Happy New Year! (oh wait it's already February)

Hi all! A late update is better than no update right??!!?? :)

December was a total blur! I turned 45, and then on Christmas Day we drove down to the Florida Keys to celebrate my husbands 50th. This was a first for both of us to not be with family but we enjoyed every minute of our week in the sun! The weather was gorgeous and this was really my first beach vacation as a normal sized person and I took advantage of all the awesome new things my body can do.
my first stand-up paddle board (SUP)!

An amazing kayak adventure all by myself!

Why not plank while on the pier? I even did one on the SUP but with no one to take a picture!

And of course the challenging 8ish mile run around the island!
It felt absolutely amazing to be so active and see this place in a way I've never been able to see it.

There were a few other victories as well...
Wearing a dress comfortably!!!!

Wearing a tank top in public!

Best. Vacation. Ever.

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 Then it was back to reality and a 50 degree temperature change.
Tina Tip: if you spend a ton of money on cold weather running gear you will be more likely to force yourself out the door to go do it :)

I'm honored that I was chosen to be a run leader again this year for the Track Club. I'm starting with coaching the "women on the move" group which is an amazing group of over 100 women getting ready for the Atlanta Women's 5K at the end of March. Some of them have never run before, others are trying for a PR. We even have 13 year old twins who will probably win Boston one day :) I will be committed to this all year with Peachtree Road Race training next then fall half marathon training. Coaching has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. It gives me so much joy even when my alarm goes off at 5:30 every Saturday.
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Speaking of Track Club, they had a fundraiser called "Suits and Singlets" - formal wear meets running wear - and of course I went all out...

The mylar blanket pashmina was a last minute inspiration and I also loved wearing my Mizunos with fishnets - I hope I get that opportunity again!!

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Hot chocolate race was next - I chose the 15k. I've never done it because I think it's kind of gimmicky and expensive but my half marathon trainees from last year were going to do it so I joined in. It was cold of course but it was so fun to run with the ponytail posse again!
It was a good race. Cold and hilly but the hot chocolate and the chocolate fondue at the end was awesome. They had stuff along the route but I can't fathom eating chocolate while running 9 miles!

Like I said the race was good but the expo the day before was THE WORST. I had just come back from a week long business trip and was WAY over-committed. I had to coach in the morning, then attend a big shopping event with a friend that was planned for months, then I had to go to the expo since they don't mail numbers and ended up abandoning my car 3 miles from the expo in gridlock traffic and walk. 6 miles round trip. Did I mention the race was the next morning? All in all I was out for 12 hours 6am - 6pm.

Here's where we come to another Tina Tip:
NEVER and I mean NEVER wear your sweaty sports bra for 12 hours. Change your clothes. Even if you have to do it in a Starbucks bathroom.

2 days later (during an unrelated uterine biopsy which turned out to be nothing thank GOD!) I mention to my doctor that I have a painful lump in my left breast that wasn't there just a few days ago when she examined me. She sent me straight to the breast specialist to make an appointment. I was SUPPOSED go 2 days later but got super busy with work and just couldn't do another doc appointment that week blah blah blah....

Over the weekend it turned into a RAGING infection. A tangerine sized abscess on the inside. Debilitating pain that was so bad it made me sick a few times. I would wake up at 3 in the morning and just cry and get ready to go to the emergency room but I knew they would only give me meds and couldn't do anything about it until I saw the specialist. I hung in there and they luckily got me in first thing Monday.

This was 3 weeks ago and I've been a complete mess. I could barely walk or bend over or move my left side much less work. I tried to work and did a crappy job and got yelled at which made me feel even worse. Oh and I paid my entire $1500 deductible in 3 visits.

Saturday was the Hearts and Soles 5k with a valentines theme costume contest and I never miss a chance to dress up so I walked it with some friends including my awesome friend Stephanie who is recovering from skin removal surgery. Much more on that topic to come in a future blog post....

I'm FINALLY feeling better and am hoping and praying that tomorrow's visit results in some good news. I HATE not exercising. It makes me feel like my "old self" again. I also have to be VERY careful about what I eat as I'm up a few pounds due to the holidays and then a few more due to inactivity. I just went back to basics during this time - lots of protein, little carbs and tracking everything. Seems to be working and I'm still very much in control but as you can probably tell,  I'm ready to be feeling 100% again! I've got a half marathon at the end of March so I'm going to have to log some miles to feel ready for that.

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Other than the boob, life is good. January 29th was my 2 year surgiversary and I couldn't be more grateful for the chance it gave me at my new life. It's not a magic solution It has most certainly been tough – probably is more of a challenge now than ever – but I'm never going back!



Monday Mix Tape - Holiday Leftovers edition!

Happy December blog readers! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and it's been pretty monumental in my journey. I ran across this blog post from 2011 when looking for a photo and I'm really glad I did because it set the tone for my most grateful Thanksgiving ever. It's short but if you don't want to read it the part that really hit me the most was
Yesterday started with cheering on a friend in the Thanksgiving half marathon and it was really inspiring. There are so many fit people in this town and I've always had this burning desire to be one of them....
Looking back on that I TRULY was inspired because the following year I did the 5k.
Seeing this picture is always strange. I look like I'm trapped in someone elses body and that's how I felt! I was horrified when I got these photos and even more horrified when I had gained weight after. If I had a last straw that was it and shortly after that decided to have the surgery.

The following year was my big transformation year and most of that was spent training for my first half marathon. I was a newbie and I was nervous but I don't think I have ever been more proud of anything. Ever!


This year was again, amazing. A dream come true really.

Instead of being the fattest person at number pickup, I was a Track Club ambassador answering questions and helping people get ready for the race.

I ran the whole race with this amazing group of women who I was honored to help coach for 16 straight weeks. There are hardly words to describe how inspiring it was to take them from 4 miles to 13.1 in 4 months. We ran a lot of miles through every part of the city, had a lot of laughs and as like to say "gave a whole lotta guys a whole lot to look at" during our training. We finished in 2:27, happy and healthy!
It really doesn't get much better than that. I'm so so so so thankful for my new life and for all the people who have inspired me along the way. I hope to keep coaching to give some of that back!


Monday Mix Tape - Catching up!

Helloooooooooo! Is anyone out there? I'm a terrible blogger and the longer I go without writing the harder it is to face it but it's REALLY good for me and I'm going to keep trying!!!

Life is awesome and even though I've been at my goal weight for almost a year, it still doesn't seem real at times. I never thought I'd love clothes so much and don't even get me started on the boots. I'm the proud owner of my 2nd pair of Frye's now thanks to my sweet husband :)

I've been struggling with gaining a few pounds during half marathon training but since it seems like I'm always going to be training for a half marathon, it's just part of the learning process I suppose. My body wants carbs all the time when I'm running this many miles and sometimes I give in a little too much. I quickly shot up to 130 and scared the crap out of myself so I reigned it in an little and have settled back in at about 124 which is fine by me. I promised myself if that ever happened I'd start logging in My Fitness Pal again and that's exactly what I did. I'm scared to death of gaining it all back but maybe that's not a bad thing really.

This is why this surgery is not a magic bullet. The first year and a half or so was pretty easy for me and now it's all me. I still have restriction and can't eat a lot at a time but I can certainly eat often and I can most definitely make bad choices.

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So I did this thing where I purposely ran up Cardiac Hill (hills with names are never good) twice in one month at 6:30 in the morning. It was a free workout put on by the track club and it was REALLY good for me to face that challenge. We ran that mile long hill twice each time at various intensities and it ended up being really fun. It's good to break out of the distance routine sometimes and work on speed or hills. I'm so grateful to this community for helping me learn so much and grow to love running even more!
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All that hill running was getting us ready for the big October race in Atlanta - the 10 miler.

It was a beyond GORGEOUS morning and I was more than ready but I was still nervous about all those hills.
I wish I could take credit for this picture - don't know who took it but it's a good one :)
It ended up being a great race which I finished in a respectable 1:41! and this picture pretty  much sums up how I feel in general.....
Best finish line photo ever. I'm not even touching the ground!!


I got to celebrate that night with my new friend Stephanie who also had VSG and has lost well over 100 pounds. It's been SO wonderful to find a friend who really gets it. We don't see each other often enough but she's just a Facebook message or a text away - she's been a savior and an inspiration!
240 pounds less of us!
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We are 14 weeks in to 16 weeks of half marathon training and being a coach has been the single most rewarding thing I've ever done. This past Saturday was 11 miles in 26 degrees with 25 mph winds on the day after Halloween and I was so proud of my trainees for showing up. I call the group I run with "the bouncy ponytails" or the BP's :) They inspire me all the time. Even when I'm not with them!
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October finished with a bang by me meeting 2 big goals. One was to run a hundred miles for the month
Oy that was not easy.......

and the other was to not eat any Halloween candy before actual Halloween. In the old days I would buy 2 huge bags and eat it all before buying more for trick or treaters. I kept telling myself "Halloween is a day not a month". It worked. I ate way too much on actual Halloween but whatever, I ran 11 miles the next morning :)

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Speaking of Halloween, I finally got to dress up for the first time ever without my weight being a consideration. Our neighbors had a "CarnEvil" theme party so I went as a sort of dead tight rope walker. Really I just wanted to wear a tutu.

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So that's about it! The next big event is Half Marathon on Thanksgiving. After that I will do Sarasota again in March then on to my first INTERNATIONAL half marathon in Edinburgh, Scotland in May. I can't wait for that!!! In the meantime I'll be running and trying not to think about bagels the whole time :) I'm REALLY going to try harder to update more often so stick with me!!!!

Monday Mix Tape

Hi y'all it's FALL here in Atlanta today and I couldn't be happier about that after the single most humid running weekend of my entire life. Overall it hasn't been a bad summer but these 90 degree 90 percent humidity days make me question why anyone would leave the house much less run :)

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Saturday before sunrise I was up for hill work day with my half marathon trainees. I had my first fall off the bike the Wednesday before and was nursing a very sore and scraped up elbow but I went anyway. This was the first time I had ever done something like that on purpose. We ran 6 miles and I made it up that hill 10 times.

It was so humid you could see it beading up on my clothes but we had a great guy leading the run that had some really great advice. Adding to the list of things I never thought I'd hear anyone say ever, he was running with me for a minute and said I had an advantage on the hill because I was a "compact runner". I could have jumped for joy but I had to keep my perfect, compact hill running form :)

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Sunday, again before sunrise, I was up to run my second ever relay race with the same awesome team I had last year. There are things about the team aspect that love and some that I don't. It's so much fun before and after but I put so much pressure on myself and work so hard that I end up running 9 minute miles on the verge of death :) I'm going to continue to justify it as a character building activity and try not to do that too often!





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In other news, I finally decided what to do with all my race bling. There's never going to be enough space to hang up all my bibs so I put the special ones on the wires with the medals and all the other ones on a ring on the end.


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It's getting close to a year since I hit my goal weight but things but there are some things that still stop me in my tracks.


This is the robe that I put on when I go to the salon to get my hair done. This exact robe used to not tie around my giant waist. I could close it at the top but the gap below was so big I had to hold it closed the whole time so no one would notice. Now it could wrap around me twice. How is that even possible?!?



This one, I'm not even really sure what to say about. Never would have dreamed it. Never necessarily wanted it but hell I'll take it! I'm totally that girl that walks into a store and is all like "do you have this in a zero?" LOL.

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I'm inspired and life is awesome. Have a happy, healthy week!!






Monday mixtape - longest mixtape ever edition!

Sorry for being such a bad blogger y'all. As I've said before, I'm just busy living this crazy, wonderful new life of mine. I never sit still unless I'm working and even then I'm itching to be doing something. 

I asked my mom if she thought I was crazy because I get jealous when I see other people running and I've already done my run for the day. It's probably very crazy (Dr. Ritz do you read this?? :) ) but my mom compared it to a new love that you always want to be with so I choose to think of it like that. I hope I'm as in love with running as I am in love with my husband 10 years later!

So much has happened over the last 3 months.....

13.1 v3
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As I last posted, I was getting ready to head to Duluth, MN for my THIRD half marathon. Duluth was the 3rd stop on my challenge to run a half in all 3 of my hometowns. It was also my moms 65th birthday and we decided to make a mini family reunion out of it. 

It was also a chance to see my beautiful Grandma and when I looked up the race and it was called "Grandma's Marathon" nothing was going to stop me! I got to celebrate my moms birthday with her mom on my way to my 3rd half marathon. Doesn't get much better than that!
Mom, Grandma and Stepdad. We know how to have a blast at the nursing home!
We drove "up north" the next day to BEAUTIFUL lake superior to stay at my aunt and uncle's lakehouse which was such a blast and a true blessing as their are no hotels for 30 miles - it's that big of a race!

What I was not expecting was the temperature - 41 degrees - in JUNE. They said it was going to be chilly so us silly southerners brought hoodies. This was down jacket weather!!!
 
The next morning at 5:15 my amazing husband and sister drove me to the bus to the start. It was this cold
That says "risk of hypothermia" in JUNE!!!!!
The course was amazing so the cold and wet was worth it. The fog never let up but it was gorgeous and I was FAST.

My signs at the halfway mark. I have the best friends and family in the world!



And I finished in a RECORD time of 2:11:47. Absolutely freezing and shaking like a leaf but found my husband and sister who had a table at a restaurant where I enjoyed, coffee, beer, tequila, pancakes and eggs. 


And then I did this.....

I wish you could see that is says "no running" on the window.
 And braved Lake Superior for like 3 seconds.


Then we went to Wisconsin to see my other family where I did this....
Fried cheese curds - when in Wisconsin.......
and this!

I had the time of my life! Traveling for races is tough. I'm so worried about having all my gear and the right clothes and not knowing the course and blah blah blah but I love it so much I intend to keep doing it!


Daisy
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I'm not going to dwell on this subject for very long but it's important for people to know it's not all unicorns and rainbows in my world. Right before we left for our trip we found a matted, hungry, stinky stray dog while out on our bikes. We took her to the shelter but found someone to adopt her once all her medical stuff had been done. The day I returned from Minnesota, the new owner called to tell me the dog was sick and she couldn't take care of her anymore. There was nothing I could do but go get her and rush her to the vet. She had bronchitis, then she got an infection in her spine from the heartworm treatment she had at the shelter. She lived with us for about a month as I tried to nurse her back to health. I had to keep her separate from our dogs and ALL I did for a month was take care of her. It affected my work, it affected my marriage but we couldn't take her back to the shelter. We just couldn't.

We went to the vet constantly and spent way too much money but finally found her a new home with a wonderful lady. The day after we met her knew owner, the spine infection got worse and 2 days later she had to be put to sleep. I'm a firm believer in "everything happens for a reason" but I still have no idea why I was meant to go through this for such a long time. SO full of hope one day then more bad news the next. I may never know but I do know that this was one of those times I could have really turned to food. Believe me I tried -  a chocolate chip cookie and it just "didn't work." The old me wanted a dozen cookies but now I can't (thankfully) because of the surgery. It will make me feel awful if I stuff my face with crap. It's only happened a few times but it feels like the flu and I have to go straight to bed. I had to face my sadness full on without numbing my brain with food. It was a vital step on this journey for me and I'm feeling a lot better after some good old fashioned grieving!
Miss Daisy/Daisy Duke.
Peachtree Road Race v3
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As I mentioned in previous posts, I'd been coaching a group training for this years Peachtree and was completely inspired by my trainees. I thought I was there to inspire them but in the end it was them that inspired me!

This was the back of my car on training days - closest my car will ever look to a mom car :)
 Just a few days before the race I got a call from Fox 5 wanting to do a follow up story on progress. Of course I NEVER pass up the opportunity to be on TV :)




The day before the race I volunteered at the Atlanta Track club booth at the expo. I expected to just smile and look cute but it was WORK! We signed up tons of folks and I had a blast. 

Me in front of a picture of me at the booth!

 So, with all the excitement leading up to the race I barely had time to be nervous. I had just announced to the world that I wanted to run it in under an hour. It was a PERFECT morning 64 degrees one of the lowest temperatures on record! 

moving on up!

With my usual partners in crime!
The great weather and all my coaching and training made for a personal best!


This was just about as fast as I'm ever going to be able to run - basically as fast as I could run without throwing up! :)

The tradition lives on!




The journey continues.....
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I loved my coaching job so much that I'm back at it and helping out with a HUGE group of over 100 people training for the Thanksgiving day half. A few of our Peachtree trainees came back for more < insert evil laugh here > and I'm so proud of them for making such a big commitment. It's going to get hard as it's darker and colder and we're into the 11 and 12 mile Saturdays but I'm determined to help them enjoy every minute of it as I did last year!


I had to take this picture because it's a perfect example of my life right now. Remodeling is coming along - may be forever but nothing worth having is ever quick is it?
If you can't tell what this is, it's a sports bra flung over some patching compound and paint supplies

The addition is done but the deck will sit half done for a while - siding is next!
I had my first fall after trying to kick a stick out of the way and I learned that I can indeed run six miles while bleeding on my lululemons!

ouch!

All better!
 And finally, the elusive Betsey Johnson dress. I've always wanted to be able to wear one of her dresses and yesterday I bought one in a size 2. On sale at Nordstrom Rack even!

If you're still reading this you're a champ and I thank you!! Take care peeps. Back for more updates soon!

Monday Mix Tape

Happy June everyone! Hard to believe another month has gone by already! It was a month full of milestones!

I just had my 16 month follow up with my surgeon and he's obviously very proud. He said "you weigh 121 pounds. I have nothing to add!" :) SO happy to finally have a photo with him!

 

2 days later I stepped on the scale and weighed 120. 130 pounds lost.  5lbs. PAST my goal!! For anyone that's worried that I'm not going to stop, I am. It would be fun to see the teens even for a minute but I'm perfectly happy where I am. At this weight, even a pound or 2 makes a difference in my running speed which is fun to play with.

I'm running so much right now getting ready for my next half marathon (less than 3 weeks!) it's not hard to lose a few pounds just from that. I'm eating more avocado (which are so good this year) and more peanut butter to keep my calories up on those 1,000 calorie burning long runs.

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Speaking of running, and milestones, I earned this badge on the nike for the first time EVER. 112 miles in a month.

  

I can't promise I will always be running that much, especially in the heat of the summer, but I sure felt great about it. Awesome weather was a huge help

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I'm still coaching my Peachtree Road Race trainees and they are doing an awesome job. We went 5 miles on a humid Saturday morning and none of them complained. As a reward, I led the stretching with some bananas balanced on my head. I've got to try to keep it fun :)


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Speaking of fun, now that I'm done losing weight I decided it was time for 2 firsts - my first trip to a boutique and my first pair of designer jeans.

I was afraid of the price and the weird sizing by waist but the girl who helped me was SO nice and brought me about 10 pairs to try. They just don't look like they will ever fit and then they do. I will probably always find that weird when the zip just zips with no struggle at all.
I ended up with "7 for all mankind" brand but it was a showdown with the AG brand. They are so comfortable and worth every penny because they fit like a dream and I don't have to keep pulling them up :)

 I think the 26 waist sizing converts to a 2?!?!

 Luckily I had a dinner date with BFF (90 pound co-worker if you read my blog in the early days!) and I got to wear my fancy pants and the shirt I bought too! She's 6 months pregnant and I couldn't resist the headphone bib as one of her many gifts :)

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Sunday morning I decided I wanted to ride my bike instead of going to yoga so I got back on it for the first time in 130 pounds.
Before

After!
Absolutely amazing experience. I had SO much fun and we rode 5 miles spontaneously. That to me is the best part of my my new life.

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And because I know you want to know, the renovation is coming along. I had to test the strength of my new kitchen door header!



Have a happy, healthy week everyone!!!

Monday Mix Tape - Catching up!

I know, I know it's been FOREVER but honestly I'm just enjoying living my life so much there's not much time left to write about it.

I was worried about what would happen when I got to this point - I thought I might start gaining weight back, or feeling sad that people are used me now and the constant compliments are dwindling. None of that is the case. I saw 123 on the scale the other day which is the lowest ever and I'm thrilled I don't have to field so many questions about my weight loss anymore - I just get compliments on my outfits :) Smalls are officially a bit big so I'm wearing xs and xxs in some cases. I'm about to go replace last summers size 2 skinny jeans with a 0. Never in a million years did I expect I was this small underneath an entire me worth of fat.

One of THE BEST things I have done is becoming a coach for Atlanta Track Club. Every Saturday morning I work with a group training for the Peachtree Road Race (worlds largest 10k here on 4th of July!). I was a trainee in this group at 250 pounds and I seriously thought I would die on my first day. Now I'm coaching this group of amazing people who are working SO hard. I can't even wrap my head around that most of the time.

I have my days but for the most part, maintenance has been easy. I would probably not be saying that if I wasn't running 30 miles a week because I can pretty much eat whatever I want now and if it wasn't for all that activity, I would certainly be putting weight back on. I can totally see how this can fall apart for people at this stage but I think I've managed to find a really good balance which is all I ever wanted....ever!

I'm going to leave you with some photos since I just think that's way more interesting than me blah blah blahing about it. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I freaking LOVE my new life!

Facebook ad photo for the hospital that did my surgery. I love all my race bling :)

This is what I call my "urban marathon" - running home from the pub with a cupcake and a latte.

House construction is progressing....
which has left us with 1/4 of a new deck....
which is great for neighbors....
yoga....
and cocktails!
But all that fun must be earned with racing...
and sweating... (this was my #bostonstrong selfie)
 
and eating healthy 90% of the time...
and always training for my next half marathon!
Being a coach means (hopefully) giving back some of the joy that running and weight loss has given me. Shout out to the East Lake In Training for Peachtree Coaches!
All that yoga has come in handy as I'm the leader of the stretching!! :)







13.1 v2

Hi y'all! In case you are wondering where I've been, I was here
My BEAUTIFUL 2nd home town of Sarasota, Florida. I got up early enough on Saturday to have the beach to myself before spring break exploded! The ONLY bad thing about traveling for a race is my no alcohol the day before the race policy. I happily drank water and even did some yoga and a plank on the beach.
plank selfie!

nervous about "runners knee" but it ended up being fine!
The next day I got up at 5am for the 7am race. Luckily my hotel was 3/4 a mile from the start and I didn't have to sit in the already huge line of traffic. I just ran there!

The scenery and the fresh sea air make one wonder why anyone would want to run anywhere but here...
This was a tough race. It was hot and it was flat except for the bridge and by mile 8 I had a cramp in my calf that just wouldn't quit. I just slowed down and enjoyed the scenery - actually stopping to stretch my calf at water stops instead of running through and spilling water all over myself! 
Representin' the Atlanta Track Club



I knew I had friends at mile 12 cheering me on so that kept me going! 
meeting my pal otis with one mile to go!
And then it was done! 2 hours 26 minutes later and my 2nd half marathon was in the books!
my sister met me with flowers!

 
The best thing about Florida races - beer tent!

So I had about 7 beers (no joke) and walked back to my hotel (luckily!) The race was still going on so traffic was backed up for miles. I just walked by all the stopped cars with my giant bouquet of flowers and a muffin and pretended it was my own personal parade :)

I had a wonderful time and am already registered for next year - I can't resist the half price sales they have the day after a race!

I was really sore for days and haven't run in a week but I'm back to yoga this afternoon and will just to an "easy 10k" tomorrow to ease back in. My next race half marathon is in June in Duluth Minnesota - stay tuned for more on that!!

Traveling for half marathons is awesome. I ate and drank whatever I wanted and came back a pound lighter. I think I'm going to try to knock off another 5 pounds before the next race but we'll see. I'm enjoying this wonderful balance I've found. Not "dieting" is weird but boy do I love it!

Have a happy healthy, weekend everyone!


One Year Later (and then some!)

I know it's been way too long since I've posted and I want to say thank you to all who reached out to me to make sure I was okay. I'm fine. In fact better than fine. I think the reason it took me so long to write this post is the simple fact that I wanted to live with being at my goal for a little while before I wrote about it -- I really had no idea what to expect!

 I did survive this
and this 2 weeks later

 We didn't have it nearly as bad as the rest of the country but it was obviously pretty serious here. I sure picked a crappy first winter as a runner!

I was scared to death when I got to my goal weight but I'm finding a great balance of working out and adding back in some of my favorite foods in absolute moderation. Pizza is to be treated with respect and only had about once a month. I can only eat 2 tiny pieces now but it's the satisfaction that never ceases to surprise me about this surgery. I'm not sure I ever knew what it was like to feel full and satisfied instead of stuffed and sick and still wanting more. I'm not sure if this is what happens to everyone who has this surgery but it's the thing I'm most thankful for - that the obsession is going away and what I eat leaves me happy and not wanting more and more. Don't get me wrong though - after Christmas it was hard to back away from the cookies because I can still get hooked on the sugar just like the old days!

I'm still running and doing yoga and training with my trainer and all that good stuff. I work out about 6 days a week and have to sometimes force myself to take a day off! 

I've had a few great races so far this year and many more to come. 
This is me finishing the Tartan Trot - my very first under and hour 10k. 59:55! I almost barfed at the top of "Pipers Peak" so don't let this glamor shot fool you.
New Years Day resolution run with my friends and running heroes!



In less than 2 weeks I'll be traveling to Sarasota Florida for my 2nd half marathon. I just did a 12 mile training run on Saturday and I swear it was almost easy. I hate even putting that in writing because I don't want to jinx it! The plan is to do a half in all 3 of my home states so the final leg of the "Tait Tri-State Challenge" will be in Duluth, MN in June along the shores of lake superior. Both of these races will I'm sure smell a lot less like pee than my first half through the streets of the ATL :)

So I've been bouncing around 124, 125, 126. I'm a XS and a 2. Once I get my excess stomach skin removed one day I will be one of those b*tches who's wears a zero!? We will talk about the skin in it's own post as I think it's a concern for a lot of people (and frankly, way worse than I thought it would be) but I think I've lost as much weight as I'm going to. I've stopped trying anyway and will continue to eat healthy 95% of the time. 

I feel like this is how it was always supposed to be - I've always had this burning desire to be an athlete and that's exactly what I've become. I'm so proud of myself for making this happen and never realized just how profoundly that could affect my whole life.

Plenty more to come as I've been missing my blog and writing so much during the crazy busy times but I'm going to leave you with my 1 year photos. As much as I respected that girl in the first few photos, I don't miss her at all!





Monday Mix Tape

Hi! It's been a while since I've done a Monday post!

My weekends have turned into just another part of the work week lately - I still try to make time for the weekend-y things I like to do which leaves very little time for the weekend-y things I HAVE to do. Plus the weather has been so wacky it's really hard to plan much in advance!
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Saturday I did a freezing cold (22 degrees) 6 miler with a good friend followed by a yummy, warm breakfast. I'm starting to enjoy making plans with friends to run. I'm not a talker and I listen to music when I run but it's still nice to have someone to meet and hold you accountable - especially in the dead of the coldest winter we've had since the 70s. *disclaimer for my northern friends - the cold - it's all relative and I know that y'all have it way worse and I think of you every time I'm out there shivering. Chicago is my favorite city in America and there's a reason I don't live there :)
Cold run on the Atlanta Beltline! Shoutout to Darin :)

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Sunday I emptied out my closet for what I'm hoping will be the last time. Both my sisters are making out BIG on this round. I'm officially a 2 or a 4 depending on the brand and an XS on top. I'm not planning on getting much smaller than that and it's nice to buy things now I know I will have for a while. I did find this gem while I was at it....
I wish I had put some makeup on but this is REALITY people!
This shirt is from the 3rd grade - an homage to our championship men's and women's high school basketball team in Little Falls, MN. I remember getting it like it was yesterday - the iron on letters were a new thing back then! Luckily my mom held onto it all these years and gave it to me a few years ago - I'm sure never intending for me to fit into it!

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This morning was absolutely gorgeous out so I took advantage and did my standard neighborhood 10k route. I'm going that distance every other day right now and it's just amazing to me that running for a solid hour is "normal" now. I chose the worst winter to become a runner but it might have just toughened me up a little (*see disclaimer). Stuff that already hurts just hurts more in the cold and the constant nose running and spitting is not the part of the lululemon clad, bouncy ponytail, runner chick image I like to maintain :)

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So today in the high 50s and tomorrow is snow and teens. I'm extra thankful for hot yoga on my non-running days. I'm getting pretty darn good at it but yet there's so much room for improvement. I think that's what I love about it. I can really tell a difference in how sore I get from running if I haven't been to yoga at least twice a week!

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My dog Sophie who's 12, had to have a really large tumor removed from her chest. She's recovering very well but it's been an every other day visit to the vet for bandage changes. I'll be happy when this is done but she's going to be okay so it's all worth it. It's not a cancer that spreads but it may have to be removed again down the line. I could totally feel the blood drain from my face when the surgeon told me the price so let's hope we're done done with this!
They always take the time to make her bandage pretty! And yes, she's wearing a boys Hanes tshirt to keep it clean ;)

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FINALLY, this Wednesday is ONE YEAR since my surgery. Amazing how much can happen in 12 short months. I'm putting together an extra special blog post with pictures and updated measurements etc. I'm hoping to have it up on Wednesday but for sure by the end of the week!

Have a happy, healthy week everyone!