Thursday, August 28

Another Beach Vacation

Last week we headed down to my parents house again to spend one last visit at the beach before school starts.  We got up real early and headed down, as to spend as much time there as possible.


We dropped Shiba off at the house and then headed to Long Beach Island with my mom and sister.  It is my most favorite place in the entire world!  We spent the morning on the beach, and the girls just loved playing in the ocean!

We were all very hungry after that, so we went to the best pizza place ever!  The girls just wanted to sit with my mom and sis, so it was like Skip and I had a date all to ourselves.



Of course I had to stop and take a picture by the gorgeous sunflowers outside!

We went back to my parents house and spent the rest of the day relaxing down there.  I was even able to get in a quick run with the most gorgeous view ever!




The next morning we got up early and headed over to the smaller beach by my parents house.  It is on the bay, so the waves were much smaller.  The girls were able to ride their boogie boards and really swim.  We even got treated to catching some crabs!


We were all sad to head home after lunch.  I will surely miss these days when we are in the middle of winter!

Wednesday, August 27

Nice Day for a Wedding

Skip and I recently got to attend the wedding of one of the cops he works with.  We celebrated with them the night they got engaged, and we had been looking forward to their wedding for months.  My mom came up for the night to stay with the girls, and because of that I was able to head out that morning and get a fresh haircut. Yay for not having to do my own hair that night!!

I had bought this amazing dress from ThredUP a few months ago and knew it would be perfect for the evening.  And at only $10 it was definitely a steal!!

We posed for what looked like prom photos and headed out!

It was a fabulous wedding and so great to spend time with a lot of Skip's co-workers.  They are all great guys and girls and I love getting to see them all together.  Plus any kid-free time spent with my husband is really special!


Tuesday, August 26

Weekend Beach Trip

A few weeks ago, I took the girls on a little South Jersey get away for the night.  We had a baby shower to attend for one of my Marines Girls who is having her second baby...a sweet little girl!  The girls and I were then going to spend the night at my parent's house.

Sadly, as is the norm on a Saturday in the summer, the girls and I hit a lot of traffic on the way down....a lot.  What should have been an hour and 40 minute trip turned into 4 hours and a stop at a very crowded rest stop.

We were obviously late to the party, but the girls were angels in the car, so it really wasn't that bad!  Plus, getting to see some of my favorite ladies was totally worth it.

Thankfully there was no traffic on the way to my parents house and we got there just before dinner.  We got lots of time to relax with them and my big sister!




It has been a struggle the past year to get the girls to bed down there, because they share a room.  But this time they went down with no problems!

The next morning we got up early and hit the beach before heading home.  Best way to start the day! {
though first the girls got to check out a caterpillar my dad found!)







What a great way to spend the weekend!

Friday, August 22

Mind over Matter

If there's one thing I've learned about working out, especially running, it's that it is 90% percent mental. Our bodies are way more capable than we think they are.  I can't tell you how many times I didn't want to work out, or didn't feel well enough to, but manage to get it done anyway.  It really is amazing what you can accomplish once you set your mind to something.

As I mentioned before, a friend of mine challenge me on Nike+ to run 50 miles in two weeks.  I thought he was crazy at first...there was no way I could get that done.  But I'm not one to back down from a fight, so not only was I going to do it, I was determined to win. 

I kept a pretty strong lead for most of the race, but had fallen behind on Wednesday.  I was going to have to do a pretty epic run to catch up.  I didn't sleep well Tuesday night.  We were down the shore at my parent's house and the girls woke up a few times.  We spent the morning at the beach, then home for a delicious BBQ.  After that we packed up the car and took the 2 hour drive home.  Not exactly great pre-running conditions.  But I had to do it.  So we brought in our stuff, I changed real quick, and I headed out again.  For really long runs, I prefer to go to this 6-mile each way running trail through the woods about 15 minutes from our house.  There are water fountains and bathrooms along the route, and it is just the perfect place to run.  

Everything was going smoothly until the 0.7 mile marker when I cam across this:


Umm, not okay.  I text Skip, furious at the situation?  What was I going to do?  Well I finally decided to put on my big girl panties and just deal with it.  A few other runners just ran around the barricade since the workers weren't there anymore, so I decided to do the same.  Sadly the road was closed off again at the 1.6 mile marker, but this time you couldn't go around it.  So instead I had to piece-meal together a route to get the mileage I wanted to.  It was annoying, and I wanted to quick and just go home so many times.  But I had promised myself I would aim for 7 miles, and I would not give up before that.  Was it hard?  Absolutely.  But when I got back to my car after running 7.6 miles?  Every step was worth it.  I seriously felt on top of the world.  


If you had asked me two weeks ago to run 7 miles, I would have laughed in your face.  But this challenge made me push myself in ways I didn't think was possible.  And I'm so happy I did.

Sadly, I did lose the challenge though.  I was heading out the door yesterday morning at 7:30 to run my last four miles, I got a notification saying my friend had just made it to 50 miles.  I lost by an hour!  But hey, he got up at 5:45 to run...that alone makes him deserve to be the winner.  


So I did it.  50 miles in 11 days {well 10 since I took a day off}  And honestly, it was all a mind game.  My body was always able to keep up with what I wanted it to do...it was just finding the motivation that was hard.  

So my advice is, challenge yourself.  Challenge someone else.  Whatever your fitness goals are, YOU CAN DO THEM.  You just have to put your mind to it.  Because last year I couldn't believe when I ran my first 3 miles.  Now I'm researching half marathons.  Like Nike says, you can do it!

Friday, August 15

Bragging

I just wanted to take a minute and brag today.  A little over two years ago, I decided to start running.  It took me a really long time to get into it.  It was hard, harder than any other workouts I'd done. 

But I pushed through and instead of alternating running and walking, pretty soon I was running the entire time.  1 mile, 2, then 3.  A 5k was a pretty big milestone to me and I was able to reach it last year. 

I stayed pretty content with that mileage for a while, before deciding my next goal would be 5 miles.  I always said I'd like to get to the point where I could run 5 miles every day.  Finally this past May is when I first reached my first 5 mile mark. 

The rest of the summer I was taking it pretty easy though.  I was still running consistently, but I kept using the excuse that I couldn't be spared for more than half and hour or so for working out, so I was staying pretty consistent around 3 miles or so. 

I've really stepped up my mileage this week because of the running challenge I'm doing.  I ran 4.4, Monday 5.2, Tuesday 5.  Skip was off all of Wednesday, so I had a little extra time to workout.  He encouraged me to go to a nearby running trail at a park I love to get a change of scenery.  I knew I wanted to make it at least 5 miles, but I was feeling so good in the beginning, I texted Skip about halfway through and told him I was going to try and hit my next goal, a 10k. 

And I am proud to say that I DID IT!!  6.3 miles actually!!

I'll be honest, I pretty much wanted to shout it from the rooftops.  It's all I wanted to talk about with Skip when I got home.  I never thought I would be a runner.  I always worried I'd get frustrated with the whole thing and quick, especially because it seemed like other people were making more progress than I was.  But I didn't give up and now I officially feel like I can call myself a runner.

So sometimes it's not about entering all these races to get motivated.  Sometimes it's just you and your sneakers pushing and pushing, never giving up until you reach your goal. 

Watch out half-marathon.  I'm coming for you next. 
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