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Well, Heeellllloooo there!!! Tink race recap.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Hello folks. I am sorely missing you all and working on a plan to be around more often. Right now the schedule allows for only a bit of time on the internet each week. But, scoping out local locals (hehehe like little literary things like that :) ), for opportunities to jump on here on a daily basis. Gonna be tricky, but I'm working on making it work. Soooooo, what's been up with you all? Dying to find out...but it'll have to wait until tomorrow...too much to accomplish today...gotta go see if I can find some tombstones :) (sounds dreary, huh?...loving the info I'm finding on my family who lived in Iowa from pre-civil war to right around the depression/WWII when they started trickling over to California...gonna see if I can find some death info through the wonderful invention of the internet where people post all kinds of things-check out findagrave.com (com? org? I think it's com) if you get curious)

So...bet y'all are wondering how Tink went huh? Welllllll it's quite the tale of woe with a happy twist.

On Saturday last we all headed for Anaheim, CA, about 1.5 hours from home. Arrived in good time, parked at the hotel and walked to the Disneyland Convention Center...not far at all from the hotel and a nice little stroll on a GORGEOUS California day (seriously folks...we get used to awesome weather around here, but this day was spectacular even by our standards, the only drawback...a slight bit too much wind that was kicking up pollen and dust by the bucketload).

My group included myself, my husband, son, daughter and my mother. Coming later were sister (4everadonegirl), her daughters and my other daughter who stayed behind to "help" her aunt get ready (daughter is 7, closing in on 8, so I'm not sure how much "help" she was, but the car/passenger ratio worked better this way). Mom and I were both going to run to we headed off to pick up our bibs and get signed in. The rest of the fam headed to the expo. If you've never been to a Disney health and fitness expo you should try to at some point. I've never been to a race expo that has come even close to a Disney expo (been to 3 of them so far and not looking at doing anymore Disney races in the near future (very expensive), but might find myself going to the expos just for fun).

Did manage to meet up with hubs and kids without too much trouble and started looking around. The kids were really quite good and it took them a long time to get bored and when that finally happened my mom and hubs went back to the hotel while I met up with sis and went through the expo again :). Didn't spend much money, but did pick up some more sport beans, some more gu and a newish Gu block type thing that actually beat my fave Cliff Shot Blocks in texture AND flavor. Got a few free Luna bars and filled up on the free samples :). Met up with some sparkers and headed back to the hotel for dinner and an early bedtime.

Got up BRIGHT AND EARLY (actually dark and early since it was 3:00 am), got dressed in the previously chosen outfit and headed out the door. Got to the pre-race party in plenty of time to see lots of costumes and do a little warm up dance and head off to the corrals. There were several "pirates" (Disney staff pirates from Tink and Peter Pan) wandering around -got one of them to take our pic. He was hilarious, got us laughing and a little more relaxed.

Standing in the corrals was probably the biggest down side to the entire thing. Nearly 12000 runners packed into 5 corrals waiting for the race to start. We were in our corrals for over half an hour before anything at all happened. Then my corral was so far from the start that we could barely hear what was going on (I wasn't even aware that the National Anthem had been sung...ooops). But, even that was fun, we talked and laughed with fellow runners and enjoyed the wait.

Finally we were off and it was awesome. I felt GREAT. I didn't have any problems with shin splints, just a tiny bit tight from all the standing and that was resolved by walking up the overpass we had to cross (that was the game plan anyway and it worked out just fine). Mile one took us through the streets of Anaheim and then into Disneyland itself. The mile markers were awesome...giant versions of the Tink Half Marathon Logo with a digital clock underneath so you could see your time at every mile. Through the park was wonderful with all the staff and characters cheering you on. Each mile I was looking at my times and could tell I was flying (at least for me I was flying). I started making a concious effort to not pass people I thought I should be pacing, but that might have backfired in the end, but maybe not. So....

Running through the park ruled and then it was on to Downtown Disney, which was a ROYAL blast. There were TONS of spectators cheering everyone on. Our names were on our bibs so people would yell out "you're doing great Heather" and such things as that. Before the race we had signed up my husband to receive text updates of our progress. He got updates at 5K, 10K, 15K and Finish. We ended up running right in front of our hotel so hubs shouted out my pace as I passed and I was still flying (at least for me) and maintaining around a 17min/mile pace (a little slow for the time limit of a 16 min/mile pace set by the race organizers). I kept up my pace and was doing quite well as I passed the 10K or 6.2 mile marker. I was still ahead of the sweepers at mile 7 and barely ahead at mile 8. Right after mile 8 my calf started hurting. I slowed my pace and started walking a very brisk pace. By mile 9 it was a bit worse and not at all better. At mile 9 I was 3 minutes behind pace and knew with my calf I wouldn't be able to pick that up. I still determined to keep going as quickly as possible and be happy if I got to mile 10. By the time I was more than half way through mile 9 I was near tears and quite sure that there were no such things as sweepers (the people who pick up the stragglers) and that there was no bus and I was going to be left on the streets of Anaheim forever (yeah, your brain does some weird things out there). One girl who passed me gave me great encouragement and I felt like we were instant friends and I missed her as she disappeared into the sunset (lol). Up ahead was a turn and I was fairly sure mile 10 would be around that corner. Sure enough it was and as I looked up ahead I saw our friends on the bikes (who had been telling us all along if we were ahead or behind pace). My newfound friend was the first person they stopped, talked to, hugged and then pulled asided. Ahhhh...our race was done. We had all fallen too far behind pace. Up ahead I saw the very familiar Disney bus used to transport guests to and from the parking lots.

As I reached the marker I was welcomed by other runners that had been ahead of me, a bottle of cool water and that beautiful blue bus with the characters from Toy Story on the side. I took a pic of the mile marker (3:22: something was the time, but it took me a long time to cross the start and the clock showed the gun time so I think my time would have been right about 3 hours) and a pic of the little alien dude from Toy Story and posted that pic to my Facebook account with the caption "my knight in shiny blue armor". The trip back was quick and painless. While we were waiting for the bus to fill I turned myself into the cheerleader.

I high fived and congratulated each person as they got on the bus and reminded them that 10 miles is awesome and that 10 miles is more than anyone who had stayed in bed that morning had done.

We were returned to a Disney parking lot NEAR, but not AT the finish line. As we got off the bus we were handed mylar blankets, our numbers were logged in and we were handed a Tinkerbell Finishers Medal and given food.

Yes, you read that correctly, each non-finisher was still given a medal. I was, and still am, seriously impressed.

Did we cross the finish? No. Did we each do our individual best? Yes!! Am I proud of that medal? Yes. And, it holds a special place in my heart and on my rack of medals.

Life is going to be full of failures...it is kind of what life is about. We have choices though, we can let those failures stop us in our tracks and keep us from moving forward. Or, we can take our failures, learn the lessons they hold and move on.

I started this race not mentally ready. I started out too fast and pushed too hard in the early miles. I also kept going until I was not given a choice, that was my number 1 game plan for the day....keep going until something else stops me because I would not be stopping myself.

I went back and took those numbers my husband had received via text. My 5K time was one of the fastest I've posted in awhile. My 10K was 1 minute faster than my only official 10K time. I've never done an official 15K (hard to find in these parts), but I had done a 9.2 mile training run (a 15K is 9.3 miles). My race time was EIGHT MINUTES faster than the training run time. EIGHT FREAKIN' MINUTES!!!!

What did I prove to myself? I EARNED that medal in my own way AND I've been a slacker. If I could push myself and be that much faster, what could I really accomplish if i REALLY wanted to...well, the answer to that is what we need to find out now, isn't it.

This year my 5k PR is GOIN' DOWN, it's been in place since 2010, time to move that time on out of here. My 10K time....also GOIN' DOWN. I shaved one minute this time...a minute or more again in June (my next 10k) is the goal. Time to take myself of the wimpy "yeah, I'm a runner, sort of" shelf and move myself over to the "Hell yes, I'm a runner" shelf. Next race...end of this month...watch out Race on the Base...PRs are gonna be set on your track :).

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRISHMUM3 2/6/2012 7:44PM

    Way to go! You did a great job, and I love your positive attitude. I'm glad you got the medal, because you earned it!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 2/6/2012 3:12PM

    What an amazing accomplishment and positive outlook!
I've been thinking about you a lot lately and missed this blog originally. Glad I looked at my older email notifications to find it.

You are truly a blessing!

HUGS!

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JILLIANPRNCSS 2/5/2012 8:06AM

    I think you will be more proud of that medal than any other since it will show you that you kept going and continuted to race.

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BUTEAFULL 2/5/2012 12:31AM

    I almost went with the red hat ladies to cheer on the runner, but...the early hour turned me off so I didn't go, Or I would have cheered you on

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VERGE_OF_ME 2/4/2012 1:40PM

    YOU are a tenacious force of nature girl!!! SO glad to hear about your race and to have you back around here...YOU inspire! emoticon

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WENDYWITKOSKI 2/4/2012 12:47AM

    You are awesome! Way to go!

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KKINNEA 2/3/2012 4:04PM

    Nice job! You handled the race with class and style and a plan - glad you got a medal to reflect that! Every race is different too - your next HM that you finish completely in front of the sweepers may be you beating them by miles - keep going and make your day!

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SKIRNIR 2/3/2012 3:48PM

    Great job on your race. Glad you considered it a win, and learning experience and not a failure. GReat job.

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OVERHAULING-ME 2/3/2012 2:27PM

    WooHoo! I was THRILLED to see a new post when I came to check in on you today!

WOW, emoticon on all you accomplished. Bettering your 5k and 10k time is impressive!

Hope you get more internet time in! Thanks for the inspiration!

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FUNFROG79 2/3/2012 2:03PM

    Wonderful and inspiring blog! emoticon

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RADFEN 2/3/2012 2:02PM

    I was down in Anaheim on Sunday focr another convention and saw several of the runners in their lovely Tink attire. I wished I would have known in adviance...I would love to earn a Tink medal.

Good job!



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4EVERADONEGIRL 2/3/2012 1:38PM

    Such a great race recap!! And look - there's even a moral to the story very special episode at the end! I think what is most important is what we learned during that race...and now it is all about taking what we learned and making improvements!!!

You did awesome and I'm so super proud of you!!!!!!!!! Good job!!!

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WISLNDR 2/3/2012 1:30PM

    Congratulations!

I fell at mile 8 or 9 during a HM last fall. I too got a medal anyway; I use it as a reminder to myself to keep going! (Which reminds me, I'd better get serious again soon. Winter's almost done - - - - -I think?)

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Comment edited on: 2/3/2012 1:31:10 PM

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Balance

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I cannot believe that this year is already coming to a close. In a few short days we will be celebrating the start of a brand new year. I have to confess that I am “one of those” who looks at the new year as a new start. I know that in the grand march of days there is nothing more notable or special about January first then say, August 7th, except for the significance we attach according to the calendar we follow. But, there is something MAGICAL none the less in the birth of a new year and the chance to start again.

For a few years now several of my family and friends have been choosing a “word” for the year. Kind of a theme or mantra, if you will. Two years ago my word was Persevere and boy was that theme tested with shin splints and fatigue and just plain trials. Last year (well, and for the next few days) it’s been Believe. I’ve enjoyed having Believe as my word and it’s gotten me through some moments.

For a few weeks now I’ve been thinking that the time to pick a new word is coming up, but I hadn’t actually started thinking of what my word would be.

Last week (I think), while on our morning run my sister mentions that she’s been thinking of her new word and she’d found it. Now, before I reveal her word I have to discuss….have you ever had an experience where you knew what someone was about to say the split second before they say it? I’m not talking about those times when what the person is about to say is so predictable that anybody could guess. But, that you know the person, the situation, whatever and despite the fact that the person could say about a hundred different things, you know what is going to come out of their mouth.

It was one of those moments…my sister was speaking and I knew what she was going to say and I knew she was going to say what I wanted to say, but didn’t know I wanted to say until that very moment. I won't give it away since so many of you read her blog as well as mine, but it's a really great word (I haven't even had a chance to see if she's written about it already). Her word is multi-faceted and she didn't even have to explain all the connotations of that word, because I knew exactly what she meant. Now, I know I could use the same word and she probably wouldn’t mind too much that I hijacked her word. But, it just doesn’t seem right. So, as we are walking (still in warm-up mode) I'm thinking what my word could be and just like that I know what it’ll be.

Something in the early morning air brings clarity of thought…my word for the year is Balance. A couple days before all this I’d been discussing with some friends that when I was a child I could spin and spin and spin. Not anymore. My equilibrium is shot. I can’t even do a couple spins without getting dizzy. I pondered “where has my balance gone”. Interestingly enough, when I think about it the balance has gone out of my life in more than one way. I’ve become an “on or off” person. I exercise in the a.m. or not at all. I exercise in the a.m. then I don’t do anything for the rest of the day. I craft until my fingers hurt, then don’t for a long time. I diet or I don’t (yes, despite everything I know I’m still having trouble killing that mentality). Even where my spirituality comes into play I am kind of in the groove or not. I always attend church, that is kind of a given, but lately I either love my religion or not so much and that is kind of disturbing to say the least. Life is okay or terrible. I’m having trouble finding the balance in my life.

This is a pattern that has been developing for awhile, but it is time to kill the pattern and re-establish the balance. I can exercise multiple times during the day. I can eat just a little. I can balance my diet more often. I can do more of the things that bring me closer to my religion and help me feel that power in my life more often (like reading scripture, listening to talks from leaders and reading supplemental, uplifting materials). Besides the fact, that as an aging female (43 on next b-day) I am concerned about the loss of the actual, physical aspects of balance. Unbalanced females break hips.
How am I going to implement Balance into my year…well that’s the kicker isn’t it. That is what the next couple of days are for. I’m starting by pulling my house back into balance. The holidays and school break have destroyed any progress I’d made earlier in the month. A clean home will really go a long ways in helping me with the rest of the goals.

Yoga really needs to be a part of the goals. Yoga is AWESOME for increasing equilibrium and bringing balance to the body. Physiologically and emotionally. I’ll be sitting down and setting some long term and short term goals. The idea being that the short term goals lead into the long term and help bring balance to all the aspects of my life.

Home
Husband
Children
Family (Extended)
Church
Fitness
Emotional
Educational

And I’m sure with some thought I’ll be expanding the list.

Part of my goals will be allowing time in my day for certain activities and giving each area it’s due. Not every section needs time in every day. But, here is an example…this morning hubs wakes me up at 5:20 (not a good idea) asking me to drive him to “Dean’s house” so they can carpool to work. Not something that was discussed with me at a decent hour. Anyways, on the way out of town we pass the new Panera Bread that apparently just recently opened. I’ve been excited about this opening for awhile…hubs comments “looks like Panera Bread is open”. I snap back “not that it matters, I’ll never see the inside of the building.” Him: “Yes, you will”. Me: “No, I won’t. I still haven’t seen the inside of that burger joint down the street.” Him: “What burger place.” Me: “See, I can’t even remember the name of it…that Red Robin place, or whatever it’s called (I don’t think well before dawn).” I went on to explain that I could not remember the last time we had a date. We’ve had things we’ve called dates, but mostly it involved things like church events the kids couldn’t come to and his work holiday party. Not a “date” in the most traditional sense. Do we need to focus on “us” every single night (might be nice)…not really, but I’ve determined that we need scheduled time for us to be a couple to keep our relationship in balance. So I won’t snap at him over the opening of Panera Bread.

Someone has said something about if you spend 30 minutes on exercise each day you still have 23.5 hours for everything else you have to do. I’m thinking that if I can give the elements of my life their own chunks of time, and make this a regular thing, I’ll still have plenty of time left over for everything else.

BALANCE…2012 the year of equilibrium…wish me luck…. That being said, the first "challenge" I'm setting for the new year, besides setting a schedule and setting some goals is to do Tree Pose at least once a day with the goal of gradually holding the pose longer. There are not many yoga poses that focus more on simple balance than Tree. It is probably THE pose I would first recomend to anyone starting to investigate yoga (besides Mountain which it the most BASIC of all yoga poses). Good luck to me....maybe I'll start today so that I'll already be "in the groove" when 1.1.2012 rolls around. :)

Next week the kids go back to school and I get to have quiet time at the library or other hot spot so maybe I'll start catching up on my reading :).

Oh, almost totally forgot!! I got quite a bit of itunes money for Christmas...help me update my playlist!! Please tell me your fave workout/running songs :).

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WISLNDR 1/5/2012 6:22AM

    I kept your blog because I really wanted to respond even if it's a few days late!

I read something online the day before you posted your blog about picking out a word for the year and was already thinking about it when I read your blog. I encountered the word "Balance" during the second half of last year as I was trying to adapt to some life changes that had the potential to undo the good things I had already accomplished. It's a great word that I try to use daily; I consciously remind myself of it on those days that I'm exercising on a stability ball; "OK, this is how your whole day is going to go, stay centered!"

My word for this year is CREATE. Creating things makes me the happiest and I'm creating a great life!

Thanks for your blog!

Comment edited on: 1/5/2012 6:22:52 AM

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TERRYT55 1/4/2012 9:12AM

    Great word and concept for the year. I'm so happy I stumbled across your blog.

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4EVERADONEGIRL 12/31/2011 1:56PM

    Awesome, awesome word for your year!!! (And thanks for not revealing mine! LOL) I actually toyed with Balance for my word last year AND again this year, but it just hasn't been it's time as it never actually chose me...others definitely did! I'm probably not going to be able to reveal my word until the New Year actually rolls as I need to be committed to my own household balancing act of chores today. :-)

Such a great word! Can't wait to see it work magic in your life during 2012!

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LISAW/3 12/30/2011 1:13PM

    GREAT word- I love it! I know I could definitely use more balance in my life. I am definitely going to steal/borrow/share your word! :)

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KKINNEA 12/30/2011 12:30PM

    Great word - I love that you're using tree pose as a physical manifestation of it. Looking forward to this 2012 journey with you!

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BLACKROSE_222 12/30/2011 11:18AM

    What a fantastic tradition - I love it! Balance... that has an awesome ring to it.

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FUNFROG79 12/30/2011 8:03AM

    What a great blog! Balance......so simple, but so many find it hard to achieve. I love it! emoticon

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JILLIANPRNCSS 12/30/2011 7:38AM

    I am going to steal your idea but not word. One word is much easier to focus on for the year.

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SHIRLEYDILLARD 12/30/2011 7:29AM

    Love your word & your idea. I just downloaded the "clean" version of Will-I-Am's T.H.E with Jennifer Lopez & Mick Jagger. Love it!

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TOPAZROSE 12/30/2011 3:57AM

    I loved reading about your family's New Year's tradition of a word for the year. Congrats on finding yours and the reasons it is important to you.
Happy New Year!

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MICHSTATE 12/30/2011 2:42AM

    What a great thing to work on in 2012!!!!! Happy New Year!!!!!

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YOURJONES 12/29/2011 10:55PM

    Awesome! I love your tradition, I just might have to do that too!

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WENDYWITKOSKI 12/29/2011 10:03PM

    Balance! I love it!
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I'm still alive...however, my home internet is not...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I AM SO SORRRRRRRRRRYYYYY!!! I just dropped right off the planet there for a bit. So here's the gist of things.

Hubs is working hard, but the paychecks haven't been, shall we say, substantial. The important things are getting paid for and even a few Christmas presents, but it came down to this....pay the cable/internet bill or buy a few things for Christmas and some groceries...can you guess what we opted for? Yep, it's been a bear not having t.v. or internet around and it's been HORRIBLE not being able to come over here and read what's up with my friends. The entire family has rediscovered our extensive video collection though and the wii hasn't had this much action in several months. So entertainment is still being had. I have missed my Spark time but I've been keeping busy anyways.

My sister, two nieces in law, a friend and my mother have all started a Biggest Loser type contest to keep up going through the holidays. I am still training for the Tinkerbell Half in a month. The only down side lately has been a slight knee issue that seems to be resolving itself.

Several weeks ago my kids' school held a Family Fitness Fun Night. The three p.e. coaches were in charge and they set up several stations and had us in groups rotating through the stations. The first station we (and a group of our friends) ended up at was just several cones in a line. We lined the kids up in two lines, one on each side of the cones, and started a relay race. One person called the activity and each child raced down and back doing their activity...for example..."gallop" and each child galloped their way down and back. Next was a fitness bingo...this was FUN...the coach made up a card with a variety of activities...jumping jacks for 15 sec., 10 squats, 15 sec jumping jacks, plank for 30 sec, etc. Little slips of paper with the activities were pulled from a baggie and then each group looked for their activity on their card, put a marker on it and then we had to do the activity. This started my problems....we got push-ups...on the HARD cafeteria floor. REALLY? The school doesn't have any mats? I was game at first and dropped to do my "girlie" style push-ups, but felt the hard floor on my knee, wasn't fun. Another station had scoops and wiffle balls to play "lacrosse"/catch, another was dance statues (radio playing, you dance until someone stops the music and then freeze in whatever position you are in), beach ball volley ball and bean bag grab. Bean bag grab was fun.two partners across from each other with a bean bag in the middle. The coach manned the radio and gave us instructions. The idea was to maintain plank, or girly push-up position as long as the music played and then when it stopped, without leaving the position you were in, grab for the bean bag. First person to get it wins. My 7 year old, 60 pound, wisp of a daughter, and I were partners for this one. She almost always won :)! Variations were to alternate hand taps to your shoulders while holding your plank/push-up, or reach hands across the gap to high-five your partner. This was a HUGELY fun night and we had a blast learning things we could do together to promote fitness.

Saturday following that activity was our Holiday race. A 5K for me and my mom and a 1 mile for the three kids. This was a race I signed up for in APRIL. The kids races were free and they got a really cute penguin medal. Their race is called the penguin waddle. My 5K went REALLY well. I came across the line in 51 and a few seconds and for the last two miles averaged a sub 16 pace. Which is REALLY good for me and what I'm currently trying to maintain over a sustained period. It was a great day and we all had a blast and came home exhausted :).

Later in the day I was finishing up a project I'd started....rearranging and cleaning off my book shelves. I had books all over the floor and I was on the floor sorting and putting them back on shelves when I gave my knee a really good wrench and felt the pop of it moving out of place (which it does from time to time). Some rolling and massage got it back in place and it felt mostly better, but kept twinging when I bent it to sit or squat. I was NOT a happy camper. I pretty sure the bruising it took at the school event combined with the wrench made it very unhappy with me. I missed my Tuesday run, but ran Thursday and felt good, but then missed again on Saturday when housecleaning aggravated it worse than before. An entire weekend of R&R had it feeling good again by yesterday and I went for a SLOW and steady run and still feel good today.

The plan is to keep rolling the heck out of my hip and hammies and using the stick roller on my shins and calves and icy hot on the knee itself and see how my 9 miler goes on Saturday. Another short run tomorrow, but at a faster pace should give me a good indication of where we stand.

So....is everybody ready for Christmas? I'm sewing my little fingers off trying to finish some projects, but other than that we are looking at a decent Christmas for the kids and I'll collect on my wish list little by little after Christmas passes.

OH before I forget !! Runner friends....I found an AWESOME fuel. It is entirely liquid, not gel, tastes AWESOME, and is gentle and effective. The company was created and is still independent and small and run by a WOMAN!! She specifically formulated her product to be yummy and gentle on tummies after having problems herself with GI troubles on her long runs using other fuels. Her company is called Island Boost (www.islandboost.com). She uses natural sweeteners for her carbs and coconut water, but you can't taste the coconut. My mom HATES the flavor of coconut and can usually find even the smallest amount and she liked this stuff. The prices are similar to other high quality fuels. Check her out!!

Okay, gotta run. School is out right now, but hopefully I'll get back here or to Starbucks (with some tea) for more Spark time soon. Love and miss you all :)!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEDDYBABE 12/28/2011 9:30PM

    So glad you are back. Have been wondering how your Tinkerbell Training has been coming. Glad you are staying on track. That's great. So excited for you.

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SLEEPYDEAN 12/22/2011 5:03PM

    I keep wanting to ask your sister how you are doing because it had been a while. I love that you guys are getting creative at home - I should probably do a self-imposed tv hiatus, my Wii hasn't been turned on in months.

That event sounds so cool. Very neat that the school put on something like that.

Boo to your knee issues. Sounds similar to mine sometimes. Hopefully all the work you're putting in will help.

Oh yes, I am a big fan of Island Boost - I about pummeled the guy at the booth in Vegas for some because they had been out of stock for the last few months redesigning the packaging. I tried once packet that I got in a goodie bag or something and then I couldn't get any more. I love the taste and I am a huge fan of coconut water so it is great!

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BLACKROSE_222 12/22/2011 11:45AM

    Thanks for the update - so glad you are doing well! Prayers are with you and Hubbie to get through the stressful holidays.

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JILLIANPRNCSS 12/22/2011 7:05AM

    I love trying new gu. I look forward to ordering some.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/21/2011 7:15PM

    WHOOT, I was missing your posts. Glad to hear from you and about your crazy life. :)
Take care of your knee ...
Looking forward to the update about the half too.

Happy Holidays to you and yours! Stay safe and fabulous.

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KKINNEA 12/21/2011 5:54PM

    Crazy life you have right now! Take good care of that knee so you can do your best in the half and happy holidays!

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ENDUROVET 12/21/2011 5:52PM

    Ouch! on the knee issues... Mine make the most alarming rice-crispy sounds when I climb my stairs although there is no pain. Of course I've been taking it really easy on myself w/the mad holiday rush & have not been increasing my mileage.
Christmas is bearing down on me like a freight train & I LOST my small stack of Xmas cards for family & a few select friends. If I don't unearth them tomorrow when I clean out the car, guess I'll buy a few more & call 'em New Year's cards...

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4EVERADONEGIRL 12/21/2011 5:26PM

    How happy I was to see a post from you!!! I know that, unlike most Sparkers, I still get to see and talk to you on a regular basis...but I missed your blogs!!!! LOL

Look forward to seeing you tomorrow morning!

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Do you BELIEVE you are worth it or just going through the motions?

Monday, November 14, 2011

WHOA!! Sorry folks...if you saw the "post" and then saw it disappear, that was because I somehow convinced my computer to send that post after only the first paragraph. Weird. Instead of editing until I was done and having the chance that someone would read one paragraph I just deleted and started over...let's try this again.

Sorry I wasn't around much last week. Not sure what was going on last week, but it was just a sludge filled kind of week. You know, the kind of week where everything seems to go in slow-mo except the actual, physical clock. Time stays normal speed (or even speeds up) but everything you do it soaked in molasses. Very odd kind of week where I know I got things done, it just took way too long and I didn't get as much as I needed to done. Saturday's run was rained out and later in the day the weather cleared but by then my mo-jo had evaporated and it just wasn't my best day and then not my best weekend which led to today. Where I had a major moment in our local Target. First, let's drop back in time to Friday because it plays a major role in how the weekend went and what happened today.

Friday...just a normal day...kids had the day off and hubs had most of the day free so we just kind of hung out most of the day and then went and did our shopping all together and got everything we needed for the week except a few small items I would pick up later because they were on sale, we grabbed McD's for dinner (I made a reasonable choice and didn't go overboard, totally skipped the fries). Came home, got the kids settled in and hubs and I retired to our room for some t.v. and relaxation (yes, we have a t.v. in our room and yes I know the studies, but we don't spend a lot of time watching that tube). So....I feel okay about sharing this next part with you, but only barely...I went ahead and changed into my night clothes, but chose the nighty that only comes out on hemmm, "special occasions" (get the point? hope so). It was still a little early and my room had gotten cluttered over the course of the day so I straightened up while wearing my nighty...now normally this much activity in this nighty would have a certain result...NOTHING. Wore it to sleep (which does not happen) and still NOTHING. Girls, you understand, right? I was PISSED. Okay, still am because, yeah, still hasn't made up for that COLOSSAL blunder. Okay, maybe he was exhausted after a long week...the weekend did not change the situation. Okay. so sorry about all that but it played a MAJOR role in the entire weekend.

Granted, due to my size and shape (or lack of shape) I have NEVER viewed myself as "sexy". My cute little nose is the one feature that did make me think I was at least "cute" (my calves were super decent at one point too, but the calves are not at their best at the moment, but my nose is still cute). But, never before has that nighty failed to get results (it's sitting on top of the bathroom trashcan).

On top of that, hubs found a way on Saturday, in a variety of trips, all for other reasons, to completely drain the bank account. Again, totally PISSED. I am so sick of living pay check to pay check and half of what he managed to WASTE was designated for savings. Silly me didn't do it the SECOND the money hit the bank. I didn't discover all this until evening when I did get on the computer and double check where we were after our weekend spending. It really ticks me off that all of what he spent was garbage. Laundry sheets which I stopped using MONTHS ago because a) we don't need them, b) there is enough info indicating that not only are they bad for the environment but also our personal health that I decided it was an unnecessary expense (besides the fact that no matter how hard I try to get them into the trash after there is always a dryer sheet roaming the house. Hate finding those little buggers hiding in the strangest places. Other items include huge tubs of sandwich meat (he will be out of town for work all week and they feed him...the kids eat at school and I try to limit the stuff), doughnuts (yep, none of us needed those, kids thought he was a super hero though), and who knows what else. By the time he was done buying crap I didn't have money left for the little things I needed and the money for saving (aka padding) was depleted. So, not happy. I typed up a budget for him and reminded him that I am in charge of shopping and finances and this is why. So hubs is now in the super duper, never gonna get out of it, doghouse. So, yeah, after my reasonable choices on Friday, my choices kind of went to hell in the proverbial hand basket for the rest of the weekend.

This morning I woke up late for my workout because I didn't set the alarm and feeling like crap. My tummy is SO unhappy with the choices I made this weekend. Really, really unhappy. I had to get up and get dressed to take the kids to school though and did so...threw on my fave jeans that are now just a touch too big (okay, that is a good thing I am still happy about...although there is an "except" coming up in a bit), a plain maroon t-shirt and my flip-flops ( I live in California, I can wear flip flops in November), and a comfy. slouchy zip up hoodie. Took the kids to school, dropped them off and went to Target to pick up a prescription I needed (thyroid meds). Silly me, got there at opening, but forgot the pharmacy doesn't open for another hour after the store. I figured that instead of wasting gas driving home and then back to Target again I'd just hang out and walk around a bit.

They recently rearranged our store so one of the first things I came upon was shoes. I can't tell you the last time I looked at shoes (you'll see this as a symptom when I finish getting to my point). Over a year for sure. I KNOW how sad that is. My husband and my kids have all gone through several pairs of shoes in that same amount of time. Over a year ago (probably closer to 18 months-because it was before my husband lost his job last year and then became employed again this year) I picked up a cute, functional pair of multipurpose flats in grey. Those shoes have done a great job of staying functional for a really long time especially considering they were my only pair of non-sports shoes or flip-flops. I know huh!! Who has ONE pair of shoes for things like everyday errand running, church, special occasion, etc.?

I stopped in at the shoes and started looking around a bit. The first pair that really grabbed my attention was this really cute pair of ankle boots. The kind that are really low and almost more of a pump that covers your entire foot (have no idea if this style has a name that's how out of touch I am with shoes). They had a really high spiked heel. I can't remember the last time I bought a spiked heel. It used to be pretty much the only thing I wore...high heels. While I was still working (4 years ago) I had a pair of shoes with a 2 inch blocked heel and that's about as close as I've gotten since probably college (20 years ago). Anyways, hottie, cute boots catch my attention. I stand there in the aisle for several moments arguing with myself.


emoticon I can't wear those.
emoticonWhy not?
emoticonI just can't...they'd never fit around my fat foot.
emoticonHow do you know if you don't try them on?
emoticonLook at those heels...I can't wear, what is that? A 4 inch spiked heel!!
emoticonWhy not?
emoticonI'm too fat, that's why!!
emoticonNo you are not. You could wear those if you tried.
emoticonI'd break the heel or my ankle or something.
emoticonNo you won't you silly....try them on. Look there is NOBODY around to see if they don't fit and look, they've even got them in a size larger. If you are so worried try the larger size first.
emoticonAre you sure? Well, maybe. Oh look, they did go on. Look at me, I'm wobbly, but I'm actually walking around in these cute boots. Wonder how they look. (toddles over to the mirror) Not bad. They're too big though (tries on pair in the right size) I think I'm in love. If I had the money I think I'd get them, but I don't have anything to wear with them and they aren't practical.
emoticonNo they aren't practical, they aren't supposed to be "practical". What they are is sexy. Don't you feel sexy in these shoes?
emoticonI don't know. I'm not "sexy". But, I do like how they look and I like how I feel in them.
emoticonThat's because you deserve to feel sexy and you deserve to enjoy how you look in something.
emoticonHmm...I don't know about that. I'll think about it.

I didn't accept my own arguments, but I did try on pair, after pair, after pair of "sexy shoes". Including a pair of hot red pumps. And more pairs of ankle boots. Some of them fit, some of them didn't and it wasn't so much anything to do with style as with the shoe itself. I tried on some flats too and as I did the inner voice came back for another round.

emoticonWhy are you trying on those?
emoticonThey are cute and practical, I can wear them anywhere.
emoticonAnd a bit boring don't you think?
emoticonCute AND practical
emoticonNot sexy and you deserve sexy, you know you do.
emoticonBut, I can wear them anywhere.
emoticonLike the unsexy pair you have now?
emoticonYes.
emoticonNo, you deserve sexy, go back to those.
emoticonOkay, think I'm done with shoes though, let's go look at something else.

Off to the clothes section...don't know what I was thinking going to shoes and clothes in the same trip. Went over and fingered several cute shirts that I thought were pretty, but "not my style". Oh, no, here she comes again...somebody PLEASE shut her up...
emoticonWhy isn't that "your style"?
emoticonIt just isn't okay.
emoticonI really want to know why you don't think you should wear something like that?
emoticonIt's too sheer
emoticonWear a cute, lacy cami underneath.
emoticonNah
emoticonIt'd be sexy
emoticonExactly
emoticonYou can do sexy you know.
emoticonMe, nah...
emoticonOkay, one step at a time then...what about anything but that t-shirt?
emoticonThis? It's comfy, I like it.
emoticonHave you seen it?
emoticonHey!! Getting a little rude aren't we?
emoticonOkay, hey, cute jackets!! (walks towards jackets stopping right in front of a mirror)
emoticonYou did that on purpose.
emoticonSure did...do you see how you look?
emoticonFrumpy...this outfit looks TERRIBLE.
emoticonI know. Remember back when you were working. You wore cute, fashionable clothes that fit you and had some style. What happened to that girl?
emoticonShe quit working and stayed home with the kids and gained 40 pounds.
emoticonYeah, and she's lost that weight, but where are the cute clothes?
emoticonI don't know...I think they wore out.
emoticonTry on that cute jacket.
emoticonIt doesn't fit..too tight across the chest.
emoticonIt's just the cut, try the next size up...it's all relative anyways. Look Target doesn't even use regular sizes to save fat people the shame of double digit numbers. What's the difference between a 2 and a 3?
emoticonNow it is too long in the arms and now I'm disappointed. I really wanted it to be cute.
emoticonLook, there is a different jacket in a similar style. Try it.
emoticonIt's perfect, in the right size too. It fits everywhere it is supposed to fit.
emoticonIt goes that way sometimes. Not everything is going to look great on, but if you keep looking you'll find something that looks good and looks sexy too.
emoticonOkay, you've got my attention I'm starting to listen but I don't have any money to do anything about it now anyways.
emoticonNo, but you will.
emoticonMy family needs stuff more.
emoticonWhy? How come you don't deserve nice clothes for yourself. You wouldn't let your kids wear something as unflattering as you are wearing. Even those pants, look at them. They don't even fit, they are too big!!
emoticonYeah, isn't it great?!
emoticonNO!!! They don't fit!! They are saggy in your hips and bum, making them look saggy too.
emoticonOh....I hadn't thought about that...you're right they are saggy.
emoticonYou need new clothes girl.
emoticonCan't afford it.
emoticonDeserve it though. You are worth the effort.
emoticonHemmm, back to that huh...whatever. Let's go look at the work out clothes so I'll quit drooling on the jacket and thinking how cute it would look with a pair of long jeans and those boots.

Cute stuff over here too....then it hits me....the thoughts that have been niggling at me throughout the entire store. The thoughts that made me think that I shouldn't even try on the shoes, the thoughts that had me ignoring perfectly good clothing choices for draped shirts or loose fitting tees instead of anything with actual style...the thoughts hit me in the middle of the fitness wear.
emoticonYou really don't think you are deserving of any of this do you?
emoticonNo, now that we are talking about it...no I don't....OH MY Gosh. I don't think I am worth any of this!! I'm not a runner, I'm a poser, a walker, Spark has been right all along. I'm just a fat mom in fat clothes wearing flip flops in NOVEMBER. I'm weak, my calves are horrible, I need a haircut, I couldn't even get my husband to have sex with me!!! I'm worthless. WHAT ON EARTH MADE ME THINK I COULD DO ANY OF THIS??
emoticonI did. I made you think you could do it. I made you want to be better. I made you try on the sexy shoes and the cute jacket. I did it.
emoticonAnd who the hell are you anyways!!!???? Who are you to make me want things I can never have?
emoticonYou.
emoticonWhat?
emoticonI'm you. Don't you remember? You used to LOVE boots and heels. You used to love clothes with color and clothes with style. Don't you remember?
emoticonThat was when I was "normal".
emoticonWhat do you mean when you were "normal", you are normal now, besides the fact that we are carrying on a conversation with each other in Target you are not "abnormal".
emoticonNo, it's worse, I'm fat.
emoticonNo, you've gained some weight AND you've lost some weight. Maybe you won't ever look like you did in college, but you can be the fittest version of you you can be. You do so much for your family, you work hard, you try your best to cook healthy and satisfying meals. You are a strong person (no I'm not) yes you are (no) yes (no)...really? Are we doing this? Maybe I was wrong before, maybe you are abnormal...shut up and listen. Don't let anything that idiot does get to you. You deserve to look good and a lot of what you've been doing lately, the running (yes running Spark is stupid beyond belief on that count), the strength training, the eating right all of it is just a start on the final goal of FEELING good about yourself. You are trying hard and you are making progress, as long as you stay out of the cookies. You DESERVE to look good just as much as anyone in your family. You really need to start working on that.
Start with a pair of shoes.
emoticonmmm...okay?

And I did, I determined to start with a pair of shoes when I can afford it and then the jacket if it's still around. I know....feeble, but it's a start.

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I forget that I AM worth things. Is it a syndrome? Under pressure mommy syndrome? I know that my "momminess" is part of the reason, I won't let any of them go without. I'll make one pair of shoes last two years first and even as I type it it sounds kind of silly. But, this is something deeper too....I'm "just me", I'm not special, I'm not more deserving than anyone else of anything. I'm "just me". But, I'm thinking it is high time to change "just me" into "me". I'm me, a mom, a runner, a football fan, a person who likes sexy shoes and cute jackets. Maybe I don't look sexy and definitely not in my t-shirt and saggy jeans, but I can act sexy. I can BELIEVE that I am worth my best effort on myself every single day. I give my kids my best effort for them, why shouldn't some of that effort go to me too? Why don't I believe what I've been telling myself for two years? Maybe, I'm worried about it being "selfish" to give myself my best effort. Which, come to think of it is probably really at least part of it, but at the same time I know that the time I spend on myself will make me a better mom and spouse. I'm happier and have more energy when I do what is right for me, so is it really selfish? I get so confused sometimes...If I spend time on myself and it makes me a happier person is it wrong. Sure if my kids don't get to eat, but that's not the problem. Time for me to start BELIEVING that the effort I am putting is both valid and important and that I am above all worth it.

All of this in the Target...I managed to not cry until I was in the car.

Believe is my word for the year...never imagined it would bring me here.

Okay...so...I am going back to my roots of the year...Believe and making it a real effort to believe in myself, believe I am worth the effort and believe I can accomplish it.

Do you believe you are worth the effort?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRISHBEANERGAL 11/21/2011 2:16PM

    YEP I'M DEFINITELY WORTH IT... and you are too! Thanks for sharing what has been rattling in my head off and on since I started this journey.

Can't wait for you to post a picture of you in those shoes... (hint hint!)

~Irish

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ALASKASKY 11/16/2011 4:56AM

    Heck yeah......I Am WORTH IT! And so are YOU!

emoticon emoticon

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BULLETT422 11/15/2011 2:02PM

    Awesome Blog! I also feel the same way and very seldomly spend anything on myself. Funny that I read your blog the same day I decided to splurge and spend $95 on a workout program. I've never bought anything like that before. Good Luck to you on your journey and perhaps a new "nighty" may do the trick. That should catch his eye! =)

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MSBLT82 11/15/2011 12:10PM

    "besides the fact that we are carrying on a conversation with each other in"

That made me LOL - I love your inner dialogues here.


On a more serious note, I relate to a lot of what you have written, and I think it is great you are going to indulge in some sexy boots and/or a cute jacket once the finances allow.

emoticon

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AKATUJE 11/15/2011 10:53AM

    Nice!! It is a very good read, and yes, YOU ARE WORTH IT!!! Funny how we forget sometimes...

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WHENDERFUL 11/15/2011 9:29AM

    I LOVED this! Nothing like a big gigantic smile first thing in the morning....we ARE all worth it...if we didn't think so, we wouldn't be here sparking day after day! Thanks for the validation!

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HUTTONSMOM 11/15/2011 1:20AM

    I had to laugh at your blog - and I was also astonished because I could have written this! It's everything I think daily - even down to the money and husband stuff! I hope you manage to buy the sexy boots :)

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MICHSTATE 11/14/2011 8:41PM

    We are ALL worth the effort!!!!!!:-)

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DARINGR8LY 11/14/2011 6:45PM

    From all the comments you have received I sure hope YOU believe you are worth it. We're ALL worth it.

I'm sitting here blushing a bit thinking humm....if she paired that nightie with some red pumps. emoticon Wowza!

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WISLNDR 11/14/2011 6:30PM

    That was a wonderful blog! (And you're definitely a runner!)

Don't be wasteful, get that nightie out of the trashcan!! emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ENDUROVET 11/14/2011 5:58PM

    Great one! Although if I posted some of my interior monologues, not only would I be censored for foul language, someone would be calling out the men in white coats ;-) !

I've been fighting a real battle w/myself to cut out the trash talk; may be doing a little bit better until I hit a snag like yesterday's failure...

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GOOFIERNU 11/14/2011 5:45PM

    emoticon
I think many, if not all, of us women are in this boat. We're taught to put everyone else first and ourselves last.

That's not healthy. I, too, have learned in the last 2 years that it's OKAY to put myself higher on the priority list. I've even managed to be (GASP!) FIRST on the list a few times!

If you can't take care of yourself, how can you take care of others?
emoticon

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JENNIEGETSFIT 11/14/2011 5:16PM

    LOVED this blog!!! I'm so happy you found the way back to believing in yourself :)

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LOSINGK 11/14/2011 5:05PM

    This blog is awesome. Don't worry, you're not the only one who has that internal monologue! You are definitely worth it! I'm starting to think I just might be worth it too.

PS: We ARE runners, even if Spark doesn't agree. emoticon

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 11/14/2011 5:05PM

    You are worth everything from the red pumps to the nighty (get it out of the trashcan!) to being healthy!

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SNOOKUMS19 11/14/2011 4:56PM

    Sooooo awesome! Love it! We are worth it! Make sure you get those hot red pumps too!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 11/14/2011 4:56PM

    If you are traveling with a child and the airplane suddenly loses cabin pressure a yellow mask will drop down. Put it on yourself first and then put it on your child(ren).

There's a reason that they tell us to take care of ourselves first...because we can't take care of THEM if we are dead! ;-) LOL Seriously though...we do our best when we treat ourselves like WE are the best.

Good for you for finding a little bit of confidence in there. As my bestie Rebecca and I would say: Let that bit*h shine!!!

You ARE WORTH EVERYTHING!!! Trust me, I know because I'm your little sister and I think little sisters always know best. ;-) LOL

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BELLALUCIA 11/14/2011 4:46PM

    Great blog!

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KKINNEA 11/14/2011 4:36PM

    Yes, you are and I am. And if those grey flats are still working, get those cute shoes post-haste!!!

The best thing my mOm did was continue to wear the nicest clothes and makeup she could, regardless of size and the money we had. It made me understand self-worth in her and myself.

This is for you and for your family. :)

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ROXELLS_WARRIOR 11/14/2011 4:29PM

    Wow, thank you!

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BLACKROSE_222 11/14/2011 4:20PM

    Fantastic blog - and SO in my head, it isn't even funny! Thanks so much for sharing.

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LINDSAYHENNIGAN 11/14/2011 4:11PM

    I had a similar argument with myself a couple years ago. I was still nursing my baby, but she was over 1 and not nursing too often, but I was still in nursing bras. I went out one day and bought two SMOKIN' hot bras from Victoria's Secret, and My whole attitude seemed to change over night. My clothes looked better, so I started to get more interested in my weightloss and exercise, because I liked feeling sexy. A great pair of boots, or in my case a padded bra with pearls on the strap, can make you feel like you are walking on one of the moving sidewalks at the Airport. Strong, determined, accomplished, important. All the things I want my kids to see in me. Sometimes you have to spend a little money on quality of life, It sounds like we have some spending similarities. I wear the same pair of shoes for years, until they start to fall apart, I have jeans I wore 10 years ago, because they still fit, though are totally out of style. Sometimes you just need an upgrade.

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FUNFROG79 11/14/2011 4:05PM

    Amazing blog!!

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PARKERB2 11/14/2011 4:04PM

    I can relate to your blog 100 percent. I find myself trying on things but putting them back by thinking they are not practical. I am getting better as the weigh is slowing creeping off. I lose slowly so I sometimes get discouraged. I do know we are worth it and we will continue to use Spark to get the confidence and help we need. Keep Sparking.

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Weeeellll, ain't that an interesting turn of events...

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sooo, did everyone have an awesome Friday? Hope you did. Mine was quite pleasant thanks. It was a chilly and rainy day here in the So. Cal. It was a nice change. We've been getting weather still into the mid to upper 80's and I was sooooooo ready for something resembling November :). Finally got it and pulled out all my stops...Curried Butternut Squash soup and Honey Wheat Bread were our dinner tonight, both homemade by moi. I love making bread and soup, but when the weather is over 80 it is hard to feel like cooking anything much less bread and soup. Both were soooo yummy and perfectly matched to the weather.

It's been an interesting couple of days to say the least. Wednesday evening I sat down at my computer and started typing a blog. What came out was not planned, but it was one of those things that just came, pretty much as I typed it. without much thought. I edited a few things here and there and looked at it and looked at it some more. My fingers hovering over the send button, filled with uncertainty. I knew it was good. I've been writing long enough to know when I've put out one of my best efforts (almost always those are the ones that just flow without me having to think too hard-they are just born good), but I did have a few concerns.

I have a couple of friends who have run afoul of Sparkpeople with blogs that might be called "provocative". I just wasn't sure if my blog crossed some invisible and undistinguished line that is set by Spark, but unknown to most of us until we cross it. See, I'm what they called the goodie-two-shoes back in the day. I'm the girl that always tried to stay under the radar. Unless, I felt like I was safe to speak my mind. I never ended up in the Principal's office, but open and accepting teachers knew that there was a witty and often sarcastic person lurking behind the quiet demeanor and that she could write a wicked paper when called for.

I have always felt for my friends who ran up against the Spark censor police, their blogs were witty, clear, made an excellent point and garnered MANY good review and ALWAYS made you think. I think that thinking is a good thing and should be encouraged much more than it currently is. But, they said "something" in their post that made "someone" upset and they were censored (last I checked the right to speak your mind was protected under some obscure legal document nobody has ever heard of (see, dripping with sarcasm)). The censorship comes in various forms from what I've gathered. Some blogs are simply pulled out of existence, some are asked to tone things down and some are asked to not ruffle anymore feathers, some are told that their subject matter is taboo. I've never experienced it personally...remember flying under the radar.

So, after I typed a blog that I thought might be construed as somewhat critical, I had my doubts. But, it was late at night and I figured I'd post it and see if it was still there in the morning. Not only, was it still there, but it was quickly gathering comments. I've never experienced anything like it on one of my posts before. Every single comment was positive! Every single one...and they were coming pretty fast and piling up.

I was overwhelmed by the response. I had no idea so many people felt the same way I did and quite a few had their own suggestions that made even more sense than my own :). I was blown away! By the time I went to bed on Thursday I'd been awarded a popular blog post thingy. I've only done that once before and it took several days for that post to take off and it took the intervention of several people spreading the word to come read it before it finally reached whatever benchmark exists for these things. So, needless to say, I was amazed. I was amazed that my blog was so popular and that I hadn't heard a peep from "them" about my suggestions on how to improve the Spark experience.

Today, I had a busy and great day, but checked in every so often to see what was happening and read a blog hear and there. After school my kids hijacked the computer and I wasn't on at all for several hours. Finally, I checked my e-mail to see if plans for tomorrow had been solidified and what I needed to plan on. I checked one e-mail that was a comment from a sparkie (one of my favorite sparkies and one of my favorite friends I've never met in person-lol), I'm going to let her stay anonymous unless she chooses otherwise, giving me a heads up that my blog had been removed from the popular blogs. Huh? My phone is intelligent, but not smart and has trouble feeding the spark site so I had to wait to get on the computer to see what this was about.

Gave son a grace period to give me my computer back and sure enough there was quite the interesting situation. My blog is still in existence, still there for anyone to read should that be their desire, but if you go look at the popular blogs page...something lots of people check for daily reading material, my post is not to be found. In their opinion my post does not exists. Someone would have to already know of the post's existence or somehow stumble upon it in order to read it.

I've been censored-just a tiny bit-lol!! My first reaction was to laugh. Really? My post touched a nerve? I suspected it might, but the response was so OVERWHELMINGLY positive I thought that I had been just a touch paranoid about "censorship". And, since my post still exists maybe I was, but what is the point of hiding my post from new eyes at this point?

I kind of don't get it. I also haven't heard any official word as to why this would be the case (kind of rude if you ask me-if your going to yank me let me know why-maybe they don't have the ability to yank trophies once given or that'd be gone too?). I have no idea what the final count on the "likes" was, but it was over one hundred and the comments on the blog itself stand at 93 at this point. By far, not the most popular blog ever written, but a solid turn out (better than quite a few "popular blogs" from SparkGuy, who sometimes gets on the board with less than 30 likes).

Are they worried about how many people were in agreement about the quality of the fitness tracker? Are there absolutely no plans in regards to improving the tracker? Do they already know how poor the quality is and didn't want others to figure it out? Why not leave my post there for all to see and come over and leave a comment on my post about the plans to improve? Or at the very least an explanation as to why it wouldn't be improving anytime soon? Use my blog as the sounding board it was intended to be. Read each and every comment and make a "wish list" and get the programmers busy. Almost 100 sparkers have voiced their opinions and each and every comment makes a valid point. Not one comment was negative in nature or overly harsh, just people speaking their minds. If I were running a site that did not win a contest for best fitness tracker I'd be putting something like my post front and center. I'd be asking "what can I do to beat those other trackers next time something like this comes up".

So, yes, I'm a bit hurt that I've had my popular blog post status yanked (the little trophy thingy is still there, but it sure feels revoked). I also find it a bit humorous. I also somewhat expected it and the censorship was very mild, considering....My post still lives. I am still here. I'm not planning on going anywhere, yet. I think I will, however, name the two off site trackers I referenced, but in deference to Spark did not name...DailyMile and MyFitnessPalm or was it Fitocracy...ehh, not going to go check at this point :). Each of them has features that put Spark's tracker to shame. But, spark offers the community in a much better way (except for a few glitches and I'm not sure why they are so persnickity about those glitches).

Well, it's been a long day and it is time to enjoy a little light reading before I head off to bed. Going hiking tomorrow if all goes well. We had planned a local run, but then sis headed off to the mountains for the weekend. The rest of us decided to follow her just for the purposes of our Saturday workout. Then, today, it rained. It is snowing up in them thar' hills. If we can get up the mountain (roads are plowed, etc.) we will still hike, for the first time in snowy weather....sooooo looking forward to it :). Don't worry, weather is supposed to be nice in the morning and we'll probably be hiking in mud by the time we are done. November snow seldom lasts long in these parts. But, I'm still excited to do something brand new :).

Enjoy your weekend everyone and don't forget to turn back your clocks!! An extra hour of sleep, or an extra hour to workout...your choice (I think I'm choosing sleep since Sunday is my rest day).

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEW-CAZ 11/14/2011 2:42PM

    Let's hope they make some changes based on your blog Heather!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 11/7/2011 11:07AM

    Well, now the whole (Spark) world knows what your family already did - you're such a REBEL!!!! hehehehe

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WISLNDR 11/6/2011 6:38AM

    I read your first blog, loved it and voted for it. I caught wind that you were now 'ONE OF THEM" (said in a dramatic and menacing voice) and I just couldn't believe it. I didn't remember reading anything profane, sexual or otherwise offensive to the masses in your blog; simply truth and an opinion (which matched mine so it must be a good one!!)

Congratulations on your new status as "ONE OF THEM!!" I'm going to add you as a friend; one day, I might be "ONE OF THEM!"

emoticon

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JTAMSYN 11/5/2011 9:00PM

    That's interesting. I voted for your other blog, thought it was really interesting. I'm not a runner, so it doesn't bother me as much. But there some things that bug me, like if I do over 120 minutes of exercises it won't show up in yearly fitness minutes. I guess there's flaws in all systems. However, I didn't find your blog offensive or harsh. I thought it was well written and brought up valid points!

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ENDUROVET 11/5/2011 8:16PM

    The fitness tracker is so poor - that's why I rarely waste my time w/it... That's why it was a pleasant chuckle to me to be awarded a Fitness trophy for Oct: it isn't as if there was anything exceptional about Oct, guess I was just bored enough to track more exercise on SP...
(see ya on daily mile!)

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MICHSTATE 11/5/2011 12:35PM

    That would be great if they make some changes based on your blog!!!!

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CHANGINGMORGAN 11/5/2011 11:48AM

    I agreed with you then and I agree with you now! I have also been using various other web sites to serve my needs when it comes to ALL kinds of tracking. And I was just able to sign up for fitocracy - which I LOVE. Not that I worked out yesterday, but ssshhhh haha. I love the quests and the achievements and the the the yeah, ok, I've only been on it three days. Still learning the ins and outs! Regardless, I feel like they should address these concerns and actually be currently useful rather than big brother. Just because newcomers find joy and the like here, doesn't mean oldies (hehe) also need new motivations. Oh well. Keep it up!

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JENN26POINT2 11/5/2011 11:36AM

    I'm not surprised, actually. I've seen Spark censor many people over the years. Yoovie gets censored a lot and hasn't criticized anything about spark as far as I can recall.

Hopefully they heard you and the rest of us and will decide to do something about the fitness tracker. I'm going to go check out the ones you mention. Already at dailymile. Look me up... screenname is Jenn Tyler... original, eh? Lol

Have fun hiking!

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RUNNINGPFUHL 11/5/2011 10:52AM

    So sorry!! :(

I thought your blog was good, funny, well thought out. I didn't think for one minute they'd censor you.

It's this type of thing that has me laying low on SparkPeople these days.

On the one hand I can see why they let is stay but don't want it on the Popular Blogs list. This site is about motivating health and fitness. Not about criticism. If first impressions say a lot they don't won't a humorous yet critical post up on the popular blogs page.

Spark has made A LOT of changes over the years I've been using it. (since '06). Changed a lot of lives. It's a great site! I love it.

But I don't like the censorship lately. This year especially has been wide spread. It is their site, they own it and all the content. There is not "constitutional rights" when it comes to websites. Our Constitutional Right to free speech - speak out against the government - is for actual public speech. Protesting and the like. Unless you're in some kind of John Grisham Movie, no one is gonna come to your house and arrest you for speaking out against the government or it's ranking officials.

But websites are different. I used to monitor and yes censor a large website. In the terms of service or TOS there is information about how Spark owns all rights to every thing posted on here. On your Spark Page, in message boards, your pictures - everything. Just like Facebook. Mark Z. owns everything you post there. E-VER-Y-THING.

That being said, I feel that this year on Spark has been heavy handed. I'm sorry this happened and I hope you will stay at Spark and continue your positivity and healthy journey here! :D



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ANNEMAC5 11/5/2011 10:00AM

    I just read your blog it was true and powerful.

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CALLIKIA 11/5/2011 8:06AM

    I hope they're still listening anyhow. I'd hate to think that they truly believe my efforts are minimized just because I can't run fast enough to be considered a "runner" by their standards...

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NEW-CAZ 11/5/2011 4:11AM

    I hope SP listen it was an excellent blog........as is this one

Have a great weekend Heather emoticon

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AKATUJE 11/5/2011 3:39AM

    Interesting! Was actually hoping to read that SP had modified the tracker already!!! Your blog was perfect! And considering SP puts down so many other websites and trainers, I would expect them to listen to our views.

Have a great weekend!!!! Our clocks turned last week - I slept!!!!

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ALICIA214 11/5/2011 2:13AM

 

Good Blog Thank You!! Enjoy your Hike. emoticon

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