Friday, January 17, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Dad & Mentors

I know, I know, it's Friday and....


It's thankful Thursday time! We all have so much to be thankful for and we love to take this opportunity just to write down each and everything that comes to mind. Please take this time to share with us what you're thankful for as well. If you have a blog expressing your thankfulness, please share the link! Without further ado, here's what we're thankful for:

Mandi's List:

I'm thankful for girl time. My mom, Chrissy and I all went out to dinner on Monday night. I was nice to spend some girl time together without our male counterparts.

I'm thankful for great friends. I have a girlfriend, Angie, that I adore. I'm sure she's not reading this, so I'll take a minute to brag on her. I think this may have been on my list last week or the week before, but I don't care, I'll add it again! I feel so blessed by her friendship. She's someone I would choose to be friends with even if she didn't have kids (which isn't always the case with mommy friends, right moms?!? Be honest!) As an added bonus, Mckenna LOVES her daughters and one of her daughters and Mckenna have been friends from birth. I especially love that she is the kind of mom that is never competitive; you may not do everything the same way but you know there's never judgement; and most of all, I know I can have a mom-fail moment in front of her and just laugh. Most days we hang out there is an epic fit or utter chaos that ensues at some point. At some point one of us loses our cool or one of us lets out a HUGE know, the kind you let out instead of blowing your top…and the beauty of it is neither of us think twice. I feel like I can learn so much from her as a mom and a woman, and I love her dearly. Ok, I'll end the love fest now!

I'm thankful for my dad. As race day creeps closer, I find myself more and more excited. I'm ready to lace up my sneakers and pound out 26.2 miles. It will feel good to accomplish a goal; to check something off of my bucket list. But more than that, more than any other aspect of the race, I am excited to do it with my dad. We may not run all 26.2 miles side by side, but just the fact that I will start the journey with my dad by my side, like I've started so many other journeys in my life, is pretty special.  

Ronnie's List:

I'm thankful for my my wife, and particularly, her dedication. My wife is a machine. Well, a (sexy) human machine. When she decides to accomplish something or knock out one of her goals, she makes a plan and just does it. No waffling. No excuses. She just put's her head down and kicks booty. I will continue to learn from the example my wife sets each and every day for our family. I'm one lucky dude.

I'm thankful for *knock on wood* Mandi staying injury free throughout the course of her marathon training. She's battled poor knees for much of her running "career" and we were afraid that they would rear their ugly head and prevent her from properly training. To our delight, although they have been sore, they have not held her back one bit!

I'm thankful for mentors. I've been fortunate enough to hook up with a couple of guys who have really mentored me through some various business related ventures recently. It's such a blessing to be able to draw upon the knowledge of someone who has been there and is willing to share their wisdom with me. I can feel myself growing in this part of my life and it's pretty sweet!

What about you? What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Simplest Thing: Put It Back

Today, I want to talk about one of the most simple things you could do to brighten up my world.

We all have pet peeves. We all have things that rub us the wrong way or get under our skin. I, in all honesty, don't have very many, but the ones that I do I am very passionate about. At the top of my list?

Shopping carts everywhere in the parking lot except for under the "return the shopping cart here" sign. 

Let me give you a couple of different scenarios that drive me up a wall:

1.  I try to pull into one of the very few parking spots left in a very full lot only to find 5 shopping carts haphazardly blocking the once open space. Please don't be the first person to put their cart in an empty parking space. Your cart becomes a magnet for the others who "don't have enough time".

2.  Watching a kid who is getting paid $7.25 an hour chase down 1700 carts left by his or her perfectly able bodied fellow citizens while sweating in a 110 degree Arizona summer. I know, I know, he's getting paid and no one is holding a gun to his head. But put yourself in his shoes, he gets paid to collect the carts, not cover up your laziness.

3.  Seeing gravel/rock/dirt/vegetation strewn all over the parking lot from a shopping cart forcefully placed on top of some innocent land. Now your creating work for even more people...not that creating extra work for others seems to bother you.

Recently, I saw a woman exit a store with a cart full of goodies. She unpacked the goodies into her cart and then placed her cart in an open parking space catty corner to her cart. Since she didn't put her cart back in the cart return, I figured she had a life-or-death emergency back at home. I was wrong. She then proceeded to walk into another store which required her to walk past a cart return. I kid you not. This isn't the only time I have witnessed this either.

Are there valid reasons to leave your cart wherever, whenever? Probably. But I can guarantee you that those valid reasons are rarely the case. So please, help me out here, is there a bigger reason other than laziness? Maybe, inconsideration? Elitism?

I don't know what it is exactly, I just know that whatever it is, I don't like it.

Am I being too tough on those who insist on not simply putting their cart back where it belongs? Maybe. But if I can have just one of you actually put their cart back into it's proper place after a shopping trip, then I would consider it a worth being too tough.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Race Week Jitters

Oh boy. 3 months of training has come and gone and race week is here. I'd love to say I've followed the training plan to a T and feel more than ready to smoke 26.2 miles. But that's not really the case. I've stuck to the training plan pretty closely, but I haven't been perfect. There's been a few exceptions here and there because it's quite interesting trying to train with Ronnie being gone for 3 weeks and traveling a fair amount. But I still don't quite feel ready. My legs the last week or two have just been heavy. They don't hurt, they aren't tired, per say. Just heavy. I can still do all my runs, but I don't end a run thinking, "well that was a walk in the park, 26.2 will be a breeze."

But regardless, race day is quickly approaching, so I'm choosing to flip my mentality and get this show on the road. I've never run a marathon, but I've run enough races and exercised enough in my life to know that very little has to do with your body and A LOT has to do with your mind. If I go into Sunday thinking I'm not ready, Sunday will suck majorly. If I go into Sunday thinking I'm going to glide through the race without a care in the world, it will only mildly suck! HA!

Here's what I'm doing to get ready this week:

1) Eating - Ok, you caught me, I eat every week. But this week I'm focusing on eating A LOT of carbs. I'm eating carbs until carbs don't look good anymore. I'm trying to be smart about all my carb consumption because I'd prefer not headed into the race with tons of extra pounds to carry, but I'm focusing on eating a lot of carb rich foods. Bagels for breakfast. Fruit for snacks. You get the trend. I'll focus on getting my carbs in all week and then on race day I'll eat what I always eat before my long run: a bagel with peanut butter and a banana.

2) Sleeping - I'm big on sleep in general. I like to get 7-8 hours a night. I'm happier when I sleep more, which in turn means Mckenna and Ronnie are happier (when momma's not happy, aint no body happy!) But a night or two a week I'll only get 6 and be dragging the next day. This week I'm focusing on getting a solid 8 hours a day so my body is well rested before I beat it up.

3) Drinking - I drink water like a camel. Ever since pregnancy and nursing I have continued to drink about 100oz of water a day. So I'll just continue fueling my drinking problem through the week.

4) Tell myself I'm awesome - Oh goodness. I wish I was kidding. About 3% of me is kidding on this. Unfortunately the other 97% of me is completely serious. While tapering, your mind can play all sorts of tricks. You come off running 40+ miles a week and are essentially barely running, and you begin to feel lazy and out of shape. You wonder if you've done enough. You wonder if you should do more. But this week I'm going to shut down all the thinking with one simple (and humiliating phrase): You're awesome. Ha! I'm going to feed myself that line until I believe it, and then I'm going to feed myself full of it some more. I want to strut to the start line, and tell myself I'm awesome. I want to remind myself of that at mile 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, and as I drag myself across the finish. Because if I don't believe I'm awesome enough to complete the race, I probably won't be awesome enough to complete it. So…this week, I'm going to fake confidence til I feel confident :)