Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Adios 2014!

In the 2014 I...

1) Ran 1,120 miles (my goal was 1,000)
2) Ran a race (sometimes two) every month
3) Completed 6 half-marathons
4) Ran a full-marathon
5) Did things I never thought I would do

My goal last year was to run one race a month every month in 2014. Last year when I decided to do this I had NO idea how far this goal/resolution would take me. I accomplished things this year that I never thought I would. I pushed my body to the limits...and  best of all I didn't die ;)

I have to say that this New Year's Resolution was one of my favorites by far. I laughed, I cried, I celebrated, I ached, I pained, I bragged, I whined, I felt confident, I felt beat down...but best of all...I did it! I succeeded in completing my 2014 New Year's Resolution...and it definitely feels good :) 

 Tonight I will ring in the New Year with some great friends and my fiance ( read that right!) and tomorrow, if I am feeling up to it (i.e. if I don't let the booze get the best of me) I will be posting about 2015's New Year's Resolution. I am going back and forth between a few I have what, 8 1/2 hours left to decide? Hopefully, while I am thinking very clearly tonight I will make a decision :) 

Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful night! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Giga-What? {GIVEAWAY}

Do you like at home work out videos? No? either.

That doesn't mean I don't have piles of videos that I have watched once, hated, and never looked at again. I have a short attention span...and doing the same workout day after day is BO-RING!

The only video I have stuck with for any amount of time was Jillian Michael's 30-day shred...and that's because I was scared of disappointing her ;) However, even with that fear I have never made it anywhere near the 30 days...because, like I said....boring!

I've always wanted to find a video that I liked (and could stick with) because let's face it...they are so darn convenient. I have a hard time working out solo (and figuring out what weights to pick up and put back down at the gym) and I like to workout on my time, and the class schedules at a gym NEVER fit with my schedule. 

About 2 months back as a SweatPink Ambassador I was offered a chance to try out Gigabody online workout videos. To say I was skeptical was an understatement...but like I said I have been searching far and wide for at home videos that I enjoyed and would stick with so I figured I could give this a try...and who doesn't like a review from a skeptic ;)

What I immediately liked about Gigabody was that it was online and wouldn't require me to store or haul around a workout "video" and that I could access it anywhere. Sometimes I like to work out in my classroom after school (after all the kids have left of course, lol!), at my house, or in the gym at my apartment complex. Gigabody gave me the ability to use my iPad, computer at school, or Apple TV at home to get in a quick "at home" workout. 

The other thing that I liked about Gigabody, is the variety of videos that it offers. There are 88 + workouts to choose from. You can do yoga, cardio, upper body, lower body, HIIT, etc. Basically, it's almost impossible to get bored with these workouts because there are so many to choose from!

I've been using Gigabody for the last 2 first just for low impact and yoga workouts while recovering from my marathon and now I am using it more for weight training for my half-marathon training....and I have to say I haven't gotten bored yet...and I don't think I will. 

While, I haven't done the same video twice I have found a collection that I's quick 20 minute workouts that targets different parts of your body. "Take 20" with Aimee Nicotera is definitely a favorite of mine...and what I like best is that I don't have to buy each of her workout videos individually, they are all available on for me to pick and choose from depending on my mood that day :)

Gigabody gave me 2 free months in return for writing this review...and I have to say that when my 2 months is up I will most likely keep my membership. It's only $8.99 a month with unlimited access to ALL of their videos and training plans. The other part that I like is that you can cancel at any contract and no "30-60" notice before they stop billing you.

Now for the best part...Gigabody has given me a free month to giveaway! I'm trying something new this time around and I am doing my giveaway via Instagram. I've never done an Instagram fingers crossed it works and doesn't turn out to be a complete failure :)

 Giveaway starts NOW and the winner will be announced via Instagram Monday December 22nd...Good luck!


Monday, December 15, 2014

I "Mustache" you a question...

One of my "intentions" for December was to post at least once a week. I guess I forgot how exhausting the 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas can really be when you're a teacher. I had planned on a "Weekend Update" post...but I just can't muster up the energy to do it.

Luckily, a few weeks ago I was tagged by Kelli over at Redhead on the Run to complete a fun little survey! I had every intention of completing it within a few days of being tagged...unfortunately life got in the way (the 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas strikes again) and I had to put it on the back-burner. I've been filling it out a little at a with the little energy I have left today I decided I would complete it :)

1. Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

a. Ms. Walter- I teach 3rd grade and I hear my name more times in a day than I can count :)
b. Aunt Heavy- It's not the most endearing name....but it's what my sweet little niece has come up with, so I will smile and embrace when we were kids her dad used to call me I suppose it was only natural :)
c. Mrs. Walters- for some reason people just can't seem to remember that it's Walter not Walters and that I am Ms. not Mrs. I even got mail all through college addressed to Heather Walters AND Heather Walter. I'm still not sure that the university didn't think that I was 2 different people!
d. Goose- My best friend from college (and her family) call me this. The nickname all came about from a very non-traditional way of meeting your best friend :)

2. Four jobs I have had:

a. Sonic car hop
b. Tanning Salon attendant (is that what you would call them?)
c. Summer Camp Counselor/Teacher 
d. Teacher (5th grade and 3rd grade)

3. Four movies I've watched more than once:

a. Dirty Dancing
b. Along Came Polly
c. Star Wars
d. Fight Club

4. Four Books I recommend

a. House Rules by Jodi Picoult
b. Look Again (Lisa Scottoline-or any book by her really!)
c. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
d. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

**This list was REALLY hard to narrow down, I LOVE to read and I have SO many books that I would recommend!

5. Four places I have lived

a. Gardner
b. Baldwin
c. Pittsburg
d. Overland Park

6. Four places I have been

a. Montana
b. Cancun
c. Florida
d. Minnesota

7. Four places I would rather be right now

a. Anywhere sunny and warm
b. With my niece Finley
c. Cuddled up in bed
d. Running

8. Four things I don't eat

a. Onions
b. spicy food
c. black olives
d. paint chips? I couldn't think of anything else...I love, love, love food and I will eat just about anything :)

9. Four of my favorites foods

a. Pasta
b. Chinese/Sushi
c. Peanut Butter
d. Chicken

10. Four TV shows I watch

a. Parenthood
b. Walking Dead
c. How to Get Away with Murder
d. Nashville

11. Four things I'm looking forward to next year

a. Summer vacation ;)
b. Running the Heartland 39.3 for the 2nd year and (hopefully) improving my time.
c. My 2015 New Year's Resolution!
d. Running another marathon (maybe?)

12. Four things I am always saying

a. I feel like...
b. Your voice needs to be at a 0- this is our noise level system at school...and my spirited bunch needs reminding 20-40 thousand times a day ;)
c. I'm never drinking again ;)
d. I'm hungry

Now it's my turn to tag 4 (notice a theme) lucky people!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Update

Anybody else feel like their weekend was WAY too short?

 I spent Friday night recovering from a week of babysitting...and all I have to say is...being a parent is hard work! Hats off to all you moms and dads out there...and especially to those of you who still find time to run and workout! I had good intentions of getting out for a run or fitting in some sort of workout all week, but all I managed was one run on Thursday morning. 

On top of being exhausted, the weather didn't cooperate and it was pretty cold...the only time I had free to run was in the morning before the girls got up, and I couldn't even begin to think about getting up at 5AM and running in the below zero temps! 

Thursday warmed up a bit and I was able to get out for a quick 3 mile run. This was the first run in my half-marathon training schedule (more about that in another post) and it's absolutely the ONLY reason I forced myself to run. If I have it written down or scheduled there is no way I am going to miss it :)

One of my favorite parts of babysitting this week was Ellie the elf :) 

Friday was a scheduled rest day (I 2 and already a rest day? Score!) So I slept in, got my nails done after work, and settled in for a night of TV and relaxation! 

Saturday morning actually called for 3 easy  miles, but since I was running a 5k on Sunday I ended up switching Saturday and Sunday's runs around. 

One thing I am really going to work on with this new (to me) training plan (Hanson's) is following the suggested paces as closely as possible. I have a tendency to go out and run as fast as I can, because, well...I like to go fast :) However, this is a pretty "running" intensive plan (6 days a week) and I am going to work on making my "easy" runs as easy as possible. I was aiming for a 9 min mile pace and I think it's safe to say...I nailed it ;) 

Sunday's 5k was my last race of 2014 and it wrapped up my 2014 New Year's resolution to run 12 races in 12 months. I have to admit I was NOT looking forward to this race...After a night out with friends and a bottle and a half of wine ( had been a LONG week) I wanted nothing more than to stay in bed Sunday morning. However, this was my last race of 2014...I was one race away from completing my New Year's ridiculous would it be to give up now?

 I ended up waking up extra early on Sunday (it's a curse) got up had breakfast, re-hydrated, and watched some TV until it was time to leave for the race. The good part about this race was that it was just down the street so it took me no time at all to get there. Bad news? The parking situation was a little crazy. I ended up parking across the street in the Taco Bell parking lot and jogging to the starting line...instant warm up :)

I hadn't really planned on "racing" this race since I hadn't run very much in the last 3 weeks (and all that wine) but my competitive side kicked in when the race started. I was REALLY happy with my splits...I usually tend to start out too fast and then struggle through the last mile. And.....

I ended up getting 2nd place in my age group!!! I mean, there any better way to cap off this year's resolution? Placing in my age group (at a decent sized event) was definitely a great way to end 2014!

We spent the rest of the day Sunday watching TV and being as lazy as possible. I ended up going to bed at like 8:30...

I will need lots of sleep to survive the next 2 weeks!! 
Wish me luck :) 

Have you linked up with Tara over at Running N' Reading for her "Weekend Update"?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December's Intentions

 I came across a random blog post a few weeks back about New Year's Resolutions vs Daily Intentions. (I've searched everywhere trying to find the blog post again, and I can't find it anywhere!!) I have been thinking about it just about everyday since I read it. In it the writer talked about people failing to keep their New Year's Resolutions, and she talked about how it was better to make daily intentions every day instead. She spoke about the guilt or stress people feel with resolutions and how daily intentions are smaller goals that are in turn easier to keep...and leave you feeling less guilty if you don't end up fulfilling them :)

As an avid New Year's Resolution maker and keeper I struggled a bit to understand where she was coming from.

I have always made resolutions that I know I can do and that I WANT to do. They aren't your typical lose weight, eat healthy, be nicer, etc. Because we all know I would fail within the first month (or week)

Over the last few weeks this blog post kept popping into my head and I wondered how I could made "Daily Intentions" a part of my could I make it work for me? While I love New Year's Resolutions (and I am already scheming for 2015!!) I also love smaller goals/intentions along the way. So I thought...why not make "Monthly Intentions" and work on little things each month (along with my New Year's Resolution, of course!) This will allow me to reflect back on the month prior and make changes...and work on being the best me I can be! Maybe I can make one of my intentions to be less cliche or cheesy :)

Here we are two days into December and I have broken my first intention...I wanted to post my intentions here on the first day of the month, every month. Well...that clearly didn't happen.

In my defense I did I start this post yesterday, but I wasn't able to finish. This week I am babysitting for a family at my school  and I am getting a first hand glimpse at what single-mom life feels like, and let me tell you, it ain't easy :)

Yesterday the girls met me in my classroom right after school and we headed home from there. We got home, did homework, ate dinner, and then headed out for Taekwondo (did you know that this was one word? I had no clue...if Google says must be true) and then Target for new dresses for their band concert Thursday night. We didn't get home until close to 8:30...then it was PJ's, brushing teeth, and reading a bed time story. By the time the lights were out and the girls were settled in for bed it was 9:00 and I was beat. I wanted (SO BADLY) to fire up my computer and finish up my blog post but my droopy eyes wouldn't let me...

PLUS, I had to figure out a cute and fun way to set up Ellie the Elf :)

Okay, enough with the whining and the excuses...without further are my December intentions!

Read a book

Yes, this seems silly...a book? Yes, I mean one singular book...pathetic, yes? My reality? Yes :) I try so hard to read before bed...but my eyes won't stay open. I also have to admit, that I spend about 20 minutes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin before I even think about picking up my book. So this month I am going to social media less (is that a term?) and read more! I want to finish one complete book!!

Less Social Media-ing

I am going to piggy back off of my previous intention. I will be putting my phone and all social media away by 8:00 each night. I would like to put my phone away I earlier...but baby steps okay?
Get my running mojo back
Confession...I haven't ran or worked out since Thanksgiving day...and quite honestly I haven't really wanted to. I am 100% aware that once I get started again I will remember how much I once loved it...but right now I am perfectly content sleeping in and not having to shower twice a day :)
To help aid in this I am going to start my half-marathon training for the Heartland 39.3, I am going to try out the Hanson's half-marathon method and it is 18 weeks long, which puts me starting this Thursday. I am hoping that having a set schedule will keep me motivated and accountable! 
Post on my blog at least once a week
I think I have pretty much posted at least once a week for quite awhile now (except this's been one week and one day...GASP!) but, with things getting busier and busier with the holidays, I am having a harder time finding the time (or energy) to put together a post...honestly, it's more work than people realize...especially for a perfectionist like me :) My intention will be to post something at least once a week...maybe more if you're lucky ;)  
Alright...for this first month I am going to keep is simple and stick with just these 4 intentions. The goal is to succeed and not overwhelm myself with things I can't possibly do. Maybe as the months go by I will become a little more ambitious...

What are your December intentions?

Do you make New Year's Resolutions?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday's Musings

Hello....I would love to say that I have a million awesome interesting things to tell you about my weekend for Tara's Weekend Update...but, then I would be lying and I don't want to do that to you ;)

Because I had a miraculously lazy weekend...prepare yourself for a case of Monday Randomness.....

I seriously CANNOT get enough The Blacklist. If you haven't watched this show you are definitely missing out! We spent most of our weekend partaking in a Netflix binge-fest. I would say we watched close to 11 wonder I had such weird dreams last night :)

After my marathon I took a much needed break to let my body heal and recover properly. I had initially planned on 2 weeks of "easy" mileage and then getting back into 20-25 mile weeks to get me through winter and prepare for my spring half-marathons. Unfortunately, my body (and mind) had other ideas :) It has taken me a few more weeks than I planned...but I think I am finally back in the swing of things. I had originally made a goal to run 100 miles in November....but as you can see above, I will most likely not reach that....unless I run 50 miles this week...and that is NOT going to happen :)

Me weekend "long" run was amazing! Not only was it close to 60 degrees, but I felt great the whole time and could have kept going...I am trying to build back up my mileage slowly to avoid I made myself stop at 8 :)

This morning I got up bright and early and ran a practice 5k. I am running my final race of 2014 in 2 weeks and I wanted to see where I was at speed wise so I could decide if I was going to run the Santa Dash 5k for fun or to "race" Even after this morning's run I am still undecided on what I will do. Marathon training and my weeks of "recovery" sure have done a number on my speed. This morning's run was a little less than 2 minutes away from a PR which seems close and isn't terrible...but it was brutal. The fact that I didn't throw up was a win. I guess what I am saying is that it will be a game time decision :)

While I was recovering hardly running at all, I took it upon myself to eat as terribly as possible. I justified it by saying "I earned" it....but truth is...I'm not a dog and fast food isn't a "treat" or something that I earn. About 2 weeks ago I decided to get my act together and I started logging my calories in My Fitness Pal. I also decided to pay less attention to calories and more to my macros. 

Let me tell you...I think after 2 weeks I have a little bit better of an idea of how to get all my required protein/fat/carbs...but it's definitely not easy. I struggle with getting enough the end of the day I am usually short 15-20 grams and I am struggling to find low-carb, low-fat options to increase my protein intake. Any suggestions are definitely welcome!!

As my New Year's Resolution to run a race each month comes to a close I find myself wanting to sign up for ALLTHERACES in 2015. I almost want to do this resolution again...but I know that's silly...and my bank account will have none of it, so I am going to have to find other options :) 

Since I have been counting my macros meal-planning has become a necessary evil. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I LOOOOVE having everything ready to go during the week....but I hate making a grocery list, shopping, and preparing. I need a personal chef! Turkey burgers are definitely my new favorite...not only are the loaded with protein, but they are delicious and SO easy to prepare!

I hate...I repeat HATE deer. I have what some would call an irrational fear of deer...I however, think it's perfectly rational. These dangerous creatures are unpredictable. If they will run into the side of a car who is to say they won't run into me??? I am seeing them everywhere on my go-to trail. I'm thinking I might have to relocate for the fall/winter.

I am officially registered for the Heartland 39.3 series this spring! I will be running 3 half-marathons in 5 weeks! I ran it last year and had a blast! This year my goal is to be more consistent with my finish times and obviously to be faster :) I am reading Hanson's Half Marathon Method right now and deciding if it is the right training plan for my lofty goals. It looks pretty intense...but I am thinking it might be my best approach :)

Alright, I am imagining you are more than done with my randomness...there are a million other things bouncing around in my brain this morning (I blame my pre-workout) but I will spare you....for today :) 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Longview Half and Too Much Vodka

I rarely drink...I spent most of 2014 training for races, so my Friday and Saturday nights were often spent going to bed early and waking up feeling like a human being.

This weekend...I more than made up for all of those nights I didn't go out this year. Oh boy...The morning after, I was reminded as to why I never minded being the sober one when we would go out. 

Waking up Sunday morning was a less than pleasant experience...I may or may not have said "I'm never drinking again" and here I am 4 days later and I still feel the same way. Recovering from a late night out in my 30's  is very different from when I was 21.

 Also note...Partying in your old college town and acting like a college student is a bad idea. 

I had planned on linking up with Tara over at Running N' Reading again this week and having a "Weekend Update" ready on Monday...but let's just say this old lady was in bed by 7:45 on Sunday night and then I think I might have made it to 8:15 Monday night. I'll say it one more time....Never.Drinking.Again!

I am going to go ahead and blame the copious amounts of alcohol that I consumed on the Longview Half marathon that I ran on Saturday. I signed up for this race back in August...when I was complaining about the heat. I couldn't wait for a nice fall half-marathon and I thought it would be a good way to keep myself on track after my marathon. Also...the shirts (long sleeve, half-zips) were cute. caught me...I signed up for this race only for the half-zip and the awesome medal...I'm THAT girl :) 


Well...present me is kicking past me in the behind for signing up for this race. Not only am I still struggling with the desire to run much more than 5 or 6 miles...but the Polar Vortex has reared its ugly head here in Kansas and it is showing NO mercy. We are talking January/February type weather...BOO!! 

I did not...I repeat did NOT want to run this race. I seriously contemplated my first DNS and signing up for a virtual run (and running it on the treadmill) to get my November race in. However, at packet pick-up I got my hands on that sweet half-zip and I knew I wanted to be able to wear it...and there was no way I would wear it without running the, that left me no choice. Running in Hoth would be happening.

This race was definitely not my worst actually...but I survived and I get to wear my half-zip ;) All in all I would say the race was just okay. The course was pretty boring. Long stretches of highway (minus the few miles by the lake- BRR!!!) and pretty hilly.

 The parking situation wasn't great...AJ's brother ended up signing up for the race last minute and all they had were VIP luckily he had VIP parking. Except...AJ ended up leaving to get a drink and kill some time while he waited and then couldn't get back in to the parking lot. He had to park almost a mile away and walk back to meet us at the finish line...which then meant that Brian and I had to walk back to the car after the race. Walking a mile in the cold after barely surviving 13.1 miles? No thanks...

While I had a PR for my slowest half-marathon, AJ's brother set an actual PR! He is seriously a running machine...and Saturday is no exception. He finished in 1:28:13, got 2nd place in his age group, and 9th overall. WHAT??? Hopefully I will be as cool as he is someday...probably not...but at least I get to say I know him :) 

So, during the race I wanted to mile 2, mile 4, mile 6, mile 7, 8 , 9 , 10 , 11, 12, and even mile I kept promising myself that if I finished that I would reward myself with all the beverages that night ;) I said's the Longview Half Marathons fault that I felt so terrible Sunday morning (and Monday and Tuesday)

While I keep complaining about how terrible I felt AFTER a night out...I have to say that it was definitely worth it. A night out with these ladies is definitely good for the soul and a night out in your old college town? Bad for the liver :)

Happy Hour in a college town is dangerous...My tab was seriously $8.50 :) 

This is when things went downhill...Fireball shots. Seriously, when I say I rarely drink...I mean it. So believe me when I say I NEVER take shots. This was my first (and last) shot of Fireball...yikes!

Don't's Wednesday now and I am feeling almost human again :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend Update

 Since marathon training has ended I have been doing a lot of this

And a lot of this....

I definitely haven't hated all the extra time I have had lately. I finally got caught up on all my favorite shows and I am even getting close to finishing the book I have been reading since August (pathetic right)

On top of all of that I finally have a social life again! I've really missed going out on the weekends and spending time with friends.

And now that I have a social life I can finally participate in one of my favorite blogger's link-ups! Tara over at Running 'N' Reading hosts a "Weekend Update" every Monday where you can share what you did over the weekend.

I have wanted to participate since she started it...but you see...during training my weekends looked a lot like this...

Now my weekends look like this!!!

I mean...we went to dinner and then came home to have some wine and work on a I guess my weekends still aren't THAT cool :) 

But seriously, I forgot how much fun putting together a puzzle was!! I also had no idea that my competitive side would also come out during this activity. AJ and I ended up staying up until around 1:30 because we HAD to finish the puzzle! 2 bottles of wine later...success :)

Gracie was over was WAY past her bed time and she had no qualms about letting us know she was annoyed :)

As if our Friday night of "puzzling" didn't let you know that we were really cool...Saturday morning we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to buy new pillows. Pretty sure we tested out EVERY pillow in that place. After that exhilarating experience we decided to get switch things up and go to the grocery store instead of waiting until Sunday like we usually do so that we wouldn't have to leave the house at all on Sunday (yep...official cool status)

Saturday night we got cooler okay? We headed to dinner at 75th Street Brewery and I had this incredible drink. Not sure what it is called had Ginger Beer and Vodka in it...that's all you need to know :)

After dinner we headed to Westport to celebrate Vanessa's birthday at "Off Key" karaoke bar. Brian rented out a private room with our own personal karaoke set-up! Seriously...BEST.IDEA.EVER!

This was early in the night and Brian didn't want any pictures during his performance...don't worry as the night went on, people cared less and less about pictures :)

AJ was definitely in his element. I'm not sure how many different songs he "performed" but the song he sang with our waitress was definitely my favorite :)

Needless to say this birthday was a hit! 

I had originally planned on getting up early on Sunday morning to get in a 4-mile Veteran's Day trail run with the Trail Nerds...but we stayed out much later than I had anticipated the night before and when my alarm went off, I quickly hit snooze and decided that I would skip my run and go back to bed. This is yet another perk of not following a training schedule. 

However, since it was World Run Day and absolutely gorgeous outside, I knew that I would definitely be getting out for a run later in the day.

I've been in such a rut with my 3-4 mile easy paced recovery runs that I decided to switch things up a little bit. I decided I would run to the track (1 mile away) and then do some intervals. I had intentions of doing 400M repeats, but changed my mind quickly...200Ms into the first 400 to be exact :)

I decided that 8x200M repeats would have to do for now. I was really pleased with my pace. I haven't done any speed-work in over a month and I was still able to keep around a 6 minute mile pace for all 8 of my 200s.

I ended with a 1-mile cool-down run home. Even though I contemplated calling for a ride home :)

After my run I came home got cleaned up and began prepping my lunches for this week. I have been so terrible with eating lately and I decided to stop putting it off for "next week" and get my act together. Not only is prepping my lunches healthier...but it makes my mornings a lot less hectic! weekend I am running the Longview Half and right now this is the projected forecast....

That should be fun ;) 

Good news is...that after the race I will be heading down to Pittsburg, Ks with a couple of friends to celebrate my good friend Jessica's birthday! Not only are we going to have a fun girl's weekend...but I will have more material for next week's post that proves that I do in fact have a social life :)

If you haven't already or you are visiting from the "Thankful for my Followers" giveaway you can find my giveaway HERE