Sunday, December 1, 2013

I'm 33!

I'm 33! This year my birthday was on Thanksgiving which was appropriate since I had so much to be thankful for. I hope your day was as amazing as mine. 


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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Women's Running Series Half Marathon

So you might recall last year that I rocked the Women's Half Marathon in St Pete, FL. You might even remember that I PRed and almost killed myself doing it. This year went a little differently. First of all, my training this season has been ROUGH. I haven't felt well since August. I've been tired and my energy level has been painfully low. My longest run this season had been 8 miles and that was a rough day. So I wasn't expecting miracles from this race. I had 2 goals-1. not die & 2. finish. Reasonable, no?

Good morning! Geared up and ready to go!

Saw this on the sidewalk on my Starbucks run at 6 am. It literally translates into "for more information"…interpret as you'd like

Amy and I at the start

Amy was kind enough to stick with me through the first 9.5 miles. We started out nice and slow, even hitting a bathroom stop around 3 miles. I walked a few extra times, but things were going well. We hit another bathroom break around 8 miles and a quick spray of the SalonPas. At 9.5 I knew I needed to take it easy. I was getting dangerously tired, so I walked. Amy took off and I did the best I could to keep a decent walking pace. When 10.5 hit, I started running 1 and 1s with a few 3s thrown in for good measure. I managed to finish and not want to off myself…win! The time? Not great. In fact, it's my slowest half marathon time. But, I'm happy I was able to finish under these circumstances.

It was windy. Cut me some slack on the hair. :)
Celebratory bubbly
She's done.
As always, this race will be both a motivator and a source of stress for me. It was the first race I ran after my heart attack and I'm pretty hard on myself. When will I learn that doing the best I can is enough? Probably never. Until then it is a work in progress.

Got my charm for this year & added it to the necklace

Monday, November 11, 2013

Minor Setback

It's been a couple of months, let me tell you. I have been super tired again. It's been hard to run, workout, go out at night and get up in the morning. Basically I've been drained. I haven't even blogged! Really, anything besides the absolute bare necessities has been impossible. The last couple of weeks I've forced myself to run but it hasn't been fast or decent distances.

Now, the average person might say, 'hey, just relax and get some rest.' That sounds fantastic but the reality is I have 2…not one…but 2 half marathons at the end of November. First I have Women's Running Series Half Marathon in St Pete on November 24th and then the weekend after is the Space Coast Half Marathon. Frankly my goal is just to finish both without passing out. A few months ago I would've loved to crush my St Pete time from last year. Now I will settle for finishing. I also signed up for the Best Damn Race in March. I'm hoping to get this fatigue taken care of and set that halfie on fire.

So here is the quickie recap of what's been happening...

Chicago weekend (I was sick AND tired!)
Max was a minion for Hallween

Amy and I volunteered for the Disney Wine & Dine Half
Doc ordered 24 hours on this lovely heart monitor. No showering, no running…fantastic

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Orlando Heart Association Go Red for Women Executive Breakfast

What an opportunity! This morning I was able to speak at the Orlando Heart Association Go Red for Women's Executive Breakfast. The breakfast was at the beautiful Interlachen Country Club in Winter Park. I arrived at the crack of dawn but boy was it worth it. I had a room of captive ears. They all listened to my story and were presented with a ton of information about women's heart disease and stroke. Amazing job OHA! I was honored to be a part of this event!
Let's do this!
Me, doin' my thang. I even got a few laughs.
Heart shirt, red pants, red lipstick...holler.
No, thank YOU!

Thank you gift bag.


Sleep Study

This Monday night I had a sleep study. I was extremely nervous. I think it takes a lot of trust to allow someone to watch you sleep all night. But, I packed up my animal print throw and my iPad and headed out the door.

I got there around 8:30 and filled out all sorts of information like how I feel like I sleep, if I snore, etc. Then I was wired up and ready to go. Well, technically I watched Teen Mom 3 and Rachel Maddow, and THEN slept. Gotta soak up the free cable. I'm so pathetic.

I slept horribly. I didn't want to disturb any of the wires so I tried to stay as still as possible in a very awkward position. But before I knew it, my wake up call was in my ear. I headed out the door and back home to shower before work.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is a link (although not a causal one) from heart disease to sleep apnea. Low oxygen levels while sleeping can put a serious strain on the heart. This may or may not be another piece of the crazy heart attack puzzle for me. Either way, it was definitely one of the more interesting experiences I've had.

Heelloooo throw.
Those are going on ME?!

Ever feel like you're being watched?
I quickly took a very blurry picture in the dark before the cameras went on. Shh, don't tell.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Heart Walk!

What a change from last year to this year! Last year: crying, tired, depressed. This year: proudly wore my red cap, laughed and enjoyed the day instead of being a hot mess.

If someone had told me last year that at the next Heart Walk I would've been PROUD to be a survivor, I literally would've laughed in their face. Well, more like scoffed since I wasn't laughing a lot last year. I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd be in this place. 

If I can do it, so can you. 

Who's that proud chick rockin' her red cap? Whoa, it's me.

The most amazing friends anyone can ask for. They were there last year, and again this year. Amazing.

Thanks UCF and rock.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fall Races

Minus the fact that I am constantly oversleeping, I'm doing great! Ha. All sarcasm aside, my pace from last year has increased big time. I'm super excited to see what this fall will bring. Here are my upcoming races:

1. BE THE CHANGE 5K. This race benefits Orlando Come Out With Pride. Proceeds go to the Orlando Youth Alliance. It's a great cause, so get involved!
[pic via be the change 5k]
2. WOMEN'S HALF MARATHON ST PETE. Yes, this is the same race from last year. The first big race since the heart attack. I'm determined to beat my time! I will be running this with Amy and hopefully making a weekend out of it. Check out the sweet medal this year!
[photo via womens running series Facebook]
3. SPACE COAST HALF MARATHON. I signed up to support my friend Jo but it looks like he will be supporting me! HA! He kicking some serious tail in his training! It will also be the weekend after St Pete so I might be a little tired. Another sweet medal.
[pic via space coast half marathon...same medal but with "half"]

I'll also be volunteering at the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon! Looking forward to a great fall season! What are your fall race plans, readers? :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Year & A Half!

It's officially been a year and a half since I got my stent, Stewart. What a year & a half. 
I'm taking today to be thankful and reflect. I hope this inspires everyone else to do the same.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The 2013 Greater Orlando Heart Walk

It's that time again folks! Time for the 2013 Greater Orlando Heart Walk! Another opportunity to give back and raise awareness. This year I will have such a different perspective. Last year at this time I was still emotionally fragile. I was anxious and depressed, just trying to make it from week to week. This year I feel an immense amount of optimism and gratitude. Time to celebrate, baby! Please take a moment and pledge a buck or 2!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

CP3...No, Not the Star Wars Robot

Today I completed my initial blood work and survey for the Cancer Prevention Study-3. Over 300,000 participants between the ages of 30-65 are needed across the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam who don't have a prior cancer diagnosis. I told myself that I would take every opportunity to give back to the medical community after my heart attack and this is just another step. Give 20 minutes of your time and sign up. The deets are here. Do it.
[photo via]


Friday, July 19, 2013

New Kicks!

Lovin' my new kicks. Thanks Track Shack! 3 miles this AM with the lovely Amy. We came, we ran, we conquered. 6 miles tomorrow! Women's Running Half Marathon (Nov) & Space Coast Half (Dec) here I come!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Floridians! Join up!

Looking to get involved with the American Heart Association? How about being a part of an advocacy committee that works on issues like middle school PE waivers, fresh fruits and veggies in our schools, biomedical research funding, or getting high school students certified in CPR? If this sounds like something you'd like to be involved AND you live in the Sunshine State, please email David Francis (or call 850.567.0598) at the Greater Southeast office of the American Heart Association! I'm in, are you? 

Friday, July 12, 2013


Let me preface this post by saying that I have never been a morning person. I distinctly remember having water dumped on my head as a small child and wishing school began at noon. Until I found coffee in college my mornings were filled with grumbling, insulting roommates, and severely mismatched eye makeup. I continue this proud tradition today...mornings shall never be my thing. Were it not for sugar-free french vanilla creamer and sunglasses I would not be a functioning member of society.

When I began this crazy hobby we call running, I wondered if I had been hallucinating when I agreed to morning workouts that started at 5 a.m.. the in AM?! That used to be my bed time!  I tried desperately to become a morning person. I meditated, went to bed early, packed my bag before going to bed and even bribed myself with Starbucks after the run. For awhile it worked. Then the heart attack happened.

Before the heart attack I noticed I was fatigued each day. Getting up was a battle, none the less strapping on my Garmin and running like a Kenyan. After the heart attack the fatigue lingered. About a year into recovery I noticed my energy level returning and getting up was easier. I think I was also motivated by racing again. But lately I've been oversleeping almost every day. I sleep through alarms (doesn't matter the sound or volume) and even through apps that require tasks in order for the alarm to go off. Have you ever fed a sheep in your sleep? I have...I'm adding it my resume.

So faithful readers, I'm looking for some solutions. If you have any ideas, send 'em my way! 
Some hysterical alarm clocks I've come across. I laugh but I'm considering them!
I'm a horrible shot, so this might work [product via Amazon]

Wake & Shake anyone? [product via Amazon]

This one runs away from you! [product via Amazon]

This may be my all time fav...
Tee hee. I'd be up before the alarm! [product via think geek]

Any others? :)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Where Have I Been?!

Sorry kids, but I needed a break. The end of the school year for a teacher is insane. IN to the SANE. Between that, my doctorate, having a life, starting summer camp and running, my life has been packed to the max. I've been super tired and something had to give. But I'm BACK! The fall marathonfest session has begun and I have my sights set on St Pete & Space Coast. Stay tuned for more training posts because Amy and I are burning pavement lately. Last but not least, I have a sweet new look to my blog. Like it?

I posted this to facebook on National Running Day...feeling thankful still!

Amy, Kathleen and I have taken up Aqua Jogging (or Water Yogging, as we call it). No swimsuit pics needed. [Article via Runners World]