Friday, November 28, 2014


There has been quite a bit of whining on my end lately about my journey.  I apologize for that.  I try to be honest because sometimes this journey is just plain and simply HARD.  Not every one can just turn the switch and make it happen.  Some of us have turned the switch and there is a short circuit because nothing happens.  My doctor told me last week that if he lined up 10 people that are doing what I'm doing 6 of them would have fantastic results, 2 would be lying about what they are doing and 2 would be randomly wired to not have things work easily.  Lucky me, I seem to be one of the last four.  I hope I'm the randomly wired and not the lying to myself one but either way, not getting results is not fun.

However, I have been working on changing my attitude....again.  :-)  Our character trait of the month at my school is Positive Attitude.  I have always tried to live that example to my students even when having a hard day or not feeling good.  One of my awesome teacher pals has a motto that I love.  "Fake it till you make it!"  Slap a smile on your face and get to work.  So I have been taking steps to improve my attitude and continue to work on my self-image and self-esteem.  Not an easy task since I have not had a good self-image or high self-esteem, well, as long as I can remember (even when I was thin, then I was nerdy. lol)

So here are things that I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for my husband.  Wow!  I could be on this roller coaster without him helping me and that would really not be fun.  I'm so thankful that he is willing to ride with me and support me.

I'm thankful for my kids.  They are just great people and fun to be with.  I may not have done everything right as their mom but I did a lot of things good because they are awesome.  Last night my 22 year old son picked up his almost 20 year old sister and then they both came and picked up the 14 year old.  They had an overnighter at the oldest's apartment with a planned trip to Dutch Bros and a Star Wars Marathon.  Sounds pretty great and how fun that they like hanging out together.  I am a blessed mom!

I am thankful for all my parents, sibling and nieces and nephews.  And I have a LOT!  Because my husband's family is mine too (another blessing!) and all the wonderful people that we have adopted into our family over the years.  Laughing is the name of the game when we get together.

I am thankful for old friends that have known me forever and still love me today.  Some I have known since middle school and keep in touch through Facebook.  Others I found in high school or at church.  God put Sheryl into my life to be the sister of my heart when I was 17 and far away from home.  She still blesses me today! To have people care about you for over 20 years and they don't have to, they aren't family, is pretty cool.

I am thankful for changes in my life that resulted in amazing friends.  When we moved to Albany it was hard.  We left a large circle of people that Joe had grown up with to live in a town where we knew nobody.  My son became friends with this boy from school and low and behold we discovered our wonderful friends Faylene and Dwayne.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I treasure the friendship of these two fabulous people and how much I love their boys.

I am thankful for new friends.  In the last couple of years we have made some new people that quickly became solid friends.  The kind that you feel like you have known forever and that you are absolutely going to keep.  The encouragement I receive from Josh and Wendie Gum is amazing.  I have been at my lowest low, been a crying, weepy mess that is pretty sure I will fail.  They both love on me, encourage me, tell me to get up and get moving.  All in a way that is full of love.  I'm blessed to have them as a big part of my life.  And through the Gums we have met many, many other wonderful friends that I plan to keep for a very long time!

I'm thankful for my drive to work.  What?  Yep.  The last few weeks God has given me the most amazing sunrises.  They always seem to happen on a day that I am struggling or stressing.  It is the most amazing way to start of the day.  I have felt several times that God has shown me these sunrises to encourage me and start my day off with a blessing and a smile.  Thank you God!  :-)  Every single one of these pictures is from a different morning in the last two weeks.

They are all taken from almost the same spot and yet all are different.  So Beautiful!!

I'm thankful for all the random people in the last few weeks that have told me that I have encouraged them in some way.  Some have been at work, some have been former students, some have been people I hardly know.  Sometimes we feel like we are all alone in our struggles, it really is encouraging to know that other people share the same struggles but are still moving forward.  Glad I can help people feel encouraged.  I know there are MANY people in my life that do that for me.

I have a lot to be thankful for and that is what I'm focusing on.  I've got it pretty good and if my pant size isn't exactly where I want it, it won't be the end of the world.  I will continue to work on being the healthiest, best me possible and try to enjoy the ride as I go.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014



I feel like I have been struggling for a really long time.

Running in place and getting nowhere fast.

I thought I'd be a lot farther towards my weight loss goal by now.

I thought I'd be faster by now.

I thought I wouldn't cringe every time I see a picture of myself anymore.

I thought we would have figured out why I am tired....all....the....time.

Sometimes having friends that make goals and then proceed to kick those goals to the curb can be very discouraging.  Not that I'm not totally thrilled with how awesome they are.  It's just that it is hard to always be left behind.

I worry that they might think that I'm not really working at my goals like I say I am.  To lose weight it is a simple case of take less in and move more.  Joe tells me that all the time.  Other people tell me that all the time.  Obviously I must be doing something wrong or not being honest about what I am taking in or how much I am moving, right?  Except I'm not.  Honest.

Four years of running.  

Three years of being tired all the time.

Two years of working very focused on losing weight and running.

Two years of going to the doctor with many, many, many different tests to try and figure out what is going on with me.

I have lost 40 pounds.  That's good.  I know that.  It's WAY better than gaining 40 pounds. (If that had happened I would have been pushing 300 pounds).  That doesn't mean I'm not frustrated.  Forty pounds over four years means ten pounds a year.  At this rate I will make my goal weight in about another five years.  Ugh.

Staying positive is hard.  Staying motivated is hard.  I took a break from running this fall and I know that it was the right decision because I am WAY less stressed about getting my runs in and doing my homework.   I have been able to get my weight to slowly creep back down again but again have hit the wall and am stuck.  I feel all bloated and fat.  Then I saw the pictures from the Silver Falls 7 Miler.  Ugh.

I had such a good day.  I really had fun on the run.  I had a total blast after the run hanging out with my friends and tailgating in the parking lot.  That should be the end of it.  Great day!  Period.

Why do I let pictures have such a negative impact on me?  I look at the pictures that runwild posted and I see a fat girl.  My husband looks at the same pictures and his comment was "Look at those muscles on your legs!"  and "Love the smile!"  I see someone who looks EXACTLY the same as the year before.  Where's the progress?  Where is the change?  Where is the visible reflection of all my hard work?

I do not see it!

I feel like a failure.

I worry that my friends will give up on me, if they haven't already.  I worry that my husband is disappointed in me and just not saying anything so that I won't be more discouraged.  

I have tried very hard, through the process of writing this blog, to be very honest in my writing.  Not everything in this journey is easy or quick.  I cannot be a positive ray of sunshine all the time.  I get frustrated and discouraged.  I want to give up.  I want to say screw it and go eat a giant bag of Ruffles.  And occasionally I do make poor choices and eat the giant bag of Ruffles.

But here's the thing.

The really important thing.

The thing that keeps me going, moving forward, trying again.

I'm worth it.  

I am worth the effort.  

I matter.  

Eventually I will win.  And yes, it sounds like I'm in a battle.  I am.  With my own body.  But between me, my doctor and the encouragement of my friends and family I will keep moving forward.  I will take the steps that are right for me and not compare my journey to the journey others have been on.

So even if it takes five years to get to my goal weight then that's what I will work towards.  It just means I will look fabulous at 50.

This was another week of encouraging memes and pictures on Facebook and Pinterest that really hit home.  So in order to end this blog on a positive note these are the ones that spoke to me this week or made me smile.

Found on Pinterest via
Found via Pinterest

Found on Pinterest via
I want to hang out on this corner all the time!  Who wants to join me?
via Pinterest and
And my personal favorite!
Thanks for letting me vent.  :-)  If you can relate than know that I'm rooting for you!  Just keep moving forward.  It's still a better direction than the alternative!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Silver Falls Trail Runs 2014

Last summer I signed up for the Silver Falls 7 Miler.  This is the first time they have had this length of a trail run during the event.  I have done the Half Marathon twice before and thought it would be nice to do the shorter route this year. I signed up back on August 1st before I had done my big reassessment of my goals and priorities.  So what's a girl to do when they signed up for a 7 mile trail run and they haven't been running?

Run it anyway.

I didn't plan to run at all.  I actually just planned on hiking it and enjoying the day.  No biggie because I absolutely love Silver Falls State Park and figured there are definitely worse ways to spend a fall morning.  If you want a gorgeous hike any time of the year this is the park to go to!

We had three friends who were participating in the 50k that was going on as well.  They started their journey at 7:30 in the morning.  I waited for Joe to get home from work and we loaded up the car and we headed out.  Our race started at 9:00 and we made it to the park by 8:30 so we had time to get ready and get started. puts on a fantastic race and we enjoy every single one of their trail runs that we participate in.  The Silver Falls weekend has morphed over the years.  Originally it was just a half marathon and the numbers were limited.  The numbers are still limited but now they have a 7 miler, a 50k, a Marathon and a Half Marathon over the first Saturday and Sunday of November.  If you think you want to get into one of these races next year I suggest you put a reminder on your phone, it fills up fast!

We found Wendie right away and she let us know that Josh, Kristi and Tony had gotten off to a good start.  She would be meeting up with them at various aid stations on the route to make sure they had anything they needed and were doing alright.  She got this picture of me and my fabulous hubby.

Always encouraging and supportive in whatever I'm doing!  
The race began and Joe took off.  I decided to run for a bit just to get warmed up.  I actually felt pretty good.  As I was going I begin to think maybe I could change what I planned to do for this hike.  Now I decided I would run (slowly) as much as I could and then walk on the up hills.  If I got to a point where this was too much I would go back to the original plan of hiking the route.

I had to walk up a little bit when the trail went up to the Rim Trail but then it flattened out, somewhat, so I began to run again.  Because I have a track record of tripping and falling on the trails I took it easy in areas with lots of rocks or roots showing.  We followed the Rim Trail down to the North Falls where I had to stop and get some pictures. 
North Falls
Typically by this time of year most of the leaves have fallen off the trees but there were still a lot on the trees and all the yellow was so beautiful to run through.
Oregon beauty!
I was not running fast but I was still running and I felt good.  It was fun to be out and have no specific goal other than to finish.  I think my journey the last few months has been remembering that having a goal to finish is an excellent goal.  I don't always have to be fast or beat my time from a previous year.  I can have a goal that says "Yay!  I got my butt off the couch today!  Winner!"

I knew that the trail was not too steep until I got to the Lower South Falls.  Then there would be stairs.  I think stairs are worse than hills!  So I figured as long as I felt good I would keep running until I got to those stairs.  

Lower South Falls
I used the stairs as an opportunity to refuel and use my inhaler.  Then I just plugged away at them.  I didn't count them but according the the trail map brochure for Silver Falls there are 185 steps.  Ugh.  I so need to add stairs and hills to my training!

The trail evens out again for a bit until you get to the bottom of the South Falls.  So I ran until I got there.  There was lots of water coming over the falls and a lot of spray.  I was hot from running so the spray felt good.  I know my pictures look like typical South Falls pictures, but it is so beautiful you can't help but take them.
South Falls view from the bottom.

South Falls from the trail behind the falls.  Gorgeous fall colors!

South Falls from near the top.  Love the fog and mist and the top.
I knew when I got to the top that I only had one more hill between me and the finish.  I headed back towards the area where the finish line is but then I had to take a right and head up that last, awful hill. I'm not the only one who thinks it is not fun.  Everyone who has done these races talks about that last crappy hill.  You just say "Really? You've got to be kidding me!"  Even when you know it's coming.  Here is the name that has developed over the years for this hill:
That pretty much sums it up.
The problem is that it is super steep up and super steep down the other side so it is hard to go fast either way.  Last year was super muddy so it was slick too.  This year wasn't as slick but still hard to trudge up after all the running without training I had done.  But since I knew I was close to the finish I made it up and then gingerly made my way down the other side.  The fear of falling down, since I tend to do that, kept me from going faster on the downhill side.

A year ago a couple of guys from the Vertebrate team doing the marathon had passed me starting up the hill and encouraged me.  Then one of the guys met me coming down the other side as he was going back up to finish with another teammate.  He smiled at me and said good job.  I smiled back and said thanks.  Now that guy is my friend!  What a difference a year makes.  I sent him a selfie (he LOVES selfies....not) and told him that if he had been there this year I would have given him a big sweaty hug.  :-)  

I finished with my daughter waiting for me at the corner where you turn into go to the finish.  Seeing her smiling face cheering me on kept me running to the finish.  At the finish was my hubby and friends.  No matter how fast or slow I go there are always people at the finish telling me I did awesome.  I am doing a much better job of understanding that I accomplish much by getting out there and doing something, no matter what my speed is.  

I changed my clothes and it felt so good to be warm and dry.  We hung out at the truck for awhile with some guys who work in my school district and had a lot of fun laughing and talking.  One had done the 7 miler as well and the other had come along to cheer him on.  

Later we grabbed our chairs and headed over to the finish line to wait for our awesome 50k peeps.  We had a great time talking with people, cheering people over the finish line and just hanging out.  The marathon and the 50k people were both finishing and it was fun to watch them get loved on by their friends and families at the finish. 

Then we could see our friends.  They were all together and looked great.
Josh, Kristi and Tony come into the final stretch.
Joe, Meighan and Wendie decided they should have to finish under their arm arch while I took pictures.
Here they come! 
Great way to finish! 
Kristy finishing her longest race ever!!  Nice work lady1
Great picture of Friend Josh's awesome smile!  Great way to end the race.
They all looked really great at the finish!  They were all running and still smiling!  Quite the accomplishment.  (Side note:  Josh went back today and ran the Silver Falls Half Marathon!  Beast Mode Activated!)
No complaints about the picture Kristy!  I think you and Tony look fabulous!!
First priority after running a 50k?  Getting a beer.  Second priority?  Getting clean and warm!
Priority #1 taken care of.  Still haven't gotten to Priority #2
Joe and I had brought along our grill from home in the back of the truck.  The plan was to stay at the park and have a little post race celebration.  We had hamburgers and brats, salad, fresh fruit, chips, beer and cider.  What I didn't know was that my friends had decided to make it into a small birthday celebration for me as well.  My birthday is on Monday and they had decided to help me celebrate early.  I got an awesome tote to carry teacher-y things to and from school and some awesome Pote "Made With Love" slippers in my favorite color of purple.  There was also confetti cupcakes and candles.  It was awesome and I felt very loved.  That was just about the most perfect way to celebrate my birthday.  Hanging out, laughing and enjoying my friends after having a great time on the trail.  I love these people!!
Some of my favoritest people in the world!  Love you guys!
Enjoying my Birthday slippers!
When we finally packed up and headed home we had the perfect finish to the day.  The sky was amazing and the sunset was stunning.

Good run, good friends, good day.  I'm still looking foward to making new goals when I'm done with grad school but I sure am enjoying what I'm doing right now.  Life is good.  :-)