Thursday, January 14, 2016

Book review: Fast Girl: Running From Madness by Suzy Favor Hamilton

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?

Apparently not for Suzy Favor Hamilton. She made a name for herself as an Olympian....and as a high paid escort. She was apparently so skilled as an escort that she even ranked #2 on an escort website at one point in time. Go big or go home. While she was touring for Run Disney and the Rock and Roll Race series, she also made arrangements to meet clients on the side. On the down low. Multitasking. Getting the most bang for her buck.

Bad pun, I know.

She didn't just meet clients in Vegas. But Vegas is where most of the action happened.

I don't know who to be more disgusted with--Suzy or her husband. This book left me speechless.

Ok, I'll back it on up. Suzy Favor Hamilton was a top middle distance runner in the 1990s, competing in 3 Summer Olympics. In her final event, she saw she wasn't going to win and faked an injury, falling to the track. She readily admits this.

Yep, she threw the race because she wasn't going to win. Just try and get your head around that one.

After retiring from competition and settling into life in Wisconsin as a partner in her husband's real estate business, Suzy was unsatisfied. Diagnosed with depression, she started taking an antidepressant. For her and Mark's 20th wedding anniversary, she suggested a trip to Las Vegas. The trip included skydiving and a threesome with an escort, both at Suzy's suggestion. She felt a rush from the experience with the escort and suggested to her husband that becoming an escort was something she'd like to try.

And he agreed? My head almost blew off when I read that part.

Suzy blames her promiscuity on bipolar disorder, which she says resulted from the antidepressant she was prescribed. Interestingly, a major side effect of SSRIs is a suppressed libido. Not in this case, it seems.

All Suzy's trips to Las Vegas were made with the knowledge of her husband Mark. I can understand that bipolar disorder leads to acting out in all sorts of ways--excessive spending, drinking and drugs, and sexual promiscuity, but instead of helping Suzy, according to her story, her husband allowed her do just what she wanted. She says he didn't approve, but he knew and he stuck around.

Does this seem odd to you?

Can you say enabler?

Or is Suzy looking for someone to blame?

Clearly she was out of control. I read most of this book with my mouth hanging open. And it's not a well written book but it is a page turner. First I had to try to fathom her husband's complicity. Right now, my husband is trying to wrap his head around my 2 spring races which involve plane tickets and hotel stays. Trips to Las Vegas to have sex with other men? For money? I believe that he might draw the line at that. Although I don't know for sure. I've never tested him on that.

What kind of husband would go along with this?

In the book, Suzy talks about being afraid of failure. First as a runner, and then as a prostitute. On her prostitution journey, her ego got the best of her and she became careless with her clients, who eventually figured out who she was. It was finally a reporter with The Smoking Gun who outed her. On the day the story went public, Suzy convinced her husband to go hiking. While they were driving, she tried to throw herself out of the car. Finally, her husband drew the line, and she got some help.

It takes a lot to get Suzy's husband to stand up to her. I probably should cut him some slack. But this story is just so hard for me to believe on so many levels. There's so much drama and so much blaming of everyone around her, as well as blaming everything on the bipolar disorder. I never felt that she had any regrets or took any responsibility for her behavior.

Initially, I found Hamilton's book to be dragged down by superfluous detail. But as the story moves forward, the storytelling improves, and I found it hard to put the book down. It was like reading a tabloid story or watching a car wreck. You know nothing good is going to come out of this story, right?

Personally, I was disappointed that there was so much detail and glorification of her sexual conquests. Clearly, she was proud of her prowess. She talked about how she wanted to be the top escort in the world.

I would have liked more detail about her life as a collegiate and Olympic athlete. She had so much talent and tons of opportunities with companies that wanted to sponsor her, based on her reputation as a runner. But that's not what this book is about. I will admit that it was fascinating to read about someone who had it all but was so willing to live life on the edge.

Maybe she was so out of control because no one around her threw out a safety net. Everyone just let her do her own thing. It seems like she had so much power over all the people in her life. The whole time I read this book, I kept asking myself why no one tried to intervene.

I should cut Suzy some slack because of her illness. There's probably plenty of blame to go around besides her husband. Her parents who pushed her? The University of Wisconsin for putting her in those easy classes that all the athletes pass? The coach who told her that her breasts were too big for a runner? Her competitors who were possibly doping? Her sponsors? Her doctors? Her pimp?

In the end though, she comes back to the realization that she still has running. After reading this book, I'm not entirely convinced.
"I run now for the freedom it gives me. I run because it feels good. I run because it is good for me--for my heart and for my head. But it isn't all I do. I am still constantly in motion: in my running shoes, on my bike, on my yoga mat, exercise is my drug of choice now....
...In these moments, on the path with my feet hitting the ground, I feel peaceful. I am myself, living the life I want, not the one that others expect from me or the one that I created out of fantasy and confusion. My life now isn't perfect. Far from it. But it is a life of contentment, and for this I am incredibly grateful. "

Life goes on, and now Suzy has become a yoga instructor. She also has said she's decided to devote more time to being a better mother to her young daughter.

I hope so.

I didn't attempt to contact Suzy Favor Hamilton for an interview because there are so many stories about her on the internet, as well as some live interviews. She was featured in Sports Illustrated and People Magazine as well as on 20/20. All these stories are readily available.

Did you read the book? A lot of people told me that after seeing Suzy on the news that they had no desire to read her story. I'm curious about what you think. If you don't have a blog post to link up, feel free to post in the comments. Be sure to check out the other reviews. 

Here's the link badge! Link up is at the end of the post. It will be live for 2 weeks, so if you haven't read the book, you've got plenty of time! It's a quick read. Be sure to link back to this post! Remember sharing is caring.

Next month we're shifting gears and reading It was Me All Along by Andi Mitchell. This sweet memoir was written by a young woman who struggles with body image issues and weight loss. It has received great reviews. Should be another good one! Book review and link up will go live on Friday, February 19.

Click on the photo to purchase from Amazon (affiliate link)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The whiner's guide to staying accountable in the winter

What do you mean you don't want to go for a run?

"It's too coooollllld!"

"It's dark oooouuuut!"

"It's haaaaaaaaard!"

"Running suuuuuuuucks..."

Waa, waa, waa. I too speak whinese.

You call yourself a runner?

Whining never got anything done. Trust me. Sure, sometimes it feels good to whine. "I don't waaaaaant toooooo!" They don't call me Wendy Whiner for nothing. Oh wait, that wasn't me. That was an SNL character back in the day.

I won't deny it. I have done my share of whining. I have the whining gene in my DNA.

So how does a whiner shake off the funk and get out there in the cold?

Experience is the best teacher. And I've got a pep talk for you.

1. The first step to resolution is to acknowledge the problem. You're right, it's cold out. Yes, it's dark. The bed never felt so good. But remember this: you're awake now, so you may as well get up and go. You are a runner and that's what we do. We run. So suck it up.

2. Visualize yourself running. Wimps don't run in the cold and dark. Everyone else who's still in bed? Sloths. You are not a sloth. You are a beast. You are superhuman. You are a runner. And you're going to get it done before the sun. As my dad used to tell my sisters and me when we didn't want to do something, "it will put hair on your chest." Think about that as you're running around your neighborhood.

3. Think about the bragging rights you get for running outside in the winter. You can casually drop this little nugget at the water cooler:
"Yep, yep, heh, heh,  I got in 5 miles before I came into work today."
"The cold? What cold? I've got hair on my chest."
Your selfies will already have 100 likes on IG before anyone else even posts their run. Maybe you'll be called a badass mother runner. Maybe you'll be reposted. Maybe you'll be called crazy, which is a compliment in any runner's book.

Last winter. Me.
4. Then there's that whole zen thing to running outside in the winter. You get to be one with nature. The peace. The beauty. There's a pretty good chance that you will see the sun come up. A sunrise never gets old. You get to greet a new day. And you get to brag about it. See #3 above. Of course, you might see skunks or other wild animals, which will, besides giving you some good stories, will put an extra pep in your step.

5. Running first thing in the morning fires up your calorie burning furnace, no matter what time of year it is. You get to eat all the food. While your co-worker or friend is nibbling on an apple and a carton of yogurt, you get to gorge yourself on all the food. Pass the chocolate cake. Smiling like a runner.

6. If none of the above gets you going, remind yourself how bad you'll feel if you skip this run. Oh, trust me on this one. That extra sleep might seem so appealing, the warm bed so tempting, but as the day wears on, you'll kick yourself for skipping the run.And just try running after work. Sure, you can do it. Can you?

7. Remind yourself that this too will pass. Heck, it's already mid-January! Winter goes and spring races come. And guess who will be ready? You. Yep, winter running sucks. Spring is our reward. You have to earn it.

8. Of course, sometimes the weather is just too dicey for even the most die-hard runner. Icy conditions are dangerous, and no one wants to risk that. While there's no glory in running on the treadmill, sometimes a runner just has to. Badass in its own way, for a "real" runner, running on the treadmill is a special kind of torture. Although most non-runners don't quite see it that way, it's ok. You can whine all you want if you take it to the 'mill. A whiner's gotta do what a whiner's gotta do. Just do it.

Any more excuses?

I didn't think so.

Layer up, put on your YakTrax (affiliate link), and let's go! Remember, if running in the winter was easy, it would be called your mom...

The one sign I saw a million times at the marathon. Finally, I get it.
Do you run outside in the winter? (Florida and California residents need not apply.) What tips do you want to share? What pushes you out the door? How do you stay accountable?

I'm linking up with DebRuns and Wednesday Word. Today's word is accountable!

I'm also linking up with the FitFoodieMama, AngelenaMarie, FitfulFocus, and FruitionFitness for Wild Workout Wednesday! Have a wild workout!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Loving/Not Loving/Winning

I could think of no better way to wrap up what has been a hellacious week than to try to put a humorous spin on things. You know me. Always trying to make light. The only thing I can say about this week is that things can't get much worse, right? Or can they?

You know what? Don't answer that. I do have 2 teenage sons, after all. And none of my grief this week has come from them. For that, I am grateful.

Hopefully, by the time you're reading this, I'm on a beach somewhere exotic, counting my winnings from the $1,000,000,000 Powerball drawing. That's a lot of zeros. Buh-bye.

Oh, wait. I'm still here. Crap! That means it rolled over. I'll win next week.


So hey! I got to ride with this guy, virtually. Let's talk about what I'm loving, not loving, and winning..
Your perky instructor on the GCN.
Loving: riding my trusty Trek bike indoors on the trainer. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, I've been able to enjoy some fun rides in Italy, France, and Australia.
Not loving: The interval/spin class that I did on Saturday was interrupted 3 times by ads. Seriously annoying. Who puts ads in the middle of a workout video? The ads aren't even targeted for this audience. Ads for whiskey? HIV testing? Too bad, because this was a great workout/ride and there are a ton of them on the GCN channel on YouTube. I thought I found my every ride right here. This was GREAT. Except for the damn ads. Even the soundtrack was good. Guess I'll have to suck it up and ride with my phone in hand so I can skip the ads.
Winning: For all of my rides, I wore my heart rate monitor and got myself in my training zone, guaranteeing an effective alternative to running.

Loving: The new look of my blog. I'm sure I'll keep tweaking things. But for now, I'm satisfied.
Not loving: The
Winning: Comment moderation has helped keep most of the spam for my eyes only. Some of the comments are so bad, they're entertaining. But most don't even make sense. Some robot out there's got my number.

Loving: Time off my feet and use of my night splint has reduced my PF pain significantly.
Not loving: That I still have some pain.
Winning: I reached out to Align Footwear to see if they would let me trial their orthotics. They came yesterday and I'll be testing them once I'm back on the road. Stay tuned for a review.

#oofos #feeturesPFcompressionsleeve #snoga #wheelpose #thesearenottheofficialhashtags
Loving: SweatPink has started a new daily yoga pose challenge on Instagram for January and February. You know I love me some yoga. I did this last year and it was fun to get creative with the poses. I was also able to hook a couple of friends into doing yoga, and now they've outdone me, continuing on a daily streak going on a year now. So proud. Like a mom.
Not lovingAll the hashtags required to participate for prizes. Seems like I'm always forgetting one of them. I'll never win! #toomanyhashtags #andthehashtagsarecumbersomelikethisone
Winning: I get to do yoga. #yogaeverydamnday #yesthisisoneofthehashtags

Loving: Remember those men's Vans I was sent by mistake instead of the boots I ordered? I finally returned them to the Amazon marketplace vendor. After many painful phone calls to Amazon customer service, shipping was reimbursed by Amazon.
Not loving: The vendor called me to tell me he sent me a prepaid shipping label. I never got it. He asked me to remove my claim on Amazon. I told him I would do that when he refunded my money. Stay tuned...
Winning: I found the boots half price on another website.

Loving: Betabrand. On recommendation from 2 of my colleagues, I bought a pair of these "dress" yoga pants. OMG. Stretchy, comfy, and stylish. The quality is top notch.
Not loving: The price. But there are coupons and discounts if you refer a friend. I reached out to the company and they don't partner with bloggers.
Winning: Wearing yoga pants to work.

So much win! 

How was your week? Any wins you want to share? Keeping it all positive!

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap. By now, they are done running the WDW Marathon! Be sure to head over to their pages to link up and/or check out all the posts. And CONGRATULATE them both on completing their first marathons!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Trust and the coach

For the past week, I have been harboring a little secret. Today I shared it with Becky. After I told her, she shrugged her shoulders, which I took to mean it was ok. In Becky, I trust. Coach Extraordinaire. Super Woman. Wise Sage.

I knew my coach was a superhero, but it was confirmed today!
photo by Buckshot Images
I've been off the road for almost a week now, letting my foot rest so the devil in my plantar fascia can chill out. I've been pedalling away on my bike trainer, posting yoga poses for the Sweatpink #flexandflow challenge, and lifting all the weights with Becky. I can clean and I can squat. I've been wearing my deadlift shoes. I've been diligently stretching and rolling my foot.

By the way, Becky confirmed what I already suspected: yes, cycling does aggravate the plantar fascia. Certainly not as much as running, but yes, there is some aggravating going on. Damn it.

The one thing I'm not doing this week is running. And to tell you the truth, I'm not missing running right now. At all.

There it is. And it isn't even Runfessions...

It's no wonder I'm having night sweats...

I haven't told anyone this until today. I feel a little funny saying it here. After all, I'm a runner. I do all things running. I write about it. I talk about it. I love it.

But let's stop and think about it. To meet my mileage goal at the end of the year, I did run a lot more running than when I would normally be winding down. Becky told me today that I ran way more last year than she would have liked. She said she understood my need to meet the goal. But it was a lot of miles.

While I'm on this little break, I'm kind of enjoying pedalling in the comfort of my family room. I'm having fun picking out cycling videos on YouTube. So far I've ridden in Italy, France, and Australia. It's not all fun and games and pretty scenery, though. When I climb off the bike, I'm sweating profusely. And it wasn't because of that guy in the France video who was wearing white bike shorts. White shorts and endurance sports should never happen. Just sayin'. No, I know I'm working hard because I've been wearing my heart rate monitor, and I've been riding in my target HR zone--between 140-160 BPM.

And because my foot is still bothering me, I'll take one more week before I head back out to the road. No one even had to twist my arm. It's supposed to be brutally cold this weekend anyways. Icy. Snowy. Cold. Brrr.

What? The cold never bothered me before. Am I getting soft?

Nah. Just a little burned out. Wrecked. 

No worry, I'll be out there soon enough. I've got a spring marathon to train for! Oh, that. Today, I asked Becky about a training plan. Her response?

"This isn't like your last one. You're supposed to just enjoy this one!" training plan? Yes, Becky's right, Big Sur is all about the experience, but it is still 26.2 freaking miles! With a few hills. 2000 feet of them. Says the flatlander. 

Becky is hoping that a lot of the weight training I'm doing will prepare me for the hills. After this strength cycle is complete, there's going to be more plyometrics and HIIT again. But mentally, I do need to do some hill training. Some speed work too. And some long runs. I'm going to piecework some kind of plan together. Experience will pay off here. I wouldn't recommend this approach if you haven't run a marathon before.

While I have 100% trust in my coach, I plan on working on that training plan this weekend. 

Today while I was at CrossFit, a woman from Becky's class introduced herself to me. She told me she reads my blog. She also told me she loves my pictures. Living in the area, she says can usually figure out where I take them, but she told me that they always look like some exotic locale. Well, how fun was hearing that? I always try to find beauty even in an area that isn't known for its ambiance. It's there. It all depends on your perspective.

Let's see if she can figure out where I took this one for SweatPink's #flexandflow challenge. Taking this picture was a mini-adventure. I was on my way home from yoga class and found the perfect spot for the pose of the day. As I was setting up to take this picture, I noticed a small dog running through the park. I watched him run, I realized it wasn't a small dog at all. It was a coyote! Luckily, he wasn't interested in me--they never are, I'm all gristle--and kept on going. Crisis averted. I set the timer on my phone and started to back up, getting myself in position to take the picture. I didn't realize I was standing on the edge of a hill, which was coated with an icy crust. My tree started to slide down the hill and I couldn't stop! I fell forward, put my hands down on the crusty surface, and clawed my way to the top of the slope. Just like a mountain climber, right? I looked around to make sure no one saw me, resumed the pose, and snapped the picture.

Completly unintentional.


Do you ever get burnt out on running or any other activity? What do you do to get your head back in the game? Any funny selfie stories?

Today I'm linking up this post with the DC Trifecta: Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Rewind, reset, renew

This new year, I set some goals.

Time to slow down. Enjoy life a little bit more.

Along with that, I set an intention to live more joyfully.

I figured that declaring it would make it happen. But it seems that life has different ideas.


It's only the beginning of the year,  but I'd like a do-over.

Is there a reset button? Can we do this thing again? Because things haven't started off so well.

Maybe it's me. Maybe my expectations were too high? I was so pumped about the way I ended last year. I hit that final mileage goal. I crushed all my other goals, save that BQ.


Feeling so positive, I was ready to tackle 2016 with arms wide open. Ready to restart, resume, and renew my training. I've got a marathon to train for.

I pulled out the mantras:
Good vibes only.
Don't stop believin'.
I can and I will.
I got this.

Instead, I wake up in a pool of sweat. Hot flashes, anyone?
Instead, I can not get my youngest out of bed for school.
Instead, it is school physical season v2.0.
Instead, an injury has sidelined me.
Instead of the cute ankle boots I ordered, I received a pair of size 11 Vans.

If I could rewind the last couple of days, I would.
Reset my expectations.
And renew my goals.
Reset my intention.

Let's do it. Here I go again:

I will welcome each day as a clean slate.
I will start each day with the intention of joy.
I will accept the things I cannot change.
I will be thankful for the little things that make me smile.
I will not take personally the people who treat me badly.
I will take charge of my happiness.
I will be positive.
I will run.

Good vibes only.
Don't stop believin'.
I can and I will.
I got this.
Just breathe.

Find joy in the journey.

How has your year started off? Are you tackling those goals?

I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. This week's word is renewal.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

It's a wrap!

It's the end of the year as we know it...

It's time to take down all the holiday decorations and get back to my regularly scheduled life. But first, I've got a few loose ends to tie up here on the blog. The Weekly Wrap, hosted by Tricia and Holly, is the perfect place to do it! You may want to check out what everyone else is posting and while you are there, wish Tricia and Holly good luck on the WDW Marathon, happening next weekend!

So let's get this party started! First things first, a few leftovers from 2015:

I did a data dump with my Garmin and found all kinds of fun statistics. I'm kind of a numbers geek. My Forerunner 10 gave me a surprisingly large amount of interesting (at least to me) data. I've summed it all up in this fun infographic:

This week I received a few reminders of some awesome events I participated in this fall.

My official Chicago Marathon participation certificate arrived:

In case there was any doubt.
I also received some photos from the Underground Polar Express run that I participated in a few weeks ago. A fun day with friends, it was a great event for a good cause. I'll be back. So fun.

Me, Marcia, and Sara

Never one to miss a photog! But check out the shirtless guy behind us. Really? In December? At a Santa run?
This past week, I hit my final goal for 2015, that #RunThisYear goal of 2015 kms/1252 miles that I set for myself one year ago. That is my highest yearly mileage ever, and this was my first year ever that I didn't miss any time on the road for injury. I am thrilled with that, and I need to give credit to my coach Becky, who has worked hard with me to strengthen and balance my glutes, hips, and hamstrings. She also developed a marathon training plan for me which was tough, but effective. Low miles, lots of cross training, and plenty of mental toughness sprinkled in.

As promised, after this run, I hung up my running shoes to devote some time to recovery. Hoping my hiatus will be brief. But I need to get this PF under control. My love/hate relationship with my faux Strassburg sock continues. Got heel lifts? Downward dogs? Compression sleeve? Foot strengthening? Did you even know this was a thing? According to this article, it is THE thing for PF.

So yes, I'm doing those heel lifts. What else can I do?

The first thing I did was treat my feet to a pedicure on New Year's Eve. Afterwards, I slipped on my new Oofos sandals, which I won from Kim at Kooky Runner. I think I'm in love. Let's just say these flip flops are my new favorite thing! Have you tried them yet?

It's all about the pretty toes...and the super comfy shoes!
I also went to see Becky for my weekly workout--she had me doing more cleans, front squats, and deadlifts. Since she's a corrective exercise specialist as well as an endurance coach, I asked her for any advice she could give me that I wasn't yet doing for my foot. She talked with me about doing some arch rolling on the lacrosse ball as soon as I get up in the morning, before I even stand up.

Since Becky was on board with my plan to take some time off running, I was able to leave the CrossFit box with a bike trainer to use for the winter. Can you say win?

Thanks to YouTube, I rode for an hour on Saturday through the Italian countryside and on Sunday, I rode along the beach and up a mountain. I'll be sharing more about indoor bike training in a separate post, but let's just say it is a worthy successor to the treadmill. Equally as boring and tough. I wore my heart rate monitor to make sure I was getting a decent workout, and I stayed in "the zone". Oooh, the pain! The sweat! My husband had to turn on the ceiling fan. I chugged my Nuun hydration throughout.

Completely non-running related but worth a mention: I went to see the movie Sisters with my sister Lisa. We had heard that the movie had received mixed reviews. But it's Tina Fey and Amy Pohler! We both thought it was hilarious. In fact, we laughed so hard we cried. If you liked Bridesmaids, you'll like this one. There are so many one-liners that I can't remember them all.

We decided that we need to up our dance game. Not that we ever had one...

What did you do this week? Ready to go back to reality? Seen any good movies (besides Star Wars?)

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: Goals, Resolutions, and Intentions #AMRresolutions

Happy New Year everyone!

I've written a few posts recapping my year on the road and reviewing my goals from 2015. Now it's time to talk about my goals for 2016!

Dimity and Sarah from Another Mother Runner are once again hosting their annual declaration of running resolutions. Actually, they call them intentions. Being the goal oriented person that I am, I'm still all about making my resolutions, goals, intentions, or whatever you call them to be measurable and attainable. So here we go....

You may have already read my post a few weeks ago where I've declared 2016 to be my Year of the Destination Races! I shared some of my plans and ideas about how I'd like this to go down. How fun is this going to be? I'm not sure how my husband feels about this, but I'm both excited and nervous about what's to come. Dimity and Sarah say they want this to be about pushing out of our comfort zones. In that post, I wrote about that too.

Ok, then, I'm in.

If you look at the races I have picked already and the ones that I'm considering, there is one common theme here...these races are all about the experience. These are destination races, they are run on beautiful courses, and for me, are not about time goals. Or as I like to say, "it's about finish lines, not finish times!"

Yep, this year I'm going to try to tamp down my competitive urges and enjoy the ride.

Do you realize how hard this will be for me? I love to race and I love to run fast. I'm deliberately taking this year to try to slow down and breathe. I go at 150 mph from the moment I get up in the morning until I lay down to go to sleep. I thought you were supposed to mellow with age, but that hasn't happened to me yet. Can I make it happen? We'll see.

That's not to say I won't try to challenge myself at all this year. I mean come on, it's me we're talking about! I do love me some speed...

On with the goals...

My main goal for 2016 is to slow down and enjoy the ride.

What else do I want to accomplish in 2016?

Stay injury free. Can I have a repeat goal from 2015? Let's make it an ongoing goal. I'm going to continue to be smart about my training with low, meaningful mileage and lots of cross-training. That means for my spring marathon, speedwork on the treadmill and heat training...on the treadmill. For this race, I'll need to do some hill training too. I'll continue to work with Becky on strength training and whatever else she throws my way. It's been a formula for success. I'll also do yoga at least twice a week, once in the studio and the rest at home. I'm going to try to get on the bike at least once/week, weather permitting.

Be more mindful. As I said above, I go full speed every day, and I get overwhelmed pretty easily. There's too much multitasking in my life. Yesterday on my run, I turned around at the halfway point and headed back home. As I stepped gingerly over an icy patch on the path, I realized that I didn't even remember crossing it the first time. My bright yellow running shoes have a big brown mud spot on them now and I have no idea where the heck it came from! I have to work harder at staying in the present moment. This means slowing down and breathing. My family, friends, and co-workers would probably appreciate that too. This also means not attending to every message and text as soon as it comes in. Pranayama (breathing exercises) and mindful meditation. More yoga. Less media.

Meet up with blogging/running friends in real life! One of the best things that's come out of this blog is getting to meet all the fantastic people who I've gotten to know through blogging. If any of you reading this are going to be at a race that I'm planning on running please reach out to me. I love meeting my virtual friends!

Continue to grow the blog. I focused a lot of my energy on Facebook and Instagram this year, and was really rewarded with followers! So now it's time to learn more about Pinterest, which is a huge source of followers for a lot of bloggers. I still don't quite get how Pinterest works, and so I'm going to do some homework to figure out how it fits in with the blogging scheme. I've mostly been using it to store memes and recipes. My Pinterest boards make me look like a hoarder. Time to get organized.

No matter what I do this year, I'm still all about putting out quality content. I won't write just to make a sponsor happy. The blog will always be all me, all the time.


Finally, I wanted to make a comment about setting an intention. Most often at the beginning of yoga class the instructor asks students to set an intention, either for the class, for the day, or in general. Setting an intention isn't goal setting. An intention is more of a guiding principle for how you want to live or guide your life. The intention doesn't stop when you get off the mat. You should carry your intention with you throughout the day. Intentions are heart driven. Intentions can be broad--you might want to be a better person. Or maybe you want to become more kindhearted. By consciously setting an intention, you can actually turn your thoughts around. Kind of like using a mantra during a race.

For me, I've decided that I want to live more joyfully. At times, I find myself getting bogged down in negativity and I don't like the way that makes me feel. This will be a tough challenge, but it is something that I really want to change.

Yes, this is my oldest son at age 2!
If you need help with intention setting, here's a great article to get you started.

Have you set your goals for 2016? Do you ever set an intention? What is the one thing you want to accomplish in 2016?

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta aka Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for Friday Five! I'm sure there will a few resolutions, goals, and intentions over there...

And with Jill Conyers for her brand new Fitness, Health, and Happiness link up!

Tuesdays on the Run aka Marcia, Erika, and Patti are also hosting a link up for 2016 goals! Let's do this!