Archives for December 2011

GNC Live Well Now

 

Good morning! Today I want to tell you a little bit about some products GNC was gracious enough to let me try out. I love GNC, so I was excited when I saw a box on my porch containing some goodies to try out.

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I thought I would do a fun vlog of my experience instead of just typing it all out, so here is my review:

So, to recap, GNC sent me some products to review:

One More Rep pre workout powder: good flavor, gave me energy, would try again.

Slimquick Fat Burner: Thought I was going to die from taking these pills since I didn’t read the warning label. No side effects, but weight loss pills just aren’t my thing.

Lean Shake in Swiss Chocolate: YUM! Very good flavor and consistency, would definitely use again to throw in the rotation with my other smoothies and protein drinks. Full of vitamins, comes in 3 flavors.

aaannddd just like last time, I have a blooper video. Bella just kept trying to steal the show from the second I started recording!

*FitFluential LLC compensated me for this sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

QOTD: Do you like GNC? Do you use shakes of any kind in your diet?

Boot Reflections: 3 weeks

 

It’s here, it’s here! The day I have been waiting for! No, not Christmas, it’s the day I HOPEFULLY get my boot off! It has been three weeks, and I will be honest, they have FLOWN by. Has the boot been an inconvenience? Yes. Do I miss running? Heck yes! But in a way I think it’s been good to take a break regroup, and force me to get back to cross training and weight lifting (two things I have been ignoring.)

The first 1.5 weeks were hard, because I didn’t have a gym membership. But then the YMCA finally opened, and I have been there every day they have been open except for one, due to an out of town wedding. I even managed to hobble around with the boot for the wedding (although for the actual ceremony I did wear ballet flats)

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Rehearsal Dinner

The halfway mark seems like yesterday, and the day I thought would never come has arrived. When I first was put in the boot, I shared with you some of my honest fears of losing fitness and gaining weight. I am happy to report I have maintained my weight over the past three weeks, even with lifting weights 4-5 x’s a week, which makes you gain a little weight.

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I have maintained a healthy relationship with food, and have been able to indulge in plenty of holiday treats during this time. Will it take awhile to get back to the running shape I was in? Probably, but I am just so ready to be out there again that I am ok with that.

So now I want to share with you my new fear…..I am afraid that if/when I am cleared to run…the pain is going to come back. My foot stopped hurting about a week into being in the boot, and so the only way I am going to be able to tell if it’s better is going to be to run on it at least 3 miles or so. I am not sure what the doctor is going to say as far as easing back into running, or heck this is even assuming I get out of the boot today! But I am definitely afraid the pain is going to come back, be chronic, etc. So I am praying that all goes well this morning and that I can re-join the ranks of the running!

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QOTD: Coming back from an injury have you ever been afraid it would come back to haunt you again?

*If you are a blogger running the Disney Princess half and are interested in a meet up, please vote on the poll on my right sidebar for a date and time!

December Weekend Happenings

 

Good morning! I can’t believe Christmas will be here in six days. Wasn’t it just Halloween? Time is flying! Some of you have asked what I have been up to lately since I have been MIA a couple of weekends. Wedding fun has been the theme of December. Here are a few pictures I finally uploaded of my sweet friend Lindy’s wedding to show you what I’ve been up to!

Rehearsal Dinner

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Wedding Day!

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Beautiful bride!

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Two of TWELVE Bridesmaids!

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So the groom is in dental school. How funny is his cake?

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Reception fun

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Cake cutting

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great husband who came with me

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Sparklers for the exit to the limo

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The beautiful Lodge we stayed in for the weekend

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Good times!

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Tomorrow I go back to the doctor to see if I can get out of the boot. I am so nervous as to what the doctor is going to say. Until then, it’s back to the YMCA for more weight lifting and bike riding. Hopefully a run is in my near future!

Catching up from the weekend? Here’s what you missed:

Virtual Christmas Tour

RWS Features #4

Christmas Survey

 

QOTD: What is the best wedding food you have ever eaten? This wedding had grilled cheese sandwiches, no lie!

Virtual Christmas Tour

 

Ho Ho Ho! Christmas is ONE WEEK from Today! Blows my mind. I just want to grab hold or it and enjoy every second before it’s gone.

A few weeks ago I shared my Christmas Tree and outside lights pictures.

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and then I asked you to share your pictures with me so it would be light a virtual tour of everyone’s lights or trees! So let’s take a look.

First up we have Jenn and Danielle

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Next we head over to Whitney’s house.

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Victoria did something interesting with lights…

“ I wrapped 10 feet of LEDs on me for a 6 mile bridge run the other day with my group.” Too funny! very festive. Smile

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Nicole’s tree is up next

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Then we head over to Sara ‘s

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Megan Did a great job with her lights!

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We wrap up the tour with Karen and her cute lights.

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Thanks to all who participated! Now be sure to go check out the blogs of these lovely ladies and tell them you like their decorations. Have a relaxing Sunday, Back to normal blogging tomorrow!

QOTD: Do you drive around and look at Christmas lights? Did you growing up?

RWS Features #4

 

Good morning! I am actually away this weekend at another wedding. People just getting hitched left and right! I hope you all have a fabulous last weekend before Christmas. Soak up the season and enjoy this time!

Everyone say hello to Brigid! She blogs at Live, Breathe, Huzzah! 

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How/Why did you start blogging?

1.  I began blogging shortly before my 29th birthday. Like many people approaching a milestone birthday (Hello 30!), I started reflecting on my life, my fitness, and what health and happiness mean to me. I started Live, Breathe, Huzzah as a way to keep track of my progress and voice my thoughts about fitness and healthy living.

Sum up your blog in a couple sentences

2. Live, Breathe, Huzzah is about striving to live an active, healthy life full of fun! I aim to focus on the positives, eat more veggies, run more miles, try new things, and not sweat the small stuff. I talk a lot about running because running keeps me happy and healthy.

What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging?

3. My biggest dream is that people will read my blog and find inspiration. Inspiration to run a 5K, go for a swim, try a new food, or even cut themselves some slack. I’m not perfect. I’m not particularly fast. I have a serious sweet tooth. But I’m challenging myself and aiming high. If I can do it, you can too.

What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

4. My biggest healthy living accomplishment is finally realizing that I am a runner. I’ve always held back from describing myself as a runner because I’m not that fast. I don’t look like a runner. One day I wrote down all the races I’ve completed, and it hit me: I AM a runner. Once I made that mental leap, I’ve become more confident in my running. I even recently made the big decision to train for my first full marathon in September 2012.

Thanks so much for sharing! Everyone be sure to stop by her blog and say hello and show some encouragement and support.

QOTD: What is YOUR biggest healthy living accomplishment?

Mine would be running my first marathon, almost a year ago!

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Christmas Survey

 

Good morning! I have another busy weekend ahead, more wedding fun is just around the corner. I am heading to the gym to get in a workout before the madness begins. But first, I saw this fun Christmas survey on Julie’s blog and since I am pretty obsessed with Christmas, I wanted to join in on the fun!

Christmas Survey Time! If you want to join in the fun answer one, some, or all the questions in the comments section!

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Christmas 2010

Eggnog or hot chocolate?

Both! Probably lean more towards Eggnong since it’s a seasonal treat.

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?

Growing up they were not wrapped, there was just a pile each for my sister and I. Don’t know what I will do when I have kids. Good question!

Colored lights on tree/house or white?

White lights on the tree, mixture outside (not all in one strand but a different color for the trees, bushes, etc.)

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Do you hang mistletoe?

Growing up there was some at my grandparents house (where we spend Christmas eve and Christmas) but we never had any at our house I don’t think.

When do you hang your decorations up?

Growing up it was day after Thanksgiving, since I have been married it’s the weekend before Thanksgiving.

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What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

Tough! I make a cream cheese danish for Christmas morning breakfast that’s great!

Favorite holiday memory as a child?

I have two. 1.) our neighborhood used to put out luminaries all along the streets in front of the houses on Christmas eve. It was the most BEATIFUL thing. When we would get home from my grandparents Christmas eve we would go for a walk and it was so beautiful. 2.) Dancing around the living room to Christmas music with my sister all day Christmas eve while the adults cooked. My grandparents have a huge living room with a HUGE sectional couch (like twice the length of a normal one) and we would pretend we were ballerinas and dance to the Christmas music around and around the couch for hours, getting excited about opening gifts!

What is on your Christmas wish list?

An iPod nano for when I run! (Check out my Favorite things of 2011 post)

Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve?

Growing up, we would open gifts from my grandparents Christmas eve at their house and then back home one from my parents (Pajamas)

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How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

No particular theme, we get a new ornament anytime we go somewhere so we have a bunch! We put on Christmas music and a fire. It’s one of my favorite days of the year, decorating for Christmas!

Snow? Love it or dread it?

Living in the south my whole life, I know I would hate it. I love when we get one snowfall every year or two, it’s just enough!

Real tree or fake tree?

We had cats, so always fake. I’m pretty indifferent.

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Christmas 2006

Do you remember your favorite gift?

I don’t know if it’s my favorite but I was REALLY into American Girl doll’s as a tween and so getting my dolls and outfits/furniture etc was always a favorite.

What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?

Celebrating the true reason for it all, Jesus’ birth. He is the reason for the season, and I really try to focus more on that than the other commercialized things.  Also, spending time with my family, our traditions.

What is your favorite holiday dessert?

My mom makes amazing pralines at Christmas time, I eat about a million. Seriously.

What is your favorite tradition?

On Christmas eve we sit by the fire and my dad read’s The Night Before Christmas and the Christmas Story out of the Bible. always a special time to me. We take pictures every year as well so we have one from every year with my sister and I in our new PJ’s on the couch with my dad while he reads. Also I enjoy going to Church on Christmas eve. It puts things in perspective and is a good time to be thankful and reflective before the Christmas day madness.

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What tops your tree?

Always been a star. Bobby broke ours this year so I had to buy a new one.

Do you prefer giving or receiving?

Giving! I put a LOT of thought into gifts, and get SO excited when they open them. It’s so fun for me!

What is your favorite Christmas song?

Oh Holy Night and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Candy canes, yuck or yum?

just ok, but I love peppermint fudge, bark, ice cream.

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Favorite Christmas movie?

The Santa Clause and Home Alone.

What do you leave for Santa?

We always left cookies an milk, nothing now though

Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?

Growing up we would have to wait at the top of the stairs until we were told we could come down. My sister and I would sit on the top step SO excited thinking about all of the toys we were about to get. My mom would video tape us coming down and into the living room. We sat by the fire and opened stockings first, then gifts, while Christmas music played in the background. Then we would eat breakfast afterwards.

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Christmas 2005

Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?

Either. It depends I guess on what I’m looking for.

Christmas letter or Christmas card?

Christmas card. Some (NOT ALL so please don’t get offended) people use the Christmas letter as an attention getting brag fest and that always drove me nuts. There is a way to do it well and tastefully, but some people just don’t get it. (Who has seen the Christmas letter episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. Love.)

*Side note, Christmas day is also very special in my family because it is also my mom’s birthday! On Christmas night after all the hoopla we sing happy birthday to her and she opens her gifts.

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QOTD: Ok so answer one, some, or all these questions in the comments section!

Toxic

 

Is everyone else singing an awesome Brittney Spears song in their head right now? It’s ok, I am too. If you have been reading RWS for awhile, you know I take thyroid medication. In case you missed this, check out my thyroid story post. Anyway, I have been on my meds for two months, and my doctor wanted to do a second test to see if my dosage needed to be altered. I told him my hair had been falling out a lot, and so he did some further testing, and the result was…my body is toxic. Huh? Yes, this involves food, but that’s for another post. Also, more importantly, it has to do with chemicals entering my body from the air, cleaning products, shower water, laundry detergents, etc.

Luckily, before I had the test I had already ordered a special water filter for my shower. (More on that on Friday). Which I knew would help. I started doing some research and realized a lot of products I use either for personal hygiene or cleaning purposes are doing my body harm. I guess it’s one of those things I always “knew” but didn’t realize how much it was hurting me.

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When I went to the store yesterday I decided to buy some Burt’s Bee’s lotion, night cream, and moisturizer. It’s a small step, but a step in the right direction. What else am I planning on doing? A few things actually! Since I am cheap, some of these products will have to wait until I run out of the current product. I don’t want to waste!

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Antibacterial Hand soap: In my research, I found antibacterial soaps may have harmful chemicals that interfere with your bodies good cells and can negatively affect certain systems of the body.

Laundry items: Seventh Generation products are made of plant-derived, odor neutralizing cleaning agents. It is free of dyes and synthetic materials, and and is non irritating to the skin. Some detergents and dryer sheets can negatively affect the sinus cavities and other parts/systems of your body. I have never used seventh generation but I am very curious and interested to try!

cleaning products: Obviously regular cleaning solutions have lots of ingredients I can not pronounce. I guess I should have taken a hint when the chemicals make my eyes burn and leaves a strong smell in the bathrooms for hours after I clean them. Seventh generation carries a lot of products such as dishwashing liquid, toilet bowl cleaner, and all purpose cleaner.

air fresheners:  When you spray air fresheners into the air, you are releasing chemicals to just float around in the air which you inhale, ingest, etc. Some studies suggest air fresheners can be harmful to growing infants.

air: Bobby and I have two air purifiers we have had for years. Honestly, it’s a pain to have to clean them all the time so they have been turned off for awhile, but they are back on now.

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Now, with all that being said, I do not plan to go to the extreme and rid my house of everything with a scent or chemical, but I am going to slowly make a few changes and see how it affects my health. Hopefully my hair will start falling out and my body won’t be as toxic!

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Went to the gym again yesterday and did triceps and chest weights, as well as 30 minutes on the bike. Will be hitting it again today, before my crazy weekend starts!

In totally unrelated news, our house made the front webpage of our neighborhood. I have no idea who took the picture but I love it!

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QOTD: What are your thoughts on natural items such as these? Do you use any of these? Tell me what does and doesn’t work for you.

From the Bottom to the Top

 

Goooodddd morning friends! Being able to work out the past few days (upper body and bike only) has REALLY put me in a better mood. Those that say they don’t workout because they don’t want to have their energy zapped…PEOPLE, it’s the exact opposite. You will have so much more energy, it’s awesome. Anyway, I was doing some research last night and found an article talking about the ten healthiest cities for women. I knew that mine would not be on there, but I did want to share them with you:

1. Greenest: Des Moines, IA

2. Healthiest overall: Cambridge, Mass.

3. Healthiest eaters: Santa Barbara, Calif.

4. Safest: San Jose, Calif.

5. Happiest: Raleigh, N.C.

6. Longest lives: Honolulu, Hawaii

7. Most active: Denver, Colo.

8. Healthiest love lives: Seattle, Wash.

9. Best breasts: Bethesda, Md. Get your mine out of the gutter! This is in terms of health/mammograms, etc.

10. Best skin: Miami, Fla.

(source)

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If you agree, disagree, live in one of these areas, I would love your input. This brings me to my next point…sadly, not only is my city on here, but my state, Mississippi, is regularly the most overweight in the country. Check out this article  about one woman who is trying to change that. I wish there were more people like that! I would LOVE to be a part of a movement to get the gulf coast more healthy. I have no idea how to even START. If anyone has any experience or ideas, throw them my way! Unfortunately money doesn’t grow on trees down here on the coast, so it would have to be something with little to no overhead. Any ideas or suggestions? Help a sister out so we can get Mississippi off the bottom of that list and into the top ten!

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In other totally random news, I FINALLY, I’m talking seven months overdo got a haircut yesterday. I got bangs and some layers and I really like how it came out!

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Luckily I have a ton of headbands because I think the bangs are going to drive me ca-RAY-zy. But it’s so nice to have a nice little change right before the holidays and new year. I am keeping up with my upper body weights and riding the stationary bike. hopefully only 6 days to go!

QOTD: Any ideas for helping my community get on the right track with health and fitness?

**If you are a blogger running the Disney princess half and want to be a part of a meet up, vote on the right sidebar for a day and time! ———->

Finding a Holiday Balance

 

I don’t know about you, but in my house, December may as well be renamed “the month of indulgence.” I eat everything in the name of “it’s only available during Christmas” or “I worked hard all year I deserved this” or “I will start over in January” and before I know it, I feel tired, sluggish, puffy, and heavier than usual.

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I believe it is important to find balance during the holidays so you don’t end December feeling frustrated, guilt and defeated. So what can you do? Here are five tips that have helped me survive December:

Don’t make any one food “off limits”

In my experience, when you make a food “off limits” it makes you want it that much more, and if/when you do happen to get your hands on it, you are very likely to binge and eat way more of said food than if you would have allowed yourself to eat it in the first place.

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Write workouts into your schedule

This is a good year round practice, but it is even more imperative during the holidays when Christmas party’s, school plays, and Christmas shopping demand your time. Do not let your workout be the first thing to go. Stay strong and you will feel better physically and feel better ABOUT yourself.

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Make time to enjoy yourself and your loved ones

I don’t mean stressful Christmas day with 35 of your closest family members. I mean take some time to chill by the fire and the Christmas tree, reading books to your kids, or watching Home Alone, or baking cookies with your spouse while you listen to Christmas music. Something relaxing and enjoyable, you deserve it!

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Get in the “good stuff”

It’s tempting to ONLY eat junk during the holidays especially if it’s free. I don’t know about you, but I jump at free food all the time even if it’s unhealthy. Why do we do this? Please tell me I’m not the only one. The worst was Christmas time when I was a teacher. Baked good in the teachers lounge every. single. day. It’s ok to indulge, but balance it out with some veggies, fruit, etc. you know, the REAL food!

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Remember to do what’s best for your family

Just because grandma makes five pies and aunt Linda gives three gifts to each child does NOT mean you have to follow suit or keep pace with anyone. It’s Christmas! It’s a season of love, joy, and hope. Start your own traditions, drop ones you feel obligated to do but don’t like. It’s NOT worth you losing your mind to have the most beautiful wrapping paper or the most lights on you house if you sacrifice your sanity.

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QOTD: What is your best tip for achieving balance during the Holidays?

Boot Reflections: More Than Halfway

 

Good morning! It was a fun, busy, and chilly weekend down south. If you are catching up on posts, check out the latest on RWS:

Get Healthy Starting NOW! As a FitFluential ambassador, we were asked to give 7 things you can do to get healthy starting now!

Childhood Obesity Vlog: Video of me chatting about childhood obesity. Yes, my dog DID try to take center stage, but I prevailed.

Sunday Randoms: Random pictures and thoughts from this past week.

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Since I told you I would, I wanted to share a little bit about what it has been like physically and emotionally to be in the boot so far. After today I will have been in the boot for two solid weeks. Have I gained weight? Yes, but not much. I am hoping it won’t take long to get back to how I was before. More than anything I just feel a bit more …..squishy than I did then I was running and lifting weights. Now that the YMCA is open I hope that changes.

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More than anything this has been a mental struggle for several reasons. First of all, as Reese Witherspoon would say, “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy!” This is so true. I will admit I have been quite grumpy the past couple weeks. When I finally got the chance to workout Friday morning, I felt SO MUCH BETTER afterwards, I had more energy and felt better than I had in weeks. Sometimes you just need a good sweat session.

With that being said, I have had my fair share of hard days. Not going to lie, it has been really, REALLY difficult to see everyone’s Twitter feeds full of race recaps, long runs, and PR’s. This is my third injury, all three of which occurred right as I was passing that threshold of being faster than I have ever been before, and then I get hurt and don’t get back to where I was. It is really discouraging and I have done my fair share of moping.

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I can’t help but think by the time I can start really running again and getting back into form, half marathon season will be over. (It ends down here after March for the most part!) and then we get to the hot months and I won’t get another chance until next fall. I REALLY am scared I am going to start running and my foot pain is going to come back…or my knee pain, or my hip pain. I know you are supposed to run for fun and I DO have fun, but PART of the fun to me is getting better than you were at the last race. It has been a hard pill for me to swallow that my goals for this spring may not be reached. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but sitting here with this thing on my foot, some days I find it hard to be hopeful.

Not trying to be a downer guys, but just wanted to express how I have been feeling. Christmas is my favorite time of year and I have been a bit more blue that usual, for a couple of reasons. One I hope to be able to explain at a later date, and then of course, the boot.

Wow I didn’t mean to get this wordy, just wanted to give an update! Physically my foot feels fine, but that’s how it felt before I ran the Turkey Trot of pain as well. Fine. I am so scared of my first run out of the boot, I’m not sure how I will tackle that yet! Fingers crossed that I will only have one week to go.

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*In other news if you are a blogger attending the Princess half marathon and want to be involved in a meet up, vote on the poll one the right sidebar of the blog For a day and time.

*Send me a picture of your Christmas Tree or outdoor lights and your blog link. I will be posting them this coming weekend as a virtual Christmas lights tour, and fun way to get new readers!

QOTD: Have you ever had a fitness related setback? How did you handle it and were you able to be better than you were before?