And the award goes to….

MEEEEE!!!

I was nominated again for the Liebster Awards by some fellow awesome blogging friends

Sara @Life Between the Miles
Hailey @Striding Strong
Ali @Hit The Ground Running
Sarah @Running on Healthy

To have been thought of by these four is truly an honor as they are people I’ve come to respect and trust as I’ve grown to know them and their blogs. Make sure you check each one of ’em out!

liebster

While I’m not entirely show what constitutes someone deserving of this award or what it really means, I do know that I have to answer some questions…so here ya go!

1. What is my current health related goal?

I’m really focused on marathon training right now. I have my next one in late February and really, really want to PR and maybe even get a sub 4:30 (that would be the ultimate goal).

With this one, I’m hoping to really nail my fueling. I’ve struggled with fueling during my long runs and previous marathons and think that’s the biggest component I need to focus on. So we’ll see how it goes!

2. What is my biggest irrational fear?

Besides freaking out if something happened to my husband and kids, my irrational fear is similar to Salt’s actually.

I hate the water.

I hate pools, lakes, streams, ponds, oceans and any type of body of water. I refuse to get in them.

I just think of all the unknown that’s involved–germs, animals, creatures, things/people who have been in them that I have no idea who or what they are or where they’ve been. It just majorly grosses me out.

3. Do I enjoy wrapping presents?

I do! I’m old school and actually buy paper and wrap gifts 🙂

4. What’s your favorite cross training activity?

Salt introduced me to Blogilates which are pilate-esque videos on Youtube and I kinda sorta have become obsessed with them. The girl who does the videos, we call her crazy Cassey, is so hardcore. She talks the entire time she doing the moves and I’m barely breathing.

5. If you came to visit me, what would we do?

We’d hike Camelback Mountain!!

You know it's a steep climb when they add a pole to help you up.

You know it’s a steep climb when they add a pole to help you up. So much fun!

6. You have 2 weeks off work and 2 round trip plane tickets to ANYWHERE. Where would you go and who would you take?

Hmmmm…I’m not sure where I’d choose to go but my husband would most definitely be with me. Maybe South America to explore the ruins….

7. What’s the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you during a run or race?

Ummm….well I mentioned awhile back a training run where I passed by a whole bunch of cows (basically a farm) and the smell really made me want to go to the bathroom. And I didn’t have toilet paper. Yeah………

8. What are the 3 best days of your life?

In order in which they occurred in my life:

Graduating from college. I was the first in my family to go to and graduate from college. I honestly never thought I’d be able to go and to have gone and finished in 4 years–it truly is one of my most proudest achievements.

Marrying my husband. If you’ve been a regular reader you may have noticed how obsessed I am with this guy. I seriously scored. ❤

20141207_061632-1-1

Having kids. I never really saw or thought of myself as the maternal type but my kids have brought it out in me. I love my little munchkins so much; they truly fulfill my life.

9. You HAVE to eat a fast food meal. What restaurant would you choose and what would you order?

JAJAJAJAJA!!!! I love how this question implies you wouldn’t like having to eat fast food LOL! You guys know I’d choose McDonald’s and I’d order my usual: Quarter Pounder w/Cheese 🙂

20141207_095454

Lately, I’ve been eating my cheeseburgers at In-n-Out though so maybe at this moment I’d choose there.

10. Have you ever met a celebrity?

Yup. I used to work at a high end retail fashion store and would see/meet a few celebs. Rihanna came into our store once.

11. Share a pic of yourself in non-workout clothes.

I shared one in my last post where I got all cleaned up for my husband’s work party so I’ll re-use that one 🙂

All cleaned up

All cleaned up

I love dressing up! I’m a total girl.

12. If you could choose to do a ‘do over’ and switch careers, what would you choose and why?

Nope. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. I went to college and was in and out in 4 years. There was no need to think of a major or switch because I didn’t like it. Teaching was made for me.

13. If you won an Olympic Gold Medal how do you think you’d react?

I’d for sure cry. Absolutely, without a doubt.

14. What do you want for Christmas?

I’m going to be a complete cliché and say that I have all that I want. I truly do. Honestly, sometimes I get scared of how truly happy and blessed I am. Like there’s no way my life can be this perfect–something will have to go wrong. (I guess that would be another irrational fear lol!)

15. What skill do you lack?

See Salt’s answer for this question.

(P.S. Can you tell why me and Salt are BRF’s?!?)

I’d love to see answers to these questions from some other blogs I enjoy–

Kristina @Blog About Running
Jeremy @Confessions of an Amateur Athlete
Jennifer @We’re Running a Marathon?

Check out their blogs and tell them Helly sent you over 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend! I have my last race of the year on Sunday–a 1/2 marathon. Anyone else racing or long running?

Pick one of the questions I was asked and answer for fun!

100 Days of No Soda–DONE!

Today is the day is the day! I’ve finally completed my 100 Days of Summer Challenge–No Soda!

IMG_20140909_090715

Did I celebrate by drinking a Coke? Well….

I did take a sip lol!

I honestly didn’t wake up with an urge to consume 6 cans of Coca Cola. While I was going through this challenge, I’ve had a lot time to reflect on what I’ve learned.

I am a lot stronger than I think.

When I would shock friends by declining a Coke, they were always impressed by how serious I was taking the challenge. Self-discipline is something that I continuously struggle with but one thing I gained during this challenge is the knowledge that I am in control of what I put in my body. I know that I could have cheated or “treated” myself to a drink, a sip, a can, whatever but each time I made the decision to not to.

I make the decisions.

When things are 100% up to me, I feel like I have the responsibility to make the best decisions. I will have no one to blame, no one that I can say put me up to it.

It kinda makes me feel powerful. 

One of the reasons I wanted to do this (and many people asked me why I was doing it) was that I was genuinely curious to see if I could do it. I knew myself. I knew that I succumbed to excuses very easily and this would be something legit challenging.

To me, going 100 days is such an accomplishment. I chose a number I knew would be difficult. A month, I could’ve done no sweat. But I knew I wouldn’t feel/see a significant difference. One hundred days makes me feel like a badass. Each day, saying no became so much easier. I remember going to a Pizza Hut Express and ordering a pan pizza and breadsticks and the server telling me that it was only 30 cents more to upgrade to a meal and get a soft drink. I told him, “Nope! All good!”

I’ve changed. 

I definitely feel like my confidence has soared because of this challenge but the biggest thing is that my overall perspective on drinking soda has changed. Not only have I become more comfortable declining something I once felt I needed, I truly feel like I don’t anymore. That’s not to say I’ll never, ever drink it again. I know that’s just not realistic. But, I do feel like I’m more conscious of when I really want it. With a meal I feel goes great with a soda? Sure! Just because it’s there and I want something to drink? No.

My body has changed.

The summer weather hasn’t really let me see how the challenge has helped me with running but I think being able to maintain decent paces (for me) despite the heat is a definite win. I know that I would have been dehydrated drinking soda through summer trying to train for a marathon. The extra water intake has been a huge factor in me staying healthy and hitting my targets.

I absolutely feel like it’s prepared me for the upcoming fall season. That I set up my body the best that I could for the races to come.

I’m not going to lie. I was really curious to see how/if my body would change.

It has.

The scale says I lost 7 pounds. I went down a pant size. I’m the thinnest I’ve ever been. But, even then, the biggest difference is just overall health. I don’t feel as sluggish or tired or weighted down. When I once felt that soda gave me energy, I feel like I’ve had more without it. While there were days where I’ve felt like a soda would give me an extra boost, I would remind myself that the challenge was mental. Could I think of other ways of getting that extra energy?

People notice.

It kinda became contagious. When I would decline soda from friends and ask for water instead, it wasn’t rare that they would change their minds and put their own soda away.

At restaurants, I would always order water (with no lemon!) and my husband would follow suit. Then whoever we were with would go with water too. This wasn’t always the case, but we saw it happen more often than not.

My husband was completely on board with the challenge and went the 100 days with me. The person we felt noticed the most was our daughter. Because we drank a ton of water, she would often ask us for it herself. Lauren has always been a fan of water and preferred it more than anything–she must be the only toddler who doesn’t like apple juice!–but I think seeing mommy and daddy constantly drinking water really contributed to her love of it. We smile every time she finishes her sippy and says, “All done agua!” Or when she says, “Mas agua!” (more water!)

I know that she will continue to be an influence in me keeping my soda intake to a minimum.

Overall, I feel like the challenge was worth it. I know that I can hold myself accountable for something, that I can stick to a goal if I set my mind to it, that I can do things that are difficult.

What I’m excited for the most is not so much that I can drink soda now but the fact that I’m just so much more aware. I’ve seen how my mind and body has changed and it makes me feel like I don’t want to ruin the hard work I’ve put in. That is what I think will keep me from going back to my regular drinking habits. I know that I will drink a can or two here and there, but I can confidently say that my days of drinking 6 a day are gone.

I will keep you posted. Thank you for sharing this challenging journey with me ❤

helly

–What is a health related accomplishment that you’re proud of? 

–Think you could go 100 days doing something or doing without something? What?

First day of school!!! Er…I mean work! :)

It’s the day I’ve been anxiously waiting..the first day of school (work)!! I’ve been pretty excited as I feel like I wasn’t ready to close this chapter in my life just yet. I love teaching and I love teaching high school. I love the challenge, I love the stress (ha!), and I love the camaraderie and relationships I build with my students and co-workers. I just really love my job.

Walking in to my classroom feels like I never left (my room wasn’t used the year that I took off). There were a few things I needed to set up but for the most part, everything is good to go. In a couple of hours, all the seats will be filled and I’ll be up at the podium back to doing what I love 🙂

Have a great day friends!

20140805_072456

My bib board and Coke collection 🙂

20140801_140801

My beloved podium ❤

20140801_113110

Fave quote on the window–love me some Ralph Waldo Emerson!

What are you passionate about? Do you love your job as much as I do?

Do you remember your first day of high school?