Marathon Motivation

I’ve had this post sitting in my draft file since August.  Until a few minutes ago, I had it titled “Marathon Mantras”, but I changed it to “Marathon Motivation”.  Mantras have never really worked for me (although, being honest, I’ve never really used any of them while running).  I’ve been thinking a lot about my upcoming marathon (it’s in FOUR days!!!) and figuring out where things could go wrong.  Thinking back over my training, the place where I had the most issues was when I got bored on runs.  I get bored with my music and after zoning out for the first 10 miles, it’s hard to keep that up for many more.

So, I kept coming back to this mantra post I was trying to write.  I know I need to find a way to keep my mind engaged and entertained while I’m running.  Maybe mantras haven’t really worked in the past, but I’ve never run this long before.. and I’ve never tried them.  I’ve read a lot of articles about how effective they are, so why not give it a shot?

Not all of them are mantras, some are people or things that inspire and motivate me to keep going when it gets hard, but here’s what I came up with:

1.  Never ever  judge a run by the first mile.

2.  Start slow, finish strong.

3.  ”Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re probably right.”  – Henry Ford

4.  Pain today, pride tomorrow.

5.  Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring.

6.  Just keep swimming.

7.  Every mile may not be good, but there is good in every mile.

8.  Remember everyone who told you you couldn’t do this, those who never supported you.  Prove them wrong.

9.  What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.

10.  If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

11.  ”If you don’t believe in yourself, how can anyone else?” — Dorothy Beal, Mile Posts

12.  ”It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard…is what makes it great!”  – Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own

13.  Adam, Braden & Mackenzie

14.  The real workout starts when you want to stop.

15.  ”Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’. The answer is usually: ‘Yes’.”  – Paul Tergat

16.  Shut up legs.

17.  “You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone.” — Percy Cerutty

18.  Granny Moore and Papa Merk

19.  Finish what you started.  You’ve worked too hard to quit now.

20.  ”Nothing, not even pain, lasts forever. If I can just keep putting one foot in front of the other, I will eventually get to the end.”

21.  ”Think strong, be strong, finish strong.” — Renee Metivier Baillie

22.  You’ve had two med-free births.  This is nothing.

23.  Don’t let your head give out before your legs give out.

24.  ”Don’t let fatigue make a coward out of me.”  – Jessi

25.  The faster I run, the faster I’m done. — @texas4ever3

26.  You ARE doing it.

Last .2.  PANCAKES!

So now you can tag along with me while I’m running, and you’ll know what I’m thinking about as I keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Hopefully I’ll be able to set up the live runner tracking on twitter.  I know that they will have a live feed of the finish line on the Space Coast Marathon site, so if you start watching about 4 and a half hours (being super optimistic!!) after the race starts (so around 9AM) you may be able to see me finish!


What are your favorite mantras?

What do you think about most often on long runs?

Any last minute tips for a marathon first-timer?


Birthday Wish List

So in case you weren’t aware, my birthday is coming up!  My husband keeps asking me for ideas, but you know the old saying about champagne wishes and caviar dreams?  Well.. yeah, that.  Nearly everything I could think of was way outside of our normal birthday present price range.. so I figured I’d make a list and hopefully y’all could help me come up with more ideas.  Here’s what I reaaaally want!

- Lululemon Run Inspire Crop II – So, I kind of already bought these.  I was out at the St. John’s Town Center to meet some of my girlfriends for dinner and after I put these on, I did NOT want to take them off.  So they came home with me.  I gave them to Adam as soon as I walked in the door though and told them they were for my birthday and I promise I haven’t taken them out of the bag.. yet ;)



- Garmin Forerunner 220 – These come out at the end of October, JUST IN TIME!!  Perhaps it was meant to be?!  I have a 305 that I love, but I don’t love that I can’t use it on the treadmill.  If you’ve read my workout recaps, you know that the treadmill and I do not get along.  I can never set the darn thing up right and end up having to do all sorts of middle school math to figure out how far I ran and my pace.  Plus, it’s purple.. and has a color screen.. and syncs with social media.. what’s not to love?!



- Lululemon Wunder Under Crops - I tried these on when I bought the Inspire crops and could not decide which ones to get (the ones I tried on where a gray texture, not the purple shown). They were seriously the most comfortable pants I have ever put on. I ended up deciding on the running crops, since I run more often than I do yoga.. but I can’t stop thinking about how comfy these things were!



- Canon EOS 60D DSLR - I have a Rebel XTi now that I love, but I outgrew it a few years ago and have been wanting to upgrade.  To be honest, I really can’t decide which I’d prefer – the 60D or the T5i.  I think for what I need it for, they’re pretty similar.  The 60D is $200 off right now and comes in a package with the lens I want, so I picked that one.  Is there a reason I should want the T5i instead?  Educate me! :)


- Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank – Yeah, I have a lulu problem.  At least I admit it.  These tanks are my favorite things in the world to run in and I love these two.  They’re a definite splurge but so worth it!



- Oakley Urgency Sunglasses - I’m terrible about losing sunglasses, so I usually just buy cheap ones.  I need something to run in though that is lightweight, filters out the bad UV rays, won’t slip off of my face, won’t fog up.. and they have to be cute.  Hard to find that on the $12 sunglass rack at Target!


I’m sure I can come up with a few more things, if anyone else needs ideas..  Oh, and in case you were wondering, I’m a size 6. ;)

What’s currently on your wish list?

Do you already have any of these??  Do you love them??

September Goals

I’m almost scared to revisit my August goals.. I took an entire week off of training because I was sick and run down.  I know that probably put me really behind.  So, lets see how I did:

  1. Stick to a consistent workout schedule – do the workouts that my training plan calls for.  No bailing because I don’t feel like it.  Does it count that I bailed for a good reason?  I mean, I was in bed miserable!  No, it doesn’t.  I’ll be keeping this one for September.  I know I need to stick to my plan if I want to finish the marathon in December without hurting myself!
  2. Run 100 miles.  Double what my goal was for July, but should be doable if I stick to number 1.  I can tell you before I even looked at DailyMile that I didn’t stick to this one.. oh look, I was right!  53 miles.. no good, Kristin, no good! 
  3. Not at all workout related, but spend more time with Buddy & Sammy.  Do some fun things for them, buy them some of their favorite treats, take them for lots of walks.  This one hurt to read.  I forgot that I listed it as a goal.  The good news is, I more than stuck to this.  Sammy‘s last few weeks with us were wonderful and full of treats, head rubs, and all of his favorite things.  We pretty much gave him whatever he wanted.  He was happy.  Life with one dog is a bit easier, I can manage Buddy and the kids on my own so he’s definitely getting a lot of attention and love.  I’m declaring this one a success!

I stuck to one of my three goals, definitely a lot of room for improvement.. Space Coast will be here before I know it, so I need to make sure I’m ready for it!  I’m keeping my first two goals the same since I didn’t stick to them at all.  I need to make it a point to revisit this list throughout the month.. the last two months, I’ve written it and forgotten it.

  1. Stick to a consistent workout schedule – do the workouts that my training plan calls for.  No bailing because I don’t feel like it.
  2. Run 100 miles.  Double what my goal was for July, but should be doable if I stick to number 1.
  3. Make three new recipes.  We’ve gotten back into a bad habit of eating out way too much.  Fun, new recipes seem to help reign that in!

How did August go for everyone else?  Did you set goals and stick to them?

Do you have goals for September?  Let’s hear them!

So Long, Sweet Sammy

We said goodbye to our sweet boy, Sammy, on Monday, August 12th.

He had been doing pretty well on his pain meds.  We’d increased the dosage a bit, but he was still his silly, happy self.  He was still excited to see us, still crazy and all over the place.  Monday morning when Adam got up for work, he went to let Sammy out of the bathroom where he sleeps and he’d been sick.  I got up with him when Adam left around 7am and the poor guy kept throwing up.  You could see in his eyes that he was miserable and hurting, I felt terrible for him.

Still, in typical Sammy style, he wanted to keep us happy.. he hobbled his way outside every time he needed to throw up and tried his best to make it to the grass.  I finally went and got a towel to lay out for him in the living room so he didn’t have to keep getting up.  In the 2 1/2 hours I was with him before we made it to the vet, he probably threw up 15-20 times :(

As soon as the vets office opened, I called and they had me bring him right in.  I’d been talking to Braden all morning about how Sammy was sick and really hurting and we needed to take him to the vet to see if she could make him better.  I told him she may not be able to and that Sammy might have to go to Heaven today.  Explaining Heaven to my 5-year-old was quite possibly one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.  He cried and asked a lot of questions that were really hard to answer.

We got to the vets office and Dr. Lisi said that hopefully he just got into something that was upsetting his tummy.  We tried to think of anything he may have eaten (grapes, raisins, toys, shoe strings, etc) but nothing was coming to mind.  When she tried to examine his belly, he winced and you could tell he was really uncomfortable.  She said he was dehydrated and suggested doing blood work and an x-ray to see if they could figure out what was going on.

They came back in a bit later and Dr. Lisi said she had some answers, but unfortunately it wasn’t good news.  His blood work showed that his liver enzymes were elevated and the ultrasound showed that his liver was severely enlarged.  It was so big that it had practically taken over his chest cavity and shoved his stomach up into his ribs.  She also did an ultrasound and it showed that his liver looked just like his knee, the tissue looked moth-eaten and she said that, along with the elevated liver enzymes, told her that it was liver cancer.

She said we had two options.  The first one was to hospitalize him and try to get the liver enzymes back into a normal range.  I asked her what the second option was and she sighed and said “I really think it’s time.”

I tried my best to hold it together.  I had Braden with me and didn’t want to worry him, but even though I knew it was a possibility, it was still really hard to hear.  I asked her about hospitalization and what it would entail, what we could expect.  Best case scenario was that we got the levels down and made him somewhat comfortable.  She said it may buy him a little bit more time, but it would not be quality time.  He wouldn’t be our Sammy.  He’d be uncomfortable and unhappy.

As soon as she walked out of the room to give me time to call Adam and let him know what was going on and to figure out a game plan for the rest of the day, Braden looked at me with his big, brown eyes and said “Mommy, does Sammy have to go to Heaven today?”  I told him I wasn’t sure yet, I didn’t know what to say, and he said “But can the doctor help him?  Will she make him better?  What did she just tell you?”  He was so worried about Sammy hurting.

Of course because life is rarely uncomplicated, I had Braden’s kindergarten orientation to attend at 1pm.  I called my mom to ask her to watch the kids later in the day so we didn’t have to bring them back to the appointment with us and I called Adam to tell him the sad news.

I didn’t want to take Sam home and leave him there alone, sick and unhappy, so we left him at the vets office and they promised to give him lots of love and attention.  They gave him some anti-nausea meds and some IV pain meds, since I wasn’t able to get him to take his pain pill that morning.  Braden and I left to get lunch and go to orientation.  I was a mess and didn’t accomplish much that was on the “orientation to-do list”, so when Adam met us at the house afterward, the three of us went back to orientation to finish up, then to the vets office to pick up Sammy.

We took him home and spent about two hours just loving on him, snuggling him, and telling him how much we loved him.  I tried to give him some of his favorite treats, but he wasn’t interested.  Poor guy was so out of it and still throwing up.  It was so hard to see.

The hardest part was watching Braden say goodbye to him.  He sat down in front of Sam and kissed his little head, he was rubbing his back and just said “Goodbye Sam, I’m going to miss you.”  All day, we’d been talking about Heaven and what it means and how you get there and what it’s like.  I tried to explain to him that Heaven is a good place, Sammy will be so happy there because he can run and play without hurting anymore.  He will have all the treats he can dream of and a big, comfy bed.  Braden kept asking if we could go visit and got upset when I told him we couldn’t, but that we could still talk to Sammy and he’d be listening and watching us.  That seemed to help.

My mom came over to stay with Braden and she and my dad picked up Mackenzie while Adam and I took Sammy to the vets office.  I’ve never been through the process before and didn’t know what to expect.  Dr. Lisi and her staff were amazing, they did everything they could to try to make it as easy as they could for us.  They even went and got Sammy a little blanket to rest his head on.  We spent some time just petting Sam, rubbing his head and ears the way he loves, and telling him we loved him.  I kept telling him how sorry I was.  They gave him some anti-anxiety meds first so that he would be calm and relaxed, then a few minutes later followed with the second injection and our sweet boy was gone.

It was hard, really really hard.  I know we did the right thing for him, I know it would have been unfair to him to keep him alive so that I didn’t feel guilty.. but I do.  I feel terrible and guilty and I miss my boy, so, so much.

I had a dream Monday night – Sammy was running with his big goofy grin and his tongue hanging out of his mouth.  I’d like to think that it was his way of letting me know that he’s okay, he’s happy, and he’s not in pain.  I know that’s what is important and in time, hopefully it won’t be so hard.

Braden is doing better now.  Monday and Tuesday were really rough on him.  He started Kindergarten this week and I think that has been a really great distraction for him.  Mackenzie, thankfully, is too young to really notice.  Buddy is having a rough time with it.  He walks around the house wimpering, looking for Sammy.  He’s been spoiled all week and has been sleeping in Braden’s room.

Thanks so much for all of the emails, texts, tweets, and comments asking how Sammy was doing and offering your prayers.  It means so much to me and I’m so thankful that there were so many people thinking of our boy while he struggled with this awful disease.

We love you so much, Sammy Bear.  I know you’re well taken care of in Heaven, I’m certain that Papa Merk and Granny Moore welcomed you with lots of love and treats and head rubs.  I know you’re happy and free from pain, but I still miss you so, so much.  Be sweet and we’ll see you again soon.


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