Running Competitively

I’m baaaack!

After a break, and LOTS of changes in our lives I feel somewhat ‘normal’ again. ;)

So the past few months we have moved to our new house (I’m SO in love), I worked as a personal trainer at the YMCA…and then I decided to quit because of our move & started doing personal training on my own, I got a new vehicle, my Crohn’s disease flared up twice, I decided to get a running coach  & run competitively, and we just got back from a family vacation to Wildwood, New Jersey.

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Needless to say, we’ve been busy! Mostly good stuff- and we are so thankful for the opportunities that we have had.

It’s been nice having a running coach, as he knows me well & knows that I will do WAY too much. Once we got to talking & I told him I was running at least 10 miles a day, he looked at me like I had two heads. He said that’s too much- and that I needed to focus more on repeats- mile, 2 mile & eventually 3 mile. So far all of my workouts I have LOVED- they are tough & push me even harder than I was pushing myself.

I needed someone to tell me ‘Holly, it’s OK if you don’t ALWAYS do 10 miles.’ Now he still lets me do my 10+ miles 3-4 days a week, which makes me happy, BUT the other 3/4 days are HARD. I mean really hard, like 9/10 effort on a scale of 10. And my ‘easy’ run days are truly EASY, unlike what I was doing. Like running 7:45/ 8 minute pace for my long runs. (which is weird for me- I’m used to do 7/ 7:30 pace for my ‘easy’ days)

Quickly he learned my ‘style’ of running- I want to push myself EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I run, and that’s just not possible IF I want to run the times that I do. He said I remind him of a ‘caged animal who just has to get everything out every time I run.’ It made me laugh because it is SO TRUE.

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After speaking with him, he has encouraged me to put all of my focus on half marathons. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to train for full marathons or halfs. But after talking for a while, he knew my true love in racing is the half, so that’s when he said I should go all out on that race. That was important to me, I wanted to be able to know what MY race was- and I know that yes, I can run full marathons, but I don’t LOVE them like I love half marathons.

Currently I am trying to run under 1:27 for my nice half marathon, which will be October 4th. Eventually I would like to get closer to 1:20, but like everything in life it takes time AND patience….and patience is something that I struggle with.

For now I’m putting my faith in my coach, and I know he is going to take me far!

Yesterday I did my favorite run- 10 miles- on the treadmill- Incline 1% (ALWAYS important to run at least 1% incline when running on a treadmill to stimulate the same as outside running, otherwise you are pretty much running at a decline) – 8 miles at 7:28 pace & the last 2 at 7:24 pace. I did a mile cool down of just light jogging and walking. As with everyday, I did 10 minutes of ab exercise & 3 x 10 sets of pushups.

One of my favorite things to think about when I’m running is my family, especially my little mini me.
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Lovely expression, right?! ;) She really is my motivation for running my very hardest. I want her to be proud to tell people that I’m her Momma, the crazy runner lady. :D

I’ve missed blogging, but honestly life has been so crazy lately that I haven’t had time to think about it. We are all looking forward to a more relaxing fall filled with football, baking pumpkin things & of course lots of family time!

 

Dear Allergies,

I hate you. (as in allergies, not YOU, as in Y-O-U ;) )

I know I’m not the only one dealing with these AWFUL allergies this time of year. They have been so terrible to us this year. I actually never had allergies until after Gabriella was born. Pregnancy induced allergies. (it’s real) I am SO thankful that I didn’t have to deal with these my whole life, but boy are they KICKING my butt now.

The only thing is, I’m not the only one. It would be fine if I was…I can deal. BUT, our little lady is suffering, BAD, from them.

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You probably can’t tell now, except for the massive amounts of snot flowing from her nose ALL.OF.THE.TIME.

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(not sure if you can see it, but there is lots snot on her face..she makes the best of it ;) )

This past weekend & early this week was ROUGH. It’s still pretty rough, but we are getting through it. I had to start taking Claratin every day for my allergies & also Flonase. (< LOVE that stuff. I never thought I’d be able to use a nasal spray, but it ROCKS & really helps.

I started taking everything on Monday & it’s a good thing I did. I actually had to call Craig to come home from work early on Monday afternoon because I was feeling so awful and could barely see out of my eyes. They were so blood shot & puffy. I literally just wanted to crawl into bed and go to sleep for the rest of the day at 1pm. Luckily he was able to get off a bit early to come help me.

On Monday I also took Gabriella to the doctor to make sure it was JUST allergies that were affecting her. I figured it was, but I wanted to double check. In fact it was, she has them pretty bad as well.

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(two peas in a pod…or two allergy sufferers in a car ;) )

He prescribed some liquid Zyrtec for her & also some ointment for her eczema. It had flared up because of the hives that she had. (Also due to allergies.) He also said in the mean time it was ok to give her Zyrtec & Benadryl Allergy at night so that she could at least get some sleep.

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So far now she will be on the Zyrtec daily, until the pollen dies down a bit. I’m just grateful it’s nothing more serious & something that we can control, or at least help control.

Her favorite thing is being outside, and I would hate to have to take that away from her.

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Her latest ‘thing’ at the park is doing the monkey bars.

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She hangs on for about 10 seconds before she lets go & Craig catches her. She thinks it’s the funniest thing ever & wants to do it over and over.

We just want her feeling better & not suffering from allergy issues. Maybe she will outgrow them one day- we can only hope.

We are both looking forward to the summer season when HOPEFULLY (*fingers crossed*) pollen won’t be as bad. For now we are just a household of allergy medication lovers. ;)

Happy Thursday! Enjoy your day- remember tomorrow is FRIDAY!! :D

Oh, and can’t wait to tell you about the FUN behavioral issues I’ve been having with little crazy one. OOOOOOO I never knew how hard raising a toddler is until recently. I just LOVE me some temper tantrums & attitude. NOT.

We Got THE House!

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. We have been living in a whirlwind of events!

Definitely WONDERFUL events though, we can’t complain!

So a week ago today I found out that…
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We got the house we wanted!!! :D (& I’m sorry, I know that most of you already know this since we are probably friends on Facebook.) It was SUCH a crazy story. We went to see the house Sunday- I saw it Sunday (not last Sunday, but the Sunday before) afternoon, and as I was driving to another house to look at I told Craig he HAD to come back with me & see this house. I had a feeling when I walked through the front door that THIS was THE HOUSE!

We all went to see it Sunday night, and Craig liked it too, but didn’t want to rush. I told him we had time, but NOT a lot of time because it’s very much a seller’s market in our market right now. He wasn’t ready to make an offer Monday, but finally decided Monday afternoon he was ready as well. Monday afternoon I got a call (right before I was about to submit an offer) that the sellers had accepted another offer. I was bummed. Really bummed. I just told myself this wasn’t the one. It would have worked out IF it was the one.

So I began looking for other houses, and then Tuesday afternoon I got a call from our realtor that the other offer had fallen through & they WANTED OUR OFFER! This I KNEW was no mistake, this was our sign that THIS in fact WAS meant to be our house!!! God was pointing us in the right direction & I felt like this was His way of saying ‘Go for it!’

So we did! We submitted our offer on Tuesday afternoon & found out Wednesday morning that IT WAS OURS! :D :D

I got the call (as I was sprinting away on the treadmill- I swear he probably thought I was nuts!) from our realtor that it was our new house, and I didn’t tell Craig right away. I wanted to surprise him later with the news. Since he comes home for lunch during the week, I thought that would be the perfect opportunity.

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He 100% thought I was telling him I was pregnant. He had NO idea it was something to do with the house. Sneaky, sneaky. ;)

I also got him one of his favorite desserts…
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A cookie cake! :)

Craig wasn’t even the one MOST excited about the cake. Someone else was..

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She was like a little bird begging for more cake.

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Too funny! Gabriella thinks we should buy a new house EVERY week, just so she can get more cookie cake. ;)

We are both SO excited & cannot wait to move into our new house. We will be moving closer to the end of May, which honestly is NOT far away at all. But it gives us time to pack up our current house & clear out things. Nothing like starting fresh in a new house. :)

This will be my FIRST house- which makes it really special. The house we are in now was Craig’s before we even met. Even though we have done a TON of improvements to it, it is still just HIS house. The new house will be OUR house. I think even Craig was excited for me, when he realized that. (He was the one that actually pointed that out to me. :) )

Now we are just deciding how we want to set up the new house. – like which room will be which, where the play room will be, how we want to set up the furniture, etc. And of COURSE the fun part of decorating! :D

I’ve already made a few purchases for the new house, including something for Gabriella.

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A slide! :) It’s an indoor/ outdoor slide, and we will probably keep this one in her playroom. We will probably end up getting a big backyard playground for her- maybe for Christmas. That would be fun to surprise her with Christmas morning!

For now though, she LOVES the slide & BEGS to go on it almost every second of the day. ;)

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I CANNOT get over HOW BIG she looks! Growing up WAY too fast. I’ll write a post soon about all of the changes we have seen in her in just the last couple of months. It really is crazy HOW FAST they grow up!

Enjoy your day! :D

The Perfect Kind of Weekend

Good Morning & Happy Monday to you!

I hope you had a nice, restful weekend. We had an awesome weekend. One of the BEST we’ve had in a while. I don’t know, just one of those weekends that just seems like everything falls into place. Ya know what I mean? We all just felt like we were in sync and all on the same page. I LOVE that.

Felt like a weekend full of fun times and lots of laughs.

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She is SO hilarious and has me cracking up throughout the ENTIRE day. This is SUCH a fun age! I know it will get even MORE fun…although that’s hard to imagine right now…because she is just SO FUNNY!

We did our usual routine on Friday. She knows our routine SO well, that she actually grabs my keys and heads to the door to get ready to go around 8:30 every morning. She’s ready to go to the gym, whether I am or not. ;) Typically on Friday I go early (around 5am- before Craig & Gabriella) get up to get a run in, and then I’ll go at my normal time to run for a second time. Double workout – just once a week. Helps build my endurance, nothing like running on tired legs.

Friday afternoon I enjoyed some WONDERFUL friend time with one of my favorite ladies & her girls. So nice catching up- it had been WAY TOO LONG. Nothing like some girl time to really help your spirit! :D

Saturday was more house hunting. (Big news on that further down.) After looking for a bit in the morning, we ALL went to the gym together. (LOVE that!) Brag moment- Craig has been taking my favorite class at the gym on Saturdays with me. It’s a spin & strength class- an hour of spinning & weight lifting- and he rocks it! I was just happy he would even TRY it with me, but now he actually is enjoying it too. Afterwards we both get on the treadmills for a bit and then we go & pick up Gabriella. It reminds me of the old days- before we had Gabriella & went to the gym all the time together- some good bonding time. :)

And then that afternoon my sister, brother in law, nephew and niece came over to watch some basketball with us.

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Love those kids so much. <3 We hadn’t seen them in a few weeks, and I SWEAR they grow up SO much in such a short time. Thankfully we will be seeing again shortly. :)

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Just a year ago those girls weren’t even walking. Now look at them…sitting at a table, eating their dinner together. STOP growing up so quickly! ;)

Sunday was spent 100% on the house search. After a nice run outside with Craig & Gabriella I went to look at a few houses while Gabriella napped. Craig stayed home- he wants me to go check them out, and if I like it then he’ll come see it.

Well, after seeing one, I felt like he NEEDED to come see it. We set up a time later in the evening yesterday so that we could ALL go over & see it. I walked in yesterday and just felt like it was MEANT for us. I got goosebumps, and seriously thought about crying (Ok, ok, don’t judge me. ;) ), it seemed to fit everything we are looking for. We haven’t submitted an offer YET because we spent last night talking about everything, BUT it may happen today. *Fingers crossed. :D *

Hopefully I’ll have some more house news soon!! It really is like another job, it will be nice once we have the right one. I can’t lie, I do love it, but it can be draining..in the best kind of way! :)

Before I go, look how big my baby looks.

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HUGE, right?!?! She really looks like a big girl now. Hard to believe. I just love that girl SO much. <3

Enjoy your Monday!

Living with Crohn’s Disease…and Staying Positive

So about that whole Crohn’s disease thing…

I have good news & bad news. Let’s start with the good news, that’s always more pleasant. My disease has pretty much been in remission since I got pregnant with Gabriella in 2012. My Crohn’s was VERY active when I got pregnant with her (which probably wasn’t the best idea to try to get pregnant during a flare…but…), and she is my little miracle baby. Pretty much the day I found out I was pregnant, it went into remission.

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Since having her (November 2012), I have only had two flare ups- both were controlled with new medication & they only lasted a week- if that. (But that was a TERRIBLE few weeks.)

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Now I still occasionally have ‘off’ days, but they are DAYS…not MONTHS or YEARS..like I was having before Gabriella. I’ll take a bad day any day- at least I can move on after a rough 24 hours.

For the bad news…

I am still taking medication for the disease, because I tried going off of it after having Gabriella & it wasn’t pretty. (That was what caused one of my flare ups.) The medication, Apriso, has been WONDERFUL. I was taking 12 pills a day for it, but am now down to just 4 pills a day. My body seemed to be doing really well on it, as I have tried nearly EVERY medication for Crohn’s disease. WELL, I went to refill it and found up it went up in price. By a LOT. Now it’s $140 a MONTH. For medication. That helps me. Ridiculous.

So for about a week and a half I have not been on any medication. I have already started noticing a difference. :/ Not good. Not good at all. I decided to call my doctor to see if he could prescribe something else for me that may be more affordable. I mean if I HAVE to pay it then I will. BUT if there is an alternative, I’m open to that as well.

I just couldn’t believe the price increase (almost $75) in just a few short weeks. Absolutely insane. And sad. Fortunately we are able to get the medication, but I keep thinking of those that can’t afford to purchase their medications AND they have no other options. :/ Puts things into perspective VERY quickly!

And another reason that I enjoy running so much is because I wasn’t able to run very much whenever I was having flare ups. I would still run, but I would have to run on the treadmill about 2 feet from the bathroom at our house. It was miserable & I would have to stop nearly every 5 minutes. Yuck. Now when I have one of those ‘I don’t really feel like running’ kind of days, I just remember when I was going through all of that. Gotta keep it positive! :D

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My doctor sent in a new prescription for me to pick up today, so I’m curious to see how things work out! I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

House Hunting & 2 Ingredient Cookies

So one of the reasons that I have stepped away from blogging is because Craig & I are house hunting!

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I’m not sure if you have ever done this, but it’s really like another job! I LOVE it though. It’s my new favorite past time- searching for our future home. :D

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We both have a list of ‘must haves’ that we want in our new home. The good thing is we both agree with everything on both of our lists. Of course the most important thing is a BIG kitchen with LOTS of counter space & an open concept design. Home is where the FOOD is…made. ;)

You see right now our kitchen is TINY. I mean teeny tiny. And I cook A LOT. Thankfully I’ve grown accustom to a small kitchen & actually make good use out of the limited space.

For instance, the other day I made some cookies for Gabriella. She is oatmeal & banana OBSESSED. And puffs. Oh, and peanut butter.

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I had some old bananas & wanted to make something for her. I figured a good after nap snack would be an oatmeal cookie. But not a traditional ‘cookie,’ a healthy cookie…that tasted good. I figured for her I couldn’t go wrong with bananas, oatmeal & cinnamon. Really, you only need the oats & bananas for this recipe, but I added in some cinnamon & chips to spice them up even more.

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QUICK Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:
-2 ripe bananas, mashed
-1 cup oats (I used old fashioned)
-1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
-1/2 cup cinnamon (or chocolate) chips (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
2. Mix everything together in a bowl, once mixed add cookies to baking sheet. I just used a tablespoon and shaped them into a cookie shape & BAKE for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned.

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Easy peasy!

Once Gabriella once up, she turned into my guinea pig.

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They are a good little treat to cure the sweet tooth- not too sweet, but just sweet enough especially with the cinnamon chips.

Gabriella has a slight (said in a very sarcastic tone) addiction to belVita biscuits & I wanted a good alternative to them; that’s where this recipe got it’s start.

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I have a jar (just a big cookie jar) in the kitchen that has snack bars in it. I figured they would be just something easy to grab if we were hungry & didn’t feel like really ‘thinking’ about what we wanted to eat. It has Nutra Grain bars, some chewy bars & the BelVita biscuits. WELL, Gabriella now KNOWS were the biscuits are & she RUNS over to the jar every time she goes to the kitchen. (which is now about every 5 minutes ;) ) We are now to the point where we can’t say ‘bar’ or ‘jar’ without her going NUTS. It’s hilarious, but I also try to limit her to just one a day. (Sometimes two…I mean they really are good & they aren’t filled with processed ingredients- which is a win win.)

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I’m always looking for easy recipes that aren’t full of sugar to make for her. Another bonus is that Gabriella LOVES being in the kitchen with me while I cook. (This is one of the reasons we want lots of counter space in our new house.) She always wants ‘up’ when I’m making something, even just fixing my coffee in the mornings.

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She now helps me make Craig’s coffee & breakfast each morning, right after I feed her.

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^stirring the cream for Craig’s coffee. This is one of my favorite parts of the morning. Just her helping me and wanting to do everything I do. Melts my heart.

Oh, and just to wrap up the post- thought I’d share my workout from yesterday- 800m repeats. Ouch. I always forget how hard those can be. 3 miles to warm up (8 minute pace), 5 miles of 800m repeats (ran half marathon pace – 6:45- 7 minute pace for 800m, then 400m recovery), cool down was 2 miles- to make it an even 10 miles. Plus 5 minutes on the elliptical (to stretch out my muscles), 10 minutes of ab exercises & a 10 minute arm workout. (love youtube workout videos for ab & arm exercises)

What’s Going On

Well hello there!!!

I sure have missed blogging. I feel like I’m always in & out of the whole blogging world. ;) I do love it, but sometimes life gets really busy. I know you ALL know exactly what I mean.

I would like to try to start blogging more, and get back to my posts, but I can’t promise it will be everyday, just when I do get the opportunity. (IE: Gabriella takes an afternoon nap. ;) )

So let me catch you up a bit on my life.

Gabriella is now close to 1.5 years old.

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& sassier than ever.

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I die. She cracks me up, but she seriously has a HUGE attitude. Already. I’m terrified even thinking about the teenage years. I have a feeling wine & I will be close friends. ;)

She absolutely LOVES Elmo, and refers to him as ‘Melmo.’

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If she’s having a rough moment, you just have to ask her where ‘Melmo’ is & suddenly life is grande & she is on the hunt for her best friend. Ok, so maybe not her best friend…but her close second friend. I like to think I’M her best friend. Totally normal, right?! ;)

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I just bought her an Elmo cup & she won’t drink out of another cup. Let’s pray we don’t lose that cup…otherwise we may have a very dehydrated Gabriella.

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Her other favorite word is ‘uh oh!’ Typically followed by ‘Mama.’ So I hear ‘uh oh Mama’ frequently & it makes me laugh.

She has a boyfriend too.

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She’s riding in cars with boys already….We are in TROUBLE.

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His Mom & I are really good friends, and we often hang out almost every afternoon. We went from just neighbors to close friends. The above picture is them painting bird houses.

As for Craig, well some days I think he questions his sanity living with two girls. OH does he have a real treat coming as Gabriella gets older…you know what I mean. Two women (maybe more)…one house…poor guy. Haha!

But I know he loves being a Dad, and said it’s better than he ever imagined.

G running to CWhen he gets home, Gabriella will run up to him & say ‘Dada!’ He told me the other day it’s the best thing ever.

For Craig, like a lot of mean, he had a hard time with the earlier years. The infant stages, where it really was just pure dependence on me. She wouldn’t take a bottle, so he never got that bonding time when she was itty bitty. I know that he struggled with that a lot of days, because he felt like she didn’t need him. She absolutely needed him, but it was a different kind of need that she got from me than she got from him. (I was FOOD! :D )

But now that she has gotten older, he LOVES it. I mean LOVES LOVES LOVES it. He teaches her new things, runs around with her, and his favorite thing is sneaking up on her. It’s so funny – she will just squeal & then he’ll tickle her.

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And for me. Well, I’m still ‘that crazy runner girl,’ and run at least 10 miles everyday.

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It gets my mind right. Once I get my run done in the morning, I honestly feel like I can take on ANYTHING. It’s like I just go ‘ahhhhhh’ & any little problem doesn’t get me down. Recently I ran in the Gate River Run in Jacksonville. (one of my very favorite races)

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I ran the 15K (which was really closer to 9.5 miles instead of 9.3) in 1 hours, 6 minutes, 59 seconds.

Gabriella enjoyed the medal more than I did.

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I was really happy with my time, and this year I plan to get under 1 hour 30 minutes for a half. I do at least three days a week of speed work (lots of HIIT & tempo runs) to keep up the pace.

My big news is that I recently got a job at a local gym & am going to be personal training clients. I’m SO excited!! I cannot wait & I feel like it’s a perfect opportunity.

We are really excited about what the future holds for us. We have a LOT going on, but still very much enjoy time with our family & friends. I’m looking forward to being able to re-connect in the ‘blog world’ & continue posting frequently. I definitely have some updates on my Crohn’s disease, some new recipes AND some other big news in our lives. :D