Blue's UnBashful Blog

Blue's UnBashful Blog

Monday, September 8, 2014

Milton Man Triathlon

June 29th I raced the Milton Man triathlon, completing the sprint distance.  I got little sleep the night before due to a cook- out.  I had a blast with friends but didn't get as much sleep as I needed.  It was a rainy morning, I can't believe I even got out of bed.  I threw everything together, jumped in my car, and headed east.  I was kind of hoping this race would be called and then I could snuggle back into bed.  Alas, I showed up and was informed that there was a little bit of a delay.  No worries, I showed up, I'm going to do this. 

The swim start was different than previous years.  Most swim starts (the races I have completed) are beach starts.  This one, we walked to the end of a dock and jumped in.  This made me giggle the entire time.  When I first took office, the temporary email password I had been given was "jump in a lake".  I realized that I had not jumped in a lake since receiving that password. I was excited about the jump. 

The swim was nice and calm, not too bad for hardly having completed any swim training.  My legs were sluggish on the bike but I enjoyed it overall, the course is a loop 2 laps to be completed for the sprinters.  The run went well.  My overall time was pretty close to the previous time I completed this race, the bike was a couple of minutes slower this year.  I was happy with the race and very happy that I showed up. 

Thanks to Mickey Ryzmek of North Coast Multisports for snapping this picture of me after I crossed the finish line.  Thanks Mickey! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Mayor Megan's 5miler for Freedom and Fireworks (5mile and 2mile run)

June 28th I organized the 2nd annual "Mayor Megan's 5miler for Freedom and Fireworks" 5mile and 2mile run in an effort to bring people into Grafton, provide a healthy and fun activity for residents, and to raise money for our 4th of July celebration. 

The weather was hot and humid but we had a great turn out and the volunteers were awesome, my sister came out and helped as well which meant so much to me!  It's really awesome when people volunteer their time to give back to the community.  And a very special thanks to Peace Racing (www.peaceracing.org) for directing. 


Monday, July 14, 2014

Believe in CLE Yoga Event

Friday June 27th I participated in the 2nd annual free 75 minute Vinyasa Flow yoga session and event at the Rock n Roll hall of fame in Cleveland, Ohio to help support the positive vibes of Northeast Ohio.  I missed the event last year and as soon as I got the email for this year's event I signed up right away.  This was taking place Friday evening, the night before the run that I was organizing for Grafton, so I was a little bit stressed and felt like curling up into a ball and staying home.  Alas,  I made myself get up and go, refusing to miss out on positive experiences due to stress.  I made the right choice!

I joined over 2,000 other yogis and Believe in CLE supporters this beautiful night.  We listened to Alex Sheen, founder of Because I said I would, speak about the importance of promises.  What an inspiration!  Tammy Lyons of Inner Bliss Yoga Studio helped organize this amazing event and also led us through a 75 minute yoga session with uplifting music, several yoga instructors providing assists,  and positive vibes.  Several food trucks and vendors in addition to some dancing and yogi silliness accompanied the yoga practice.  I met up with friends Kristen and Carolyn and soaked in every minute. 


 

 
Smiles are contagious :)

Believe Love Understand Empower and don't forget to smile <3

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Electric Run 5k

I enjoy inspiring others and it's been my goal for years to expose people to the running/triathlon/yoga community.  Everyone has something different that they will enjoy but it's taking that first step that is the most important part.  My mom doesn't enjoy vigorous exercise or getting really sweaty and yucky so I invited her to watch me take a pilates class once.  She thought it looked fun, tried it, and is hooked!  I'm so happy that she found something healthy that she can also enjoy and she looks amazing. 

Over the winter I saw an ad for The Electric Run.  It is a 5k run but it is at night with lights, dance music, and a party afterwards!  My younger sister loves the dance music and she is for sure a night owl so I thought this would be perfect for her to try out.  I signed us up immediately! 

 I believe this was the first time it was held in the Cleveland area.  It took place at the Berea Fairgrounds on Friday June 20th.  There was quite a downpour beforehand and mud was a guarantee.  Luckily we left early enough that we didn't get stuck in the awful traffic jam heading into the run and festivities.  My sister's boyfriend and another mutual friend were able to join us as well (2 more newbies, yay!).  After waiting around to meet up with friends we decided to head on in and take our place in line. 

 
 
 



The run was very muddy but we all had a blast.  We ran, walked, slid around in the mud, laughed and everyone finished!  It's really great to have friends and family do something fun and healthy with me.  I'm not sure if they are all in love with running 5k's now but it was great that they tried something new and we all had a blast!

Believe Love Understand Empower!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Munroe Falls Triathlon

Saturday June 14th I completed the Munroe Falls Triathlon.   I ran around in the morning after waking up late,  throwing things in my triathlon bag and car, printing directions, and forgetting my coffee.  If this was my first triathlon I would have been in complete panic mode.  I made it on time, with a little detour of course. 

I like this triathlon because it is fairly small and it is a nice course.  The swim is in a small lake so the water is warm and I don't need a wetsuit.  The start was a bit of a challenge because we were swimming into the sun, I couldn't see, and the ladies were pretty aggressive.  Once turned around I found my groove and headed in toward the beach exit.  The bike course was nice.   This was the first time I was on my road bike since last year.  Thankfully everything had been tuned up and I survived. Once the laps were complete I headed back into the park and out into the run.  This was also my first brick workout of the season and my legs sure did feel like bricks; alas, I felt strong. 

The run was pleasant and I felt good.  We ran 2 laps within the park.  It was a smooth race, nicely organized by Champ racing. 

My times were pretty consistent from the last time I raced, a little bit slower in each leg but the run. By slower, I mean by a couple of minutes so I'm not that upset.  My goal this year is to just participate and complete.  Mission accomplished. 

Pre race photo.  Love that I was given the number 13.  I felt like this was a sign of not giving up after 2013, one of the crappiest years ever.  I dedicated this race to Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 and all of the people responsible for that day. 
 
The aftermath :)  

Saturday, July 5, 2014

5th Annual LULA 5k for Girls with Sole

June 8th I completed the 5th Annual Lula5k run for Girls with Sole.  This race is awesome in so many ways and I try to run it every year.  Girls with Sole is an organization for at risk girls.  The Girls with Sole Mission is  to " Use free fitness and wellness programs to empower the minds, bodies and souls of girls who are at-risk or have experienced any type of abuse".   Many of the participants are girls finishing their first race, capturing what founder Liz Ferro refers to as the "Finish Line Feeling".   Liz's book, Finish Line Feeling  is Liz's life and what led her to start this great organization. 
 
Peace Racing directed the race and it was another fun, inspiring race, that is well organized and tailored to any type of runner.  I ran a PR with a time of 30:31, 9:49/min mile.  The overcast, drizzling rain was welcomed but the downpour at the end wasn't helpful.  But hey, life is about learning to dance in the rain.  It was great to see so any friends at this race too.  It was the first time seeing friends since the long, dreadful winter. 
 
Liz's book can be found online at www.girlswithsole.org or on www.amazon.com.  I encourage you to read her book, it's an inspiring story for anyone, runner or not!  Follow Liz on Facebook as she runs a marathon in each state to help raise funds for girls with sole. 
 
 

 
 
 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cleveland Half Marathon 2014

This May I set out to do another half marathon!  I chose to do the Cleveland spring marathon because it's close and the course was changed since the last time I ran it so it wouldn't be "boring".  One can never predict the weather for this particular weekend.  When I did the half the first time it was chilly rain, when I did the full marathon is was scorching hot.  This year the weather was sunny but a tad on the chilly side, just a little itsy bit chilly.  I had no expectations coming into this race, I simply wanted to just do it and enjoy the experience. 

It took me longer than I planned to find a parking spot and then I searched everywhere for some sort of bathroom.  After finally releasing my bladder I head to the start line following random people who were obviously running this race. 

We finally took off and I started the half marathon.  It was taking me a while to warm my legs up but the course was pretty and all of the fans were great!  I always enjoy seeing the creative signs.  Unfortunately I don't think my bladder emptied all the way and I started to get the urge to pee.  I ignored it for a bit, thinking I would just sweat it out.  However, it became rather annoying.  I passed several porto- potties but there were long lines.  I kept telling myself, I'll stop at the next one the line will be shorter.  Well I finally got to my 6 or 7 mile and just had to stop.  There were several people in front of me and it felt like they were taking forever.  Alas, I finally did my business. 

I have always found it very difficult to start moving again after suddenly stopping for a bit.  I continued to start running again but was feeling a bit discouraged for the set back in time thanks to my bladder.  I kept moving forward.

The last 3 miles were slightly up hill and any runner can feel that, especially towards the end of a race.  Pushing through I crossed the finish line, grabbed water, took this smiling picture,  and proceeded to find my way back to my car. 

My time was significantly slower than the first time I ran this half marathon.  Though I was irritated about this fact I reminded myself that I was just out here to have fun and the pit stop made a difference in time and how I felt....it happens :)  I was smiling afterwards so that is a big win for me <3



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rockin' Road Trip

Rob Zombie is one of the most interesting artists and people in my opinion.  If I could hang out with anyone I would choose to hang out with Rob and his band.  They all seem so amazing, intriguing, brilliant, and filled with positive energy.   I cannot remember when I really began to appreciate his entertaining qualities and started loving his music and movies. 2013 was by far the shittiest year to date. His movies and music kept me distracted from reality.  I wanted to ignore the fact that I was stuck, stagnant in life and work, at a loss for words and direction.  On a whim I decided to attend one of his concerts in Columbus, Ohio during the summer of 2013.  I was initially supposed to go with a friend but he had to back out at the last minute.  Though I had an extra ticket, I looked forward to the solo trip.  At the Columbus show I stuck out and felt quite awkward amongst the metal heads with their dreads, drunkenness, gothic clothing, and stench of pot smoke in the air.  I tried to appear as though I wasn't alone.  Since I was by myself I decided not to drink so that I could make the drive back home safely and so that I could remain alert among the crowd of sex, "macho", aggressive hungry men.  The concert was amazing.  Rob came out into the crowd, I got a hug, and it was such a badass experience and concert. 
 
It was a no-brainer when I saw that he was going on tour in 2014; I WAS going to find a way to make it to his concert.  Then, I saw that Adventures in Wonderland was offering a meet and greet...hell yes!  I was taking the time to decide between Kentucky or Richmond Virginia.  I decided on Virginia because the Kentucky concert was the same weekend as the Derby and the costs for hotels were ridiculous.  I committed to the meet and greet in Virginia.  I was incredibly nervous and immensely excited. 
 
I headed out Friday afternoon toward PA where I would stay the night before heading to Virginia Saturday.  As soon as I got on the turnpike heading away from home, I felt a tremendous amount of relief, a touch of fear, and a sense of knowing this is what I should be doing.  Seeing the Pennsylvania mountains brought even more awe, wonder, and happiness.  I felt like a kid exploring a toy store.  I made the climb to the place I was staying, grabbed some pizza, and headed further up the mountain to settle in before dark.  I slept like I was dead. Maybe it was because I finally felt safe or maybe it was being surrounded by nature, or a bit of both. 
 
I awoke early Saturday and headed towards Virginia.  I have never done anything like this before, driving so far alone, to somewhere I have never been.  I was on the road for a brief period of time when I noticed a sign for the Flight 93 Memorial, there was no doubt that I had to stop.  The memorial didn't open until 9am so I waited about an hour.  Once the gates opened I drove about a mile to the memorial.  It was still a work a progress but it was beautiful.  I reflected on the incredible, brave sacrifice of those on board that flight and their heroic decision to prevent a much worse ending.  Our country was founded on such bravery and courage and it is amazing that such selflessness continues. 



 
 
The drive was beautiful and I felt even more at ease the further I drove.  Once reaching my hotel I quickly checked in, settled in, and set out to enjoy every single minute.  I headed downtown and walked around, overwhelmed with the city life and traffic.  I checked out the Edgar Allen Poe museum.  I was surprised to learn that he was quite the athlete, especially an avid swimmer and boxer.  I felt a connection to him walking through the old house and reading various facts of his life. 
 
 
I continued my exploring, made sure I knew how to get to The National for the concert and made my way to dinner.  JalapeƱo, honey, bacon as an appetizer....YUM!!!   
Sunday I woke up with the birds, ready to enjoy the day to its fullest.  I went to an organic breakfast place and while sitting at the table I was startled to suddenly hear cheering and others in the restaurant moved toward the front, where the window/doors were wide open as if just for this reason.    I heard sirens and then suddenly saw motorcycles and cyclists whizzing buy, the air was filled with thunder, man made gusty winds, and screams and cheers of excitement from the audience consisting of regulars and tourists.  This weekend was also the weekend for the USA Cycling National Championships!
I had to be out in front of The National by 5pm for the meet and greet.  Of course I was early.  Since it was just me, I was sure to only bring what was needed and to dress comfortably.  I stopped drinking fluids around 4 to make sure I didn't have to use the bathroom so much.  Typically I drink over a gallon of water a day so this was a challenge.  Shortly after 5 we were checked in and brought inside to wait in another line.  Once the meet and greeters were all inside we were instructed that the first time through we would get the autographs and the second time through we would get our picture.  I was so excited, there are no words to describe it.   Rob Zombie, John5, Piggy D, and Ginger Fish all came out, it was like Christmas morning as a kid.  When it was my turn I walked right up, started with Rob Zombie, shook his hand and said, "Hi I'm Megan Flanigan from Grafton, Ohio" immediately thinking, wow I just sounded like a nerd.  He was immediately pleasant and polite, jokingly asking if I was Italian.  This band is the only band I follow in its entirety and truly love all of them!  I think they are all so down to earth and badass.  They all radiate such positive energy and humbleness. 
The actual concert did not start until 8pm so we had the option to go back to our car and drop our goodies off or stay and make sure we got front stage.  Another no brainer.  I have never been front row of a concert, especially a rock concert.  I got one bottle of water just in case but I kept my no fluids policy pretty strict because I was not going to miss this opportunity. 



Once people start piling in I started to get nervous.  I'm pretty claustrophobic but I made note of all the exit signs and didn't let fear get in my way.  Pretty soon the entire place was packed.  Looking out into the crowd while in the front is a bit intimidating.  Immediately my anxious brain started to think of all of the things that could go wrong and so I took a deep breathe and thought, if that's how it is to be then that is how it is to be but I am sick and tired of being scared. 
 
 
Ginger Fish (the drummer) came out and started us out with his music mash -ups and such.  At one point he jumped on a speaker and did a yoga pose <3. 
 
 
The concert was amazing, I was within an arm's reach of the stage.  The energy was incredible.  My favorite part was that I was able to be me 100%.  No one knew me, no one cared.  I was able to really let loose, bang my head off, and be a crazy fan.  I forgot what that felt like, rather I think that feeling is purely foreign as I don't remember ever having felt 100% me.   And in that moment, in a small concert hall, filled with hundreds of people, I was safe, relaxed, and I was having fun! It is an experience I will never forget.  After hauling ass to get home in time for meetings and such I saw via the Rob Zombie website that he was working on another CD AND movie, best news ever!  I cannot wait to see the movie opening day and I cannot wait to attend another concert. 
 
Rockin Road Trip to meet Rob Zombie and band..... complete <3
 









 


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hermes 10miler and Love-A-Stray 5k

 

This year's Hermes 10miler road race was my second.  I had no expectations for this race, I'm not sure if I was prepared or not.  I went into this race with my longest run being 8 miles this year.  My goal was to complete it, embrace the experience, and enjoy it.  I made my way to the bathrooms pre-race as usual and ran into some friends from LaGrange.  Somehow we began to talk politics and the current frustrations. 
 
 The weather was calm, sunny, and a bit cool.  I began the race with a my mind elsewhere.  Thinking of upcoming meetings and ongoing stresses. I was clearly distracted.   It was clear after that conversation my head wasn't in the game.  Alas, I pushed on.  After the turnaround we headed back east and the winds began to pick up.  I was chilled.  The last mile was brutal.  The early morning calmness of the lake was replaced with waves as I ran the last mile.  My face felt frozen and my legs felt like they had been replaced with the Tin Man's legs.  I ran in, crossed the line, grabbed a water and headed back to my car. 
 
My intention was to run all races this year for fun and to not worry about times.  I "accidentally" checked out my time from the first time I ran this race.  I was about 20 minutes slower this year.  I thought I would be faster; but, I also didn't anticipate the distractions and weather.  The course was beautiful and I finished. 
 
 
The following day, I ran the Love- A-Stray 5k.  It was for a great cause and it was a short distance, so why not?  This race was close to the lake as well and was therefore a bit cooler than Grafton.  I ran the first 2miles before deciding to walk the rest of the way.  I saw lots of familiar faces and the course was beautiful.  It was a very well organized race!  I crossed the finished line, grabbed a water, and headed for my car....again.  
 

I'm still faster than everyone who stayed home and sat on the couch! All kidding aside, these were great races that I am glad to have completed. 

Conditions are never perfect for race or for life.  We must learn to adjust our sails and learn to go with the flow (or with the wind).  If you have trouble going with the wind, remember this quote by Henry Ford, " When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."  With the wind or against the wind just keep moving. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Run or Dye 5k

 
Saturday April 19th I was part of "Queens for a Cure" in the Run or Dye 5k.  This was a fun race for a great cause.  We all had a blast and of course I went overboard at the blue station.  
 
 
 



check out my friend Raven's website and enjoy all of the awesome services she has to offer : Pageant Perfection

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April showers

The feeling of being directed in so many different directions has become so confusing, my mind is overwhelmed, and the future is so exciting yet so uncertain that I have decided to just go with it.    For the month of April I have decided to go with the flow and see where the universe takes me.  I'm close to my personal racing weight for this season and physically I am feeling great and stronger than ever.  I also recognize the inner conflict I'm having between the fighter and the lover in me.  I feel like a "boxing hippie" and I'm not sure that is the best combination to merge as it can become quite perplexing and disorienting. 

My April goals are to train mean, eat clean, be compassionate, and to go with the flow <3 .  This is a great month to leave the past,  pack up the winter, wash off the muckiness, and prepare for the blossoming of spring.  I have already given away bags and boxes full of things that I no longer need, or never really needed to begin with, alas purchased for one reason or another.   While freeing up the space in our homes and offices, we must not forget to clean up old, negative, and unnecessary thought patterns and set our intentions for what we would like to see. 

April showers
past tortures
future dilemmas
dust off the old
and wash the new
abandon the winter
and prepare for spring
as the lotus flower
rises up
preparations are made
blossoming happiness and adventures
will be had



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Do you have the time?

Almost daily someone asks provides me with a perplexing look, "How do you have time for that?".  We all have the same amount of time.  Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Michael Jordan, Me, and You all have the same amount of time in a given day.  It's all about how you use your time, professors, managers, and even watchful parents will refer to this as time management. 

I have always juggled various activities for as long as I remember.  School/ soccer/work, School/ work/work/ fun, school/work/work/work/training/volunteering/ fun.  I've learned that I can juggle quite a lot at any given time.  My 1st Master's Degree seemed easier for me years ago.  I was still in Tiffin, classes were held all day on campus Saturday and I worked a full time and part time job during the week.  Easy peasy!  I wrapped that degree up in 1 year! Oh yea, go me!

It was a bit more difficult this last year, finishing my M.B.A., studying for my personal training certification, training, and lots of work and lots of unforeseen events such as my Grandmothers' deaths, sprained ankles, and trying to help and participate in anything that I could in order to please others.  Scheduling was a nightmare and I missed a couple of meetings or events either because I wrote them down wrong and got pulled into putting out another fire. 

I am a go getter and I like to accomplish things that I say I will accomplish so regardless of how much I have going on I do my best to make the time.  I won't commit to something that I cannot do either due to time or it just isn't feasible.  I also learned by trail and error.  For instance, I know that with my current workload I cannot train for long distance triathlons or runs.  I will get burned out and everything will suffer.  However, it is not something I will sacrifice.  Compromise!  This year I'm training for all short distances.  No run over a 1/2 Marathon, and only sprint distance triathlons. 

I used to be a profession "planner person"; literally had the goal and planned out how to get there step by step down to the minute.  Then I learned that things don't go as planned, they rarely go as planned.  I do my best and take advantage of the free time that I have when it becomes available.  I also learned to say "no" when I know that whatever is asked of me would be too much.  For example, if someone asked me to be her bridesmaid right now (highly unlikely), I would have to say no. 

I have my priorities, things that are a must including work, Mayor work, and I know that I have to train/workout/practice yoga to help keep me focused and happy.  I will not compromise those priorities.  But, I also want to work on obtaining various certifications/ continued education, etc.  Looking back on my life, one would say I always have to have a full plate.  And that statement would be correct because I want to enjoy life to the fullest and not miss out on any opportunities or enjoyments. 

There is a little tool that I started using last Spring.  Since facebook and smartphones were born; I've noticed that so much time is wasted scrolling newsfeeds or "chatting", etc.  Plus there appears to be this immediate need from people- they must have answers NOW! (that will be another blog post as I am fascinated with how our society has changed with this social media).  At any rate, I still plan my days in advance, keeping in mind that things change and I will have to cancel or rearrange some things.  Alas, I use a little tool, it's called a timer. 

 

Whoop, there it is!  This has been most helpful in my need for studying/ reading on various topics at the same time versus being dedicated to only one book at a time, etc.  It was quite helpful last Spring as I was wrapping up my 2nd Master's Degree and "trying to study for my personal training certification" ( I didn't pass it- I tried to shoot from the hip but came close- I will be retaking).  

I have been using this little timer to help limit the time I am on facebook, in front of the computer, meditating, reading, etc.  1 hour reading this book, 1 hour reading that book, 10 minutes meditation, 30 mins on facebook, etc.  It's a great tool and when that timer goes off, rather than staying glued to my computer making sure I don't miss an important facebook newsfeed or staying deep in a book, I stop and begin the next timed task.   I don't time everything.  I have work hours that I have to commit to but I also want to make sure I don't spend all my free time glued in front of the TV ( I watch no TV during the week- unless I need a day off).  It is also important that I have meditation time (just not 30 minutes of meditating)  and it is important that I read...a lot, I read a lot. 

Maybe this little timer will help you manage your time, maybe not.  Regardless, we all have the same amount of time as everyone else.  It just depends on where your priorities stand, what's important to you, and how to make the most of every minute. 

Where do you stand with your time management? Pay attention to much time you spend on facebook, how much time you spend at the water cooler gossiping, how much time is spent watching T.V., etc.  Just pay attention to those things.  You don't have to give them up (although I would recommend giving up gossip because it's not useful and no good comes from it) but you may see that you do have time for other things, if you so wish. 

May the time be always in your favor. 

Believe Love Understand and Empower!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Reviews

Why Quantum Physicists Do Not Fail by Greg Kuhn

My attention drifted often from this book due a slow start.  Kuhn went into great detail explaining why one should read this book.  He uses a paradigm of a fish tank, providing great detail of how this fish tank that we are living in creates our reality.  The fish tank paradigm is continuously illustrated throughout the chapters as it applies to different areas in life.  The end of the book made the investment in this book worthy.  We are surrounded by books today on our thought patterns, negative vs. positive thinking, and so forth.  Kuhn utilizes the fish tank paradigm and quantum physics as a way to illustrate that it is not a "think happy, be positive" and happy and positive will happen; rather, acknowledge your feelings and "tell yourself the best story possible". 

If you can get past the redundant "fish tank" explanation the book makes sense and is a great addition to the new age books focused on positive thinking; it provides one of the best examples of how you tell "your story" affects your outcome. 

Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar

Light on Life is a great book for anyone.  It provides a great background, explanation, and purpose of the practice of yoga for those completely new to Yoga to the most experienced yogi.  Mr. Iyengar has a strong Hindu background and so it is a different perspective than the Tibetan or other Buddhist perspectives as there are a variety of yoga practices. Iyengar utilizes Patanjalis's Sanskrit perspective which can be varied by traditional yoga.  Light on Life was informative and personal. 

Conditioned Emotional Reactions: The Case of Little Albert by John B. Watson & Rosalie Rayner

This book, though small, sheds light on something enormous which everyone experiences....fear.  The actual case study is quite long and of course detailed.  This book is small and provides just the right amount of information needed to explain our fears.  Our emotional reactions, fear, are conditioned from an early age.  This is a great, quick read that would help provide insight into some of our phobias or I feel it would be helpful for parents with children.  For example, say that your little 2 year old munchkin is playing on the living room floor, laughing, and having a grand time.  He spots a huge spider crawling towards him and he is excited to see this curious creature...you, as a parent, walk in the room and scream, scooping your little munchkin up away from the spider and of course in return he is startled and begins to cry.  Bam! Little munchkin now associates spiders with sudden screaming  and a fear of spiders may develop.  My example is very brief and generic.  This study provides specific, informative, and likely enlightening research. 



Saturday, March 15, 2014

St. Malachi 5miler

The 2014 St. Malachi 5miler started my racing season on a great, no exceptionally awesome, kick off! Since I do not have my license yet, I'm so thankful that my Brother and his girlfriend were able to join and drive me to the first race of the season!  I have ran this race a couple of times in the past.  There is always a great turnout and it's a great way to kick off the St. Paddy's day weekend! I have so much gratitude to Brittany and Ryan for joining me and driving me to the race.  This race was a "tentative" on my race schedule due to not being able to drive.  Thanks guys!







I was so excited for this race for so many reasons.  It marks the beginning of my racing season, it's the first race I've ran since the huge mistake I made in September, and it proves to me that I survived months of solitude, overwhelming stress, breakdown, and public humiliation (but that's another story).  Plus, it was the 1st race ever with my brother!  All of the years I've been running and doing triathlons he has never been able to come cheer me on; but, this time he ran it with me!  I'm so happy that he's caught the racing bug! 

Once it was time to gather by the starting line, we wandered over and waited for instructions.  The National Anthem was sung which immediately gave me chills, a sense of honor and pride.  Then it was time to start! Due to the crowd, it took a few minutes to cross the actual starting line.  I turned on my Ipod and the song, The Fighter by Gym Class Heroes, came on and something inside me clicked, I woke up, I remembered "my groove", I remembered the importance of what I do, and I took off.  I haven't ran outside due to this horrendous winter and I could only make it to the gym when my mom or my sister were able to drive me.  I've ran 5 miles on the gym track (10 laps per mile and all flat....boring!!!), so I thought I might not be ready to run outside yet.   I spent all winter beating myself up, relying on only memories of racing, not able to get out and participate in the things that I needed to help me through tough times on a regular schedule,  I forgot "that feeling".  Going into this race my goal was to just have fun and to go with the flow, soak up the positive atmosphere, and cross a finish line.  Feelings of belongingness came back, my mind was present, I was focused, and before I knew it I hit the mile 3 marker.  I was shocked that I had made it so far so soon as I was expecting to be much slower; having heard my 3 mile time, my competitive fire woke up inside me and then my goal was to race and go for a PR (personal record).  I never stopped running, I passed so many people, I just kept going as if I didn't need to exhaust any effort.  I got my mojo back.  My favorite part is sprinting to the finish and crossing that line, it's the best feeling ever.  The last time I did this race I had been training for it and my time was 59:45 (11:57/minute).  Today I finished the chip time at 53:29 (10:42/mile), I am still shocked.  A 5k PR for me is around 10:00/mile- with lots of training.  Alas, the past is behind me,  I'm ready for 2014, and I am so excited to cross a ton of finish lines this year.   "If we had no Winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;  If we did not sometimes taste the adversity,  prosperity would not be so welcome."  - Anne Bradstreet. 



Believe Love Understand Empower!

Friday, March 14, 2014

What ya training for?

I am so excited to have my 2014 race schedule planned out, it's going to be such a fun year.  While I enjoy the longer distances, I now realize that I just don't have the time to dedicate to long distances; I do however desperately miss the triathlon and running community  There is an enormous amount of positive energy, an incredible positive atmosphere, and a sense of overwhelming belongingness (is that a word?) that I feel when I participate in triathlons, road races, trail races, etc.  I was practicing with my yoga teacher the other day (I have been practicing with her for over 3 years) and she asked me what I am training for this year...my answer?  " My sanity". 

We both chuckled; But, I am training for my sanity.  I want to soak up every single finish line, every "go girl", "get it", "you can do it", I want to soak up every single positive feedback possible while getting all of my responsibilities taken care of all while maintaining my sense of self and fulfilling my dreams!  In addition I think the shorter distances will allow more time for me to focus on my yoga practice as well as it is very important to me. So, therein lies the balance....positive/negative, good/bad, happy/sad, etc. 

I have many goals that I am working towards this year, various certifications, etc. The most important thing that I am training for this year is my sanity, and my balance.  It's just not possible to be happy when the negativity in life is enormously outweighed by the positive.  I'm really looking forward to the season and seeing all of my awesome friends! 

Race season will start off with the Malachi 5miler Saturday March 15th! 




Monday, February 24, 2014

Better late than never 2014

Each year I like to write my "bucket list" or "to do" list for the year.  Last year I wasn't able to complete most of the things on my list and it made me feel crappy. 

I like to get stuff done, cross items off of lists, and I understand how important it is for me to take vacation or time to disconnect.  This year I want to do something different.  Of course I have my list of things "to do" (things that make me happy and that I enjoy in addition to goals I want to meet); however, this year I really want to focus on a specific aspect of my life, something I lost amid stress.  I want to be more mindful.  My mind has become increasingly loud over the last 2  years.  Filled with thoughts on what to do, what to say, how to react, which path to choose, what battle to fight, and so forth. The volume of the past and of the future has been turned way up. 


This year, while crossing things off of my "things to do in 2014" list, I want to become more mindful, thus able to let go, and therefore becoming more peaceful.  So that's it!  My New Year's Resolution (better late than never) is to be more mindful <3. 

Ultimately reaching a state of equanimity...through Believing, Loving, Understanding, and Empowering. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2013

It happened. 


It was a pretty stagnant year for me and I'm glad it's over.  I lost both of my Grandmas, finished my 2nd Master's Degree, finished my first 25k trail race, and I hugged Rob Zombie at his concert in Columbus.  I met a lot of amazing people, some that helped me appreciate and understand things a little better and some who I know will be lifelong friends.  I also lost a lot of friends, friends of friends, and family friends.  The end of the year was great as I spent it with family and relaxed.  I also connected with 2 of my favorite authors and founder of the behavioral science unit for the F.B.I. in Quantico.  I've been following them since high school and they were reasons why I studied Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice in college. 

2013 began on a good note and ended on a good note.  I'm really looking forward to 2014.....
 
Peace out 2013!




Monday, December 23, 2013

BLUE Christmas

The holiday season can be a time full of stress, loneliness, sadness, financial burden, grumpiness, and worry.  I'm finding this season to be particularly complete with all of the above.  It is the first season without both of my Grandmas. Grandmas always remember to send cards and calls of love and support.  It's the first season both siblings are in serious relationships and I'm the odd single girl out. I am also the oldest sibling and so I find myself wondering what's wrong with me and why I am still single. Holiday parties and gatherings are full of couples. I feel like I'm decorated in blinking lights standing out as the "still single girl".   It has also been particularly difficult to shop for gifts as money is tight and my creativity is lacking.  Many of my friends have lost loved ones this year, several classmates passed away way too soon, and it was just a tough year all around.  The holidays can magnify negative feelings but I'm determined to make the best of it and I hope you do too!

Rather than focusing on the negative, I am choosing to do as many good deeds as possible.  Helping a few friends out, sending out cards of appreciation to those who have been supportive and helpful, and being extra generous with kind words.  I know that my Grandmas are watching over me and I'm thankful they both are no longer suffering; but, I want to honor their memories and legacies by acting in such a way that would make them proud.  I also remind myself that my loved ones who are now alive and well will not be here forever and every moment  must be cherished.  Giving doesn't always have to be in the form of money or gifts, it can be helping out at parents' house, assisting with chores, and cooking, helping a neighbor, and most importantly being positive and happy when around others.  Positive attitudes and smiles truly are contagious.  The feeling of loneliness is a strong one; I'm at a place in my life where I am ready for a relationship.  I never had a "healthy relationship" and at age 32, that is something that I am looking forward to.  It's also not something that should be rushed and I believe that it will happen when the universe thinks it's time.  I am so happy for my siblings' happiness and that they both have great partners to share their lives with during the holidays and in the future. 

During this hectic time of year, remember that not everyone is filled with joy and cheer.  Not everyone has a big family filled with celebrations.  Random acts of kindness are great ways to spread compassion while you are out shopping and be sure your loved ones know how much you love them!

Merry Christmas to all and may your holiday season be one of  Believing, Loving, Understanding, and Empowering. 

xoxo

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mental Mojo

Over the last 2 years I've lost my "mental mojo".  In other words, I've lost my mental toughness and most of my ability to let go, let live, and focus.  The year 2011 was the best year for me mentally, I was able to challenge my body and mind with such feats as a half-ironman, various triathlons, and numerous fear conquering feats.  I noticed this mojo disappearing when I was training for my first full marathon in 2012.  I just couldn't get through the long runs without thinking about all of the new, emotionally, and mentally draining stresses.  I had mastered the art of living in the present, letting go of negativity and was easily able to remove myself from negative situations; but, things changed and I received more new, exciting, yet daunting challenges that were, at the time, quite draining to say the least.

Surrounded by ridiculous bullying, naysayers, and not being able to get goals and projects done as fast as I had hoped(I'm afraid to even look at my 2013 goal list), in addition to exhausting so much energy on such negative and immature "obstacles", I felt like I was in a washing machine on super spin cycle..... repeat....repeat.....repeat.  I've mentally been fairly stagnant for quite sometime, unsure of how to deal with such pettiness while juggling all responsibilities and squeezing in time for myself.  Did I mention it's exhausting?  I became comfortable and assumed that after swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56, and running 13.1 miles, or running 26.2 miles, or running over 17 miles in the woods that I could handle anything.   I need to adapt faster, learn more, get over stuff, ignore the unnecessary, and move on. 

One can easily get caught up in the "drama" of these negative people/ obstacles.  Who's got time for gossip, rumors, and making one's life miserable?  (apparently some people do have time for such).  Alas, I don't have time for that, I have things that need to be accomplished and a life to be lived. 

I'm feeling very blessed that I have finally understood the above and I'm really looking forward to mastering a new level of mental toughness.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to grow even more as I move forward.  For the rest of this year I'm letting go, practicing gratitude, going with the flow, and really focusing on the negative thinking. 


 It's easy to focus on the old, to hold grudges, to want revenge, and to let those haters, players, naysayers, and energy drainers take up space in your mind...but it will only drain you and those against you will end up winning. Focus on your goals, stay the course, and smile while you move forward and leave the rest in the dust.  And always, always, always, Believe, Love, Understand, and Empower! <3   I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.   Check out this link for some motivation 

 
 
"IF THERE'S NO ENEMY WITHIN, THE ENEMY OUTSIDE CAN DO US NO HARM"   African Proverb