Sunday, September 30, 2012

Couch + Kids + Me + DVR = BLISS

I feel like I've started many posts this way, but what a week! This week was packed with appointments, meetings, trainings, Open House, doc work and a trip to Naples yesterday. I feel like I blinked and the week was over with. Top it all off with a nasty head cold and you have a hot mess. Last night I slept 12 hours and today I'm spending the majority of the day on the couch catching up on my DVR. I'm not logging my food, not running, not doing any work. Instead I'm cuddling with my babies and enjoying il dolce far niente. Later I'm off to a comedy show with some cool peeps. What are you doing to recharge before this week? ♥
Max, try to stay awake for the picture
Not the most flattering angle for Phatty Maddy
In other news, my month old bruise is finally healing! This sucker made it hard to bend my knee for awhile.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

First 10 Miler!

What a week. I've been on a blogging-obsessive kick ever since the CFLBlogCon. I've updated my twitter, my pinterest, and I've even created a media kit! On. A. Roll. In between teaching, working the YMCA after school program, doc work and breathing, I've also had a lot on my mind. Running has been stressing me out quite a bit. I've been self conscious about my time, my intervals and my distances. I've definitely been slacking because of it. This week I decided to get my focus on again. Tuesday everyone was sore from last weekend so that was a no go. Thursday Kathleen and I rocked out 4 miles and I was feeling slightly better. Today was the jackpot....drumroll please....I finished my first 10 miler since the heart attacks! Double digits ba-by! My heart rate monitor seemed to go off at every interval but when I looked at my Garmin data, it seems pretty consistent. This is a big confidence booster. Lady Speed Stick Half Mary here I come! ♥  
Suck on that heart!

14 miles in 2 runs? I'll take it!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

No Running Buddies=No Fun

After all of the fun I had on Saturday, I was scheduled to run 10 miles with the crew Sunday morning. I didn't make it. I completely overslept, and woke up at 5:15, just 10 minutes from when I should've been standing in front of Panera in the dark. Epic running fail. Instead of just laying on my tired behind (which was mighty tempting) I got myself up and went 10 the heat. I now value the moments in the early mornings when we can't see a foot in front of our faces and blindly run into the night. The sun was brutal this morning. Also I forgot to take my meds before leaving and my heart rate was high, so I did a lot of walking. But I made it through 7.11 miles...not bad. It's not the 10 that I should have done, but way better than staying in bed and rotting. It was also hard running without my running buddies. No one to joke with and left alone with my thoughts...scary place. I need to be more consistent next week, whether I am tired or not. Onward. ♥
9 for the week. Time to get consistent again.

Mornings...fake 'em until you make 'em.


My day didn't end with the Greater Orlando Heart Walk. Oh, no it was just beginning! I still was scheduled to attend the Central Florida Blogger's Conference (CFLBlogCon). I definitely thought I was going to be a fish out of water at this event. I have only been blogging since February and the whole penny I've made from my measly advertisements wouldn't allow me to quit my job and swim in a Scrooge McDuck money pit. So I worried I would have nothing to say and be surrounded by bloggers who were at the top of their game. All I really wanted to get out of the conference was to figure out how to reach more readers and where I should go from here. Science Center here I come! I guess I should preface this post by saying that I wrote 2 entries about the Greater Orlando Heart Walk and submitted them for the CFLBlogCon/Rollins College "Blogging For Good" contest. There were 5 organizations you could blog about and there was a $100 prize for one from each organization plus one person would win an iPad.
Entering the unknown.

Oh yeah, that's the one.
So I started out the day by stripping in my car and changing into something a little more conference appropriate and then going to the keynote speech. Here was my schedule after that. After going to these amazing sessions I am working on getting this baby up to snuff with a Media Kit and Twitter.

Media Kit session was exactly what I needed! On to lunch.
There was a serious amount of paella for lunch. Those silver serving vats in the background? Paella. And Yams.

Ok don't hate me but I skipped the last 3 sessions to get a chair massage and to check out other people's blogs online. Totally worth it.
Frankly, the reason I even signed up for this conference was for the "Blogging for a Cause" session. It was presented by Laura, who blogs about her experience with and advocacy for Spina Bifida. Her blog,, is amazing. I got a chance to talk to her and pick her brain a little. Totally worth my conference fee.

After the sessions we had niche breakout sessions. I ended up networking with employees from Rollins, Second Harvest Food Bank, Orange County Library, and Arnold Palmer Childrens Hospital. Fantastic ideas, fantastic people. All in all a successful day. 2 offers to guest blog on someone else's blog, and an offer for a speaking event. Then came the after party...

P.S. At this point of the day I was in desperate need of a nap.

So the last order of business was the after party. Guess who has 2 thumbs and won the Greater Orlando Heart Walk blog award? THIS GIRL! So I walked away from the day with $100 card, new friends, new networking contacts and an idea for a book...successful day? I'd say so. ♥  

As they say on Cribs, this is where the magic happens. ;)

Greater Orlando Heart Walk

The day finally arrived! Yesterday was the Greater Orlando Heart Walk! I have been fundraising like crazy and ended up with a grand total of $765.00! Not bad, not bad! 

As I previously said in a post, this event has given me a little agita since I signed up for it. I worried that I would be emotional but really this Walk turned out to be the best thing for me. There were over 20,000 walkers and you could almost feel the happiness and inspiration everyone walked with. The weight of this event quickly went away when I saw my amazing friends who walked to support me and to honor family members that were taken too soon. We looked adorable.

The crew. L-R: me, Jessica, Amanda, Jo, Leah, Amy, Elie, Kathleen
My survivor hat.

My awesome custom t-shirt. It got tons of looks.
The back. Pardon the was a hot morning in CFL.
Amanda and Jo rocked their heart guardian shirts.
Ok, let's do this!
So we walked. We did a lot of laughing, crying, swearing, sweating and general foolishness. We even stopped at 7-11 for slurpees. For once I didn't feel like I stuck out for a bad reason, or that I was weak. It was actually kind of empowering. If you tell my therapist I said this, I will deny it. Ha. I knew I was going to have a sign on the walk with my name and picture on it so we kept our eyes open. Right around 2 miles, there it was!
Me Plus my slurpee (sugar free folks, don't get it twisted).
Me and my heart guardians. Jo raised $865.00!

I had decided a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to do something to honor loved ones that weren't able to go on the walk. So I got candles for Jo's mom and grandmother and Kathleen's father. Then I gave them the same scents to take home. Here I am trying to set fire to the neighborhood.

Don't tell Smokey the Bear.

In honor of them.

No caption needed.
So we kept walking. Through the beautiful neighborhoods of Orlando and towards the end...or was it the beginning. Maybe a little of both. ♥
At one point we were at the end of the pack. Y'know I love a good cop reference.
Central Florida Accordian Club...rock on my Eastern Euro brotha.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Roller Coaster of Recovery

I swear I'm not bitter. Let me begin by saying that. Tuesday I ran 3 miles with Kathleen. That's my total for this week...3. Yup. Wednesday night I came home after a relaxing mani/pedi to the entrance to my apartment complex being under 2 feet of water so I didn't get home until 11:00 and then I had to get some work done. So forget getting up at the butt crack of dawn to run on Thursday. Today I decided my body needed more sleep than running so I bailed. Not a great week for mileage but that's ok.

Did I mention I'm not bitter? Tuesday's run...*BEEP BEEP*...was...*BEEP BEEP*...full of...*BEEP BEEP* ...beeps. I was cursing at my heart monitor every 5 minutes. I went from having a great run last Saturday where my heart rate monitor didn't even shudder to Tuesday's 3 miles of beeping (insert beeeep for what came out of my mouth every time it happened as well). So I was a little discouraged, but definitely not bitter. ;)

This week I have so much to look forward to. Plans with amazing friends, the Central Florida Bloggers Conference, and THE GREATER ORLANDO HEART WALK! T-minus 1 week! I've met my fundraising goal (although donations are always welcome...hint hint) and now all I have to do is walk. I am a little nervous. I don't know what kind of emotional reaction I will have next Saturday. It's going to break my heart to hear stories of people who didn't make it through their heart disease or heart attack and that sense of guilt has been problematic for me from the beginning. Why did I make it and others didn't? It's a question I often have on my mind.

Another thing I am nervous about is the sign that will be posted on the Walk. The American Heart Association-Orlando Chapter asked for my story and picture, which will be on a sign posted somewhere on the Walk. It's going to be so strange to see myself on that sign. I don't like to think of myself as a survivor, I still have trouble with that word. So wearing a survivor hat, being on a survivor sign is going to be uncomfortable for me.

Also, my friend Jo is doing the Walk as well. He lost both his grandmother and his mother to heart disease. I knew Jo's mom for a long time, we've been friends since we were teenagers. Watching him lose his mother was terrible. They were extremely close and she was an amazing woman. So when I had my heart attacks, I felt bad that he had to go through some of those emotions all over again. Walking with him will be comforting and heart breaking at the same time.

So we Walk. We Walk so that there is money for research and education. This money will go towards educating others about the warning signs of heart attacks and provide information about healthy eating and making healthy choices. We are helping to fund research on ground breaking medications and technologies that could save someone's life. Doctors will be able to receive information that could change the face of these diseases. So we Walk.

If you haven't already, please make a donation or sign up to Walk. Let's advocate for better health, remember lost loved ones and celebrate that we are still here. ♥

Please donate!

My awesome shirt that I made online. Can't wait to wear it:)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Is This Thing On?!

Today was my first run where my heart rate monitor didn't beep! Hallelujah, praise the running and cardiac gods! I. Am. Stoked. I've had my monitor set to beep if my heart rate goes over 150, since that was the number that Cardiac Rehab calculated for me with my beta blockers. Usually the sucker goes off around 2 miles and I end up yelling expletives into the early morning air. This morning I kept waiting for it....waiting for it....and NOTHING. Don't get me wrong, I came close. What a freeing feeling! So either my heart is getting healthier or I'm officially a robot. I say C, all of the above. Total was 6 miles, slow and steady.
Part 1 - 4 miles

Part 2 - 2 more miles