Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Miles are getting longer

First off let me just say that my 11 miler kicked my tail.  I knew it was going to be hot Sunday so I planned to run early that morning, but getting Bre out of bed was a chore and we didn't get started until almost 10:00.  By then the sun was beaming and it was already creeping into the upper 80s.  We both took two bottles of water, Swedish fish, and some gu.  I also had a bottle with herbalife liftoff and hydrate.  If you haven't tried them, they are wonderful. 

The first three miles were a breeze.  We had a little cloud cover still.  By the time we hit mile 6 it was smoking hot!  At mile 6 I got my gu out and drank it hoping to get a little energy back.  It was delicious. :)  It was the salted caramel flavor, and tasted like a big caramel chew.  yummy!  I will say it did help a little, but the sun and heat was just making it a miserable run.  Not to mention we were at the track and 44 laps around a track is pretty boring.  I honestly was beginning to think I wasn't going to make it!  I finally hit mile 9 and knew at that point that I had it in the bag.  I had just enough water left to get me through, and I picked up the pace and finished strong.  11 miler in the bag! 

I got home, sat in the bath with a glass of chocolate milk while the cold water filled up.  Then Jolea came in and dumped the entire bucket of ice into the water.  A 10 minute ice bath was just what the aching legs needed.  I was a little stiff the rest of the day, but woke up Monday morning with just a little soreness in my calves. 

This Sunday we have a 12 miler.  I think we may head to the bay for this one.  Bre and I both bought a camelpak so water won't be an issue now.  I'm not quite sure how I'll like having it ride on my back but the water is a must! 



Thursday, November 14, 2013

Training week 4

I'm now into week 4 of marathon training!  My first half marathon is less than a month away.  The training is starting to get pretty intense at this point.  At the end of this week I will have run 29 miles, and that increases every week.  At one point I would've been thrilled to have run that many miles in a month!  I used to think 3 miles was a long run, now I'm thrilled to see that it's only a 3 mile run on my training schedule!

Some days are good runs and some are bad.  I've had to up the calories again.  I've been having some really tired, achy legs lately, and I'm hoping better fuel will help with that.  I also invested in a pair of procompression socks not only to wear during my runs but also after for the recovery.  My next thing to try is the ice bath!  I've heard it really helps with the soreness. 

The training program I am doing has us running a decently long run the day before the actual long run.  For instance, this week I have a 6 miler on Saturday and then an 11 miler on Sunday.  It's training me to run on tired legs, and boy are they tired. 

Bre is doing great too!  I'm glad to have her by my side on those long runs.  She only runs the weekend runs with me.  She gets in a good workout in basketball practice and tumbling during the week.  Below is a photo of our last long run we did by the bay.  It was an awesome place to run, and we loved it!  We ran the entire 9 miles without stopping, and no water breaks which wasn't too smart.  I'm not a fan of running with water bottles or backpacks of water, but it's coming to that.

Thanks for all the encouragement as I strive to make this dream come true!  I see many more races in my future especially those at Disney World! 


Still my most favorite part of the day is being home with my sweet Luci!  I wouldn't trade it for the world!  I can't get enough of her sweet smiles!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fair Fun!

I've been meaning to post some of these pictures since last week, but just haven't had the time to get on the computer yet!  My parents came to visit last Tuesday.  The kids were out of school for the county fair Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  We took the kids Wednesday night to ride some rides and look through all the animals that were being shown. 

We had a pretty good time.  Several of the local kids were showing.  I was really shocked at how many kids were participating.  One of Bre's friends won Grand Champion rabbit and made $5800 at the sale!  Needless to say, next year we may end up with a few show rabbits in the backyard!  That's college money!

For a training recap... I'm only on week two of the marathon training, and it is pretty intense.  My half is a little over a month away with the full marathon to follow in February.  Sunday's are when we do our long runs.  This Sunday is a 9 miler.  Last Sunday the 8 miler was so tough!  I didn't realize how hot it actually was when we set out that afternoon.  I actually ran by where we park every two miles to get a drink of water.  I felt so defeated when it was over, along with some crazy tan lines.  I must remember the sunscreen!  Today was a 5 miler, and I ended up with a blister!  Not too thrilled about that either.  I knew when I started that this was going to be tough, but I can't wait to cross that finish line!







Monday, October 21, 2013

Train on

Let the training continue!  I'm officially registered for the Cowtown Marathon.  That's 26.2 excruciating miles!  I'm pretty pumped about it, but also pretty nervous.  I'm using Hal Higdons Intermediate training plan and it's pretty intense.  I had been using the Novice plan for my half, but a friend has encouraged me to step it up a notch.  This plan includes two 20 milers!  That will definitely be a killer.

I'm not going out planning to get some super time, but just hoping to finish upright.  Hopefully nobody will be dragging me across the finish line. :)  Two years ago I would've never in a million years dreamed I would be where I am today.  Training for a marathon?  Seriously?  My love of running, fitness, and nutrition has transformed my life tremendously, and I can't wait to take it to this next level.  Cheer me on!  I have a half marathon in less than 7 weeks, then the full marathon is 18 weeks away!



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy Birthday JoJo!

Once again my family and friends amaze me with their overwhelming love for our sweet boy! We miss him deeply, and continue to celebrate his precious life each day! We'll never forget!
Happy 12th Birthday Joey Colt Crow!!




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fight the fight, finish the race

I registered for a half marathon this week!  I am super excited!  I wanted to go ahead and run one before my dream race at Disney.  I'll be running the Illuminations half in San Antonio on December 7th.  Bre has also registered. 

Many say I'm crazy, but you just don't understand how emotional, thrilling, exciting, painful, and amazing running can be.  With every mile you're pushing through the pain and doing something you never thought or imagined you would ever be able to do. 

I think of Colt with every run I do.  How he fought cancer so hard.  How his body was racked with pain, but he continued on.  Although, my pain is no comparison, it makes me fight harder.  I chose one of his favorite songs as my power song.  Not to us - by Chris Tomlin.  I used to hold him in the kitchen and he and I would spin and dance as it played.  Some of my favorite memories, and our favorite moments.  I can often close my eyes at the finish of every run when I hit that power song, and I can see him cheering me on to the finish. 

He fought the fight, he finished the race.  So can I!





Thursday, September 26, 2013

Get your run on!




When I first started running I hated it!  A group of ladies and I had been doing turbo fire for several weeks before we started adding in a couple runs a week into our workout.  I suffered from blisters, to shin splints, swollen knees, and it seemed insanely hard. 

I started running at the track.  I would run the straights and walk the curves.  I started increasing the ratio of running and walking until I finally ran my first mile. After that first runners high, I haven't stopped!

I thought I'd write a post and share a few of my favorite tips that smoothed the transition from non-runner to runner.  So if you've just began your journey of pounding the pavement or treadmill, here are a few things you should know.

It does get easier

Just like most things.  The more you run the easier it gets.  If you want to strengthen your muscles, improve your heart rate, and increase your endurance, you need to run at least 3 times a week.  Start off with a doable distance of at least 1 mile, and gradually increase your distance.  The key is to run at a pace where you can carry on a conversation.  Muscles will strengthen, knees will get stronger, and your calories will burn!

Invest in a good sports bra

Yes, running can be painful.  For the longest time I would wear two sports bras.  A cheap cotton sports bra from target won't cut the mustard for running unless you wear one with good support underneath.  You may have to spend $50 or more, but it's worth it when you only have to wear one.

Don't skimp on shoes or gear

I've never really skimped on shoes, but I have skimped on socks.  I used to always wear cute, colorful, cheap, cotton socks, and then wondered why I had blisters.  Get you a good pair of wicking socks.  You won't regret it.  You won't need a lot of gear, but you will need a good pair of tennis shoes ( I've jumped on the Brooks bandwagon and LOVE them), a good pair of wicking socks ( nike is what I have at the moment), a good sports bra (I've found that zulilly often has good sales on really good, name brand active wear.  You can get a good support sports bra for half the price of stores.), and you'll need some lightweight running shorts.  I prefer nike.  They have built ins so you don't have to worry with wedgies or them riding up your thighs.    Gear designed for running makes a huge difference and can make or break your love for running.

Running Apps

The days of driving a route to get the distance is over.  Iphone running apps now have GPS that not only keep track of distance, but keeps your time and pace.  If you're like me, your biggest competitor is yourself.  I love being able to track myself so I can later beat myself. :)

Running outdoors is harder than running on a treadmill

Since I've moved most of my runs are done on the treadmill.  Our town is putting in a walking park, and I can't wait until I can head there to get some outdoor running in.  When I do get to hit the pavement it is much harder!  There's real hills, uneven pavement, wind, and sun.  Those elements do make running harder.  Running outside will also burn more calories, and will increase strength and endurance.  I believe running outdoors will make you a better runner.  If you don't have a choice, like myself at the moment, make sure to set your incline to at least a 2 to make your run more like running outdoors. 

Running is an awesome, rewarding exercise.  However, if you're just getting started it can be tough.  Don't give up! After all, only crazies actually like to run, right?  Well I think everyone should be a little crazy.  Listen to your body, and HAVE FUN!  Btw, obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated...;)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Our Happenings

Long time, no post!  The school year is in full swing with a lot of things going on!  The kids are doing so great this year!  I was so worried about Jolea, but she seems to be doing wonderful so far.  It's only a month into school and she has already finished her 5th chapter book!  I'm so proud of her.

Jolea and Luke also started art lessons this month.  It's been so great! I love seeing the things they bring home, and the creativity that they are both expressing.  I didn't know they had it in them.  Luke wasn't so thrilled at first.  All he wanted to do was learn to draw a shark. lol  The art lessons are so much more than that, and its also helping them build some creative thinking and they are proud of their work. 

Football is also in full swing.  Our Bulldogs are 4 and 0 so far this season.  This is the first time in my life I've actually enjoyed watching football. 

Breanna also has made the varsity basketball team!  We were so excited for her.  Being in such a larg school she thought her chances of varsity basketball were slim and even thought about not playing.  I actually had to make her go to practice and low and behold she made the team.  I knew she had it in her, but her self esteem and confidence was really crushed at her previous school.  I'm so glad to see the coaches and staff here building her back up.  It's a whole different world for her here.  She works hard and her hard work pays off. You don't get the top positions because of who you are or who your parents are, or who you're friends with.  They encourage her and push her to be the best she can be.  I love seeing her doing so great.  Life is so good.  It's so nice to just be able to focus on our family without any distractions.

I'm also enjoying staying home.  With Joey's awkward work schedule, I don't know how I'd be able to work full time and take care of all the kids!   Luci and I enjoy our days together.  They grow up so fast, and I'm thankful I get to enjoy this time with her.  The only breaks we get are when we head home to visit my parents.  I usually take at least one day while we are there to run around by myself or with Joey without the kids. :)

I posted some random photos from my phone below.  Luci is our biggest bulldog fan.  It almost keeps her as occupied as the beach!  She loves the games.  She cheers and dances the whole time. :)
Enjoy the pics.








 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Time sure flies....

We traveled home this past weekend for a family wedding.  We had such a great time seeing everyone!  You don't realize how much people mean to you when you don't get to see them everyday or every week.  We also stopped by the football game Friday night to say hello to a few friends we haven't seen in months.  It was so great to see them. 

Our next trip up will not be until October.  Luke has a check up and MRI with his neurosurgeon.  We are hoping this is the last scan.  He's doing wonderful.  It would also be awesome if everything was completely gone and he was released to play sports!  So pray with us for a miracle!

This year we will be celebrating Colt's birthday on the weekend of October 12th.  I will be flying in that week with Luke and Luci for his appt. and the rest of the gang is driving down Friday.  Colt's actual birthday on the 15th is during the week, and we don't want the kids to miss any school so we'll be celebrating that weekend with another balloon release with our close friends and family. He will be turning 12 years old!  That seems so strange.  Everytime I think of him he's still a 3 year old little boy. :) 

Time sure flies....





Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back to school

It's back to school time!  I have to be honest and say I'm a little excited to be back in the routine of school.  I'm sure that excitement will fade just as it does with them real soon.  We've had a busy summer and I'm ready for some routine. 

The kids were up bright and early this morning rocking those new, crisp shoes and new clothes!  Of the 3 of them I think Luke was the least excited, and Jolea by far the most excited!  Jolea loves school!  This year they are all 3 at different schools.  Jolea and Luke are near each other but not together anymore.  Luke also has a split schedule for the first time.  He was a little nervous about that. 

Luci was up with them and ready for school also.  She got dressed and went looking for her backpack. :)  She'll be doing school with Mommy this year!  I'm so excited to be spending this time with her at home!  They grow up so fast.

I pray they have an amazing school year and that their light and love for Jesus will shine bright each and everyday!  Praying God continues to pour into them, and that He sends Godly friends into their lives! 

I am one proud MOM! 







And here's a little photo of their second day of school!  We have to send pics to Memaw so she can see all their cute outfits.  Notice Luke with his shirt tucked in?  lol  New school dresscode requires the kids from 4th grade and up to tuck it in!  He isn't digging that either. :)  But we don't sweat the small stuff around here!  And don't you love the little photo bomber in her undie?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Post 5k, and Brady Bands!

Yesterday morning I ran my first 5k here in Corpus Christi!  It was the Run or Dye. It was not a competition against anyone but myself.  They don't time the race either.  It is all for fun, fitness, family, and friends.  Joey ended up having to work so I came alone which was also a big accomplishment for me! 

I ran in the first wave and finished at a decent time as well.  I tried to keep a pace around 10 or under.  It's definitely different from running on the treadmill.  Running uphill, downhill, against wind resistance off the bay...all takes a toll on your pace and time.  I didn't do as well as I'd hoped, but all and all I was happy with it and will only work to improve with every race! 

I was so mesmerized by the view of the ocean as well.  I could definitely run this route over and over again!  It was absolutely gorgeous!  It's still hard to believe that I live somewhere so beautiful and that this is really my life.  I love where God has brought our family. :)

So I'm already looking for my next 5k.  Hopefully next month!  Then I'm hoping to run a 10k by December and start training for a half marathon! So ready to wipe that one out!  Did I mention I'm planning to run that half in Disney World?  If I'm going to do it, then I'm going BIG!  There's no other place where I'd rather run it!  I've already got the buzz lightyear ensemble picked out to run in!   

So who's with me?

Let the training begin!!




Last but not least!  The headbands.... If you love wearing headbands while you workout, go out, or whatever you do! Go and check out brady bands!  I have never found headbands that don't slip on my head, but these guys don't budge!  Brady bands are named after the founders son who passed away from cancer, and 10% of every purchase goes to CureSearch!!!  Check them out at bradybands.com!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cooking Disaster!

So tonight I had a major cooking disaster.... I was actually making one of my favorite dishes, manicotti.  This time I had added shredded chicken to the cheese mixture to spice it up a bit. 

I had just boiled the noodles, and sat my glass pan on the stove to start stuffing the manicotti.  I had turned on a burner to warm up the sauce and didn't realize I had turned on the wrong burner.  New house, new stove...I'm still adjusting people. 

Anyhow, the dish just exploded, and hot glass went everywhere!  Luckily it only hit my shirt, and I came out unscathed.  No kids were in the kitchen at the time.  It very well could've been ugly.  Glass was everywhere and my dinner was ruined! :(  Needless to say, some major cleanup took place with the help of my oldest child and my husband, and we headed out for dinner.  

I wish I had thought to take pictures, but I think I was just a bit in shock.  I had no idea that the dish would explode like that.  Lesson learned, and now I have to buy a new dish.  That one had our name etched on it too.

Here's the recipe for you to try!  Just make sure not to set your dish on the stove!!

You can also half this recipe if you have a smaller family.

Chicken Manicotti

Ingredients
  • 14 pieces Manicotti, cooked according to instructions
  • 2 cup part skim Ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 egg
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 can tomato or spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
Instructions
  1. In medium bowl, combine cooked shredded chicken, Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, oregano, salt and pepper together and stir until well mixed.
  2. Stuff each cooked Manicotti with about ¼ cupful of the chicken and cheese mixture carefully so that the Manicotti doesn’t tear.
  3. Add the spaghetti sauce in saucepan over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan and 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves and stir frequently, until it starts to bubble. Simmer until heated through.
  4. Spray baking dish with cooking spray and place the stuffed Manicotti in it. Pour about 1 cup (or more) prepared sauce over the Manicotti. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Kemp's Ridley Turtle Release

So I've been asking all summer to go watch the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle release.  Eggs from most sea turtle nests found at Padre Island National Seashore and northward along the Texas coast are transported to the Padre Island National Seashore incubation facility for protected care and monitoring, and the hatchlings are released at the northern end of Padre Island National Seashore.  Most of the releases occur over the month of July and August.  Since Joey was off Saturday, I got everyone up at 5am and we headed to the beach!  It honestly was everything I had hoped it would be and more.  They were so cute and the sunrise on the beach was gorgeous!  
 
This is just one more reason why I love living here!  I am such a science and nature freak!  The release was also free to the public so there was no fee to watch.  We got to the beach right about the time they were releasing so we had to stand out in the water to actually see good.  I tried to get the best pictures I could with the view we had.  They turned out ok, but next summer I know to arrive a little earlier to get a spot for picture taking. I want to be right up front! :)
 
 
 











Friday, August 9, 2013

Shark Week

I may sound like a freak, but I love Shark Week!  To kick off the week we took the kids to the aquarium to check out the shark touch experience.  They have an exhibit where you can actually touch the sharks. :D  The kids had an awesome time and so did Joey and I.  We went through the exhibits, watched the dolphin show from the under water viewing room, and the kids also enjoyed the splash park.

I was trying to get Luci's picture here, but she was eyeballing the crocodile.

Isn't this puffer fish the cutest.  He and Luci really hit it off. :)

This is one of the kids favorite exhibits.  Luci really believes that this is Nemo and Dory.

The view from the aquarium is absolutely breathtaking.  I think I could sit out there all day!






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