Archives for 2015

2015 in Review

Whew! 2015 was quite a big year for our little family. It definitely looked different than most of 2014 since we have little Emma Kate now, but there was still plenty of adventure and fun!

In January I ran my first post baby half marathon, my favorite hometown race: Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans. It wasn’t pretty, but it gave me confidence that I could run long distances again, even right at four months post baby!

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February brought a Walt Disney World vacation, and running the Princess half marathon with my partner in crime, Jen. We had a blast with our costumes, and it was great to be back in my favorite place after a year absence.

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March was also a milestone month. I hopped a plane to California to run the LA marathon with ASICS. It was an AMAZING once in a lifetime experience that was filled with fun, sweat, tears, and jaw dropping introductions. I felt so so blessed walking around all weekend. The race was very hot and so, so hard, but I felt extremely accomplished after and learned I can do hard things.

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April brought Emma Kate’s first Easter, and our annual Easter race: The Crescent City Classic 10k. It was a rainy gloomy, cold day, but I love running in New Orleans and seeing blogger friends, so it made it worthwhile!

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May brought me back to Walt Disney World for the final Expedition Everest Challenge. I am so glad I got to participate in this race once before it went away!

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May was also special because it was my first Mother’s Day, and we dedicated baby Emma Kate at church.

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June was pretty low key, except for when Bobby threw me a surprise 30th birthday party.

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July brought Bobby’s annual conference in Destin Florida, and my parents tagged along to keep me company while Bobby was at his sessions.

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In August, Bobby and I made a purchase, a BIG purchase. We bought the local Orange Leaf frozen yogurt shop! This involved a lot of stress and a trip to Oklahoma for training, but things are going smoothly now.

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In September, Emma Kate turned ONE! We had a fun Minnie Mouse themed party at our house.

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In October, my mom decided she wanted to go to Walt Disney World for her 60th birthday, so that’s exactly what we did! I surprised her by booking club level at the Polynesian for a few days, and also with a cake and a fireworks cruise. We had a blast!

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I also had the privilege of speaking at the Refresh Summit in Nashville at the end of October. I was sick the whole time but am still so glad I got to go share with the lovely women who attended. I was also asked to be an ASICS ambassador in October, such a great opportunity!

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November brought cooler weather, tubes in EK’s ears, and Thanksgiving. My parents and sister came into town, and we also got to see some of Bobby’s family. Poor Emma Kate was sick that weekend, and ended up getting a mild case of hand foot and mouth.

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December of course brought the busyness of Christmas, and it went by in the blink of an eye. We went to my parents house for a few days, and it was great to just have a low key holiday.

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There are a lot of other things that happened in 2015, but this post is getting really long, so I will stop with what I have. There were a lot of uncertainties in 2015, and I can happily say a lot of them have resolved, but we still have some things up in the air I really can’t share right now. It’s so much fun to look back on the year and see the accumulation of all of the things that went on. It makes me smile. I hope you do as well when you look back on your 2015!

As always, thanks for hanging around and sticking with me here at THLG. I appreciate you all. Cheers to 2016!

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QOTD: What was your favorite thing you did in 2015?

Four Magical Miles Virtual Race

It’s time to run another virtual race my friends! I was all over this one for obvious reasons, just check out the castle medal! Magical miles? Yes please!

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Here are the details:

  • Virtual race will be held January 21 – January 24.
  • Virtual race packet includes knee socks, touchscreen gloves, gorgeous finisher medal, real bib (no downloads!)
  • No returns exchanges

“Run a magical four miles in a race fit for a princess in our latest virtual race. Just run or walk the 4 miles on the course of your choice January 21-January 24. Please be sure to share your race photos and recap on our Facebook page at facebook.com/GoneForaRUN.”

Touchscreen gloves, cute socks, a bib and blinged out medal? I’m in! The start of a new year is the perfect time to get going with running, so sign up and get moving so you are ready to run four miles by the end of January!

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However, my favorite thing about this race is that it s for a great cause:

“By entering this race you will also be running for a cause! A percentage of your race fee will be donated to Give The Kids The World. Give Kids The World Village is a 79-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides week long, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Please visit givekidstheworld.org for more information.”

I have never visited Give Kids the World, but I have checked out their website and know people who have gone there before with their families. It it an amazing organization and I am happy to support them!

QOTD: Have you heard of Give Kids the World? What is your favorite charity to support?

Disclosure: I was provided a free entry into this race, but totally would have signed up anyway! All opinions are my own.

Christmas 2015 Recap

Hello! Sorry for the delayed post. We didn’t get home from Louisiana until last night and I was too tired to upload pictures and write a post. So much happened over the past few days, I wouldn’t have been able to do it justice in my exhausted state of mind! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with the ones you love. The post Christmas blues have set in and I’m trying to keep my mind off of how far away next Christmas is!

We drove down to south Louisiana after lunch on the 23rd. My mom had left to pick up my sister at the airport, so we hung out with my dad until everyone was home.

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Emma Kate was fascinated by all of my parent’s Christmas decorations.

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On Christmas eve morning, I met Jen for coffee at Starbucks and it was packed! It was great to see her, and I invited her family over for Christmas night dinner, so glad they ended up coming!

The rest of the day was pretty low key. My mom and I did some baking, and then me, Bobby, my dad and sister went to Christmas eve service at my parent’s church at 3:00.

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We came home and prepped for dinner.

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We are usually so tired and full on Christmas day after lunch with my extended family so we decided to do our “nice’ meal Christmas eve.

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The meal ended with Emma Kate discovering the wonders of reddi whip. She kept stealing the can and trying to squirt it into her mouth, so I helped.

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After dinner we followed our tradition of my dad reading the Christmas story from the Bible, and then Bobby read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

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My dad then read the Cajun Night Before Christmas (my sister brought the cowboy hats from Texas.)

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My sister insisted on EK wearing a hat while we took a pic with the girls, but Emma Kate make it known she was not a fan.

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Little bit went to bed after all the fun.

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We usually watch a movie on Christmas Eve, but this year we decided to watch Christmas episodes of one of our favorite shows, Everybody Loves Raymond. We laughed a ton, and then called it a night.

Santa came, and we opened presents on Christmas morning.

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Emma Kate quickly figured out how to rip open her gifts.

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We took our time opening gifts and drinking coffee, it was nice to not be rushed.

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We eventually cleaned up and drove to my cousin’s house for lunch with my mom’s side of the family. Sweet Emma Kate fell asleep in the car so Bobby sat with her until she woke up.

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I plead the 5th on what was in my glass.

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We headed home after lunch and got ready for friends to come over. We are so glad The Z family came over for dinner!

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we ate, the kids played, it was a lot of fun and nice to do something so casual.

The next morning, Bobby and I went for a 10 mile run. We never get to run together anymore so it was a nice treat.

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I even got to take a short nap! That evening we went to an annual Christmas party that my parent’s neighbors have been holding since I was a child. I look forward to it every year, it’s great to catch up with people that I lived on the same street as for many many years and I love that everyone still is in the same houses!

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Sunday afternoon we somehow managed to load up everything into our SUV and made the trek home. I didn’t even unpack I was so tired.

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It was a GREAT Christmas but I hate how quickly it went by! I know I say that every year, but I just feel like there is so much anticipation and then it’s over in a flash. I can’t wait for next year when Emma Kate will be able to understand it even more. Merry Christmas!

QOTD: What did you do for Christmas?

Merry Christmas 2015

I know I usually share my card on the 24th or 25th, but we are heading down to Louisiana today, and I will be MIA from blogging until Monday. Bobby’s mom is coming to stay at our house while we are gone, and I’m not even brining my laptop!

Per usual, I am post my Christmas card we sent out to our family and friends. I consider you my friends, and even though I can’t send you all physical cards, I love showing you ours virtually! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and make great memories with the ones you love most.

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What a special time to celebrate, the day that Jesus Christ came into the world as a baby! In my family, we honor this important day as the beginning of the most wonderful gift anyone could ever receive.

Isaiah 9:6: 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Merry Christmas from the Montgomery family!

Emma Kate: 15 Months

Emma Kate will be 15 months old on Christmas eve, and I wasn’t sure how or when I would do more updates on her. However, I saw a fellow blogger doing quarterly updates on her baby after previously doing monthly like I was, so I thought three months was a good time gap to share some new goings on with our little girl.

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Emma Kate started walking three days after her first birthday, and now is pretty much running! She is very independent and doesn’t like to hold mommy’s hand much to my dismay. She LOVES to be outside, and currently enjoys going up and down the sidewalks in front of our house. She can walk a long way before getting tired!

I’m not sure how many teeth she has because it’s so hard to count, but she has all her front ones on top and bottom and at least two going back towards the back of her mouth that I can see. She is wearing size 18 month and 2T in some things as well as size 4 diapers, and weighs just shy of 26(!) pounds.

She is currently trying to transition from two naps to one, which has been super fun (not!) On daycare days she is taking one nap, but on days at home she is a lot of times still taking two naps. She is still a great night sleeper, sleeping between 11-12 hours at night, going to bed at 7:15.

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Emma Kate LOVES dogs, and SAYING dog. Around Thanksgiving she started saying dog (really, its dou!) and “woof woof”. So now she constantly reads books with dogs in them and points them out yelling “dog!” She loves our dog Bella even though Bella doesn’t always return the sentiment. Other words we are saying are “hhiiiii” bye, mama, dada, no, yes, ball, and yay. She can point to her mouth, nose, and toes, can clap, puts her arms up when I say “touchdown” and gives us hugs and climbs in our laps.

I can as her to do something such as “lets go change your diaper” and she will go walk to her room. Or, “bring me the toy” and she will (usually) comply. She still loves Mickey Mouse clubhouse, and has started dancing a little bit. She is quite sneaky and will run into my room when she finds something she knows she isn’t supposed to have. She tries to put her own socks and shoes on and brush her hair, and waves hi and bye to everyone she sees.

She is also quite the little daredevil and loves to climb, and stand up on her toys.

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Emma Kate eats whatever we eat, throwing things to the dog that she doesn’t want. Some days she will eat like a horse, and other days hardly at all, which I guess is just part of having a toddler. She LOVES cheese and will eat it non stop if I will let her.

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She is also really into bringing us things she finds, and she talks non stop, even though I have no idea what she is saying. She seems to know exactly what she is trying to say though!

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She still goes to daycare three days a week and loves it, and tells me “bye” as soon as I set her down. Everyone who watches her says she is hilarious and going to be a comedian.

EK got tubes in her ears in November, and (knock on wood) so far we haven’t had anymore ear infections. We had a very mild case of hand foot and mouth a couple weeks ago, but only got about five blisters and a fever for one night.

It’s so funny that she is like a little person now, with (very) strong opinions, likes and dislikes. I can’t wait to see how she has changed in her 18 month update! We love our little bug!

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QOTD: What was your first word?

2016 Goals

On Friday I shared with you a recap of my 2015 goals and how I felt I did during the year at achieving them. Now it’s time to look forward to 2016 which will be here in (literally) the blink of an eye and see what I have planned. You know, things like creating a hover car and revolutionizing the way we do dishes. I wish. Instead, here is what I’m looking at:

1.) PR at any distance: I had this goal last year and I liked it, because it didn’t put pressure on a certain distance, just on me bettering myself as a runner in general. While I do have some more race specific goals in mind, I think with what I think will be a crazy and unpredictable 2016, this goal will suffice. Also, that was really good champagne.

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2.) Take Emma Kate to Walt Disney World: Everyone assumes because I book Disney travel I would have taken Emma Kate to Disney by now, but the truth is, there are several reasons she hasn’t gone, but I see many, many tips in her future! One reason is she is still taking two naps most days and will NOT sleep in her stroller, so I’m not even sure how we would go to the parks with her napping at 10:00 and 2:30 most days. She is in transition to one nap which I think will make Disney easier for this non-stroller sleeping little one. Soon young grasshopper, soon! Another thing stopping us is my parents really want to go when she goes for the first time, and they have had a crazy year and won’t be able to go until later in 2016. Lastly, we wanted to take her when she was a bit older and could recognize characters and walk around and play. So, we are thinking we will stay in a villa all together and make it a memorable first visit in the fall of 2016! It’s not set in stone hence why it’s a goal, but I’m pretty sure it will happen, it’s going to be so fun to see my favorite place through her eyes!

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3.) Finish writing a book: This is not something I have really talked a lot about here on THLG *gulp* but I have about four different book ideas partially started/in the works at the moment, but I just haven’t had time to pick one I want to really put my whole heart into and make into a book or e-book. BUT, this is a HUGE goal of mine for 2016, and it terrifies me to “put it out there”, because now I really have to get cracking since you all know about it. What have I done.

4.) Have a daily devotion: I am disappointed in myself for letting this slip on days I am home all day with Emma Kate. I think I am going to move my devotion to night time so there is no excuse of a tiny human taking up my time in the mornings. Good thing she’s cute.

5.) Monthly goals: I used to post small mini/monthly goals here on the blog, but I got away from it when I got pregnant and had Emma Kate since my monthly goals included things like “take a shower” and “keep the baby alive”, but I really enjoyed sharing them with yall when I had actual goals, and it helps keep me in check. They are coming back in 2016!

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So there you have it, A somewhat vague description on some I know, but still a list of things I want to accomplish in 2016. I can’t believe it will be here in nine days. Never too early to get started!

QOTD: Do you have a goal for 2016? Did you meet your 2015 goals?

2015 Goal Check In

I have decided in 2016 that I want to go back to monthly goals. It’s something I did for a long time here on THLG, and I just sort of got away from it with pregnancy + a newborn, and it’s high time to get going again. I really enjoy having mini goals instead of year long goals, although those are fun to look back on as well, just not as easy to keep! I tend to make goals at the beginning of a new year and not look at them again until December. Whoops! So mini goals are good “check ups” to go along with bigger ones.

Last year, I had five “big goals” that I shared on my blog, so I wanted to do a quick checkup on those before diving into 2016 goals next week.

1.) Read my Bible every day: C+ I do a great job of this on the three days Emma Kate goes to daycare, but the other days are so crazy, which is a TERRIBLE excuse. I may need to start switching to night time reading instead of in the morning to ensure this gets done. This is not something I want to just throw my hands up and say “oh well” to doing.

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2.) PR in any race distance: A I ran the Los Angeles marathon 5 months after having Emma Kate. While my PR was only by about 15 minutes and I had been training for about a 45 minute PR, I will still take it! (It was around 90 degrees outside and no one was prepared for it, so everyone was super slow!) Heck I am proud of myself for even running that race!

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3.) Foam roll and stretch: B+ At the boot camp class I went to 3 x’s a week they really made us warm up well and stretch after, but I don’t stretch well after running on my own.

4.) Find a good work/life balance: B+ When I wrote these goals, Emma Kate was just starting mother’s day out twice a week for five hours a day which did not leave me enough time to do all of my blog work + travel agent work so I was really stressed out. Since then, Emma Kate has been going to a daycare she loves three full days a week so I try to get as much done on those days as I can so we can play the other two days. Not to mention since then we also bought a frozen yogurt shop, but I think we have gotten into a good rhythm as far as a work/life balance with that.

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5.) Eat more healthy foods: C+ I really do want to focus more on this one in 2016! When I get really busy I tend to just throw unhealthy/quick things together for meals, or grab Chick-Fil-A on the way home. I need to PLAN better to make this one happen.

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Cookies anyone?

Stay tuned next week to see my 2016 goals!

QOTD: Did you set any goals for yourself in 2015? Did you reach them?

Audible on the Run

Back in April, Bobby and I signed up to run the half marathon in Walt Disney World set for January 2016. At that time, we weren’t sure if we would be able to run or not, but didn’t want to miss out on registration since we knew the race would sell out quickly. We went on with life for a few months, almost forgetting about the race until it became time to decide if we were going to defer to next year or run this year.
We were able to logistically make the travel portion work and I was excited to be going back to my happy place…but then I remembered I have to actually TRAIN for this race! If I’m being honest, long runs are not my favorite, and I get bored pretty quickly. I have never been one to listen to a lot of music, so other than running with someone, which is hard to schedule, I was left to my own thoughts and the open road.  That is until I discovered Audible. running trail
Audible is an Amazon company that sells digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. I was pretty shocked when I found out they have 180,000 book titles to choose from! Audible is an app that can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices. I was even more stoked when I learned that your first book is free, and there is a free 30 day trial!

I immediately downloaded a book I have been eyeing titled: Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. The book is about habits. Changing bad ones, keeping and gaining energy from good ones, and learning how to do it all. The author also wrote a book you may have heard of, The Happiness Project. It was very popular a few years ago. I ran my first “long run” since September over the weekend, and it flew by listening to Audible. I wasn’t concerned with my pace, how tired or hot I was either, I was just engrossed in my book! I wish I had known about this when I was training for my full marathon last year, I would have been downloading books left and right. I love that I can go anywhere now and listen to my books! unnamed (37)
Be sure to head over to Audible to start your free 30 day trial. I would love to hear what book you would pick first.
QOTD: What book would you choose to listen to with Audible?

Disney at Christmas

Visiting Walt Disney World at Christmastime is probably my favorite time of year to go (well, it barely edges out the food and wine festival!) There is just something extra magical about all the special touches Disney puts into the decorations, parades, parties, and other events that make it very memorable.

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Of course the Magic Kingdom/main street is decked out with beautiful festive decorations.

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But my favorite thing to do is go to the different resorts and see their décor. My favorite is the Grand Floridian because of the beautiful gingerbread house that doubles as a store where you can buy gingerbread! It’s so gorgeous (and smells so good) and must be seen in person to fully appreciate it’s coolness.

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Other resorts do a great job, especially those with nice big lobbies like Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge.

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One thing I am super sad about is that this is the last year for the Osborne lights at Hollywood Studios. It has always been a favorite of mine, and I’m bummed I won’t get to see them again.

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a lot of fun, with special fireworks and a parade.

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The best part of the Magic Kingdom decorations is hands down the castle. This is something you have to see in person because pictures just don’t do it justice. I can sit forever and stare at it as it changes colors, it truly is breathtaking.

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Cannot. get. enough.

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There are so many other things like the candlelight processional, and holiday storytellers, it is enough to keep you busy your entire trip! What is your favorite thing about Walt Disney World during the holidays? I would love to hear!

QOTD: What is your favorite thing about WDW during the holidays?

The WINNER of my spread cookie joy giveaway is Rachel Marie! (also displayed on the rafflecoptor widget on the original post). Thanks to all who entered!

Master It with MetaRun

When I think about Mastering things in life, one of the things that immediately jumps into my head are athletic related goals. I have been an athlete since the third grade (well, if you call 3rd grade basketball a sport,) and I thrive on competition and physical fitness.

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If I was being honest though, there are other  areas of my life that I would love to master as well, one being the way I see myself. Being a competitive person, I have always been VERY hard on myself when it comes to well…everything. If I made a 98 on a test in school, it was “gosh darn it why didn’t I make a 100?” If I had 10 kills in a volleyball game, I wanted 11. If I ran a race, I wanted to PR every time (well, I still do that.) While this is a great, goal driven attitude to have, it can also be destructive.

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Ever since having Emma Kate in September of 2014, I have been really, really hard on myself concerning my physical appearance. This once bikini wearing girl bought a tankini and a wrap to wear for the summer at the pool. I ran non stop but still wasn’t thrilled with my body. Still about two pounds from my pre-baby weight, I have beat myself up over why it is taking me so long, when other seem to bounce back in lightning speed.

What seemed to me was that I really needed to master my attitude and evaluate the process. This for me started in the summer, and while I am getting a lot better, I still have some work to do. I realized a few things 1.) I can’t eat like I did while I was pregnant, 2.) JUST running isn’t going to get me in the shape I want to be in, and 3.) My body did an amazing thing, and even if I never look the way I “used to” ever again, I have done something even greater, and that is having a child

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I love my body for what it has done for me and continues to do for me, and taking bootcamp classes + running has done wonders for making me feel good about myself. However, it’s so easy to sit back in my yoga pants and sweatshirts and say I am proud of how far I have come, hiding the flaws and trouble spots.

So, today I have decided to force myself out of my comfort zone (which seems to have been the 2015 theme around here,) and take some pictures in my awesome new MetaRun ASICS shoes, baring the body part that I give the most grief to.

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Thankfully, the shoes are so adorable and awesome (and just so happen to be New Orleans Saints colors), I know you are all just staring at them, RIGHT? I know I have things to work on both physically and mentally, but I also know that with the right attitude and some hard work, I can master anything. Having cute shoes helps, too. (Also, WOW do I need some sun!)

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So can I tell you a little about the shoes that prompted me to write this oh so honest blog post? I promise they are super cool.

Over the last 3 years, ASICS’ Institute of Sport Science (the ISS) has been researching, prototyping and designing a shoe that they think will master long distance running, with no restrictions. They were told to create the best thing they could and they did.

These shoes adapt and contour to your individual running style. MetaRun was built using the latest ASICS exclusive technologies providing you with the best and first ever running shoe with a responsive ride. The first thing I noticed was that they are really lightweight, but at the same time very cushioned, which are two things that tend to not go together in the running shoe world. I basically forgot that they were on my feet!

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The following is from their website:

Constructed using groundbreaking midsole foam developed in the ASICS ISS. FlyteFoam isn’t a little bit lighter, it’s remarkably 55%* lighter than the industry standard. FlyteFoam isn’t just super lightweight, it’s organic fibres bounce the MetaRun back into its original shape in the space of each stride to provide perfect cushioning from the start of your run to the finish.

A carbon fibre reinforced, two-piece AdaptTruss gives MetaRun both incredible stability and amazing flexibility. This helps to reduce the impact of medial forces on the foot, so the MetaRun will flex safely but become rigid if the foot rolls in too much, meaning reliable stability no matter the distance.

A new one-layer engineered mesh minimises rubbing between the foot and the upper to create a super snug, glove-like fitting experience. A unique combination of closed and open weave patterns optimises flexibility and breathability.”

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Pretty sweet huh? I can say for myself after testing these guys out yesterday that they are pretty amazing. The Gel Quantum 360 is my favorite ASICS shoe, but these bad boys are giving them a run for their money. They are currently available for limited release through December 31. Christmas gift anyone?

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Shoes can truly take you anywhere, and I can’t wait to see where my MetaRun’s take me next year. Hopefully to not only master some great runs + races in 2016, but also to a place of being more at peace with myself and my body, and all of the amazing things it does for me every day.

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QOTD: What is something you want to Master in 2016? It can be running related or not!