoes – I just have to laugh and go about my day!

 Training Day #1 is now behind me – it feels so good to be in the middle of training even if it is just walking.  I love training. I love having my training plan posted next to my desk at work and on the fridge at home so I can physically check off my progress.  I have found that if I post my goals and make them visible for me to see every day, I will accomplish each task.
You have been missed!

Yesterday was beautiful outside, so I  broke part of the training plan – I ditched the tread mill and hit the trails at 64th Street. I even made the husband and the dog join me.  I pulled my Garmin out of the electronic basket in our living room, dusted it off, and put it back on the charger.

The plan of attack for our walk in the woods – 5 minutes of easy walking, 20 minutes of walking at a 15 minute mile pace, easy walk back to the car.  Poor Christian.  I don’t think he was quite prepared to go for our speed walk through the woods. We were walking so fast we were one step away from jogging.  Maybe I’ll make him a t-shirt that says “Support Husband – helping my wife getting her running legs back” so he doesn’t look like the weird guy who likes to walk fast, waving his arms, and shaking his booty through the park 🙂

Support Husband, Support Dog

We walked (arms and booty shaking) all the way to the boat ramp parking lot. My 20 minutes of speed walking was up – and NO PAIN IN MY LEG! That deserves a high-five! We turned around and just enjoyed the day and each others company on the walk back to the car.  We even took a quick detour to let Alex play in the bay.

While we are making the most of spring break on the east coast, Cole is having a blast in Nashville!  My boy is growing up! Mr. Timid, Afraid to Try Anything, Over Analyzer Cole FINALLY got on his dirt bike at his Dad’s house.  His dad bought him the dirt bike for his 3rd birthday and Cole has always been too afraid to ride it.  Not anymore! He can’t get enough. He is begging to go faster and is even changing gears on his own.  Over the past few weeks, he is really enjoying himself and trying new things. It makes my heart happy because I know he is happy. Once he steps outside of the safety box, that crazy boy really amazes me!

Vroom! Vroom!

Spring has been good to our household! Cole’s opening up to new experiences, I’m training again, Christian let go of his embarrassment and anxiety to arm shake, booty shake walk with Alex though lots of crazy dogs yesterday, and Alex…….he’s enjoying being a dog!

Enjoy the spring! Open yourself up and see what comes your way! The freedom you will feel is addictive!

Clean the Bay Day is right around the corner………….go online and sign up to volunteer!  http://www.cbf.org/clean

Training Day 1

If I were allowed to jump up and down, I would be jumping around the office right now.  FINALLY! Day 1 of my new training plan is here.  I get to start walking today (jumping is 3 weeks away)!  I will be walking every other day for 20 minutes on the tread mill at a pace of 4.2.  If I make it through the entire week without pain in my femur, I get to move to the next week – 20 minutes of walking everyday!  Best case scenario, I will be “running” in 4 more weeks.

I really am proud of myself for the way I’ve handled my injury. I definitely cried my share of tears when I found out I couldn’t run my marathon. I definitely cried when my dear friend Sara ran by me during the race.  (another Sara! I like friends with the same name – if your name is a version of Lindsay, Kerrie, or Sara, i will make you my friend!) I still haven’t found the willpower to get into the pool yet.  But I think I’m making the most out of an ugly situation.  I’m feeling stronger in my whole body now then I did after my 18 mile run. I’ve got a big injury behind me. I’m ready to come back faster, refocused, and wanting it so much more.

While stress fractures are a very common running injury especially in white women over the age of 30, the location of my stress fracture is not seen very often.  It is smack in the middle of my left femur (not near my hip). I’d like to think the titanium rods and 8 screws that I have in both my legs have nothing to do with it, but you never know.  The one rod is in the opposite femur and the other rod is in my left tibia.  Who knows what kind of impact that has on my running? (How did I end up with metal legs – sledding accident when I was 16! DO NOT SLED on a hill near stairs with hand railings)

Hand Railing - 2; Kristy - 0

After my sledding injury, all of my doctors and physical therapists had no idea how long it would be before I learned to walk again. They had no idea if I’d ever play sports again. I proved them all wrong. I walked 10 days after my surgery (assisted by my physical therapist and a walker, but I walked). I had to relearn everything, but I did it. I was even back playing volleyball 3 months after the accident. So…will a stress fracture keep me from running my next marathon? Absolutely not!

My stress fracture was a wake-up call to me.  I was so focused on running, following my training plan, and building up mileage that I ignored the rest of my body. I told myself over and over that after the marathon I would start strength training and start doing more cross-training.  I didn’t do it soon enough.  My body and my brain were trying to tell me that I need more than just running, but I didn’t listen. Looking back, I am lucky I didn’t get injured earlier.

After my first half-marathon (love my scar!)

Today is Day 1 of a healthier, more balance me.  I will not ignore what my body is telling me! If my leg hurts, I will go back and repeat the week prior.  It’s in writing now for the world to see – I can’t go back on my word!

Motivation for today’s Walk – below is a posting I made on my American Cancer Society fundraising page.  I absolutely love ah-ha moments when running.

I had my ah-ha run yesterday, thank goodness. I’ve been struggling the past few weeks with my running mentally. When I got home from work yesterday, I really didn’t feel like running. I went and saw Hood to Coast last night (SEE IT! IT IS AMAZING), so I knew I had to run before I went or I would feel guilty during the whole movie. I grabbed my rain coat and hat and ran my 4 miles in the pouring rain. Around mile 3, I was so frustrated with myself I wanted to scream. Physically I feel great and strong, but mentally I keep doubting myself. Last year when I trained for the Shamrock half-marathon I had so much motivation. Mentally I was strong and physically I was weak. At this point in my run, my thought process went something like this What motivated me last year? The thought of seeing my kiddo on the sideline cheering for me always chokes me up. Several people said they didn’t think I would actually do it since I had been talking about it forever. After all my runs, I thought to myself, “I told you I would do it!” 3 half-marathons later, everyone recognizes I’m too stubborn not to do it. By the time I finished my run yesterday, I was thinking to myself that I wish someone would come along and tell me I can’t do it so I can prove them wrong. And then it hit me. DUH! I’m the one who keeps telling myself I can’t do it. I literally felt all the self-doubt melt away. I really wanted to put my running shoes back and re-run my 4 miles, but I had to a movie to get too!
I know that there will be days I think I can’t do, so this is my reminder that I can. Saturday’s training run is 14 miles, my longest distance ever! It’s a good week to get my confidence back!

I killed it on that 14 mile run – I ran 14 miles faster than I have run any of my half-marathons! If you think you can’t do it, you can.  Don’t be the person that stands between you and what you want.  We all have a million reasons why we can’t do something, but they are just excuses. Go make yourself proud. Try it! If you want something, do it for yourself! Nothing feels better than achieving something on your own!  See ya’ll at the finish line!